Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Love Letter To My Brother

My son is most likely being diagnosed with what used to be ADD and is now inattentive AD/HD. He’s twelve and I’m feeling all kinds of guilt that I never knew that there might be a problem. The good news is he has a wonderful therapist who is someone who he can talk to and who can relate, I cannot say enough good things about Jessica. If you are looking for a therapist, Jessica Brown-McBroom deals with family therapy and specializes in kids with AD/HD. She’s at Centennial Counseling Center in St. Charles and you can learn more about her at or by calling her at 630.377.6613 x 333. Tuesday night Dan and I attended one of her seminars on parenting AD/HD or impulsive children and my brother decided to go with us. The seminar was totally informative and easy to understand. I walked out with a lot of hope about how Dan and I can help Aidan to have an easier life than he does now. I was in the audience as a Mom but I’m also a sister. When I was eight and my brother was six he was diagnosed with ADD; that is unusual because my brother is 35 now and 30 years ago you probably didn’t know anyone with ADD. My Mom doesn’t really remember that Erin was hyper or didn’t pay attention, but she remembers that there was a particular woman in the Elmhurst school system that noticed some attention problems and really was an advocate in getting Erin some help. He went through tons of testing and brain scans before he was diagnosed with ADD. At that time the only medical intervention was Riddlin and my Mom decided to try it. What I remember is that my brother was gone completely. It was like there was an empty shell where the person who annoyed and entertained me most used to be. My Mom took him off after a week. When he was 8 we moved to Wheaton. District 200 is supposed to be one of the top districts in the state; they crushed my brother’s educational life. My Mom was in meetings and campaigning for help constantly. No one did anything of any value and eventually my Mom and Erin were burned out. My brother floundered for the rest of his school career. The suffering that kids with AD/HD go through is incomprehensible to the rest of us; feelings of failure and stupidity are prevalent. My brother is one of the smartest people I know; the rest of this post is a love letter to him.

Dear Erin,

I remember that you were a funny and imaginative child. I remember that you made the best sound effects on the planet, better than George Lucas. You are the kindest man that I know; if you weren’t my brother I would seek you out to be my friend. I know that whenever I hear you talk about something you believe passionately in, like politics or my children’s well being, that you are so articulate that it just blows my mind. I know that most of the time you don’t feel that way about yourself.

I am proud of you all of the time. You have accomplished so many things in your life and you should be proud too. The struggles that you have gone through have made you an amazing person. I hope all of the time that my kids will be the kind of person you are. I am so glad that you are a living example of all that Aidan can become. You have picked yourself up and dusted yourself off after every stumbling block. You own and operate an amazing business and you are one of the few people left of the planet whose word means something. You are blessed with many gifts; a kind heart, an intelligent mind and an entrepreneurial spirit being just the tip of the iceberg. I love you so much.

Love, Kris


Leah said...

This made me cry. How his school experience crushed the confidence and sense of worth of the cousin who made me laugh more than anyone else was one of the big reasons I went into special education. Aidan is going to be fine and may not realize yet how lucky he is to have his mom, dad, uncle, and grandma all on board to support him. Love you all.

Courtney said...

I have a son who was also diagnosed with ADHD at a very young age so this post really touched me. Your son is lucky to have your support and the support of your extended family.

cat said...

What a touching post and how lucky Aidan is to have an uncle to relate to.

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

stopping by from Multiples and More ...
As another sister of a brother with ADD, I worry about my sons SO much. Blessings to you, to be an involved momma. God bless your momma, and brother as well!

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