Susy Parker's daughter, Sarah, was diagnosed with ADHD and Anxiety when she was just six years old. Months later she was also diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD). Saving Sarah charts her family's roller coaster journey over an 18 month period from diagnosis, to the consulting rooms of various specialists, it tells of their confusion over the conflicting medical advice they received, and finally explores Susy's decision to quit the medications and discover her own way to save her daughter and their family
"As a mother, it almost broke me as I watched my daughter, my first-born; my beautiful baby girl, spiral out of control. I had no idea how to stop it; it was like a relentless fire burning through our home and destroying everything in its wake.
Behind the perfect family faCade, my family was being torn apart as Sarah struggled with ADHD and the side effects brought on by the drugs. Sarah was medicated, I was depressed and anxious, and my marriage and dreams of a happy family were crashing down around me.
We tried different types of medication; various parenting styles and listened to the conflicting medical advice about how to 'fix' our daughter. We spent thousands of dollars, until one day, broken, depressed and at rock bottom, I found my strength and realised that I had to fix it; I had to make everything right.
The day that we stepped away from all the advice, the drugs, the tests, the opinions, and the labels was the day that we saved our family, it was the day that I saved my sanity, but more importantly, it's the day that we saved Sarah.
Two years on and Sarah's future looks very different. Instead of struggling through life, she is now thriving. She is brave, she is resilient, she is strong and kind, but most importantly she has taught all of us that even in the face of adversity, you can rise up and shine.
The journey wasn't easy. It took courage, patience and strength, as I went against all medical advice and took the biggest leap of faith I had ever taken...and it worked!
I am sharing Sarah's story to let other parents know that there can be another way and that miracles do happen, because a miracle happened to us.
ADHD, it's just a different way to be." - Susy.
About the Author
Susy’s first passion is her family, her husband and their three young children. Her second passion is helping her 9-year-old daughter, Sarah*, to live, love and laugh with ADHD.
In her first book Saving Sarah: Learning to Live, Love and Laugh with ADHD Susy shares in raw, painful and honest detail, the dark side of parenting a child with ADHD but also paints the positive picture that people often don’t see or understand.
Over 18 months Susy trialled many different types of drugs, consulted various experts and received numerous diagnoses for Sarah. She found herself in a world that made her believe that Sarah had a disease, a disorder and an illness, where she could only thrive if she were heavily medicated.
Isolated, confused, frightened and desperate, the journey almost tore her family apart, as Sarah’s behaviour spiralled out of control.
Now, two years since the initial diagnosis, Sarah is a happy and thriving child, and better still: she has achieved this without medication. Susy and her family are immensely proud of Sarah, and how far she has come.
By sharing Sarah’s story, Susy hopes to start a ‘Positive ADHD movement’ to remove the stigma, misunderstanding and labelling that comes with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
* Name has been changed to protect identity
"I WILL FOREVER BE GRATEFUL TO YOU SUSY!"
"I am a mother of 5-year-old Indigo daughter and Susy is literally changing my life. Susy comes from such a place of love and understanding, which has helped me to see what an amazing daughter I have! The script with Susy is flipped from negative labels and traditional methods of discipline that are going to make our kids behave or else (which by the way was a long painful road that did not work for us). To see my daughter as the larger than life, powerful, intuitive and highly connected soul that she is. I know that I am blessed to have a daughter with these amazing gifts, not cursed. I know that I have to be the one who changes and figure out how to guide her, not change her, and allow her to grow and change the world because that is what she will do! Susy's sisterhood group is a safe judgment-free zone. It's a place for sharing and healing, in a fun and positive environment with other parents living the struggle, because the struggle is real! It helps keep me grounded on the days I am overwhelmed, connected when I am feeling lost, positive on the days I feel the negativity creeping in and find laughter and friendship with others living this blessed and crazy life with these amazing children. From the bottom of my heart, I will forever be grateful for you Susy!" - Gina Storeholder, Ohio
SUSY, YOU ARE WAYSHOWER'!
"This is exactly what I saw as a therapist once I was diagnosed with ADHD - the ADHD in the kids stemmed from the parents & their parenting methods, yet few parents were ready and willing to see what you saw and began to own within yourself. I left a job because I no longer resonated with a system that saw the kids as the one with the "disorder" or the "issue" that had to be solved. I commend you for this! You are such a wayshower - thanks for sharing your truth, Susy!"Kate Lally, US
SUSY, YOU ARE SHOWING ME HOW TO PARENT WITH LOVE & ACCEPTANCE'!
"Today I got up to module 2 and started writing down the feelings, the emotions and sitting with it - this was really powerful stuff! Susy, the meditation has been amazing and really resonated with my heart. My soul has been yearning for this and I can't thank you enough. I thank the higher being for choosing me to parent a beautiful spirit, but for also leading me to this amazing support tribe and course! A new mumma has started her journey, to heal the inner child and I'm now starting parenting with love and acceptance"! - Maya Rabba, US
SUSY SHINES LOVE & LIGHT
"I can honestly say its been life changing for me and therefore for my child/family to be part of your sisterhood. I so appreciate having your knowledge and positivity especially in the hard times, its given me so much strength knowing that you've walked this path and its not all doom and gloom. It doesn't have to go the traditional way, the doctors don't have the answers, WE DO!!! We just need to dig deep to find it. I can't imagine having gone down this road without the love and light you shine. THANK YOU. xxx" - Tory Saunders, Australia
SUSY GAVE ME THE STRENGTH THAT I NEEDED
"Susy has shown me what I already knew deep in my heart to be true. That there is nothing wrong with my son - he didn't have the problem. The world around him just couldn't keep up with how amazingly wonderful and brilliant he was. Susy came into my life when I felt like no one else understood our plight and gave me the strength to be my son's strength. Eternally grateful." - Mel Tempra, Perth, WA