My Forum Comments
Just wanted to add that with our daughter, success is sporadic. Sometimes a communication technique or other things like eating properly by working out a menu together work at first ,then goes by the wayside, then works again. For example- using notes. About 2/3 of the time I may put a note beside her and briefly say “here’s a list of things to bring to the meet tomorrow” or “here is the housework I need you to complete tonight”, she says “ok” and eventually does the items (sometimes complaining, or saying she is not going to do them, but ends up doing them anyhow). The other 1/3 of the time, same scenario, she grabs the note from my hand, wads it up and tosses it across the room saying rudely “you do it” or other language. It does seem though that gradually she is getting “better”. Keep the faith, your son will get there eventually! It takes a lot of patience and lip-zipping. Try not to take it personally.
I can relate to everything you’re saying, including how much you love your son (and he loves you). Our 15 year old daughter (maturity level 13ish) acts exactly the same way. Especially frustrating when I need to talk to her about items to bring to events etc., she blows me off, then forgets to bring things. Of course I am then blamed for the forgotten items.I agree with the other responder, write notes! Leave him info on notes, asking him to see you for discussions etc. I wouldn’t use a vacation as a consequence, that is quality time he can spend with you. I always use things that I don’t want to have my daughter doing anyways, as consequences, such as no non nutritious snacks for a week, limited electronics, etc. Of course, you have to adjust consequences based on your sons age…and what would motivate him.
I would love to hear from parents of late-teen kids to see how this plays out in the future. I’m hoping that when our 15yo Freshman daughter is a Junior, she will make friends with the younger kids coming in as Freshman. Last week she went to a birthday party with a 4 year age spread, and spent the time happily hanging out with a couple of 12 year olds she met….November 26, 2018 at 11:20 am in reply to: I feel so left out – it’s like I’m invisible. Any advice please? #104308
This is an excellent subject, but I don’t think it’s related to ADD, rather it’s an introvert vs extrovert issue. Perhaps with social anxiety adding to it. I don’t have ADD (I’m an ADD mom) and everything you describe fits me exactly. Please strongly consider reading the book PC0023 recommended on introverts. Some ways I survive the social world are: only accepting invitations if a close friend is also attending, that I know will pull me into conversations, and I can hang with. Note-I’m only invited because I’m a member of that particular group- like a get together for all moms in a classroom, and it would be awkward if I was the only one not invited, I call it the polite invitation…and they are hoping I won’t accept. I sometimes want to attend because it helps to network for volunteering purposes etc. And I may meet someone new that I can relate to. If it’s a small group I sit by the quiet types and try to carry on separate conversations with them. There are some unavoidable awkward situations where I’m clearly the odd man out, I just make an excuse to leave. I think I’m a couple of decades older than most on this feed, so want to encourage you all to get out there in the world, I promise you’ll meet good friends, feel confident that there is nothing wrong with you, the world is just made up of different types/personalities.
Well, I’m across the country from you in California, if you know a way to private message via this system we can swap email addresses! Our daughters sound very similar, tons of activities (my daughter is on two swim teams) but very odd behaviors, some concerning, some just strange. I didn’t even scratch the surface with my last reply.
Our 15yo daughter is a Freshman, but emotionally more 7th grade. She too began to lose close friends a couple of years ago as her girlfriends matured more quickly.
Our biggest concern has been self created drama ie telling friends she feels suicidal because her homelife is horrible with yelling parents etc. Reality is our homelife is quite peaceful for the most part. We’ve taken her to a behavioral specialist in ADD who is unconcerned about the suicide talk and notes, saying many kids see suicide talk as the latest trend and want to jump on the bandwagon. I’ve had to be in uncomfortable talks with parents when their daughters express concerns about our daughters talk. The reality is she doesn’t exhibit any other suicidal tendencies, she is not withdrawn, keeps up with school work, has many casual friends. Like you, we wish she would be able to develop some close relationships. It has been sad hearing her talk to former friends, wanting answers as to why they no longer want to hang out with her. We do see slow improvement in maturity. I wanted to answer you to let you know your daughter isn’t the only one going through this. It sounds like you are doing an excellent job talking to her and explaining consequences for “making things up”. Most of the time we get the “I don’t know” answer too.
Our 15yo daughter is a Freshman, and really only at about 7th grade level emotionally. We’ve experienced many of the same things, she was fine until mid-7th grade when all her peer girlfriends really started maturing and leaving her behind. There were a few times we heard her on the phone crying, trying to get an explanation from friends why they didn’t want to hang out with her. Our daughter also creates drama, says (to friends, not us) that she is suicidal, that she can’t stand her homelife, that we scream at her etc. The reality is our homelife is quite pleasant. So the question (like your daughter) is why the “lies”? She has been to a behavioral specialist (who also administers her ADD meds) and he is not concerned about her suicide notes, telling this to friends etc. because nothing else she does is alarming, she is not withdrawn, she seems happy with current friends (like yours, they are more school friends, than good one on one friends) she keeps up with schoolwork, she is active in many sports activities etc. So all this is quite a mystery to us too. Something seems to drive them to create drama, or in their minds they are creating something that doesn’t exist, but they think is real. I am concerned that this will extend to stories about friends and “boyfriends” and she will get herself or someone else in trouble for no reason. I’ve already had some awkward conversations with other parents when their daughters tell them about our daughters behavior. We have gotten the “I don’t know” answer from our daughter many many times when asking for an explanation. Honestly we are hoping she will gradually mature and catch up with everyone else. She does seem to slowly be getting better.September 18, 2018 at 5:32 pm in reply to: Difficulty in school, concerta not working – med change needed? #99575
Our experience is that it took years of trial and error before finding the correct medications. You may find one that works well, and as your son grows, needs to be adjusted or changed. Currently our 15yo daughter is on long lasting Concerta and Strattera in the morning, with a booster of methylphenidate in the afternoon.
