View Full Version : ADHD Girls...and common traits

03-17-14, 09:18 AM
Hi all.I just joined in the past few months but I have a question. I have an almost 10 year old girl who has ADHD DX but also she has epilepsy...very very well controlled for 2 years now. She was DX w ADHD at 6...but that was always on the backburner because for a time her epilepsy turned into something rare and it was a med merry go round but all is great regarding that so far. I would say honestly she didn't get some of the socialization, groups, play date type places mainly because she was so sick at that time 5-8 years old. I could not for example leave her for a play date bc alot of people are afraid of seizures (mind you hers never happen in the day but I always have to have emergecy meds in case)... So I sort of feel we were labeled 'different' from those days to start with.

She goes to a private school where they are supposed to be tolerarant or accepting of all..and they try for sure..but you know how it is many parents act like they are on board for that but you know darn well they are not. And some teachers simply choose not to be on board either.

I feel that during that tough time for her she was sort of stigmatized bc some of the effects of the meds back then (ie she was a zombie, etc). In addition she had a disastrous 2nd grade teacher that only made those not in the box sort of be magnified to the other kids (not just my daughter). She is doing really well academincally now with minimal extra support and I help her too when needed because I know she can learn if taught properly:).She was not medicated for ADHD bc it's really hard to tell that she really has it at times...somewhat impulsive, if not sleep hyper, etc. But also we were trying to work out the seizure part...

Her main issue has always been the social piece/impulsive. She is one of the youngest in the class (even others are almost a year older bc parents like to leave their kids behind) this does not help our social piece either bc she seems to catch up later...This is not to say I am not thinking about is just a careful balance.

Anyway, one of the kids in her class has HFA autism so their parents 'get' things out of the norm and the dad mentioned to me she is really smart...That made me feel good only bc I realize that news went home and I guess their son mentioned that--so maybe other kids notice so maybe that label is gone.......(it is not that important to me btw that she is smart or not)...But my point was....I know she used to be considered not smart but no one has any idea the effects of those meds and quiet seizure impulses..really tough...

At this age, the hardest part for me is her social piece. She comes home and tells me she is ' great friends' with child x or y at school..Yet when I go to events or parites I feel that she is ignored or just 'tolerated' or simply not liked by those same ones! She is never chosen to have a seat partner, etc or if at a party it's not like any of the kids are rushing her hang out at the party. She is excluded at times deals with it pretty well and turns it around in ways i would never think of. Her processing can be slower or reading of a certain situation is definitely slower, so sometimes she does not act as quickly on cues.

The hardest part and what I am wondering is.....Do your kids ever not fully "GET" that they are being excluded or kids being mean to them or not included? Do they ever not get when they themselves are rude or overbearing to others for example?? These are obviously factors that are causing her social problems.

I am not one of those parents of 'not my kid' because if she tells me something I always say try to show there are 2 sides to a story and seeing others' points of view. FOR EX "X told me to shut up at school." I then say something like "that wasn't nice but maybe did you say something the he/she misunderstood or you didn't explain it so they understood it; or did you interrupt their conversation (another issue); or were they just being mean and saying that in front of other kids?"..My daughter at times has a hard time expressing herself correctly due to processing or word finding or if she is under stress...That all doesn't help.:(

I'm having the hardest time fixing this social part....and it is sad (for me) to see her not really have a "friend" or not even knowing now how to nurture friendships. She has gotten invited to smaller parties/ group play dates this year (ie made the 'cut list' as I was joking w her doctor bc I was happy about it) but at times even I see her sort of being 2nd tier in that too because of her behavior at times....And these are the nicest girls in her grade...If she blows this group I don't know what will happen with my daughter (ie who is left???). It is not often but i am glad she gets to go.

I also see her wanting to be in the groups yet at the same time if she wants to do her own thing..that is what she does therefore futher excluding herself of what is going on that the moment....She's not anti social at all....

