To the Facebook friend who posted a meme making fun of ADHD … it wasn’t funny. The meme showed a person having a meltdown; on one side, it said “ADHD,” and on the other side was a cat at a table saying, “Need ass whip.” Even worse were all the posts that followed, saying things such as “Kids being kids. Let’s drug them,” and “It’s amazing what a few licks with a belt will do.”
The mama bear inside me wants to give all these people an “ass whip” for being so ignorant and judgmental about something they clearly know nothing about. ADHD is a neuro-developmental disorder, meaning it’s not something a parent can spank out of a child. Can you spank depression out of a person? Can you spank autism out of a person? Can you spank PTSD out of a person? Obviously not. So why would someone joke about spanking ADHD out of a person?
For all you parents out there reading this who have a non-neurotypical child, I know you understand my anger. You understand all the meltdowns — not tantrums, but meltdowns — that went on for hours that you couldn’t stop. The pain in seeing your child unable to control their emotions, the frustration and impatience of listening to the ongoing screaming. You understand the lack of social skills, and your child being left out and being depressed.
You understand all the problems at school – the inability to pay attention and executive functioning challenges, all the behavioral challenges, academic challenges. You understand the heartache in getting the diagnosis and knowing certain things will be challenging for your child for their entire life.
You understand the toll it takes on your marriage, and on your other children. You understand all the tears that have been shed. All of the worries in the middle of the night. The countless hours of research and talking to behavioral specialists and therapists to understand this complicated disorder, and how you can help them. You understand the guilt of losing your patience with your child, who is considered to have “special needs.” You understand how f’ing hard it is to make a decision to medicate or not.
You understand the pain … every single day.
To those of you who don’t understand, and don’t have a child with ADHD or special needs, who the hell are you to judge? Who are you to say my son’s developmental disorder can be cured with a spanking? And we wonder why suicide rates are going up? Did you know many children with ADHD go on to have low self-esteem and depression? Many go on to have drug addictions. Many fall behind in school.
Yes, my child has ADHD. It is neuro-developmental disorder … unlike your judginess, which is a character flaw.
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