Mothering Forums - Reply to Topic

Thread: Help for ADHD? Reply to Thread
Title:
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Trackback:
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-07-2012 11:08 AM
Swimmyswim

I have ADHD.  I had a nightmare childhood and have had a very difficult adult life.  I only began on concerta a year ago.  I am now applying for a PhD.  Knowing and understanding my ADHD has literally completely changed my life.  And yes, the pills too.  They cleared my head and helped me think effectively for the first time in my life.

 

I was 'dilly daydream', 'space cadet', 'on planet Jane', 'Calamity Jane' etc etc.  I was lazy, stupid, selfish, difficult, a liar, was only interested in school for the socialising and education was 'wasted on me'.

 

Actually, I was very smart and dealing with a serious, untreated neurological disorder.

 

Not all people with ADHD need to be medicated.  It's not appropriate for everyone.  But notes don't work.  Telling her to colour code her diary won't work.  Expecting her to 'just do it' won't work.  Punishing won't work.  Despairing or being disappointed won't work.  

 

It's very useful to get a proper diagnosis with cognitive testing.  Knowing whether working memory or processing speed are affected is useful, as is knowing how much inattention is an issue.  

12-05-2012 07:04 PM
MrsBone Based on your description, she doesn't sound adhd! My hubby is adhd and my son is probably, but only 4 so undiagnosed. If she's excelling at school and otherwise has it together, she sounds pretty normal but a little spacy!
04-30-2012 01:11 PM
jdsf

Okay, so after mulling all of this over, I remembered that I have a friend who is an ADHD "coach" and I talked to her about it. She said because she does show an ability to focus when necessary and is very organized and neat and meticulous with her school work, it would be hard to get an ADHD inattentive type diagnosis for her since she only exhibits two symptoms regularly. She also said that this type isn't one you "grow out of" so while it seems more likely for her age, it is very very rare that an inattentive ADHD kid shows the attention to detail and level of organization that she has. Her handwriting is perfect, she always comes home knowing exactly what her homework is and the order she will do it in, and is rarely forgetful when it comes to school (except where jackets or extra bags are concerned). Forgetfulness and not listening are not enough for a diagnosis. She ran down the whole list of every possible symptom and she doesn't do any of them frequently enough for it to "count". So, I'm back to square one. She said a lot of times anxiety disorders manifest similar symptoms, but again, she only meets the same two criteria on that. She is very self confident and is more willing than her older sister to try new things, the only anxiety I see from her is the same as mine - test anxiety - but again, certain people's brains don't do well with the power of suggestion so I totally get it.

 

She is a very visual learner. I'm starting to wonder if these problems are caused by that: if it's out of sight, it's out of mind. She will always remember something if she can see it, the reason she doesn't flush the toilet is because she's washing her hands and then just moves on from there. Same reason she loses things. I have accepted the fact that she's just kind of a space cadet but I know that's not going to fly in the real world. My friend said that I shouldn't worry too much, because kids don't have real world problems to worry about, they tend to spend a lot of time "imagining" but that will be replaced with "Did I turn the coffeepot off" later when they get older. I just want to make sure she gets there without walking into oncoming traffic because she was off in her own world.
 

04-26-2012 12:25 PM
jdsf

Yeah, the doctor gave that recommendation not as a "cure" for ADHD but to cut down on any behaviors caused by heavily processed foods (which is more what I meant by "carbs" - empty foods generally packed full of preservatives and other nonsense, generally carb-heavy) and more veggies to boost her vitamins and minerals and help with brain function. We can't keep children's vitamins in the house because she is bad about sneaking things and ate 10 gummy vitamins in one sitting, even though they didn't have iron we still stressed the importance of never taking more than 2 children's vitamins a day but she kept doing it, even the plain old chewable ones. She hates swallowing pills so all the vitamins she gets are either natural or from drinks like Emergen-C or vitamin supplemented smoothies. Obviously, eating vitamins in food is better, so that's what we try to push... anyway, I am very sensitive to food additives, red dye particularly, so we don't keep a lot of unhealthy junk around the house but it seems wrong to deprive kids completely of Cheetos and Oreos so we let them have those sorts of things as a special treat. We are also a vegetarian household so being healthy means eating a wide variety of things.