There are two major classes of ADD meds, Stimulants and Non-Stimulants. Most people are helped with Stimulants. In our case a combo of both (Strattera being non-stimulant) helped, as none of the stimulants alone gave her enough concentration for schoolwork. You will hear repeatedly “every child is different”, which is very true. I highly recommend you keep a log of all your sons meds, noting the benefits and side affects. I’ve been keeping one for 7 years, and frequently return to it for reference.
Medicines should be started at the lowest dosage, and titrated (slowly increased) until a dosage that works is found, usually a 2-4 week process.
Also, we give our daughter cyproheptadine, an antihistamine, to stimulate her appetite. She doesnt like any protein drinks. It has been an uphill battle getting enough protein into her, the cyproheptadine gives very noticeable results in her appetite.
I’ve seen the tough love approach not work many times in our family. We have a few professional couch surfers still going nowhere at age 40+. Some people will always need help from others to get through life. The success stories we’ve had (from going nowhere fast, to managing their own lives well) happened when a non-parent mentor noticed their strengths, they then saw something in themselves, and developed the resolve to improve their lives. How to find a mentor? This is a pot-shoot. I guess try to get your son out in the world as much as possible, be it church, volunteering, fun classes, etc. until something clicks and the right person comes along. Getting him more physically fit will help immensely, is there any activity the two of you can do together? It would help both your stress levels. You may want to go to counseling yourself, if he won’t go. Keep positive, keep on hoping for the best. It’s amazing that he made it through college…one step at a time. Take care of yourself.March 19, 2018 at 8:01 pm in reply to: Managing High Stress/Organized Kid Activities with ADHD #79362
This is a timely post, because just yesterday I was telling a friend I needed to go to summer school for parents, to get ready for everything I’ll need to do, now that my daughter is entering High School! The advice given has been great, I struggle as an older parent, not able to keep up with the technology i.e.. planning everything via social media with other parents. And everyone making lightning fast decisions, like setting up extra practices at the last second, causing major rescheduling decisions. And of course I get blamed if something falls through the cracks.
The best take-away from the other posts is to organize NOW as soon as you get the info., don’t take crazy notes, stick them somewhere on your calendar, and then “later” take nice notes organized in a binder. Also, get rid of (toss) everything that has passed unless its something you’ll need, like receipts.Too many times I’ve found 2 years worth of junk in a binder, now I toss right away, makes everything so much clearer and easy to find.
My daughters synchronized swim binder (a sport involving makeup, outfits, hair etc.) is divided into finance (dues/meet fees/etc.), meet schedules, fundraising, organization charts/rosters. At the beginning of each season I add all the main moms into my phone contact list and take pictures of the entire org chart, as I never know who I may need to contact.
I agree we need to put that responsibility on our ADD kids as much as possible (mine is 14) “but” too many times I have had to cough up money for lost items, make frantic car trips to get “must have” forgotten items at the last second etc. I know…..it’s a process…
In my opinion, the school shouldn’t be offering this program, and doesn’t have the right to decide when children are ready for this type of content. I didn’t view that kind of material when I was in grade school, or in high school, I but learned What I need to know, when I needed to know,from my parents. Parents are in the best position to know when a child should or should not be introduced to a subject. I would complain to the school about being put in the position you are, sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I suspect there are many other parents that would be on your side of this issue. By the way, I need lean towards showing our daughter more rather than less, but that is my decision. Not the schools.
I commiserate with you. Our 14yo had the same agitation issue with Concerta. The combo of Methylphenidate and Strattera works well for her and calms her but doesn’t dampen her personality. Methylphenidate alone only helped her about 70% of the way. The addition of Strattera really helped.
Our daughter (14) has been on various medication combo’s since age 7. She started on Concerta, but not the generic. It wasn’t effective enough, but definitely helped, long story short, she tried different meds and combos until getting the right mix for her. It is true there were some issues with Concerta at night when the meds wore off, anger issues. However, the pluses outweighed the negatives. Nobody wants to give their children medicine, but ADD/ADHD is, in some ways, “brain damage” and the medicine helps it, not the other way around. Our daughters life has been helped, not injured, by the stimulants she takes. She can now read, function (keep up) in the classroom, have an active social life etc. etc. The few times over the years we have tried to reduce her dosages have reminded us of what life was like before medications, constant stress from arguing, frustration with inability to finish homework, I could go on and on. Regarding taking weekend breaks, we’ve found it not helpful, as she usually does homework on weekends too, and life itself is a learning process, they miss out on too much when not focused. She never had “withdrawal” symptoms, but one thing you will hear over and over is “every child is different”. Glad to hear you are confident with your decisions, keep involved reading blogs, articles, join support groups etc. as it is a long journey with many decisions but totally worth it when you have a happy, well adjusted child.