Also what do you do when you hear a case like this...And this is a great example of what I hear going on: My daughter walks up to the group of girls to join in....and I hear one of the girls say "X, get her away from me!!" My daughter missed it but of course the nice girl in the group is patient with my daughter and deflects that.....:( That is what I mean it is sort of understood among the kids it is ok to be like that to my daughter....

Anybody else's ADHD kid like this? What to do? Ive done talking, reading , social skills classes with other girls..(she does really well why are we here)....???

Love to hear some feedback or at least not alone in this piece..

Her teacher this year is in her early 20s and doesn't really 'get it' at all. The only time recently I brought it her attention ever (only because my husband saw it first hand) was because i didn't want something to continue in case it was happening in the classroom...When I told her I felt she was being ignored, she told me how that day my daughter had a few inappropriate behavior issues with the kids...She didn't really get my daughter was acting out at least in PART because she was being ignored (and realized it this time).....So no point to talk to teacher ......Also I have tried to talk to my kid about reacting if other kids do anything to her. Mine won't really tattle yet she is the one that will get caught 'reacting' at times. is not always others that start her off..I am just saying there are times but the teacher does not see those and my daughter never explains it...She gets nervous and freezes!

We've had a good year but that is bc my daughter turns it all around and I believe she 'adjusts' or simply doesn't get it. Looking for some feeback..having a hard time. Probably because her birthday is coming up and I don't know what to do as well in terms of 'friends'....TX..

03-17-14, 09:40 AM
Sounds like a smaller, more cliquey school?

Regardless of the school I guess, cliques are huge at this age. When you daughter is approaching a group and someone says "get her away from me" ... that's typical clique behaviour.

One thing that helped my daughter and I was to look up Queen Bees and Wanna Bees - we found a list that characterized each "player" in a clique, how they got their power, how they lost their power. It broke it down so she (and I) could recognize the agenda behind all the confusing social stuff.

My daughter was never really a "target", but she would get sucked into stuff fairly easily. Medication has helped with this - her attention is better so she sees it coming. It still happens though, but for the most part we try to emphasize being a "friendly floater". Her friend is more like your daughter - trying to join up with a group and getting rejected. She does realize that it's happening but it doesn't always stop her from trying. Our school is very small, kids have all gone to school together since K, the girls (and some parents) are very cliquey.

We are looking to move and our target school has a bigger population for this very reason.

03-17-14, 10:53 AM
Thanks for your response. Definitely I see some of this as typical catty 4th grade behavior to a point. What I notice is yes they can be mean to each other irregardless of her issues (other kids to each other).

But I guess my child is the universally understood kid to not quite "fit" into each group or people. Eveyrone else lready paired off..She does get upset when someone she wanted to partner with already had a partner....I often call her a 'floater' as well...which was fine for me. I was sort of that along with all but yet I still had the group I felt comfortable with. As I said, her behaviors are not helping either (at times not always)....I am very glad that she may fully be hurt by some of the typical girl behavior if she is not getting it all. My daughter is not overly concerned about who is in charge so to speak though she is not totally clueless...she does seem to realize who the meaner girls are. Plus she overhears. She's still on the 'immature' part of that curve but hopefully that can change with time...

But I would hope that someone would like her enough and not get annoyed by her if that makes sense....

Still in all of this typical kid stuff, we are even further back with the social issues at times...I would love to know what medication you are on. I have repeatedly told the doctor (am trust me I like to stay far away from meds as I can) that if meds will help her socially--I may like to try it. He keeps reminding me that it would not work miracles but bring it up to an average level...which is fine for me...For some reason no one has really pushed the meds because they see overall how well she does (school, she 'seems' social)...but I keep telling them there is a difference/hinderance to her making these friendships.

Thank in advance..I will also try to look for that Queen Bee.

If she just had even one friend that is a constant, I think it would be so great for her. I remember as a kid my mother telling me that another girl's mom called her and asked if I could play/make sure her daughter was included because she was getting upset stomachs about this kind of issue. She was a little spacey back then too....I'm lukcy to have a mom that made sure I included her (it was not a problem for me anyway I was kind of friendly with her)..I am still friends (maid of honor my wedding 18 years ago) to this day. I just am hopeful that maybe sometime we meet up with the right family/child to open more doors for my daughter and realize relationships a bit better...