 

I would like her to see someone, but she is resistant to the idea because she thinks she's in trouble for something, even though I told her she wasn't, it was just to help. She says she doesn't need help, and as much as I'd like her to go, she doesn't want to be there, so I'm not sure forcing her to go will get her to participate. We don't have a lot of money and she is on the insurance plan provided to state teachers/employees and their families, so the coverage isn't great, we would be paying a percentage in addition to the copay so it's at least $50 a pop.

 

If I don't hear the toilet flush, I always ask her if she did, but I'm not necessarily in earshot... we have a shotgun style house, so the kids' rooms and bathroom are on one end with the kitchen and living room in the middle and the master bedroom on the end, so I don't hear anything if I'm in my room (unless it's yelling ;) I always remind her to buckle her seatbelt when we get in the car, but half the time she doesn't because she's preoccupied with something else so I have to remind her again before we leave the driveway. Usually that means I sit there and wait for her because she's fidgeting with something else and won't stop what she's doing to buckle herself. I would do it for her, but she's almost 12 and I really feel like this is a life skill one of her level of functioning should have by now, I worry that other people's parents have stopped reminding them and I don't know if she would remember in someone else's car. She is going to middle school next year where she will be riding the bus, and I know the bus driver won't be reminding them.
 

04-25-2012 04:42 PM
melissa17s

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

"True" ADHD or not, a lot of people seem to have ADHD symptoms caused or exacerbated by certain substances. I've never heard of it having much to do with carb, sugar, or veggie intake though... except that certain fruits and vegetables can actually make the problem worse.

 

 

 

 

 

I feel, based on what I have read and understand about ADHD that food sensitivity is a separate issue from ADHD.  Maybe because some of the outward behaviors are similar there is a lot of misdx that leads people to believe that their dc is "treated" or even "cured" because elimination of a food the child is sensitive to.  Adhd is a different way that the brain processes and although we all react to some degree to the food we eat, it is not the cause nor will it change the way one processes- it takes more than that.    My ds, like many dc, has had organic food and been dye free from in utero, but still he has multiple comorbid neurological conditions.  http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1880.html

 

In the end, I think I agree with those encouraging an outside evaluation to fully understand and best approach what ever the Op's dd is working through, but I get the op's resistance, too.  As stated earlier in the thread, we worked nonmedicated with a psychologist, and it has benefitted ds.

 

I would guess that the issue you noted about veggies and fruit has more to do with the recent study that noted pesticides on fruit and veg can be a cause of ADHD.  It is another great reason to eat organic and I would encourage healthy eating regardless of adhd or otherwise.  

04-25-2012 11:52 AM
adultwithadd

Kasihmama -

 

There are a number of medications other than Ritalin that are available. If your son doesn't like to take it because it eliminates his appetite, I totally understand. Unfortunately, that is a common side effect of stimulant ADHD medications. Here are a few other options. They are almost all stimulant options, but some are extended-release form (one pill in the morning) instead of multiple pills:

 

1) Adderall (also a stimulant)

2) Concerta - extended-release Ritalin (basically)

3) Adderall XR (extended-release stimulant)

4) Strattera - this one is non-stimulant, and it can be expensive since it is relatively new. I live in the USA, so I'm not sure how prescription costs differ in Malaysia.

 

My advice is to speak with him and his doctor and get your son to agree to try something for a month. Many medications take a while to feel "normal" in one's body.

