Whew, We Did It!
Well, we did it! The Cape Girardeau ADHD Support Group held its first meeting at the Cape Girardeau Public Library. There were just a few of us in attendance for the first meeting, but there is something positive to be said for growing slowly, but steadily, getting our feet wet, etc.
I would like to thank everyone who attended. You know who you are. It’s already apparent that there are diverse needs for support within our local ADHD community – from issues relating to children and education, to Adult ADHD. It will be exciting, challenging and rewarding for all of us to work together to support each other and make a positive difference in the lives of those with ADHD, their families, loved ones and community.
Even with so many excellent books, web sites, videos, and other educational materials available, there are many who do not yet know much about ADHD. To a degree, that is not surprising since, for some, if you haven’t had it touch your life in some way, there isn’t necessarily an incentive or reason to learn about it.
On the other hand, I have heard of instances, both through online forums, and the local community, that while some schools are doing an excellent job educating students with ADHD, others are struggling.
There is definitely a role for our support group in educating the educators and educational administrators about ADHD. Judge Admire has made the connection between early childhood education, ADHD, and the criminal justice system.
ADHD, like many things in life, isn’t all good or all bad. But undiagnosed ADHD, and untreated ADHD, can result in real loss and tragedy – from addiction, to crime, to broken marriages and more.
As someone diagnosed with ADHD after the age of 40, I know how damaging it can be. Not only can it set a person back years in their career – assuming a person has some kind of career, it also can negatively affect personal finances, personal relationships, self-esteem, etc.
Maintaining a healthy relationship requires a certain amount of stability and a degree of consistency. In fact, a degree of stability and consistency is important in education as well. Up and down, up and down, up and down is a hard way to live.
It is my sincere hope that our support group can provide education and support, not only to those who have ADHD, but the many others affected by it. The consequences of undiagnosed and untreated ADHD are so great, it is really hard to put a value on them. The lost opportunity, reduced income for too many, cost of addiction, cost of imprisonment for those with ADHD convicted of crimes is extremely high.
These aren’t issues that can be resolved all at once. They take time. If you’re like me, you may have been waiting until you thought you were “better,” “fixed,” or “ready.” Personally (and I am only speaking for myself), I couldn’t wait any longer. I’m not perfect and make mistakes, but part of the whole process of having a support group is that we can all benefit from it, learn something from each other, and – in turn – help make our community a better place. We’re learning together and helping each other. That’s a good thing. I hope more of you will come and join our group. It won’t always be easy, but in the end it will be worth it.