03-17-14, 10:55 AM
I love what Triple E said. I really have no input that is from an advice or standpoint of understanding girls b/c my son is younger and more newly diagnosed. I did want to say one thing I read, though, regarding empowering your child with words.

I know you said that she isn't really realizing the girls are being mean. That is good. There's a part of me that thinks this is happening to my son at school as well with the athletes...did I mention he is 7? Ugh. My son is terribly uncoordinated but is so interested in athletics. So he tries...and he looks so different when throwing a ball than the other boys. He cannot catch to save his life. I think they say things that are mean too. I think he does realize but either ignores or walks off.

So I did some reading about comebacks to equip and practice with your children when kids say mean things. We practiced a little one day. The first thing I taught both my children is how to respond when kids say things like "you can't play with me or us." My kids now say, "Oh, I pick my friends. If I want to play with you one day soon I'll come ask you, but I pick who I play with each day." And that's that.

The other thing I read a lot was to respond with was humor. If a kid says "you're awful at football" the child can respond with something like:
- wow, you always seem to notice what I'm doing. I must be really interesting!
- thanks for noticing my skills! (big grin)
- you don't say?! I guess I beg to differ!
- etc.

It's not necessarily self-depracting humor, but it is empowering your child to answer something back that's more confident and reactive, not sad and cowering. Confident reactions become boring to the mean child often.

Some people might not like this idea, but I will say that when I practiced it with my children it made them excited to have some ideas. We practice like a script in the car sometimes. I feel like at the least they have some tools.

03-17-14, 12:04 PM
Vandeluca we started meds primarily for self-esteem. My daughter was also doing ok in school - bright enough that she could get by even when not paying attention. The meds did make a huge difference. So yes I would agree with you and not the doctors in this instance.

And, so would my daughter. She has had to try a lot of different medications due to side effects, and despite this difficulty, she has always asked be on meds. She now takes Intuniv which is a non-stimulant and is "good enough" for us. But if we could have stayed with a stimulant type med we would have.

And, as to having at least one good friend, I agree that's extremely important. My DD has a BFF who struggles with anxiety. They lean on each other. It has been a huge protective factor.

Up to grade 5 my daughter lived in happy oblivion to all the girls/social stuff around her. That was a good thing. But I'm glad that in grade 4 we got ADHD diagnosis and started dealing with that and trying meds.

@mamabear78 - yes totally agree! we have done lots of role playing, post-assessment of situations, etc. My daughter has never really remembered in the moment which comeback to use, but I think just practicing and affirming has helped immensely all the same.

03-17-14, 12:44 PM
Thanks again guys...great ideas. I feel like I write scripts all the time:)
Re: Intuiv. I will do some research on it. I am happy that one is working for you ----because I would rather have a non stimulant due to her epilepsy....(I think stimulants lower that)..
Do you keep her on that in the summer or is it just necessary in school? I find my daughter is pretty good in smaller groups. The larger the group, the harder it is for her...Summer therefore would be not as stimulating in our case...

03-17-14, 01:14 PM
You'll have to help her sharpen that tongue and train that wit, she will need it growing up. Its the best weapon out there.

03-17-14, 02:05 PM
[QUOTE=Vandeluca;1627847Re: Intuiv. I will do some research on it. I am happy that one is working for you ----because I would rather have a non stimulant due to her epilepsy....(I think stimulants lower that)..Do you keep her on that in the summer or is it just necessary in school? [/QUOTE]

We have just started the Intuniv this winter, but as it has an effect on blood pressure it is a med that must be taken every day.

03-17-14, 02:58 PM is the problem sometimes...her tongue can be ultra sharp and it can get her in some trouble especially if it's a bit inappropriate to say..The filter is not always there...But, she is not a pushover. However for some reason she does not relay the information to the teacher if someone started with her first either..or I should say she doesn't always shed light on the whole picture. Again, this is part of her processing/expressing self at times too...

