My Forum Comments
My mother is like the wife above. She thinks if she can do it, anyone should be able to do it. It’s very frustrating, and what led to be not being diagnosed until I was 35.
I’ve always known, well to be accurate, I’ve known since puberty that I was not Neurotypical. My parents have known since I was 5. I have two adopted brothers who have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. They were recommended for this physical therapy program. To get in, you had to be assessed. While he was assessing my brothers (well, actually, while his graduate students were assessing my brothers as he oversaw the process) he noticed me, and something I was doing must have caught his attention, because he asked to evaluate me too. Apparently I passed (well, I guess failed) the test, because I was enrolled in the therapy as well. I never was told what any of that was about though. I just knew that I had to go to this place after school 2 or 3 times a week, where they tortured us with handwriting and coloring drills, and then took us to “gym time” where they would spin us in different ways, or make us jump over things or from one piece of paper to another. It all seemed pretty weird to me at the time. While I can see some the point to some of the activities now, since more research has been put into helping aneurotypical people, all of it was pretty crude, and some of it remains a complete mystery.
As a teenager, I was hearing about more things and putting them together in my mind, and thinking “hmmm”. Dyspraxia was the first thing where I noticed I hit almost every single symptom ALL OF THE TIME, but I was 17 at that point. I had no idea what I should do to get a diagnosis, or how it would help to have one. Over time I noticed that I had extreme sensory reactions that I’d initially thought of as normal, and only realized as abnormal when I would talk to someone about something and they’d look at me when I was crazy. Also, since the teenage years are the years of loud music, I learned that I was EXTREMELY sensitive to sound, since I absolutely could not tolerate loud music without feeling extreme physical and psychological pain. But again, what was there to do about it? Going to a doctor would never have occurred to me since I also have very severe anxiety, and avoided doctors.
Eventually, I had a breakdown and all of these things started pouring out, and I got diagnosed. For most of them, there’s really no treatment or cure besides practice and carrying ear plugs. ADHD is one of the few they can medicate.
But I do know what you mean about not knowing any other kind of brain.
I often wish I could live one day inside a Neurotypical body, just to see what “typical” feels like. What’s it like to not have all these whilrling tops, loose screws, and general disorder in your mind?
Being retained has been proven to be a risk factor in children dropping out of school before graduating high school.
The research on retention is pretty good. If retained for academic reasons, the academic gain for the child is usually gone by 2 years later, and pretty much ALWAYS gone by 5 years later. Retention for academic reasons does not make sense, given this research. Usually, what should be done, is to have the child receive extra tutoring and assistance the next year to be able to keep up with the curriculum.
Research varies on retention for social, developmental, maturity, or emotional reasons. The BEST thing to do if a child is immature compared to his/her peers is to “delay start”, which means you don’t start Kindergarten until a year later, so they have an extra year of maturity. If you didn’t do that and HAVE to hold them back, then the earlier the better. K, 1, and 2, still show some positive changes in children held back for social/emotional reasons. But after that, it declines and can become as detrimental as being held back for academic reasons because of the shame and frustration the child feels.
If you HAVE to hold your child back, I would wait until 5th grade which is a “changeover” year. That way, at least he won’t see his friends in the grade ahead of him. Ideally, this also would be a good point to change school systems or districts. That way no one knows he was held back, and when moving to middle school, the students will continue to be unaware.
I know this is a hard decision. You look at your child and it’s just so confusing what’s best for them. All I can do is provide you with the information I have.
Do you have the ability to homeschool. That could be another path to “retention without retention” You basically just take him out of public school for a year, and get him caught up to where he needs to be, before putting him back in public school.
My son is in 8th grade right now, and still very immature for his age. God how I wish I’d held him back a year before Kindergarten. But he was reading and had a December birthday, so I thought that would be overkill. Watching him struggle to keep up with peers all the time though, it’s been painful. I think he could have used that extra year.
We are moving away from our hometown (thank goodness) and that small school. My son desperately wants to stay for high school, but we’ve made it very plain that staying in that school is NOT an option. They are so small, there’s very little flexibility, the high school has a horrible reputation for applying IEPs, and while my son SAYS he doesn’t want to leave because of friends, he can only name two friends, and he NEVER asks to see them outside of school. One of them is even the little brother of my SIL, so it would be really easy to arrange, but he doesn’t ask. So I think it’s the “familiar” he doesn’t want to leave, not a really strong group of friends.
