Raising a child with disabilities can take its toll on you, your relationships with partners, family and can also affect friendships. This is especially true for those who come up against prejudice and ignorance from those around them, harsh I know but it’s true. People may have a tougher time in understanding and accepting that your child has a disability. This is especially true when it comes to Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. What used to be termed as a ‘naughty child’ is now slowly getting the recognition that it is a real unseen disability.

As a parent of a child/children with ADD and hearing loss I have come up against those who do not understand or comprehend what we as a family go through every day. I don't blame them as I had no experience of disability before my children came along. For a long time I tried to cope alone I felt embarrassed that my children were different.  It has taken me a long time to not only accept that my children have disabilities but to also accept that I am in no way a failure. I believed at that time that I had failed my children; I had not accepted the diagnoses of hearing loss and ADD and instead felt that I was a failure as a mum. I went through the motions of going to hospital appointments and caring for the hearing aids and then with the diagnosis of ADD came medication and so I again went through the motions. I felt I didn't need anyone including my husband and that the care of my children should fall only to me.

Crunch time for me came three years ago when my marriage broke down. My husband and I were not speaking, we had basically become strangers living together taking turns to look after the children and I cut myself off emotionally so he went elsewhere. Rather sheepishly I suppose I realised I needed my family. It’s in times like this that we realise what family means and that even if you think you don't have the support there because you haven't needed them, no matter what they pull together.

Needless to say one of my unsung heroes is my husband. It has taken a long time but we have come back stronger than ever. I do not condone the way he behaved but raising children with any disability can take its toll on family life and I accept my part in the whole situation. So why is he my hero? Because he is there for us. If I need him to come home he will, if I need to cry he holds me, if I am starting to let life get to me he brings me back to earth. He takes an active part by attending appointments when he can, helping me raise our children, reading my blogs and he supports me in everything I do just as I now support him. We are now a team working together rather than as strangers.

My family and friends also hold a special place in my heart as my unsung heroes:

  • My sister Nicola who is my rock, always there when I need to rant and rave, laugh, cry or just need someone to talk to. We go for girly weekends to rest and recharge our batteries and I am so proud to call her my sister
  • My other sister Kim is another rock who helps out as often as she can, I don't see her as often but I know that she is there for me
  • My parents, even though they still don't quite understand it, they take an active role in helping me by being there always with words of advice. My dad is brilliant with the kids and my mum is great at sitting and listening to me while offering advice as a parent who has also raised four children
  • My husband’s parents are always there if we need help with the children on school runs due to appointments
  • I also have an amazing group of friends who I can really let my hair down and have a laugh with. They make me feel grounded and supported. We meet for meals round each other’s houses, have nights out dancing and they are all on the end of the phone if I just need someone to talk to. I always look forward to our plans and feel blessed that I can call them my friends
  • I feel really rude banding everyone else into one bullet point but along the way I have met some amazing people who have given me support and confidence to believe in myself. Be it the advice that they give me or the support they show me through emails and message's (Anna, Mary) I truly do know some amazing individuals.

All the people in my life accept me for who I am and support me. This in turn gives me the confidence to be a good mother to my children and to cope with whatever life throws at us.

For more information or to learn Story Massage at home or in the work place please see the website www.storymassage.co.uk Or you can contact Leanne at www.marshamholistictherapy.weebly.com