And..yes there are times where she is the problem..I do acknowledge that.Very objective mom here..

03-19-14, 10:07 AM
Hi -

My daughter is very similar. She was DX in 3rd grade and we have had her on meds for about 3 years now. Things turned around immediately after starting meds ... until this year. She has always been a bit naive about other kids and this year she's 'getting it'.

She is in middle school this year and having a LOT of trouble with the other kids. She has a small group of friends, but she is in advanced classes and they are not, so she only has a 'friend' in one class this year. The other kids find it fun to 'bug' her by asking her excessive, inane questions. With her personality, she reacts badly, which just keeps it going. The teachers blame her for her reactions, not the other kids for instigating it. I escalated to the principal as a 'bullying' issue and cited an article I found that spelled out how ADHD kids are bullied link: and brought that as ammunition.

I stress a lot about the social aspect as well - my daughter is so suspicious of everyone now that she's pushing people away. She thinks that everyone has bad intentions when they speak to her and she's surly and rude to them as a result. When I try to talk to her about it, she feels bad, but it doesn't really change how she reacts. She also gets angry that I 'go on and on' about it - once she's home she just wants to forget about it.

If you're into it, there are 'social skills' classes that you can take your daughter to outside of the school. Schools, especially small schools, are not really the place to 'practice' social skills because kids do get stigmatized. Our school is small as well - same kids K-12 and once a reputation is 'earned' it follows you throughout. It may be worth getting her into it now - my daughter is 12 and refuses to go because she sees it as making her 'different' which she doesn't want.

So you're not alone, but I don't have a 'magic' answer for you - all I can say is that you're doing the right thing being there for her. In the end that's what matters most.

03-19-14, 10:36 PM
thanks for the response...She does sometimes go to those 'social classes'. She loves to go because I have always called it 'camp'. As of now she does not realize that any of them are different...except it aggravates her for example that another girl is so quiet..(the other is probalby there for anxiety or something)...

Again, I fully know not to blame other kids for our issues. I just konw it is not always her. (I even see this in my own family) thing that that I keep explaining to her and I sometimes can't figure out how to surpass this:

She will do things on rare-ish 'annoy' other kids...both somewhat deliberate and other times accidentaly or not realizing...Such as stepping on their heels while walking. Very silly things that I keep telling her can be annoying to others; or just putting 'me' (her) first and that is all that matters. However, even something like this she can often do not on purpose bc she is maybe clumsy...But then because she has done behaviors in the would assumed to be on purpose. Im not sure if she just likes the negative attention/reaction and that is why she does's not often..but it's an issue that pops up from time to time esp if she is having difficulties or tired...

Did you give medication for the social issues mainly?

03-19-14, 10:56 PM
Yes, we started medication mainly for social issues. We knew when she was 3 that something was 'different' about her. Different educators told us different things, and for a while we were told that she may be on the autism spectrum and have Aspergers. While I don't practice psychology, I do have a psychology degree and knew where to go to self-diagnose her, and I was pretty convinced that it wasn't Aspergers. Because I had focused on ASD so much, I hadn't even looked at ADHD until one of the case workers at her school suggested it in 3rd grade. I went home and looked it up and realized that the article seemed to have been written about my daughter.

Still, I was determined to go the no-med route. During testing for her IEP, she had tested across the board at genius levels for intelligence, and was having no trouble keeping up with the accelerated math and reading classes she was in. Her main challenge was social and I worked with the school to come up with ways to help her. What finally pushed me over the edge was when her self-esteem took a hit. She had gotten in trouble yet again in reading class for misbehaving and was acting angry about it. I said - exasperated - "You can't blame the teacher for that." Her response to me was "mom, I'm not mad at the teacher, I'm mad at myself." I knew that something had to change.