So we started looking at charter and magnet schools where we were going to be living. There were a five that were “acceptable”, but only 1 that we really, REALLY liked. It’s the first year of the school right now, so when my son enters next year he’ll only be the second class. Plus, the school will only have Freshman and Sophomores, which I think will be less intimidating to him than a school with students who could possibly be 18 or 19. It’s a “non-standard” teaching method for the core classes, and then the focused extra curricular courses, all in Tech, will really catch his interest, and I hope his competency will help make-up for any lack of maturity.
However, we had decided that if he didn’t get into this school, he wasn’t starting 9th grade next year. We would instead use a homeschool method called “unschooling” to basically give him an extra year to mature before starting 9th grade. It wouldn’t have been a home-school repeat of 8th grade, but he would end up essentially “retained” for a year because he’d be starting high school a year later. Since it would be a totally new school, no one would know he wasn’t just like any other 9th grader.
But, we are in the lucky position of having many charter schools in the City where we work. This could be much more difficult in an area with fewer options.
I have ADHD and so does my son. Mine is a recent diagnosis however, and I didn’t know about it when he was littler. (He’s 13 now.)
The first thing I’d tell you is to drop the rope about behavior in school. Let the teacher handle it. You can’t fix his behavior there. You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but consequences at home or talking at home is simply too far removed from the moment that he’s having at school. So, just let the school behavior go. Don’t let it impact you.
As for the rest, I do recommend learning a variety of breathing exercises to help you calm down. There’s box breathing, 7-1-8 breathing, belly breathing, etc. Learn them and mix them up to help you calm down so you react to his behavior from a point of wanting to train him into better behaviors rather than reacting to how he’s making you feel.
I can’t help you with the two parent home thing, but I can say my son was also explosive at that age. He’s 13 and he still is, though now it’s more verbally than physically, which is an improvement. He also understands his own explosiveness and does work to control it about 80% of the time. However, he still FAILS at his attempts at control more often than not.
It’s something we’ve worked with a therapist about. It’s helped both rounds that we’ve done with therapists, but we are currently not in therapy because our last therapist cut his weekend hours, and we haven’t found anyone we like who works on weekends. (We live in a rural town, but I work in the City, so even making evening appointments is impossible for us.)
My teenagers room is the mess he creates. If he wants it clean, he has to clean it. The only thing I really do is to tell him to do a load of laundry when I realize the floor is too coated with clothes, and then make sure he actually folds it and puts it away. Beyond that, his room, his problem.
Homework is never allowed to not be in the back-pack unless he is actively working on it. That’s one thing that works well for us. If he loses a device, then “oh well”, he has lost it, he can clean his room to find it. We do have a very cheap, track-phone, flip phone that can be “activated” rather cheaply if he’s going somewhere and absolutely NEEDS to have a phone and can’t find his. The only other real problem we have had was one day when he lost his glasses. Luckily he has prescription sunglasses as well and could wear those. I’m thinking about getting him some daily contacts this year too, as a back-up in case the glasses get misplaced.
Have you thought about looking into “homework help” places for them? I know alot of schools offer after school help on homework and so do many of public libraries. Those are often free. Aside from that, there are also centers and private tutors that can help with homework, and they may not be as expensive as you think. The year after my son was born, I tutored a 6th grader after school every day and got all his homework done with him for $70 a week. You might even find a high school kid willing to do homework with one of the kids for a very reasonable amount. Not having to split your attention would take alot of the stress off of you.
I haven’t read all the responses, but I will ask you – have you tried 1-2-3 Magic? It worked great to stop my son from the yelling/bad behavior. It’s limit, for me anyway, was getting him to actually DO things that needed to be done, like homework and chores. He’d start trying to yell just to be sent to his room to avoid them, and there was nothing he cared enough about that taking it away, or letting him earn it, worked. Sadly, at 13, it’s still mostly that way. He’s gotten marginally more responsible as time goes on, and I have mostly stepped out of the homework gig, because for some reason he’ll do it better for other people than for me.