 

As far as the writing is concerned - written expression issues are very common with ADHD, as is dysgraphia (issues with handwriting that are unrelated to reading ability).  I believe it would be most worthwhile to ask him exactly why he does not want to write. Many children (and adults) with ADHD prefer to type on a computer because many cannot read their own writing when they are finished with a pencil or a pen! :)

 

I hope this helps.

 

adultswithadd.net has links to a lot of great resources on childhood and adult issues stemming from ADHD, as well as tools for treatment.

 

-adultwithadd

04-24-2012 09:11 PM
Cyllya

 

I have all the symptoms of ADHD inattentive-type, and I think never getting a diagnosis as a kid ended up screwing me over. Even though the symptoms were there when I was a kid, they didn't really cause me any problems at school and only a few problems at home (forgetting to flush the toilet was one I had trouble with, in fact).

 

I think a sign on the wall might help, but you'd have to change the sign every day or two. That's assuming she doesn't find the sign condescending. Maybe an ADHD therapist could convince her not to be too offended by your nagging?

 

Personally, I think I wouldn't have minded if my parents reminded me about the toilet as I came out and they didn't hear it flush, but they'd always go find it unflushed later when I was in the middle of something, and they'd make me stop and flush it then. So annoying!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa17s View Post

 

If it is true ADHD, then food will not change it.  

 

"True" ADHD or not, a lot of people seem to have ADHD symptoms caused or exacerbated by certain substances. I've never heard of it having much to do with carb, sugar, or veggie intake though... except that certain fruits and vegetables can actually make the problem worse.

 

It seems like the diet treatments are more for hyperactivity/impulsiveness than attention problems however.... I'm not sure if anyone uses it to treat inattentive-type ADHD.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post

wait a minute, I thought that ADHD/ADD meant that they can't focus even if they want to?  If she can remember some places but not at home, doesn't that selectiveness mean she *is* in control?

 
Remembering to flush the toilet? Heck no, that's totally going to be different at different locations. It's not like she just hasn't grasped the concept of toilet flushing. You use your own toilet so often that you're just sort of on auto-pilot through the whole process, and if there's some step that never got programmed into your auto-pilot for some reason, you're going to skip it and not even realize you skipped it until something alerts you to it later. But when you use someone else's bathroom, you're more fully aware in the whole thing. Unless it's a friend whose bathroom you use a lot.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

No, it doesn't mean the child can't focus at times.  Something that is especially engaging, like a favorite TV show or video game, can keep a child with attention deficit entertained for hours.  This varies from one individual to the next, of course.  It doesn't indicate "control".

 

Yeah, plus being "engaged" doesn't necessarily mean concentrating.... Video games, books (depending on your reading skill compared to the book), and TV can all be enjoyed even if you can't concentrate well. Just because you see a kid playing a game and staring intently at the screen for two hours doesn't mean he didn't find himself thinking, "Wait, what was I just doing...?" over a hundred times in those two hours. (In fact, my DP coined the term "Questing ADD" to refer to our behavior in some of these games... and I don't think my DP even has ADHD.) Video games in particular seem to be pretty ADHD-friendly--at least modern games. They either give you one task at a time, to do over a short period, OR they give you a built in to-do list which will inevitably have bazillions of tasks on it.

 

But just try to program a video game when you have attention problems... Ugh. I feel like I need to do mental gymnastics but my brain is the mental equivelent of a big fat unflexible out-of-shape person....

 

04-24-2012 08:52 PM
queenjane

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

 

 

No, it doesn't mean the child can't focus at times.  Something that is especially engaging, like a favorite TV show or video game, can keep a child with attention deficit entertained for hours.  This varies from one individual to the next, of course.  It doesn't indicate "control".

 


Hyperfocusing is one trait associated with ADHD...but i thought the OP meant more like she will remember to flush at school, but not at home. That seems to be different.

04-24-2012 07:57 PM
kasihmama

hi friends..Im new here from Malaysia. My eldest son, will turn 12 this oct was diagnosed with ADHD last 2 years. Before we knew he got ADHS, we sent him to martial arts. He did like the class but he did not perform very well. We withdrew him.