We had the ADHD diagnosis and I took her to her pediatrician and discussed medication. I had done my research and knew what I wanted her on. The pediatrician agreed and wrote me a prescription. I had it filled and started her on it over the weekend. I sent her to school on Monday medicated, but didn't tell the teacher or anyone at the school what I had done. On Monday afternoon I got a call from the teacher that said, "I don't know what you did, but keep doing it." My daughter was a poster child for medication. She finished 3rd grade and went through 4th and 5th with few problems - going from 3-4 calls home a week to 3 in the entire year for 4th grade and 1 in fifth grade.

This year it's a different story - I firmly believe that she needs a medication change - either a different dosage or a different type of med. I'm seeing the exact same issues that occurred in 3rd grade with impulsiveness and frustration completely out of whack with what's causing it. Still, I had 2 1/2 relatively 'easy' years, so it's been well worth it.

If it hadn't been for the social issues, I likely wouldn't have done meds. That said, the difference it's made in her ability to focus and get her work done has been amazing. Now in 6th grade she is 2 years accelerated in Math and 1 year in Literacy. And she's on the high honor roll. I'm proud and amazed at my daughter - but I would be without meds too. The meds make it easier for her to manage at school, and that's really why she's on them.

You're smart to be thinking ahead and looking at social issues. It will be a big deal to her eventually, and you don't want it to be too late to help her by that time. Good luck!! You can also send me a personal message if you want to chat or have more questions.

03-20-14, 09:06 AM
out of curiosity, have you had her evaluated for aspergers or any other disorders/issues?

03-20-14, 12:30 PM
Hi SArah..She's been to a Nueropsych 2 times and both times came back as ADHD....I would have imagined they would pick this stuff up considering lots of forms, questionaires from teachers, etc...???

But no I have not knocked on the door to say 'can you check for her X Y Z'....She's under the care of a Nuerologist as well..

I believe also that Epilepsy/how her brain grew/impulses have contributed to all of this...

04-06-14, 03:44 PM
Hi. This is my first post and I have a 7 year old with a teacher who doesn't understand, a bad reaction to stimulants (is currently on Intuniv in am and seroquel in pm and is falling behind in academics. She is having problems getting along with others (and matches what you said by deliberately annoying ppl and ppl pushing her buttons to watch the "entertainment" and the fact that my daughter does not tattle yet everyone does on her). Her school is extremely small and strict (she got sent to the office for sticking her tongue out once) and the last time I went to her class the teacher had separated her from everyone else, faced her towards a wall and put a privacy shield around her all day, every day.

I saw someone else speak of moving to a bigger school and we're totally looking into it. I feel she'll fit In easier (i'm a guidance Counselor in an elementary school in the county and it's much larger than the school she attends. Many days I wonder how they have time to send children to the office for sticking my tongue out. We have much bigger issues in our school!! I feel like she could blend in much more!). While she had the diagnosis last year, she had absolutely no problems with the teacher. I swear, the teacher can make or break a child's success!! No questions really, I just wanted to give you support!

04-07-14, 04:44 AM
Her school is extremely small and strict (she got sent to the office for sticking her tongue out once) and the last time I went to her class the teacher had separated her from everyone else, faced her towards a wall and put a privacy shield around her all day, every day.!

Are you ok with that kind of discipline? I mean, for me and my kids I would freak out if that the teacher made that choice for issues with my kids. That sounds like a humiliating experience and I would think that it wouldnt do anything to address the problem behavior, but it would make the child more angry and feel like sh*t. If the plan was to teach her a lesson and isolate her than the teacher proved her point but all that does is reinforce that she is a bad child and needs to be separated. Kids with adhd react much better to positive reinforcement of the good behavior, not punishing them for having a disability.

04-08-14, 11:03 PM
Eff no I'm not! Which is why she's no longer there. They put her back at a table but with a nonverbal child (which is ok..she's not completely isolated). I'm too tired to type out the fight I've had with the school and my disbelief that any school employee (teacher, counselor..since I'm one in the same county, or principal in a school of 200 children) would think this is ok for a first grader?