The one thing I did learn is that yelling back just made things worse. I have to stay calm, at all times, even when I’m seething inside. The other thing I’ve learned, from a professional, is that you never, never, NEVER argue about the lies or try to catch them up. You simply have to say, “I don’t believe you” and move on. If they argue about it being the truth, another calm “I don’t believe you” and move on. Sometimes it takes a dozen or more repetitions of this, but eventually it works. The other thing I’ve learned is to not give him a chance to lie. Instead of asking, “Did you brush your teeth”, simply say, “Go brush your teeth again”. Or instead of saying, “Did you do your homework” say, “Let me see your homework”, things like that. It is complicated, because there are some situations that don’t lend themselves that easily to cut and dry ways of avoiding the chance to lie. Sometimes, for instance, you have to ask about something that happened in class or what a teacher said. Ideally, these teachers will be writing down all needed information, but I’ve never found a teacher that is in complete compliance with that. So, in those cases, you have to sometimes go by the crazy things your kid says until you can actually talk to the teacher. In those cases, I’ve decided it’s best to act like I completely believe him until I know otherwise for CERTAIN. If, when I find out for certain, it doesn’t match up with what he told me, I will address it simply. “Yesterday, you told me XYZ. I talked to Ms. K, and it’s really ABC.” I don’t remonstrate for lying, I just let him know with that statement that he didn’t really get away with it. It does help calm down the lying a little bit. It’s not a complete fix, but when lying becomes less of a way to get out of something, or to distract from an undesirable task, it does happen somewhat less frequently. I will also say that between 8 and 10 were the biggest years for lying. I don’t know why.
I can understand the feeling. I’ve struggled with “mental illness” (anxiety, depression, maybe bipolar, maybe a personality disorder) for nearly as long as I remember. I was basically suicidal by age 8, but because I was Catholic and sure God could make hell even worse, I stayed alive. After my diagnosis, it turns out SO many of my other problems actually stem from the ADHD. My anxiety is way higher when I don’t have my ADHD medication than when I do. And honestly, alot of the trauma and depression I experienced in my early life was from “not being good enough”, and being constantly chastised for not being able to do some things. I was very bright, a straight A student for the most part, but I couldn’t keep a folder or a desk or a locker or anything else organized to save my life. I was constantly told how I just wasn’t trying hard enough.
I found out now that my mom knew I was ADHD all along and still treated me that way. It’s enough to make me want to just burst.
The only option now is couples counseling. He is abusive towards you, and that is unacceptable. If you can get in with a joint therapist, there may be hope that it will change your interactions, but if he is unwilling to try then it’s time to leave (and take the dogs with you!) Love can’t solve all problems. If love was enough, there would be far fewer relationships that fall apart, but it just isn’t. Compatibility is a huge factor, and it sounds like as much as you love him, he’s unwilling to change to be more compatible with your needs. That isn’t the ADHD talking. That isn’t another mental illness talking. If it was, he would be actively seeking help. His willingness to change has to come from inside, and until he’s willing to show you that by taking the steps I mentioned above, there’s no hope for the future. Please, if he won’t get help, leave before he actually hurts you.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by DDDaysh.
Apologize to her and support her now. Honestly, it’s the biggest thing. I have a broken relationship with my mother, but it could be mended in half a second if she really, truly, just accepted who I was, faults and all.
Are you working with a neurologist or teen psychiatrist? If not, I definitely recommend you get one. I like developmental pediatricians and neurologists better than psychiatrists, but a psychiatrist will do. Working on medication, not only for ADHD, but for her anxiety, is a must!
As for the self esteem, get her in with a good therapist. That will help and alert you if she’s considering anything dangerous. Beyond that, celebrate her successes and try not to focus at all on the things she has to try again with (I hate calling them failures). Also, if you can, go for an IEP at school, not just a 504. You can easily request this in writing by giving the principal a handwritten letter that says no more than, “I would like my daughter, Name LastName, to be evaluated for special education.” That will get the testing process going. If she needs as much help as you say, she’s likely to get the IEP.
Also, it sounds like you have some depression going on too. If you can get it diagnosed (just one doctor’s appointment) then you can attend a clubhouse http://www.iccd.org/whatis.html They are all over, so there is probably one in your city. They specialize in helping people with mental illness (which to me, ADHD is, but I think that you have to have at least depression as a comorbidity to qualify) in getting their lives together and gaining meaningful employment and employment training. It also gives you a place to go where other people understand. Look into it!
