It was such a beautiful day, I couldn’t believe we were the only ones at our neighborhood park. We made the best of it, and Connor laughed and played and ran around like crazy.
Finally, another car pulled up, and a little girl and her dad walked over to the playground.
Connor busied himself with following her around, and asking “Want to play with me?,” about 20 times.
Her dad and I swapped stories about being exhausted and not able to keep up with these kids. We agreed that they had us over a barrel with their extreme levels of energy.
It was my own mistake, really, when I opened the door by saying “mine also has ADD, which really sends the energy level through the roof.”
After a couple of other parenting anecdotes, he said “So you said he has ADD, how did you come to know that?”
Oh brother, here we go.
“We always knew. We knew when he was still crawling. It’s just something you know, as a parent, when something is off.”
I told him about the lack of sleep, the intense, sustained, energy. There was so much more I could have told him, but then he said, “I know a lot of kids with that kind of energy.” And then, “Well a lot of kids have extra energy, but not necessarily ADD.”
Time to shut it down.
Sure, I like a good teaching opportunity as much as any other parent of a child with special needs, but I’m also acutely aware when I’m speaking to someone whose mind is closed, and who has already cemented their own firm opinion about something, despite not having first-hand experience with it themselves.
It’s tiresome, these amateur experts in all things they know nothing about. What I really wonder is what makes a person decide not to believe legions of parents that have been in the trenches dealing with this for years, as well as medical professionals that specialize in neurological disorders?? What makes a person decide that all these parents are just “overreacting” and these doctors are just “over-prescribing”? Especially when that person has had limited exposure to such a disorder.
I suppose we all make judgements. But I can’t conceive of foisting my own opinions on someone else, particularly on a subject that they know much more about than I do. Perhaps that’s the difference. Some people have no problem telling you that you’re wrong, and they know better than you.
But I bit my tongue and ended our time at the park.
There was no way I was going to end such a nice day by arguing with some ignoramus. I’ve got bigger challenges and better things to do with my time.