Now, our specialist gives him Ritalin but he refused to take it. It reduces his appetite, dont want to eat or even drink. I like to know if there any other drugs or treatment for him besides Ritalin.

His behavior is up and down. He can read but extremely DO NOT want to write. This is his major problem. Even our specialist found this very strange. His writing is very bad. It takes a long hours for him to complete one sentence. He can and will write when he want to.

Sometimes, I was very frustrated and turn off.

Please advise and I really hope to get some opinions and suggestions here.

 

Thank you.

 

Kasihmama.

04-24-2012 06:31 PM
melissa17s

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post

 

 And though ADHDers benefit from exercise to some degree like everyone else, it isn't a "treatment" for ADHD.

 

Actually, it is thanks to info about adhd drugs that you posted in other threads that I did learn that exercise IS a treatment for adhd.  There are numbers of articles about.  It is not always the best or only treatment an individual needs, but it is good at releasing chemicals that focus attention and control impulsivity.  On a personal level, we have seen ds make more academic break throughs when he is physically active.  We did talk to his psych about this and she agreed that it was good to encourage physical activity whether organized or not.  http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/3142.html  

 

 

04-24-2012 04:47 PM
Emmeline II
Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa17s View Post

I don't know.   I think evaluation outside of school will be expensive and yield little results especially since jdsf stated they are not interested in testing.  I am not really seeing the ADHD except some with the memory, but is not enough to impair her, if it is adhd.  Maybe enroll her in a martial arts program or an exercise program.  Both are good form of natural treatment for ADHD and are great for kids with out ADHD, too. 

 

 

It seems that it is impairing her to some degree.

 

It's more expensive than a typical co-pay but an evaluation at a hospital based clinic is around $300, depending on how one's insurance works. Schools often get it wrong, particularly with more subtle issues that seem like "obvious" instances of laziness or lack of will power. ADHD symptoms are shared with other diagnoses, so it is possible that it isn't the problem. School evaluations for ADHD tend to focus on symptoms of hyperactivity, using an evaluation like Conners which isn't useful in identifying ADHD-PI. And though ADHDers benefit from exercise to some degree like everyone else, it isn't a "treatment" for ADHD.

04-24-2012 01:38 PM
SpottedFoxx

Also - some people with ADHD can become hyper-focused as seen with television and video games and even books.  You could set off a bomb next to my husband during a video game and he wouldn't flinch but other activities he'd be so scattered.

 

My ADHD makes me an amazing multi-tasker which means I can focus incredibly in short bursts but anything that requires longer attention, I really struggle.  I can do it but it's not easy.  Medication has only changed my ability to focus.  I can still multi-task like nobody's business but when I need to focus longer, I can.

04-24-2012 12:28 PM
blessedwithboys

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post

wait a minute, I thought that ADHD/ADD meant that they can't focus even if they want to?  If she can remember some places but not at home, doesn't that selectiveness mean she *is* in control?

 

No, it doesn't mean the child can't focus at times.  Something that is especially engaging, like a favorite TV show or video game, can keep a child with attention deficit entertained for hours.  This varies from one individual to the next, of course.  It doesn't indicate "control".

04-24-2012 11:35 AM
melissa17s

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post

 

 

I would not rely on the school's evaluation. I recommend doing a private neuroeducational evaluation.

 

 

Well, you posted because this is causing problems for her at school and at home; I think it would be better to have more information (via an evaluation) and seek outside help (such as a behavior therapist or "coach") with that information in hand. Obviously the school doesn't think she has a problem so you may need an outside opinion to get more formal school support in place.

 

I don't know.   I think evaluation outside of school will be expensive and yield little results especially since jdsf stated they are not interested in testing.  I am not really seeing the ADHD except some with the memory, but is not enough to impair her, if it is adhd.  Maybe enroll her in a martial arts program or an exercise program.  Both are good form of natural treatment for ADHD and are great for kids with out ADHD, too. 