I understand your situation. ADHD has definitely taken it’s toll on my life too. I have a job, but I hate it and struggle every day. I have never lived up to my potential – I mean I have a high IQ and graduated college at 19, yet I’m stuck in a dumb paper-pushing job that drives me nuts. My house is a disaster, so I can never invite anyone over, and I struggle to raise my own ADHD child because it’s hard for me to keep to the structure he needs. *sigh*
Medication has been helping me some. My husband has been doing more by trying to help me with the structure I lack. Is there any way you could use a different medication? I know that the non XR medications are usually pretty cheap. You’d have to take multiple doses a day, but that’s better than going without anything, right?
- This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by DDDaysh.
July 28, 2017 at 9:05 am in reply to: They called CPS on us! (Long… please bear with me) #55105
Keep up with the therapy, but for now, don’t allow him around other children without direct supervision. He’s got the “bad kid” label, and it will be a while before he can shake that. If someone is always monitoring him, things he doesn’t do can’t be blamed on him. I am sorry to say, your relationship with the neighbors may never be the same. It’s hard when your child is out of control by no fault of your own. I suggest you keep up with therapy and medication, and he may relent with time.
Thanks so much!
It can take years to find the right person. In my late teens and early 20’s I ended up with bad man after bad man because *I* was too needy for love and felt like I didn’t deserve it. That made me an easy target. A short marriage to an abusive man, and a child with him, made me step back. I couldn’t let my child be in danger because of my love life, so I stopped my love life cold turkey until I felt better. It was just about 10-years. After that, the next relationship wasn’t great either. The man wasn’t abusive towards me, but he had many problems of his own, and had not intention of changing the way he had learned to cope with them. So I had to realize, while I loved him, I had to let him go too.
I found my now husband almost by accident. We became friends online, in an entirely unromantic way, just through a shared interest. We were states away from each other, there was no reason to think we would ever even MEET in person, much less fall in love and marry. Yet, after many months of friendship, suddenly we realized we were confiding in each other more than any other person on earth. We felt SAFE with each-other. So then we decided to give a relationship a try. It wasn’t easy – there was the distance gap that had to somehow be overcome for one thing, but we made it. In some ways, because it WAS so difficult to make real, I think that helped. We had to REALLY want each other.
Life hasn’t been all sunshine since then. I’ve got psychological issues, which he’s known about from the start, but they are harder to live with than to know about. I’m also actively seeking treatment for my issues, not ignoring them. He’s also got a few of his own issues, and there are moments when he does do things that hurt my feelings. But he doesn’t STAY there, and it isn’t the abusive pattern of “do this now, say sorry later”. We’ve learned how to work THROUGH the situations. He’s learned how to get me back to something approaching sane when my anxiety turns me into a puddle of hyperventilation and worry. I’ve learned how to make him keep talking, without getting worked up myself, when his nastier moods come out so that we can actually get to the root of the problem and fix it, rather than ignoring it and letting him calm down on his own while the problem just festers. It isn’t always easy. It would be easier and actually less nasty for me to just let him go with a single comment to calm down, the more I push the nastier he gets for a while, but it’s like a boil. It always is lanced eventually in the conversation and then we can actually work through the situation. Like, we’ve learned that if he gets one night a week to hang out and play a game at the comic book store in town, then he feels less trapped in our small home town, and is less easily annoyed by small things. Just like he has learned that sometimes I just need him to hold my hand and listen to me say the same worry over and over, rather than trying to “fix” it, I have learned that some words are triggers for him, so I have to choose my vocabulary carefully, even when joking or teasing.
So, there are times that a relationship is not a walk in the park, but is still do-able and rewarding. It just doesn’t sound like your relationship is. He is treating you in ways that go far beyond ADHD, but isn’t getting the appropriate treatment for himself. He doesn’t seem willing to work with you to better the relationship, and seems stuck in “I hurt you” and then “I’m sorry” mode. That might be ok, as long as he isn’t hitting you, for a few months – but it’s not ok for YEARS. At some point he has to learn to not hurt you in the first place, and to get the help he needs to make better decisions. I think you deserve better than that. I know it’s scary to start over. I was scared to let my last relationship go too, since it had been SO long in coming. 10 years! How could I throw away the two-years I spent with him after 10 years of dating no one (and being celibate too!), it seemed impossible. But ultimately it was necessary, and if I hadn’t realized I deserved more than a man who would never be what I needed, I wouldn’t have my husband now.