hi everyone, i have posted from time to time in these forums but it's been awhile. i came today looking for support and guidance for adhd -- my DS is about to turn 6 and has been diagnosed ADHD, primarily inattentive, and also ODD. his therapist is also going to start testing for what she suspects is a language processing disorder. he's very bright, energetic, sweet and affectionate, but definitely stubborn and with a mind of his own. he also has trouble completing tasks, is easily distractible (i'm with him on that one -- and i'm like, hey, show me the person who isn't!) , etc. etc. he will begin first grade in sept. he's not on meds and i am trying hard to find alternative treatments that might help before we go to meds -- i'm not as anti-med as i used to be, but i don't want to go there unless there's no other option. he's already been on a gluten-free diet for a year (more below) and i can definitely tell when he's had wheat -- he's not allergic, but he is sensitive, and responds by being irritable and antsy when he eats wheat foods.
my partner's DD is 12 and has profound ADHD, ODD and also some serious LDs and other psycho-social issues (she was adopted at birth, diagnosed a few years ago as FAS, so there's a whole buffet of associated issues and disorders). i find her in some ways easier to deal with -- she can be more cooperative and understands why some things just have to be, like the need to wear pants in public (*eyeroll* that's a daily battle here with my little one). she can also be really nasty, cruel, bad-tempered, critical, harsh toward my kids -- all of which i try to understand as sympathetically as i am able (i know a lot of this is beyond her control) while enforcing good boundaries, appropriate consequences, etc. she also has incredible episodes where she just utterly melts down -- throws/breaks things, screams obscenities, tries to hurt herself. fortunately these haven't yet occurred in front of my two children; she seems to have these only when she's been working overtime at keeping herself together and then is in a safe place (home, with her mom, or her dad and me (soon to be step mom!). being overtired, overstimulated, etc also definitely contribute. she is on ritalin for school, and it makes a huge difference in her ability to focus. she's also prone to a pronounced rebound effect, late in the afternoon, once the meds wear off. i would love to find a way to adjust or change her prescription to help with this, because the rebound is so hard on her.
the challenge i have with both kids is undermining exes. at their other parents' houses, both kids get few limits -- no bedtime is enforced, for example. my DS's dad has him 40% of the time and refuses to follow the gluten free diet because it's "inconvenient". he may or may not give whatever supplements i provide; usually not. i don't want to put a 5 year old in the middle of this power struggle so i just have to let it go. my DSD (is that right? is there an acronym for stepdaughter to be? :-) ) is very anti-medication and actively campaigns to her daughter about how taking meds will stunt her growth and she can focus just fine on her own, etc (demonstrably untrue since she just flunked sixth grade). the mom is basically refusing to admit there's a problem -- it's something she'll grow out of, or she just needs to try a little harder. it's a little bit maddening because both of their "other parents" reject and undermine pretty much anything we try to do to help with the adhd, including simple things like making sure the kids get enough rest. and then despite saying no to therapies or whatever, they have no alternative suggestions.
ok, whew, rant over, thanks i feel better! i'm here to do what i can for them, in every way possible. we're doing fish oil and trying to figure out how to add the minerals (zinc & magnesium) that adhd kids tend to be deficient in. i'm very interested in everyone else's experiences have been, what you've tried, etc. for example, i'm curious about accupuncture.
glad to be here. let's talk!