04-24-2012 06:49 AM
Emmeline II

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsf View PostShe was evaluated by the professionals at her school since she was a late reader and they found no learning disabilities, so I'm thinking all the memory issues seem to be ADHD related....Anyway, she goes to a school with a lot of specialists and counselors who deal with LD and behavior issues, a couple of years ago I asked them to check her out for anything that might be causing the memory issues, and, of course, she passed with flying colors....

 

I would not rely on the school's evaluation. I recommend doing a private neuroeducational evaluation.

 

Quote:
If the parents don't want it AND the child doesn't want it, I don't see the need to push for a diagnosis. However, if we really felt like it was holding her back, we would.

 

Well, you posted because this is causing problems for her at school and at home; I think it would be better to have more information (via an evaluation) and seek outside help (such as a behavior therapist or "coach") with that information in hand. Obviously the school doesn't think she has a problem so you may need an outside opinion to get more formal school support in place.

04-23-2012 10:19 PM
Azik's mom

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post

wait a minute, I thought that ADHD/ADD meant that they can't focus even if they want to?  If she can remember some places but not at home, doesn't that selectiveness mean she *is* in control?

 

If she is only not remembering when at home then this is something to look into.  I have a LO who seems to have memory issues too but he is much younger.  Our OT suggested that we try positive reinforcements; she said it has to be something that really counts.  So we have been doing that and it seems to be working (its still to early to tell.)  Perhaps you can also journal her memory/ forgetfulness and see if there is a pattern.  Since there are times when she does remember is that something going on or not going on that causes her to be not so forgetful?

 

I recently read a book called Simplicity Parenting.  Its not about ADHD but about things we can do at home to simplify things and some of these have proven helpful with children who have some ADHD traits.  It might be worth a try.

04-23-2012 08:10 PM
melissa17s

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsf View Post

 

I was also evaluated for ADHD but the actual issue is my inability to test well, which I think she has a little of but not to the extent that I do. Last I checked, test anxiety isn't something they medicate for. I think we are both just incredibly left brained to the point where it looks like ADD but it's not.

 

If it is true ADHD, then food will not change it.  

If she has an issue with test taking, and her performance is compromised, then ask the school to evaluate her.  They can not dx or give her drugs, but what they can do is help her in the classroom.  

04-23-2012 07:09 PM
Jen Muise

wait a minute, I thought that ADHD/ADD meant that they can't focus even if they want to?  If she can remember some places but not at home, doesn't that selectiveness mean she *is* in control?

04-23-2012 12:50 PM
jdsf

In addition to doing great at school, she is also the most popular girl her age and has plenty of friends, half of which she finds annoying or babyish or otherwise not cool enough to hang out with outside of school, so I'm not worried about this issue holding her back socially, either. She does remember to flush the toilet at other people's houses, she is always a perfect angel at other people's houses as well because she cares what people think about her and would hate to tarnish her reputation.

 

I have talked to her about the memory issues and asked her if she felt like she needed help, if she needed to talk to someone about different things she could try, and she said "I can do it if I want to" and that she didn't want to take medication if there was a diagnosis. She admitted that she is off in her own world when she forgets things, it's not that she couldn't remember it if she was actively trying to. If the parents don't want it AND the child doesn't want it, I don't see the need to push for a diagnosis. However, if we really felt like it was holding her back, we would.

 

Anyway, she goes to a school with a lot of specialists and counselors who deal with LD and behavior issues, a couple of years ago I asked them to check her out for anything that might be causing the memory issues, and, of course, she passed with flying colors. The last time we went to the doctor, I told him about the issue and he tested for anything medical that might be affecting her short of a CAT scan (which he saw no reason for given this was an isolated issue) and everything was normal. I also talked to him about the possibility of ADHD and he recommended holistic treatments and dietary restrictions before we considered medication given that her symptoms are so mild. She is a very picky eater but we limit her sugar/carb intake and force her to eat as many veggies as we can, which is way more than any non-vegetarian child is probably eating in this country.

