View Full Version : What motivated you to seek help?

07-09-09, 10:49 PM
I am new to these boards because I have become fed up with my struggles in daily life and I am seeking a diagnosis for myself.

Reading here makes me realize that my daughter might very well also be ADHD. I had no idea there was such a strong genetic component to it. My husband was diagnosed with ADHD hyper type when he was 8 and was put on very high doses of Ritalin until he quit at 14. I met him 2.5 years later and he had noticable vocal and facial tics which he told me he believes were due to neurological damage from taking the Ritalin. I'll have to ask him how much he was taking. And now I'm so unable to cope that I am seeking help for my possible ADHD inattentive. I was referred for assessment at 15 but my mom didn't follow through with it. I am 24 now.

We've always called our daughter 'high-spirited' and 'high-needs' and 'hyper' but I am really struggling with her lately. I was reluctant to consider ADHD or any psych diagnosis because she is so young and everyone talks about how kids are over-diagnosed these days. She is 4.5 and has never gone to school.

A little bit about her issues:

Runs away every chance she gets, in public places and if there is an unlocked door at home
Seems to not be able to listen or follow directions, does not acknoledge or comply with requests or threats
Will not hold eye contact/focus for longer than 15 seconds
Always climbing, jumping, testing physical boundaries and getting into dangerous situations
Extreme defiance, says "Nobody tells me what to do, I do what I want. You can't boss me around, I'm tough and don't need a mother to watch me." stuff like that. If caught in the act of making a mess or destroying something, will rush to finish before we can intervene
Always on the go, but will zone out completely in front of a movie and not respond when spoken to. Only time she sits still without making trouble.
Seems to continue to do naughty things after repetitive discipline, but I wonder is she just isn't listening, doesn't remember, or doesn't have impulse control. ie: jumping on bed, walking on backs of furniture, sliding down railings, running away, crossing street alone, interrupting conversations and bothering strangers.

Has a hot temper and lashes out and complains when she doesn't get her way. Quick to punch and kick her brother when they argue.

I'm sure there is more, but that seems like enough. Her father and I are at the end of our rope and really worried about her and our family. She claims that she desperatley wants to go to school, but I worry that she'll be in big trouble right away. She isn't eligible for public school until August 2010 because of her age and we don't really have the money for her to go to private preschool, especially if it will be a disaster.
I am currently homeschooling her with kindergarten curriculum in reading and math. It is rough going but we do lessons in 15 minute spurts and she is retaining some information.
She is very bright. She's a sponge and constantly relaying information and quotes to me that she picks up from tv or adult conversations. She loves to do jigsaw puzzles and can do ones with several hundred pieces very quickly.

She eats healthy, mostly natural food, rarely gets pop or candy, and has plenty of exercise and a secure backyard to roam in at her will.
I hate the negative attention I get when I take her out in public.

I don't know what to do. I want to be better able to understand her and for our family to get along well instead of always stressing and being upset. But I feel the social pressure that there is something wrong with labeling a young kid, and really wrong with using medication.

But I'm just sad and heartsick over what is going to happen to her. I've made a decision I will be calling tomorrow to get her on the list for two local behavioral/developmental clinics to get testing. I first looked into it in February but backed off because of feeling like a bad mom. Unfortunately they have long waiting lists.

I'm honestly scared she's going to get hurt, get in trouble with authority, or get me in trouble and investigated because people perceive me as having no control over her. And it's true.

Also, her brother seems to be typical, very empathetic and loving, very good at communication and following directions. He's two years younger. But he idolizes her and picks up her habits and I've noticed recently she is persuading him to assist her in situations.
In one case, I had to have one of our locked gates open for a moment to move some trash and I told her under no circumstances was she to touch the gate or she'd have to go inside for the rest of the day. When I came back I found her guiding her brother's hand to the latch and encouraging him to open the gate for her to get out.

Sorry for writing such a novel, we had a really rough day today and I've been in some physical pain and she told me she was glad I hurt because I never let her do what she wants. And that really hurt me. Guess I'm just looking for some input from parents who have experience in this.

07-10-09, 07:52 AM
My daughter was a lot like this. She was so bad we couldn't leave the house with her. She was kicked out of day care and nearly suspended from pre-primary at age 5 for throwing chairs and hurting others. We had to remove her from pre-primary and put her into a private school for a couple of years. I used to have to sit on her when she threw tantrums which continued until she was about 7. She was such a nightmare.

It was very hard. People thought we had no control when in fact we were very firm with her. Like you we fed her healthy food. When we went to the doc (she was 6 by then) he could see that all the parental controls were there to make medication work. This in combination with doing karate and a lot of hard work from us an her got her sorted out.

She's now 14 and is in an academic program at school and has a casual job at a supermarket. It did take her until she was about 8 to start settling. There's no way she could have done it without medication because she just couldn't understand and make sense of anything.

At 4.5 I don't think any kind of medication would work and can see why you wouldn't want to use meds on a child so young. It's a difficult time and I feel for you coz I don't think I could live through it again.

Only advice I can really give is to keep doing what you're already doing. It sounds like you have discipline (even if she doesn't respond to it) and you feed her well. She might say horrible things to you but that doesn't mean that she means it or understand what she's really saying. You may need to give serious consideration to medication in a couple of years time if she doesn't improve.

07-11-09, 05:42 AM
Hi. My son is 9 and we first sought some help a year ago, at the end of second grade. He is not really hyper in the sense of misbehavior or running around or anything like that, but he is easily distracted, unfocused, and impulsive in speech and writing (blurting out answers before questions are completed, that sort of thing). He needed academic support in school and at the end of second grade his teacher expressed concern with his level of distractibility. We completed the Connors Rating Scale and the school psychologist scored it and results indicated possible ADHD. We then went to a pediatric neurologist who confirmed it. At that time, we all agreed that medication did not seem necessary and we added to the behavior modification techniques at home at school. In February of his third grade year he was classified and started getting special services in school for reading and writing. There have been improvements but his special services teacher told me, at the end of third grade, that his reading comprehension most likely will not improve with any sort of speed until his inattention is improved.

So we went back to the pediatric neurologist to discuss treatment and she told us that at this point, the only thing that could really help with any significance in medication (in conjunction with the modifications at school and home). So far I am please with it overall but it has only been about a week since he started the medicine. My husband is upset about the medication but I want to give our son the chance to succeed in school and socially and right now this seems to be the only really good option for us.

Karate has also been very good for him. He really focuses in that class in a way that I don't see, ever.

Your daughter is a bit on the young side from what I have read about ADHD and diagnosing it. I think you are on the right track and a wonderful mom for being so concerned and thoughtful about your daughter.


07-13-09, 01:56 PM
Keep writing down the behaviors you observe. It will really help the professional to make a good diagnosis. There are a lot of red flags in the description of your childs behavior, but the best thing is to see a good professional. ADHD is a really complicated illness, plus ADHD kids are also very likely to have other conditions that affect their abilities. It sounds like you are doing your best to parent your child, but ADHD kids are often just really difficult. Your apprehension about taking your child out in public is common. Just rest assured that you are not crazy, you just have a difficult child. Good luck.

07-14-09, 01:12 AM
Thanks for the input. And I'm glad to hear that she is probably too young to be diagnosed but also a little more worried, wondering what else is going to happen? It just seems to escalate.
And I have to kind of laugh at myself, while I'm kicking myself, that I didn't call the clinics Friday or today. I printed off the info and have it in my binder I use to try to organize myself, but it's just a casualty of my forgetfullness and procrastination. A possibly ADHD-I parent trying to deal with a possibly ADHD kid certainly feels like a bad combination.