Dear Lil missy: When my son was younger we would give him Melatonin at night along with his nighttime meds. We’d give it to him at 8pm and he was sound asleep by 9pm. He also suffered from night terrors until he was 4 yrs old so I do understand how tired and worn out you are. You must feel like the life has been sucked out of you – that’s the phrase I use to explain life with my son. I would also get another opinion if you don’t feel comfortable where you’re at with your current doctor. We live in a small town and drive 1.5 hours to get to our specialist. We have seen her every 2-3 months since he was 9 years old. We keep a close eye on his height, weight and see her this often to make sure his dose is right. We usually change it about once per year now – since he hit puberty.
Perhaps you could keep a diary just for a week or so to try to see if there is any link to certain situations that might be leading to meltdowns. We took our son to an Occupational Therapist every week for about 2 years. We found that he requires a LOT of exercise and likes to be squeezed or squished. This seems to relieve some of his pent up stimulation. We also took him to massage therapy which seemed to help him as well. Try to keep him physically active as possible. Try soccer, baseball, lacrosse, or even Track & Field. Our son plays hockey through the winter and then Lacrosse in the Spring & Summer.
When he was smaller we couldn’t go out to restaurants to eat because after 5 minutes he’d be running around like a chicken with his head cut off. Our nick name for him is the “Energizer Bunny” – he keeps going and going and going. We changed our lifestyle to accommodate his challenges and that helped to cause less meltdowns. I had to learn to let go of some of the disciplines I was using and focus on what was really important. For eg: did I need him to sit at the table to eat dinner, or could he stand so long as he ate his food.
We also have a 10 year old son as well and he doesn’t have any of the issues that my older boy does. However, the behaviour issues impact all our lives, including everyone else who is ever around my ADHD child. We parents have to constantly think and be vigilant about everyone else, not just our own child/ren. We were able to find a few good sets of friends in our new town that had similar life philosophies and who could understand the chaos of our lives. Those who don’t understand don’t really get any time from us – it makes life simpler.
A friend recommended this book: 1-2-3 Magic – this is where I started with my education about ADHD, ODD, behaviour issues, etc. The method they describe works – it still works on my 16 year old son. The next book I read is called “Your Spirited Child” – I found this to be very helpful as well. I have read as much information as I can on these health issues to see what strategies might work at least some of the time. The latest I am reading is called “Smart but Scattered”. It is also very helpful.
You might also see if you can access an ADHD or Autism group in or near your area. We used to drive to one about 45mins away once per week as they offered “Social Groups” for kids like ours. My son was accepted and understood there. It was the first place I could leave him behind without watching over him like a hawk. What freedom!!! We were able to access Respite funds from this group to help pay for the costs of Occupational Therapy, massage therapy, etc.
You could also look into the website for “ADDitude” – I recently saw information about trying to find a Life Coach for yourself and your child – they might be able to really help you.
Hang in there – you are a good mom and your child is a good child too. He just needs some tweeking to get him sorted out. I’ve been where you are and I remember how hard/challenging it was. Don’t give up – your kids are totally worth it!!!!