This story was sent to me by a loving father whose son is the victim of ADHD. Through perseverance in prayer he found an answer. I asked him if I could link this story and he graciously consented. You will love this story. Read it and enjoy.
A Prayer for Jimmy
My son is 9 yrs. old and was diagnosed formally with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder). He attends a Catholic school and the school was willing to provide the Doctors analyses which my wife and I were very happy to allow.
We had known for quite some time that our son had difficulty with school work and nearly all other tasks. His behavior as well, was inordinately aggressive and we searched ourselves examining our own parenting at length and for some time to discover a satisfactory way to intervene and satisfy what we considered to be a problem with our child.
We have 6 children; Jimmy is the fourth born and the first male after 3 girls; he also has a younger brother and sister.
So my wife and I studied the psychologists report at great length and were both overwhelmed at the acute accuracy at which it described our son and naturally agreed our son did indeed have ADHD. The next step was medication.
We tried Ritalin first and noticed our son, though performing well in school, was having difficulty sleeping and lost a lot of weight. He also seemed to have a certain nervousness about him and even when at best it seemed as though the son we knew and loved (though once somewhat spirited) was not the same. It seemed a part of the life in him was taken away. But the apparent other side effects were enough to take him of Ritalin...next was Adoral. This too, came with many side effects and we were not comfortable with this medication...we tried a third medication and combinations of medication, always seeking what might be best for Jimmy.
Despite the medication having a positive effect on his studies the side effects were wreaking havoc on his overall well being. At one point he was experiences tormenting periods of rage where the meds were causing a rollercoaster effect in his behavior...it was the coming down part that resembled more of a crashing. One day he was in a rage so awful he strained the muscles in his neck, grinding his teeth like mad and caused a tightening of the wind pipe as to cut off his air. I watched him try to regain the ability to breathe but the muscles around his wind pipe had locked up and he was suffocating. I had to massage the neck to get the muscles to relax so he could breath again and slowly he gained more and more air. It took approximately 45 min. to get him back to breathing normal.
On another occasion he was throwing furniture, i.e.: dining room chairs, flipped dining room table, lifting queen size bed off floor and dropping repeatedly, etc., etc.
The poor child was suffering. We took him off medication and were soon back where we had started but realized we still had a problem on our hands. The notes from school began. Then the phone calls and his desk was moved to the back of the room. Then a meeting with several people at school who couldn't understand that despite the problems I might have at home, this child had done so well on meds and deserved to be on them. I did however manage to enable them to see the whole picture and his teacher has been very gracious and patient continuing to see the simple and blessed child that he is. You see Jimmy really has a loving nature. You can't help being intrigued by him and intrigue usually leads to love. His teacher loved him and this was a blessing.
Over the course of what has been just now 1 yr. without medication, we have had an interesting path to follow. I am a man of prayer and faith and resolved that he may be healed or assisted in his trial by the grace of God. Understand herein that I am the only one now who feels this way. I was now alone in this mission. Others of course, and I do not judge or condemn, but others have difficulty trusting in God; we are after all, so inclined to trust in our own worldly attempts of saving ourselves (but that's another story).
Why did I trust in God? I must say that although we are so often eager to see the dynamic manifestations of God's intervention (apparitions, signs, wonders, healings), and these things do occur and are good for the faith, I have to wonder, have we forgotten to see God in the miraculous glory of the little things?
Two days ago I walked outside and behold, to my greatest astonishment, it was absolutely beautiful out! I wanted to scream, "there is a God!!"
Everyone I know wants to see Jesus, Mary, the saints...they want to feel and touch God...well I propose He is everywhere!
Don't turn around too quickly or you'll bump right into Him.
Back to Jimmy....He has received his first Holy Communion but has been funny in his faith. At times he prays reverently, at other times he wants nothing to do with God or Jesus. I even kept him from receiving one day at mass, several times I had to take him out of the church because of his disrespect (please remember I have 6 children and I am not paranoid at having my children behave like children). There were times where he refused to enter the church at all and we nearly always had a struggle I would consider inordinate.
