Acting without asking for permission

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    • #50067

      We have twin 14 year old daughters with ADHD, one also has Asperger’s. The older they have become the more they make poor decisions and choices simply because they don’t ask for permission to do things. For example, food that is intended for dinner gets used for a lunch meal by them, even though they know what lunch food is. This morning it was baking cinnamon rolls that were supposed to be saved for an event. They never have permission to cook or bake in the morning, there is cereal and other known things for meals. These are just small examples, but there are many others including leaving the house, going to others homes, using other people’s things in the house and more. Every time they say the same thing, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t think to ask”. How do we help them resolve this behavior that is driving everyone at home crazy?

    • #50266
      Penny Williams

      Try applying a behavior modification strategy, to teach them that they should ask first for everything (better everything than nothing, right?). Teaching them to ask about everything removes the consideration and decision-making process on every item. And, when it’s something they don’t need to ask for, you can tell them: “Thanks so much for coming to me and asking first. I really appreciate that. In the future, you have my permission to always __________ without needing to ask me first.”

      Here’s how we implemented a behavior modification approach to stop my son from hitting back in elementary school. Recognize that the key is consistency, frequency, and lots of time.

      “How I Helped My Son Stop Hitting Classmates”

      And some communications strategies for parenting teens with ADHD:

      Like the Teen You Love: ADHD-Friendly Communication Tips

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #50355

      As an adult with ADHD, I think it is possibly because you and your children have different ideas in the definition, perception and understanding of the problem itself and its consequences.
      The children with ADHD do not think to ask for they may think doing something is not necessary to ask for permission just as it is not necessary to go to find their parents somewhere to ask for permission to have a pee when they play in the garden.
      They may be careless about other people’s ideas or emotion but not viciously. They are just not good at decoding the face or reading microexpressions. Also they are not good at following verbal instructions. It is just the different way of their understanding.
      My personal experience is not to use exaggerated abstract words but concrete words they can really understand.
      For example, do not say if they did not do something, you would be crazy. But in fact you do not become crazy even though they did it. Therefore the relationship between the two things cannot be created.
      Maybe you can say if they did not do something, you would feel unhappy, and then explain to them why and make them understand what you are feeling and how you are feeling.
      In addition, maybe remind them of the unhappy experience in their practice, and make them understand the same feeling as yours.
      Let them accept that acting with asking for permission sometimes will not make others unhappy. Maybe it is easier to make them follow your instructions. Because I believe that they are innocent and warmhearted children.
      Be patient and calm. Do not only use verbal instructions. Show them what you do when you want to do something and do it before them. Because most children with ADHD are not good at verbal instructions, but they are visual learners. So if you want them to do what you want them to do, do it actually in front of them and do it for them with patience and love.
      Additionally, try to be tolerant and caring, and patiently accept their behavior. Try not to use critical words to condemn them for it is not easy for them to accept these words which easily lead to resentment.
      Don’t give up and in the end you will see the positive results.


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