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Raising ADHD, a journey of inspiration and self-discovery

Some days I wonder if I knew then what I know now, would I have walked a different path? Looking back, I would not change my parenting journey at all, some of my deepest heartfelt moments have been the biggest times of positive change and personal growth. I became a mother at the very young age of 18. In 2009, I gave birth to a beautiful little boy. My heart ignited and filled with a love like no other. In an instant I was responsible for this tiny little human.

As time went on, I knew something was not quite right. My baby was more sensitive to the world then others and society's judgement of being a young mum only led me to feel guilt and shame. Negative thoughts would start to this because of me? have I missed something? am I good enough to raise this human without messing him up? This went on for the first 8 years of motherhood, gradually building my wall of self-doubt brick by brick.

In 2013 my eldest son started kindy, we were excited for something new and fun, but that was far from reality. Judged, unsupported and misunderstood my son struggled to learn and interact with his peers. I began to gather information in a hope to understand what my child needed from me and what was happening for him. Highly emotional & showing extreme behaviour, his cry for help.

At the age of 6, my son was formally diagnosed with complex ADHD, Autism spectrum traits, genetic defects, tics and severe anxiety. Suddenly my quirky little boy made so much sense. He sees and feels the world differently, he does not fit into a “box”, but he has something amazing to give back to this world! I was determined to stand up and advocate for him, educating myself and others to try and understand. A few years on I gave birth to 2 more children and was also blessed with a stepdaughter. My youngest son was also diagnosed ADHD with auditory processing disorder in 2019.

Determined to be the best mother I could I looked within looking for any bit of strength and courage I had. I began looking after my physical health, my mental health, participating in support groups, parenting education and self-discovery workshops and seeking professional support to overcome my own inner demons from my childhood.

With support, time and newfound knowledge I have found my self-confidence has grown so much and my relationships with my children have become stronger. Over time, I have learnt not worry about what other people think, they often don't fully understand ADHD, only the stigma associated with it. The journey has been tough, deeply emotional at times, but I have learnt so much about myself and my family. I am strong, I am worthy, I am confident, and I love the person and mother I have become.

I am now 31 and the founder of Peel ADHD Parent Support. My children’s challenges inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and really face life head on, after all I am their biggest advocate, role model and support system. Without my children, I would not have found courage or my true passion which is supporting others on a similar parenting journey. The greatest lesson motherhood has taught me is that you cannot whole heartedly love anyone else until you first truly love & understand yourself, and with that you are strong enough to overcome anything!

Well Wishes

Shenae Chapple


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