Then there were times he would pray the rosary with me and I knew he understood who Jesus was and loved Him. We sang the chaplet once in perfect harmony, it was absolutely beautiful! We went to a low-key healing Mass once and he really delighted in being prayed over, in fact on the way up the aisle he told me he saw an angel above the alter. Well, directed prayer and the sacraments when he was willing to receive them, had an absolutely astounding calming effect on this child.
And yet the absence of prayer, Mass, or the sacraments, was having an absolutely astounding negative effect on him. I knew then that prayer and the grace only God could provide through His mother and through His mercy were the remedy for this child.
And now as I tried to get him to pray he became worse. The more I asked of him in little ways, trying to be as gentle as I could, would set off a kind of revolt in him. What was I to do?
I prayed on my own. I offered Mass and rosaries to him. I prayed over him while he slept. He wasn't turning around and I realized through our trials that it was going to take willful action on his part to affect any intervention from God or Mary.
In the mean time he was really crashing. He was really failing in school and the other kids were starting to call him names. Things were just getting worse. Pressure was on from my wife and my parents and the school to put him back on medication. My wife thought I was in denial that he had a problem. She too did not like seeing him medicated but was beginning to believe it was our only choice.
It was the Lenten season I believe Jimmy and I hit the bottom, rock bottom, I locked myself in my room with him (he refused to talk about God with me). I saw a broken child before me; all I could see was his suffering. It dawned on me...I walked over to my bedroom wall and took the cross of our Lord down off the wall and said to Jimmy, "Who has more in common with you than Jesus?"
We also went to see a performance by RADIX (see EWTN jukebox @ EWTN.com) and Jimmy was really inspired by the dynamic performance of these young Catholic men and the dramatic reenactment of the passion of our Lord.
The peace of the risen Lord I saw arise in him once more and I seized the opportunity!
"Jimmy!...the chaplet! There's a novena beginning soon of the chaplet!....will you say it with me?"
The air was still and my lingering hope hung in the air awaiting the answer. But I knew the time was right and Jimmy was ready.
"Sure Dad ," he said.
We said the novena. I did not tell him that I said it for him, I simply explained that it was a secret to be left between me and God. He prayed the novena that I get a big bonus so I could buy him new skates! (by the way, I did, it was the largest bonus ever given in the companies 27 yr. history)
Change occurs slowly most the time....and this time was some slow change. Jimmy realized peace through the novena, peace as I had seen before when he prayed with compassion and heart or the peace I had so many times seen him receive through the sacraments. The novena ended on the day of St. Faustina's canonization, on what is now Divine Mercy Sunday. We went to the beach that morning and I saw a change that is as awesome as seeing our Lord manifested in all the little ways. He was here present in my family on this special day as we sat by the ocean on the beach. The kids exhibited a certain love and joy like I had never seen in them. Including and especially Jimmy. I looked out over the ocean toward Rome where I knew our good and faithful Sister was being canonized that morn and I looked up into the heavens and I knew St. Faustina was the glory of heaven that day. All the saints and angels rejoiced and sang in glory to God at her coming! Perhaps the earth has never known such mercy as it did then!
Now remember, my son did not know I had prayed the novena for him. There was indeed a most significant change within him. On wed that week he came home and told me his teacher had decided to move his desk back to the regular spot it had been 6 months before. I chanced across his homework packet at the end of the next week and to my wife and my amazement his work was outstanding...a 180 degree turn around. Out of ten papers, at least 4-5 were 100's, the rest were all A's, and this level of work continued throughout the school year.
But most of all the hand of God has gently lifted him. By the grace of God, he has peace and knows peace, and knows his love comes from something greater than himself. He knows Jesus is present and in his life as a Friend and Father and Holy Ghost. And he loves Jesus and Mary. And he truly loves to pray. We all have something to learn from Jimmy there.
My dad and I have always agreed since Jimmy was real young that one day Jimmy would either be someone extremely great, or, we have feared that if he turns the wrong way he risks becoming someone truly derelict. He has a certain strength that is compelling and extraordinary.
I once asked him, "Jimmy, would you like to be a priest?"
"Yes," he answered, "but I want to be the one who wears the big hat"
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