My family has recently been thrown into the world of ADHD diagnosis. Needless to say, the last few days and weeks have been a whirlwind of different doctor and counselor appointments, looking up information online and discussing with friends and family what this means for us.
As I sit here trying to sort out all the information being thrown at me and my family, I am left wondering “Is there a doula for ADHD?”. With what I know about what a doula can do for a family that is expecting, I find myself wishing for the same kind of support in our family’s new journey.
Oh, just imagine what help an ADHD doula would be!
I need one source that knows which resources are available in the community. I am feeling frustrated with the lack of knowledge that different people have about what is out there for support. One counselor recommends a program that my doctor has never heard of. A friend went to a support group that the counselor didn’t know about when I asked. Just as I know about many different resources within our community for families that are expecting, an ADHD doula would know about all the different kinds of resources available, from reliable websites (not the ones that tout impossible cures) to good books to read and also in person support within our community. They know what resources and solutions that are available here, locally, and what things we may read or hear about that aren’t.
They would also be able to personalize everything to our family’s preferences and needs. If we are open to medication for treatment, they could discuss with us what they know about the different kinds, side effects and even suggest ways to help kids learn to swallow pills (we got that sorted out now)!
We would not need to jump from person to person, resource to resource trying to track down what works for us, rather our ADHD doula would be able to help us weed out the best sources of information for us so that we could get straight to work learning!
Just as my clients don’t need anyone putting their beliefs about birth on them, I would greatly appreciate sources of support and information that don’t have specific beliefs about the best way to treat and manage ADHD. For some, it may be purely natural therapies and other families would prefer to try medications first. Most will resonate with a combination and so pushing one agenda or the other is not helpful or supportive. Having someone to provide the information in a way that does not lend judgement and then simply support our choices on what is best for us would be amazing.
And even when a course of action is debated upon, chosen and tried; it is then abandoned for a different option, our ADHD doula would support that too. They would not try to remind us of our original plan (unless that was part of the plan), but would change trajectory themselves and continue to support while we ourselves managed the unexpected or unplanned.
An ADHD doula would know many different ways to help someone learn practical ways to support their strengths and manage their weaknesses. Organizational skills, time management, and maintaining the home all have to be learned anew and an ADHD doula would be able to come to our home and show us different things to try. Since they have helped others with ADHD before, this new kind of doula would be able to pull from a vast array of other people’s experiences for new ideas that we may not have thought of or heard about before.
Someone to listen
My imaginary ADHD doula is passionate about supporting people through this time and would not get sick of listening to me process this newfound information. If anything, they love the subject so much, they continue to be as excited about discussing it as I am right now. Rather than blasting all my friends and family with everything that is going on, an ADHD doula would patiently listen and just let me get it out. With their experience supporting others, there is probably little they haven’t heard about the good and the bad parts of this journey. They would be able to help me explore new ideas and discover my own thoughts about what is happening, what needs to happen next and how that may be different from my ideal.
Support my partner
While we discover what our family’s needs are, a doula could help my husband support me through this. Discussing ways to help me manage and verifying what I must be going through as well. Having someone outside our relationship explain things in a way that he can relate to would be a great bonus. It would make my concerns and questions seem normal to have someone else say “Yes, that’s a very common and normal concern.”
I think an ADHD doula would be a great idea! Who wouldn’t want that type of personalized help and support through a very new (and truthfully, sometimes scary) life event?
(I have found an ADHD coach though! I will have to see if it is very similar.)