 

I was also evaluated for ADHD but the actual issue is my inability to test well, which I think she has a little of but not to the extent that I do. Last I checked, test anxiety isn't something they medicate for. I think we are both just incredibly left brained to the point where it looks like ADD but it's not.

04-20-2012 07:36 AM
enkmom

Linda on the move is right.  I thought my daughter was just a "dreamer" or a cute little "space cadet", but when I really opened my eyes I saw that she was being left further and further behind socially.  Teen girls don't want to hang out with the girl who forgets to flush the toilet.  The academic part was a secondary  part to getting a diagnosis for us. 

 

I would love to discuss this with you, but I am concerned I will come off like I'm lecturing.

04-19-2012 09:11 PM
Linda on the move

I just don't see how not flushing a toilet or being together enough to buckle her seat belt make her special. As far as holding her back, what impact do these things have on her peer relationships? Does she spend the night with other kids? Go to camp? Is she going up and becoming appropriately independent, or is she stuck being treated like a much younger child?

 

These sorts of things do hold children back. Life skills, social skills, and independence are as important as academics.

04-19-2012 08:54 PM
Emmeline II
Quote:

Originally Posted by jdsf View Post

DD 11 is not diagnosed as I don't believe in medication for this condition in her case, but I'm pretty sure her memory issues are a symptom.

 

Diagnosis does not = medication. Memory issues can be symptoms of several different conditions; that is what evaluations help determine.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdsf View Post

DP is an Autism specialist and works with kids with multiple disabilities, and I also worked in Life Skills for a few of years, so we're pretty experienced in the SN area. She does GREAT at school.

 

Great, then you won't have to spend time just trying to understand an evaluation, but I still think you should have an evaluation from outside your family. Aside from the bias we have towards our own family, if your DP works daily with Autism and kids with multiple disabilities then more subtle issues in her own child could be overlooked.

 

Quote:

The reason I'm not pushing for meds is because I don't want her to lose the things that make her so special, and I've seen a lot of kids medicated to the point where side effects are pretty equal to benefits.

 

I'm on both sides of the ADHD fence. If an ADHD medication is causing personality changes in a child then it is the wrong medication. If the side effects are equal to the benefits, then don't continue. I don't see how other parents may handle ADHD medication has any bearing on whether you think it would benefit your child headscratch.gif; I've seen posts by parents that change a medication that they think is working well because the Dr. isn't satisfied, or want to change a medication/dose but are pressured not to/or the idea is simply dismissed by the doctor and they don't feel they have the right to protest--nothing to do with the medication, just the circumstances in which it is prescribed...and sometimes the side effects from a medication are still the better option to what happens with no medication shrug.gif--unlikely in this case but it happens. Medication is a cost/benefit issue, but just because you get the end result you want without medication (like good grades, no behavior issues) doesn't mean it isn't costing her. I had to work a lot harder than an unaffected person to get the same results before medication.

 

I've also learned that "that is how I was/am" is a poor diagnostic tool; it could very well mean that you have an undiagnosed issue.

 

04-19-2012 01:54 PM
jdsf

Thanks for the replies and concern. DP is an Autism specialist and works with kids with multiple disabilities, and I also worked in Life Skills for a few of years, so we're pretty experienced in the SN area. She does GREAT at school. Amazing. Top of her class. She is a little on the anal retentive side, so it's not like she's disorganized or messy. She's just off in her own little world most of the time and not paying attention to the real one. The reason I'm not pushing for meds is because I don't want her to lose the things that make her so special, and I've seen a lot of kids medicated to the point where side effects are pretty equal to benefits. The way her brain works, I can tell she will be affected, but if it were holding her back, I would consider it. She is able to focus when she needs to. I am exactly the same way.

