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General Parenting Issues The purpose of this forum is to discuss general parenting issues related to children with AD/HD(ADD & ADHD)

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Old 10-26-04, 10:31 PM
Jessicaca Jessicaca is offline
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My story (ADHD 6-y.o.)...

My story (long-sorry)

Hi! My name is Jessica and my son, 6 yrs. old was recently diagnosed with ADHD. I knew it was only a matter of time as I could tell from the second he was born that he had a little more spirit than most. Living with him as a toddler was more comparible to that of living with a hyper puppy. My husband and I took turns 'walking him' and there were days that I honestly thought I'd lose my mind while he forced me into his world of constant motion and the insatiable need for stimulus. Some nights I even cried myself to sleep, half from exhaustion and half from asking myself, "Why me"?

Fast forward to preschool, he did very well. We were fortunate to be living in an urban environment (in Chicago) where he thrived on busy city life. The preschool was excellent and they were tolerant and accomodating while refusing to label him. We would have a behavior issue once a week or so, but for the most part, he just drove his dad and I crazy but worked himself into a tired state by the end of each preschool day. Life was beginning to seem "normal", even though our son always had a penchant for being overly-emotional and having extreme meltdowns - and again - with the need for constant, fast movement.

So, we finally moved to the 'burbs before he started Kindergarten. Kindergarten did not go well, the teacher didn't pass him and stated, "Had he been medicated, it may have turned out differently." She suggested I take him to a doctor about his behavior which was talking incessantly (sp?) and being unable to sit and focus for long of periods of time, especially when he found the topic uninteresting. Some chalked it up to him being a summer birthday, but I knew what she was talking about. Holden, our son, at age 5, was more immature than some 3 or 4 year olds.

Convinced that she was just being a beeyotch who didn't care for boys (that was true, but she was also right in her assesment), we took him to the doctor who observed him for an hour, listened to my stories about our son and concluded that he probably did have it. She noticed how he would touch the blood pressure gauge, how I would say, "Excuse me doctor...", and remind him that I told him not to do that. She observed him so keenly that she didn't miss his staring at the BPM and wanting desperately to comply, but simply couldn't. It was too irresistable to him.

We decided to hire a private tutor over the summer and get him up to speed academically and then decide after that what we were going to do from there. After the summer, the tutor said he was bright and ready for 1st grade, at least academically. She knew our wished *not* to hold him back. We felt there was too much inconsistant information on the benefits/risks of holding a child back. We decided to allow him to go into first grade and take a wait and see approach. We figured if the 1st grade teacher made the same suggestions and the K teacher, we would have to face what we had been dreading, the possibility that we may have to medicate him.

Well, it didn't even take until the first parent/teacher conference this year before we got a call, confirming what we already suspected. The teacher kept saying that he has trouble controlling his impulses and he talks incessantly and that his behavior impedes his ability to learn. She said that she can't teach with his inability to stay focused. So, we took him to the doctor again and this time we got the male doc who supposedly has extensive training in the area of ADD/ADHD. He reviewd my Vanderbilt (I think that's what it was) evaluation, the teachers and the previous doctors notes and prescribed 5mg of Ritalin for Holden. My husband and my hearts were broken. He started the medication this week.

The rub is that I feel like I have no choice. The teacher suggested we meet with the school social worker and only backed off that suggestion when I told her we were going to take him the doctor. I felt like that was her way of pressuring me to give him meds.

The biggest problem I have with him being on meds is that he is such a wonderful little guy. Unlike so much of what I read, he has no defiance or aggression issues, aside from his inability to listen, but his heart is definitely in the right place. He is fun and he is well liked and he's goofy and creative and we have grown to just adore this kid and his energy. We no longer feel trapped by his behavior. He is an outgoing and happy kid with some impulse issues. Giving him medication this week has left me so depressed. I just feel sick about it. I feel like I'm drugging him to make the teacher's lives easier because our school district is so strapped and there are 28 kids in his class, yet I am aware of his "issues". It just seems to me that he isn't that 'bad'. Does anybody else feel this way???

We have him on 5mg of Ritalin that we give him early in the morning. He has been doing great on that low dose, at least that's what we saw over the weekend and he's been getting green cards (=good behavior) since Monday. I think that's a record. His rebound, from when I pick him up at 2:30pm is a killer though. It's worse than his normal behavior. He is so fricking emotional and everything sets him off. He acts so incredibly frustrated and annoyed. He also has a burst of energy after this meltdown that puts him into turbo mode. Does anybody have any explanation for this? It's well after his 4 hour Ritalin does. We give him 5mg at 7:45am and by 2:30pm, he is agitated and by 3:30pm, he is turbo monster. HELP! This is all very difficult for me.
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Old 10-27-04, 04:58 AM
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Garry Garry is offline
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Good post

very explananatory

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Old 10-27-04, 05:40 PM
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Jessicaca

A friend of mine took his lad off riddlin and he now drinks 3 or 4 cups of strong coffee each day instead of the riddlin and it works for him
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Old 10-28-04, 03:41 PM
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Jessica,

I went thru the same issue's with my son. First off you NEED to get him tested accademicly most schools have a certain amount of time to get this accomplished after a written request. The reason I push so hard for accademic testing is because they test not only the child's knowledge but also social skills. My son's teacher wanted to flunk him in kindergarten but we refused, we also refused to drug our child. In first grade the teacher wanted to drug and flunk him as well. We insisted in writing that Dakota be tested what we found out is that Dakota is actually a genius but is socially unable to skip grades. So now at 11 and in the fifth grade he has a tutor sit with him during class hours to help him with his accelerated program. As a fifth grader he is doing eigth and ninth grade work. Your son could (stress the could) be bored to death and that is why they are seeing so many behavioural issue's.

We did medicate our son but sought out other forms of therapy as well. I would ask your doctor about an extended release med that lasts up to 16-18 hours Adderall XR and Stratterra are very good meds. Also look into coaching and talk therapy thru alternative therapies our son was only medicated for a short time and then was able to control his behaviours enough to come off the meds. Meds don't have to be forever if your willing to work hard and it sounds like you are.

Active kids need active activities. Get your son involved in sports like soccer were he is constantly running and he learns the value of teamwork. Community service helps install good morales...positive energy spent returns positive energy. Raising money for our local fire department and police department has worked wonders on our kids' self esteem and self worth.

Sometimes you have to change your parenting stradegy. We had to modify our skills to fit our kids' needs it's not an easy task but once you find something that works RUN WITH IT!!! Thru talk therapy we as parent's learned that kids with ADD often suffer form depression and have a higher rate of suicide because they want more then anything to be good, they really do but all they hear is bad, no, don't, stop that. So, focus on his good behaviour's and remember to alway's say "That behaviour is bad" this way your not telling your son he is bad.

Accountability ADD is often the cause for bad behaviour but is not the excuse for poor control. We started making our children write a note to their teacher on why their behaviour was bad and what they are going to do to try and fix the issue and they apologize this often softens the teacher up a little also.

I think my children's behavour problems are easiest on me because I too suffer from ADHD only thru a lot of behaviour modification programs I've learned to turn ADHD from a disability into an asset. There is alway's hope even on the darkest day you can remind yourself his body is gonna shut down eventually.

You've got a long road ahead of you. For yourself remember to breath when you can and stay a focused team with your husband. The stronger the team at home the better chance your son has of turning ADD into an asset.

Good luck and big hugs
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