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  #1  
Old 12-03-03, 08:04 PM
Layla-Rose Layla-Rose is offline
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Any Advice? - Im having problems.

My 8 year old son ( Matt ) was diagnosed with ADD nearly a year ago. Its been a long hard road, with much turmoil, mostly before he was medicated, but it still happens from time to time.
he takes 3 dexamphetamine tablets a day.
I would really like to hear hints and advice from other parents with ADD kids, since i seem to be having a lot of problems with my son at the moment.

He has started a couple of things that he never used to do, one is lying and the other is stealing ( i use the term loosely )
Im at a loss on how to deal with this, because the stealing has gone on 4 or 5 times now.
Currently we have been living with my parents for 6 weeks before we make a move to a new state in 2 more weeks, and unfortunately the things that have gone missing belong to my mother. (My mother isnt the easiest woman in the world to live with, and takes these missing items as a personal assault against her )

Its nothing major, just items ( mainly sweets & pens ) from around the house that have gone missing and on one occasion, some lollies out of her handbag. The lying comes in when Matt is confronted, and it usually takes me at least 3 or 4 efforts to get him to admit that he has done it.
Its not so much the items that he takes, like i said theyre nothing major, but its the principle of the matter. I dont want him to begin to make a habit of this kind of thing.

He knows its wrong to do it, because when he takes something he runs off and eats or plays with it in secret.
Withdrawl of his own treats ie. dessert at dinner, time outs in his bedroom, doing extra chores.... none of these punishments have worked as he is still continuing to take things without permission.
He just seems to refuse to learn from his mistakes.

Also on another side note, the amounts of sugar in the chocolate and soft drink he has been taking compounds his behaviour into a major tantrum that i cant control. He screams and shrieks, throws things around, he is flatly disobedient and impossible to calm down & i cannot possibly even reason with him when he is in full swing of a tantrum of such ferocity. He is also a very tall child for his age and strong, so if he launches himself on me, it tends to hurt.

I am at a loss on how to deal with this anymore, and it is making life here extremely unpleasant for him, especially as my mother insists on having her "say" ( when im out of earshot ) which includes telling him how she cant stand to look at him, doesnt ever want to speak to him again, and that she cant wait for us to leave and hopes we wont ever come back.

Can someone please give me ANY advice on how to nip my sons behaviour in the bud before it gets worse?
I need some kind of discipline method that may work!
I need to make him realise that he cant just take what he wants, and i want to stop this before it graduates into taking bigger things, and taking them from outside the home as well.
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Old 12-03-03, 09:06 PM
waywardclam waywardclam is offline
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I dunno if I have really good advice for you, except that the firmer and more consistent you can be, the better... it sounds like things might get better when you move away from your mother.

If my mother said to my son how she "cant stand to look at him, doesnt ever want to speak to him again", I'd be saying the same thing word for word to my mother...
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Old 12-04-03, 04:03 AM
tudorose tudorose is offline
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You're an Aussie! Where abouts are you?

I have an 8yo ADD/OCD daughter and a 10 yo Autistic/ADD son. My son sounds a but like your son on terms of difficulties.

Firstly, maybe he needs more dex,

Secondly, the only approach that I hve found to work is the "consequences of ones actions" approach.

Matt (my son's name) kept coming out of his room at night and 'stealing' everyone elses things so we took his door handle off and he had to pay for everything he took.

We also use writing lines a lot too and if he gets into fights he misses out on the next karate session. I ususlly find though that these behavious tend to come out when the dose of dex is too low but I don't know if that's just an autistic thing or an ADD thing.
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Old 12-04-03, 05:52 AM
Layla-Rose Layla-Rose is offline
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Thanks for your replies

tudorose, im in Tassie at the moment, making a move to Queensland in 2 weeks

Unfortunately his paediatrician is not keen on the idea of giving him more Dex.
For one, hes fairly calm up until dinnertime thanks to 3 dex already. The main problems i have are really only when hes ingested a great deal of sugar. Then the tantrums start.

Secondly, he had an extreme weight loss when he started on Dex, hes 139 cm tall, and his weight has yo-yo'd up and down from 42 kilos to currently 32 kilos. ( His Dr wants him up to 35-36 )

His doctor put him on Ritalin for 2 weeks to see if it could help his appetite, as the Dex kills it.
Unfortunately the Ritalin had to be stopped, as 3 tablets of those per day was having no effect on his behaviour at all. He was only marginally more behaved than when he was taking no meds at all.
So no, the idea of more meds really doesnt seem an option.

i like the door handle approach, as well as having to pay for things.
I admit to being more intruiged by your suggestion of lines.
Does that really work?
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Old 12-04-03, 07:25 AM
tudorose tudorose is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Layla-Rose

I admit to being more intruiged by your suggestion of lines.
Does that really work?
Sure does! Basically, having to write the same thing over and over gets the message into the brain (maybe it's subconcious or something).