 

So far as the future goes, I think as long as she stays here for college, she will be fine. She is on top of half the things in her life, she just needs a little help with the rest. I think she is less emotionally mature than her peers but once she "grows up" a little, I have faith she will manage things. I would like her to go to the school her older sister goes to for HS, so that's the main impetus for trying to jog her memory. I know she will get into a good school, but I want her to get into the best one.
 

04-19-2012 11:59 AM
Jen Muise

I agree with getting a diagnosis,  There are a bunch of things that look like ADHD but aren't, from sleep disorders to learning differences to sensory issues to boredom.  It can be hard for a trained clinician to tell the difference without testing.  It would be a shame to be treating your kid with ADHD solutions when what they need really is LD support or something. 

04-19-2012 08:57 AM
enkmom

First of all, please get a diagnosis so that you can be sure that ADHD is what you are dealing with.  Also, diagnosis does not mean you have to leap immediately to medication.  A diagnosis will help you get the help you need from school.

 

For school issues, I had success for some years giving my daughter a planner.  The teacher was on board, and she would make sure my daughter had written down any work to do and that she had all the necessary resources in her bookbag before she left school.  Have you talked to her teacher(s)?  What is her desk like?  Does she have trouble with the social cues and seem to be on the edge of the social scene?

 

For home, there were some battles I chose to fight and others I let go.  She could keep her room however she liked, as long as there were was no food in there and she put her laundry in the hamper when I asked for it.  Otherwise I just shut the door.  I never gave multi-step directions, and I always made sure she was looking at me when I spoke to her.  I would touch her on the arm and hold her gaze when she looked at me.  This helped a lot.  Of course the car didn't move until she put on her seatbelt, and I would call out "seatbelts everyone" when we got in.  Our main problem was shutting the silverware drawer, and I would make her go shut it every time she left it open. 

 

I do hope you will keep an open mind about medication.  If she does indeed have ADHD, it doesn't get easier as the child gets older.  In fact, lots of the time it gets harder and harder to cope, and the child is miserable.  My daughter was diagnosed in 3rd grade, but she was absolutely unable to keep up socially or in school when junior high came around and she had that many more things to keep track of.  She started medication at 13, and it was like someone flipped a switched.  She could manage her own life, and she was so much HAPPIER! It is not easy to feel different, and I know I was short with her lots of times over things she absolutely couldn't help.

 

 

04-19-2012 08:25 AM
queenjane

As a previous poster said, I would really look at your decision to not medicate. ADD and ADHD *are* a special need, as they can really interfere with a child's life. Right now, it might not be a huge deal to leave the toilet unflushed or to leave books at school. But what about college? What about when she has an apartment and needs to pay bills? Or when she is running her own home and is faced with chronic disorganization because she just can't get it together enough to fold laundry, put dishes away, clean etc...? Obviously at that point, the decision to medicate would be hers, but i strongly feel that had i had meds for ADD when i was younger, i would have at least finished college. I'm really thinking about getting diagnosed and meds now because i see the areas in my life that i have so much trouble with. Of course you may have really good reasons for not medicating, and the choice is yours at that point but i wanted to provide a different perspective.

 

My dd has ADHD and her meds have really helped both her inattention and esp her hyperactivity (which manifested itself as very poor impulse control, overemotional outbursts, sassiness, clumsiness, tantrums etc)...we went from phone calls and emails at least weekly from the teacher, to not one complaint this year. Last year her teacher said "i dont think i can do this all year...." this year it was "she is a joy to have in class..." At home i went from wondering if i made a horrible mistake in adopting this child, to being able to get through the day.

 

Also as another poster said, if the meds are working appropriately you shouldnt see major changes in behavior other than the thing that needed to change. My dd doesnt seem to have any negative side effects. Sometimes it takes trying several meds to find the "right" one.

