View Full Version : anyone read the book "The Gift of ADHD" ?


gunnmom
02-20-09, 02:57 PM
I just read half of the book yesterday and it has given me a whole new strength and courage and I am learning to think positively. Its such a great book! I borrowed it from the local library near my house and It was so inspiring that I bought it from amazon.

I still need help in controlling the temper outbursts.
Yesterday my son, 6, was trying to learn to skateboard and he got frustrated and started trying to break the thing and he was throwing it everywhere. It took me an hour to lure him into the house and then once inside, he knocked all the papers and magnets from the refrigerator, threw everything off of our counter! It was very distructive and scary! I just wish I had some way of dealing with this other than just trying to stop him from wrecking my house.

Anyone else have this problem. Suggestions please!

THank you so much.

Song of Mercy
02-21-09, 06:51 AM
Of 4 children I am grateful only two have been violent. My oldest used to tantrum so bad she would hurt herself and others, my son simply thrashes the house in tyraids of destructiveness. The thing I have found the most helpful is to rapidly praise as much positive behaviour as you can. If you are add that can be hard. You may not pay as much attention and then miss those praise opportunities.

However, I am bipolar and add so I know it is possible to do. The most important thing about regular praise is to follow it up with a reason for the praise...I like how you put your towel in the hamper, that helps us have a tidy home, thank you....is better than...you put your towel in the hamper, good job...

I hope that helps.

I also wanted to thank you for the tip on the awesome book, I may go ahead and get that one, it sounds really good.


Hugs,

Song

ADHDTigger
02-21-09, 09:57 PM
I just read half of the book yesterday and it has given me a whole new strength and courage and I am learning to think positively. Its such a great book! I borrowed it from the local library near my house and It was so inspiring that I bought it from amazon.

I still need help in controlling the temper outbursts.
Yesterday my son, 6, was trying to learn to skateboard and he got frustrated and started trying to break the thing and he was throwing it everywhere. It took me an hour to lure him into the house and then once inside, he knocked all the papers and magnets from the refrigerator, threw everything off of our counter! It was very distructive and scary! I just wish I had some way of dealing with this other than just trying to stop him from wrecking my house.

Anyone else have this problem. Suggestions please!

THank you so much.

Hope this helps some. I was the same as your son when I was a kid.

My Mom had me taking B Complex from a very young age. It is a water soluble vitamin so will rarely have a negative affect, but as always, you want to check with your doc before making a change. The B will help the body stress that he goes through when frustration gets out of hand. In my experience, it also "slows the burn" of the short fuse.

Believe it or not, these outbursts probably scare him as much as they scare you. All he knows is that he MUST react to the frustration and raw energy inside him. I would bet that he feels very badly about these scenes after they are over. He has no idea WHY the energy is there and has to learn to connect the dots. Here are a couple of things that may help.

First- he needs to be responsible when he damages and throws. It absolutely MUST be his task to clean up the mess. He needs to own it- not from a shaming standpoint but a power standpoint. "I did this thing and it was not the right thing to do. I'm not a bad person, I need to choose different actions. I take responsibility for my actions and show this by cleaning up the mess I have made."

He's very young yet so probably hasn't been able to connect frustration with acting out. What you describe is quite common with ADHD. It is REALLY important for him to be able to connect when he starts to feel frustrated and how he acts out. You can help in this process by talking with him when the incident is through and helping him to retrace his mental steps so that he can see the progression. "You were frustrated with the skateboard-> you threw the skateboard-> you threw things in the house." This is a good time to define the behavior that you want to see. That might be, "When you feel frustrated, you need to come in the house and tell Mommy how you feel."

I don't know if you use a point system or reward system with him or not. If you don't, this might be a good time to start one. When he communicates about his frustration, he gets a reward. When he doesn't, he loses points. I have used numerous systems in the past with kids and with the adult me. PM me if you would like some input on how to put a system together.

I realize how weird this is going to sound. Bear with me. When he is frustrated like that, throwing things may be the only way he can burn it off. Rather than have him total the house, establish a basket of stuffed toys that CAN be safely thrown. I have them in every room in my house, including the bathrooms. Go to the local thrift store or do some garage sailing. Establish a place in the house where it is safe for him to throw these stuffed animals. Establish that throwing these things and ONLY these things is okay when he has communicated with you that he is frustrated. When he is done, he must pick them up and put them back in the basket. He still needs to own how he acts out but this time the message might be, "I was very upset and threw the animals. I told Mommy that I was upset and I only threw the things that I am allowed to throw. I am not a bad person and I take responsibility for my actions by picking up the animals and putting them away."

Believe it or not, I have a stack of dishes that I bought at thrift stores and garage sales for the specific purpose of breaking them. To be honest, in some cases, it is the best use of them (we're talking some seriously ugly stuff). Generally, the stuffed animals work well for me. When it is really bad, I take my thrift store stuff out to the patio and break away. My partner will generally give me several throws before coming out and making comments on style and effectiveness. By that point, I am off the edge and ready to turn the rest of the energy to laughter. I'm 46. I still go through the process of identifying the feeling and choosing safe behavior. And I do the clean up. I really believe that cleaning up is an important part of the process.

I know, you were looking for an answer and got a book. My afternoon med peaked a couple of hours ago.

Dr. Amen's book "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life" has been a Godsend. He discusses a variety of behavioral modification techniques that are easy to follow through- although he doesn't mention the "throw safe things" approach. At the end of the day, you need a behavioral modification that will work for your child. The more he is able to circumvent the short fuse in his brain, the better off he is. He is the perfect age to start to learn this. I had to go through years of destructive behavior to learn how to manage.

Please feel free to PM me on this. If I were to define the most difficult symptom of my ADHD, it would be this one. I wish that better information had been available to my mother when I was six.

A bit of back story- I was diagnosed at four before starting school. My mother knew that I was different from her other children. That was 1967.

The Gift of ADD is a wonderful book. I wish that someone would write it as a children's book. Kids grow up hating themselves because of their ADHD. I believe that can change with better information and better resources for parents.