Basically as a rule of thumb, let the punishment fit the crime. If he comes out his room when he's not supposed to - take the door handle off. If he messes something up - make him clean it. If there's nothing that fits, use lines or if you really can't get through then use lines along with the consequence as well. With Matt, sometimes we have to get to him at all angles to make sure the messages get though.

Be cruel to be kind coz it will help him in the end. It's really hard but I can see now that at 10, it has paid off with Matt and all his teacher love him and he's about easy (as easy as an autistic kid gets) to manage.

Goodluck. I'm in Huntingdale which is about 20KM south east of Perth in WA.
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Old 12-05-03, 10:38 AM
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My son is eight also and can be an unbelievable terror at times. What I have found to work is sort the other side of the coin as you all have been discussing. Since AD/HD people are usually hard enough on themselves (you said yourself that he knows what he does is wrong), how about trying positive reinforcement? What I mean is, try not to focus so much on "punishing." Do prisons work? Whereas, If you emphasize the doing things gets good things method, he may be more successful. It seems to me when people who are AD/HD get even a small taste of succes they are so hungry for more.
anyone can PM me if they would like specific ideas we have tried.
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Old 12-05-03, 12:26 PM
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Re: Any Advice? - Im having problems.

Quote:
Originally posted by Layla-Rose
Currently we have been living with my parents for 6 weeks before we make a move to a new state in 2 more weeks,

Stressor #1 and #2

and unfortunately the things that have gone missing belong to my mother. (My mother isnt the easiest woman in the world to live with,

Stressor #3

and takes these missing items as a personal assault against her )


Implies over reaction - stressor #4

Its nothing major, just items ( mainly sweets & pens )

1) get some perspective
2) give him his own supply of HIS choosing and access of HIS choosing so he CAN make mistakes and deal with it himself.
3)talk with him, not to him. Ask if he knows why you are concerned? Would he be concerned? Why is he doing it? Does he know? Believe "I don't know" answers. Address the behavior, not the child, as what needs to be changed. Ask him what he needs.
4) bide your time. unheaval is stresssful and disruptive. He is OBVIOUSLY seeking comfort, inappropriately. Seek to MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE, not MAKE IT WORSE.

Do you want to "fix the problem" or get revenge?

Or do you want to fix the problem by YOU doing something for him he can't do for himself(figure out how to appropriately meet his needs instead of inappropriately), or fix it by intimidating him into compliance? (blind, unthinking compliance)

You can take actions that make the behavior go away. Or you can demand that "nothing else changes" and the his "behavior must change."

Insanity is some twelve step programs is defined as doing the SAME THING and expecting DIFFERENT results.

By providing him access to what he needs you give him an example of how to feed a need appropriately, rather than an example of simply increasing stress and frustration as the "solution."

IMHO


from around the house that have gone missing and on one occasion, some lollies out of her handbag. The lying comes in when Matt is confronted, and it usually takes me at least 3 or 4 efforts to get him to admit that he has done it.

Its not so much the items that he takes, like i said theyre nothing major, but its the principle of the matter. I dont want him to begin to make a habit of this kind of thing.

Then give him the example of finding appropriate ways to get what he needs, practice having him ask for what he needs and give it to him EVERY TIME it is reasonable(not convenient!) and in a time frame meaningful to HIM, (not you!)
You are trying to teach HIM, not yourself. Teachers must always adjust to their STUDENTS needs, not the other way around!


He knows its wrong to do it, because when he takes something he runs off and eats or plays with it in secret.

So you only have to mention that you REALIZE he knows this, so you don't have to spend time on it with him (Don't preach to the choir!)

Withdrawl of his own treats ie. dessert at dinner, time outs in his bedroom, doing extra chores.... none of these punishments have worked as he is still continuing to take things without permission.

When you go to the doctor and say something hurts does he ""fix it" by hurting you worse or the same ELSEWHERE? You have to fix the problem that generates this, and accommodate the real needs, or all you turn into is a bully. (And you'll feel like that too! Even if you feel "justified" being a bully. because...)

He just seems to refuse to learn from his mistakes.

No one really learns from their mistakes. They learn from realizing they MADE a mistake and successfully figuring out an appropriate alternative. With ADHD the second step is a mystery... it doesn't happen "in a vaccuum" or alone, and it is your job for much longer to assist (not tell) in tiny steps how to do the process of coming up with appropriate responses.

Depending on his level of difficult and stage of development (ADHD is a developmental disorder (www.samgoldstein.com) just having him tell YOU he recognizes a mistake might be the best you can ask for at first.