 

In terms of nonmed interventions....maybe posting signs up everywhere "Turn out the lights" "flush the toilet" "rinse out the sink after brushing" etc? I'm not sure if that would help but worth a try. With bringing school papers and such home, its helpful that my dd's teacher has a structured system....she has a folder she brings home every day with notices etc, and a friday folder that she brings home every friday with all her completed papers. Many of those things need a return signature so the teacher can keep track if the parent got it. I have her bring her folder and planner (where they write their assignments each day) home every day even if its empty. She has a house key in case im not yet home when her bus arrives, and i drill into her that she puts it immediately back into her backpack every time she unlocks the door. Every single thing in her room has a "place", and i have to stay on top of her to make sure her room stays tidy or its a pit.

 


 

04-19-2012 07:07 AM
melissa17s

For ds, we did a couple of things to help which are unmedicated because some of ds's aed meds do not work with adhd meds. 1st, we started seeing a psychologist on a regular basis and she helped talk to ds about adhd and ways to work with it.  2nd we worked on using the psych's strategies. Routine and minimizing electronics are helpful.  3rd, took some advice from OT and got him an inflated seat cushion for school that helps concentration.  We also looked into toys, like fidgets and chewelry to help him focus some of the extra energy to concentrate.  In the end, we did change his aed, which help calm him down and besides disorganization, which is characterized by his teacher as normal for 5th grade, he is not having problems due to adhd behavior.   It is amazing how the brain is so effected by minor changes in the chemistry, so do not rule out meds as an option.  Consider working  with a child psychologist or psychiatrist to also develop skills to deal with impulse control and inattention, so that during the unmedicated times life goes on as usual.  

04-19-2012 05:08 AM
SpottedFoxx

As someone with ADHD who was unmedicated as a child - notes don't really work - I was always too distracted to notice them.  There are very few tricks that will help with ADHD short of some sort of alarm that will go off and even then, you shut it off and as soon as you do that.... something shiny gets your attention.

 

How is she doing in school?   If it's not effecting her school work, then I'd say it's not a hill worth dying on.  However, if it is a problem at school, you may want to talk to several doctors (never just one) about medications and options.

 

I have a friend who's son was diagnosed with ADD this past fall.  His father was 100% against medication because it's "a crutch".  His mother wanted to try it.  I told her to ask her husband if his son broke his leg - would he not allow him a crutch then?  He finally gave in and agreed to try the medication.  After the first month, his mother she said "I don't think it's working - he hasn't changed - he's still the same kid".  I laughed and asked her how his attention was at school and she said "oh, it's wonderful!".  I explained that when the medication works correctly - that should be the only change.  

 

I bumped into her last night - she grabbed me and hugged me.  Her son's first and second reports cards were all d's and f's.  His report card yesterday.... all A's and B's!  He worked for it - hard.  However, that "crutch" gave him the ability to learn.  

 

So please please please, don't turn your nose up at medication.  I didn't have that "crutch".  Instead I was told I was stupid and lazy because I had such a hard time learning.  Nope, just a dyslexic with ADHD.

04-18-2012 02:15 PM
Jen Muise

For things like this, we have had the kids make a small poster or note reminder and taped it somewhere that makes sense.  Sometime we need to replace it with something else if the kids get a little blind to it but the new behaviour hasn't fully taken root yet. 

04-18-2012 02:09 PM
blessedwithboys

How about a note taped to the inside of the toilet seat lid that she will see when she lifts it up to sit down?  I had to do something similar to get my boys trained to put it back down before flushing!  haha  If one note isn't enough, tape another one on the wall opposite the toilet that she will see while she's sitting there.

 

I didn't medicate my ADHD-ish ds, who is almost grown now, but I kinda wish I had tried it.  He struggled a lot with attention and memory, still does.  We did other things like clean up his diet and even let him have a small coffee in the morning before school. 

 

Best wishes to ya!

 

 

This thread has more than 30 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off