Helping My Kid when I have ADHD too

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    • #75791

      I have a 10 year old son with pretty severe ADHD as well as high functioning autism. I have tonnes of books, I’ve been to tonnes of seminars and workshops, I’ve watched tonnes of videos on helping my child. Problem is I probably have ADHD too (undiagnosed but it fits me to a T) and I’ve read only a couple of the books I have, don’t retain the information from seminars and workshops, cannot organize myself to implement any of the strategies I remember, cannot get past the emotional and overwhelming paralysis to get anything done. I feel like I don’t understand and can’t remember anything I read by the time I get to the end of the chapter.

      Anyone out there have a similar situation and how do you manage?

    • #75807

      I’ve struggled all my life to focus, complete schoolwork, not allow myself to succumb to distraction, etc. I had a high IQ, so teachers presumed I was just lazy. I still struggle with shiny bauble syndrome and focus.

      One of my sons has ADD. I knew he had problems with retention, focus, and other issues but nobody at his school wanted to believe me. When he reached his sophomore year in high school, he asked me if he could drop out. He had no grasp of math. I found a homeschool program and forced him to finish his high school at home. Once he graduated, he signed up for one course (at my urging) at a community college, then one more because the classes were IT-based and he LOVED that.

      Our school systems are only ready for those who can do the same thing at the same time, not for those who learn differently. When my son was younger, I taught him to read and do basic math at home, because he didn’t understand at school. I used dry noodles to create math problems. He did much better when he could physically touch objects to “add” or manipulate them as numbers. I recorded his books using varying tones so he could listen and read along, rather than just looking at words.

      My son has issues, but he’s a programmer making a good living. Lately, he thanked me for forcing him to finish high school. I just knew he needed to have a minimum of a high school diploma to succeed in life, so I insisted he finish high school, and somehow he did.

      We both hate reading. Try audio books. You may find that you retain that method of delivery much better than through written word. Some audiobooks are free; some services are cheaper than others. It’s something to try!

      Don’t expect too much! Do what you can for his future and don’t beat yourself up. Your job is to keep a somewhat stable, loving home. The rest will hopefully follow.

      All the best!

    • #75851
      Penny Williams

      ADDitude offers some great strategies on parenting a kid with ADHD when the parent has ADHD too:

      When Mom or Dad Has ADHD

      What to Do When SuperMom Has ADHD

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

    • #76059

      I am in a similar situation but have found that getting other people involved helps a lot. My 12 year-old son sees an occupational therapist weekly – this helps keep the school strategies somewhat in place. Enlist your partner or another family member to help if possible. Make lists that everybody can see both and focus on one challenge at a time (for example, for us at the moment, it’s getting my son to organise his books and equipment for the next school day). Hang in there and remember that small steps can have huge consequences later on.

    • #76096

      Dear saber0711,
      I’m a single mom of 2 boys. All of us have AdD – diagnosed and medicated. I strongly urge you to get officially diagnosed and on a medication your doctor recommends. The diagnosis is as simple as a conversation with your general doctor. When you take a flight the airline attendants say “put your oxygen mask on First, then help others” – This is the same situation. If you don’t take of yourself first and foremost, then you will not be able to be there for your child. Love is a wonderful thing but you must also be healthy and emotionally happy to care for any child but an AdD child needs even more attention. The other great thing about having AdD “together” is that you will be more patient and kind to each other. Your son will understand this isn’t just “a kid thing” or “a boy thing” like people used to believe. It’s okay that we have AdD or AdHD – it is part of who we are but we can still be successful and happy. Trust me, my house is cluttered, my mail is in piles, I’m late for everything and I get frustrated with myself often BUT I know why and ways to help myself and my boys (breaking down tasks into small parts, writing lists, getting school bags/clothes ready the night before, etc.). Life CAN be good – not perfect – but so what!? Your son is lucky that you care enough to ask for help. Don’t try to do this alone. Ask your doctor. If he/she can’t help, move on. Don’t be afraid of a 2nd opinion. Your life and happiness and family are more important than anything else. I wish I could say “let’s have coffee” because I don’t know anyone who struggles like I do – except on sites like this. But I am happy you reached out – this is a great site! Take care and hug your son everyday! You both deserve it! New England Mom

    • #76189

      get treated yourself
      add exercise, sleep, and better nutrition

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