Also on another side note, the amounts of sugar in the chocolate and soft drink he has been taking compounds his behaviour into a major tantrum that i cant control.

This reminds me of how my son , as a todler, used to say things "It fell" for "I dropped it!"

He is the kid. Who ISN'T regulating his sweets and chocolate, if it is excessive? Be sure that any attempts to regulate don't take it entirely out of his hands, unless you really think he has no ability to walk his own walk with respect to sweets, and deal with the consequences (not learn from them and magicly change!) If he can vomit in the toilet when he eats too much unk, let him a few times.

He needs to realize the connection, if there is one, between what he eats and how misserable he gets later. Let it happen and point it out. then discuss it LATER, when he has recovered, not, really, even when he is still hung over.
Becuase of bad memory, you do need to reflect to him how awful he feels while he is out of control... otherwise the experience evaporates like a bad dream.

"Rub it in.." gee you look like you are really out of sorts! It must be miserable to feel like you do! What does it feel like from in side you?What else? What else? Get him talking.


He screams and shrieks, throws things around, he is flatly disobedient and impossible to calm down & i cannot possibly even reason

I make this mistake too. This is not the time to "reason" but to "comfort." Reasoning is not possible from that point, but "comfort" is needed, and is more likely to be helpful than "correction."

with him when he is in full swing of a tantrum of such ferocity. He is also a very tall child for his age and strong, so if he launches himself on me, it tends to hurt.

He is still a child, even if bi. some of that must come with the territory, but he should be talked to, outside the time of the issue, about his size and the importance of not hurting others BY HITTING even when he is very upset.

I am at a loss on how to deal with this anymore, and it is making life here extremely unpleasant for him, especially as my mother insists on having her "say" ( when im out of earshot ) which includes telling him how she cant stand to look at him, doesnt ever want to speak to him again, and that she cant wait for us to leave and hopes we wont ever come back.

Your mother is a control freak, and is the "source" of the problem. He started this recently, and I would want to push her buttons if i were being treated like that!

He is your child, and SHE should have consequences for her transgressions. Being "older" doesn't make rudeness an OK example, or act.

You need to call her down in private, and in full view of your son, to give her a chance to realize the inappropriateness of her behavior, and to DEFEND the WEAKER of the two in an abusive incident.

Your example is very important.

Do some people get away with being mean, and others must be abused? This is yours to define and play out.

Is it hard for you to stand up to your mother? Get over it! Your son needs to see the example of apporpriate behavior in the face of someone else's inappropriate behavior.

then talk about it with him until he is ready to quit (that can be tough, or even require you to take a break and set a time to restart, and do so.

reliability is very important here!


Can someone please give me ANY advice on how to nip my sons behaviour in the bud before it gets worse?

First address the causes of the behavior.
Discuss with him the stresses and what can and can't be done, and when.
#1 moving away from friends (my assumption - not stated in you tale)
#2 moving into hell (your mother's house)
#3 the increase or change in his needs
#4 others ways to meet them
#5 things to do while waiting for what cannot be right now

Don't feel you have to have all this worked out BEFORE you start talking to him.

Let him participate. Admit when you are stumped. Show your work. He's ADD, he doesn't "know" the steps, even simple ones, in practical terms, even if he can quote them back in words. Work in the reality as much as possible rather than in discussions or lectures.

It makes all the difference in the world.


I need some kind of discipline method that may work!

First figure out what will "work" on your mother. She's and adult and can survive your mistakes more readily than your child.

Besides, after that, it sounds like one of several contributors to the problem will be resolved!


I need to make him realise that he cant just take what he wants,

You said he already knows this. Don't try to teach him what he knows. That makes no sense (though I do it too! Somethimes)

and i want to stop this before it graduates into taking bigger things,

So help Him figure out how to appropriately meet his needs. (Not how to deny, ignore, and frustrate them!)

This requires more effort on your part than worry and yelling at someoneless powerful than yourself.

Give the example of dealing with the hard issues head on, and appropriately. Not hiding from them, denying them, or excusing them, because its "your mother" etc.

Good luck.


and taking them from outside the home as well.

Last edited by Wheel1975; 12-05-03 at 12:44 PM..
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Old 12-05-03, 12:41 PM
Wheel1975 Wheel1975 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by tudorose

Secondly, the only approach that I hve found to work is the "consequences of ones actions" approach.

Matt (my son's name) kept coming out of his room at night and 'stealing' everyone elses things so we took his door handle off and he had to pay for everything he took.

When all else fails try prevention.


I ususlly find though that these behavious tend to come out when the dose of dex is too low but I don't know if that's just an autistic thing or an ADD thing.


If the problem is too little dex, how does "writing lines" increase the dex?


If your car is out of gas, putting more air in the tires isn't going to get you anywhere,

but to a tire store to replace the tires you ruined by over inflating them while trying inappropriately to increase the gas supply!