I will post more tomorrow...she's asleep and I need to take advantage lol
We've had discipline contacts/referrals 2 out of 3 days and I'm beat. Psych appt tomorrow.

04-09-14, 11:09 PM
TX Ladies...Classic Girl. Yes that is pretty ridiculous to isolate her. I wonder sometimes how certain teachers actually get through and get a license without getting 'life' in general.

I am always unsure about larger school or public overall. In some ways her school is loving, I just think overall schools act like that are on the 'anti bully' bandwagon but it also simply goes back to manners and others' feelings/awareness and that concept is totally lacking. That being said, alot can be missed in a bigger school bc as someone said the school is too big! :)

We had a class trip last week so of course I went. IT was a LONG LONG day..dehydrated, no water ( Ihad run out of my stores as we were not supposed to bring anything and then they didn't have enough for ride back)!!.. Anyway, it was good and bad. The trip started off ok..but in groups she just looses it sometimes either distracted or acting helpless. (maybe tired or dehydrated or just too much). Then she got better but I noticed some people do ignore her. Some are ok with her and have patience....She gets it..sometimtes..But this is what happened:

There was one girl she does not really like (I know why-- I have seen X be overly mean to my daughter). X's mom is super nice. So they (mom and X) were going to have to sit alone so I invited them over to sit at our table. My daughter got upset and protested kind of quietly to me how X is mean to her. Despite me telling her it is inapprirate to get into it now she kept at it. I know she is mean but that was not the time to get into it.

I walked away and my daughter proceeded to tell a different mom next to her at the table how mean X is to her (Mind you X/Mom was right accross from them--however I don't think they fully heard all of our conversations). So then mine tried to roll it all off and finally calm down and suddenly be nicer to X

...In between all of this for some odd reason they were ony serving Coke, or Diet Coke or Sprite. No water. I don't give her that stuff. So that was a big whinefest. I had to cave in and give her some sprite.. And water. Then arguing about wanting cheese...(not supposed to have dairy)...And then she asked X what they were having for lunch...X glared at her and just ignored her. Really really rudely. I heard X's mother give her grief for being rude and etc. I felt bad just the whole scene. The thing is that is how X does treat my daughter so I don't think it was what was happening prior bc X didn't really hear it. So, I guess my daughter does 'get it ' sometimes (hence the initial protest) is good at not always saying something, yet she plays the repeat button and brings things up at bad times. She does replay things to herself and get herself heated up....

Her bus partner (who is semi-friends with her and super sweet) mentioned to me that the kids dont have to sit with their bus partner for lunch. lol. Sweet kid. She was being kind. :). She wanted her space. We wound up sitting at a big table anyway so they all sat together at lunch (With Girl X)

On a good note, 2 of the 3 museums of her trip she did hang out with another girl who is friendly with her and every once in a while get together.... and the other girl WANTED to hang with mine so I was very happy. I was really happy as mine seems the 3rd wheel normally. Not this time...But again out 25% percent of class like her. Rest maybe ignore her of just mean...

By the end of the trip, one of the girls that is friends with her overall (bus partner)finally nicely lost patience with her because by now she had been spent, no water, and was just acting hyper-ish on the bus. The friend was trying to sleep and of course mine was too impulsive not to be loud and bounce around and think it is funny to bounce friend around....!!..:umm1:

Anyway, overall it was ok but I was tired 12 hours later. I was totally drained. Of course I had talks about what went wrong but God knows if it sinks in. With calm talks she gets it. Otherwise the impulsive takes over. BUT I do wish people were just more tolerant overall. As a kid, I was never a teaser, and always felt for those who were 'different.' I was not teased, etc and got along w everyone and had a few good friends but was a floater friendly kid myslf......SO I just assumed the world was like

I just wish we could get a handle on this social stuff. Next month its 2 years seizure free....It took a long time to get to that point. I wish I could find the right mix for this social/adhd stuff... Oh well thanks for listening..