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Old 12-05-03, 12:47 PM
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take some time, with JUST HIM to do what he wants to do (20 minutes in the house or a short trip ?40 minutes? out) with just one on one attention, then let him "be"

don't try to constantly engage or direct or teach or lecture... just have fun or time, his way, with him.

Kids are smart enough sometimes to know that "having fun" isn't always the most important thing to do. Sometimes having hugs, or still moments (even for the ADHD!) are valued.

Let it happen.
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Old 12-06-03, 10:30 AM
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It became obvious to me that I left out a recognition i hold with completely, and so might easily be misunderstood.

Writing lines can be VERY HELPFUL in defining exactly what the issue is, and providing the time to consider it.

My only point was, that if the problem wasn't what lines are good at fixing, (for example, not enough drug) then I was unclear about the reason for their use in that case...

I clearly support the use of writing lines for what writing lines really fixes!
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Old 12-06-03, 03:57 PM
waywardclam waywardclam is offline
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Too bad you can't get your mother to write lines... hehehe
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Old 12-07-03, 05:53 AM
Layla-Rose Layla-Rose is offline
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Thanks for all the responses, i really appreciate the help

Quote:
Originally posted by Wheel1975
He is the kid. Who ISN'T regulating his sweets and chocolate, if it is excessive? Be sure that any attempts to regulate don't take it entirely out of his hands, unless you really think he has no ability to walk his own walk with respect to sweets
I just wanted to ask..
Really, i dont feel like i can accomodate his needs for chocolate and soft drink.
Even small amounts of these bring on one of the major tantrums.
Usually i never keep them in the house, knowing what they do to him, but this is where the 'stealing' comes into it.

So... if i cant meet his needs by allowing him to have chocolate etc, how DO i meet them enough to help him avoid feeling like he must steal it?
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Old 12-07-03, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Layla-Rose
Thanks for all the responses, i really appreciate the help



I just wanted to ask..
Really, i dont feel like i can accomodate his needs for chocolate and soft drink.
Even small amounts of these bring on one of the major tantrums.
Usually i never keep them in the house, knowing what they do to him, but this is where the 'stealing' comes into it.

So... if i cant meet his needs by allowing him to have chocolate etc, how DO i meet them enough to help him avoid feeling like he must steal it?
I think the post in the other respondent provided a good solution, but it would require the assistance and compliances of your MOTHER.

As you said, don't have them available. You already know the solution. When he is in college it will no longer be your job to keep them away from him.

But you are right, you don't want to build a history of failures and of falling into self -destructive behaviors.

You are only in your mother's house for a short time. prevail on her to ACT like an adult and accommodate some one else's needs for a short time.

It sounds to me like your own inclinations and self advice are great. Just DO IT. Keep them away from him until he is old enough to handle the challenge.

Isn't that what you thought you should do?
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Old 12-10-03, 03:29 AM
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Perhaps just staying out away from your mother will help. Just come home to sleep. Easier said then done I know!
My son Max (His chosen name)is also 8 and does all of the above. He is an exstreemely willfull child. I let him get away with a bit and it worries me. Yet, he is so good natured
and seems to be evolving emotionally for the most part.
I do a lot of story telling that reflects effective communication between the characters, the scenarios teach him so much, he thinks they are just stories. He even picks the Characters.
Stories are his favorite, he chooses me over Harry Potter. So I use them as rewards. We do spelling in the car and each right word results in one more minute added to a story. wrong words take away. He made up this game. It was his idea when he wanted a story and I was concerned more with his spelling. Now he is spelling great.
I know I am off the topic, but, my creativity has saved my butt as a mother, whenever I don't take the time to breath and draw from my creative side, I resort to anger,threats etc.
possibly in a similar situation, I would tell a story about a person or animal who was emotionally disabled in an effort to help my son understand why his grandmother is like that. put him in your corner. Make him feel that he and you have a special secret in dealing with grandma. A little game of being overly nice. I know it sounds crazy and perhaps rude to grandma, but if she is a controll freak, stay away as much as you can or humor her.
It is too bad she has to have all those sweets around! I really think just affirmating how much you love him helps. I let my child know how much I love himno matter what. I also let him know that I don't enjoy him or like to be around him when he behaves certain ways. I know it soounds dumb and make trivial of a difficult situation. I am just concerned that he may feel like the "Bad Boy" against two grownups. Grandma sounds like bad news for this child especially at his tender age. Keep him away anyway you can.
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Old 12-10-03, 10:51 AM
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Out of left field here...if he loves sweets, perhaps you could keep a supply of diet sodas and sugar free treats that are just for Matt. I may get clobbered on this one but it could be the "lesser of two evils" solution.
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