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  • in reply to: Help! My daughter is messing up in school #187652

    Hi there! 22 y/o with ADHD, diagnosed at 12. I can relate; I struggled in math and reading for a LONG time, especially at 10, actually. 5th grade was probably the hardest year for me, probably because it was right before I was diagnosed and put on meds. However, even today I still struggle with reading and math compared to some of my peers (I am obviously fluent but my reading/writing speed is lacking and comprehension is hard when there are lots of new or infrequently-used words in a text). It may be something she struggles with for a long time or for her whole life, and I think that’s okay! No one is good at everything, and she definitly has her strengths. I don’t know what they are, but you do! I’m studying education at university right now, and my prof always says “anyone can learn anything given enough time.” I agree; we can learn anything with the right amount of time, but we don’t always have that time, and sometimes just being average or even a bit below average in certain areas is okay and even worth it if that time could be better spent helping her further develop something she likes/is good at. This doesn’t mean give up on her ever being able to excel in math or english; keep working on it and maybe in time it will happen! Just don’t move ahead until she masters the level she’s at. How will the house stand if the foundation is faulty? You wouldn’t build a 2nd floor if the ground floor is only 80% finished.
    As a child and all through highschool, I really struggled with feeling like wasn’t smart or had no value or wasn’t as good of a person just because I got C’s in math and English. THIS IS NOT TRUE. I am a strong and capable person, worthy of love and respect and equal opportunities, and I have strengths and weaknesses like everyone else.
    Biggest advice: don’t get upset with her or blame her for her bad grades. this will not help anything, and will make her feel like she’s done something wrong or even that she can’t do anything right, and only serves to make her doubt her abilities. Encourage her, congratulate her on what she does do well, and stay positive when she messes up or doesn’t do well, saying things like “don’t worry about the grade! all you need to do is your best, and keep doing what you can to make your best better. better is the goal, not an A.” my whole mindset changed when my parents started talking to me like that in highschool. I was no longer defined by my failures or shortcomings, but by my successes and my passions, and scraping by in math no longer made me feel like a loser.

    ALSO, not sure if she struggles with this, but if not today, the time will likely come (esp. in highschool/college with less/no parental accountability) when she struggles to get her work done on time, even in classes she excels in and loves. this is probably not her being lazy or rebellious. ADHD makes it INCREDIBLY hard to organize our time, focus on things we don’t like, or even figure out how to start a task. be patient, kind, and offer to help. offer accountability, as a friend who wants her to succeed, not as an angry parent who doesn’t know why she can’t “just do it” (as my mother all too often said to me).

    patience, encouragement, and praise are SO SO important when it comes to adhd. I know it’s hard, and probably confusing trying to figure out how to help her, but it will all work out in the end. Maybe she’ll become a math wizard, or an author, but more likely she’ll become something else that’s great that doesn’t require her to have the top test scores in the state. Take school assessment scores with a grain of salt and keep pluggin away at progress, however slowly she needs 🙂

    I hope this was a little helpful/encouraging!
    You’ve got this! and so does she!!!

    in reply to: Marriage Heading into Separation before Diagnosed with ADHD #183727

    Hello there!

    I’m a 20-something single gal who was diagnosed with ADHD at 12 years old, so I can’t imagine being your age and just now finding out; that has to be hard. The only reason I’ve been able to manage it (more or less) is because I knew what it was so I could just google “how to _____ when you have ADHD” or anything else I wanted to know about how to function in this society that was designed for neuro-typicals.

    I couldn’t tell from your original post if you’ve been professionally diagnosed or self-diagnosed. If you’re really seeking support, my first piece of advice would be to get medically diagnosed if you haven’t yet. If you get medically diagnosed with the condition, you can then get prescription medication or referred to a specialized therapist/counselor.

    I take 18 ml of Concerta (just started taking it after 2 years off; financial/insurance issues kept me off it that long), and let me tell you, I feel like I can accomplish just about anything. I get my uni homework done on time, I do chores/tasks when my mom asks me to (or actually remember to do them later if I’m busy), I don’t constantly impulse-eat anymore, and I’m generally more motivated and happy. This is because ADHD affects the amount of dopamine (the happy hormone) our brains get, which affects mood and motivation, and one of the many things meds does is supply the brain with a normal person’s amount of dopamine (YAY FOR HAPPINESS).

    My mom noticed a difference right away too, without me mentioning it to her, so I know it’s not just me. I know a parent/child relationship is very different than a marriage, but as a young adult living in the same house as my parents there are a lot of relational issues I’ve experienced that were associated with my ADHD. Most of those are fixed/better now that I’m medicated.

    If you do look into medication, be sure to ask for the “generic” brands; they do the same thing and cost WAY less (like hundreds less). Also start with a low dose and DON’T make the mistake of thinking that the goal is to be perfectly motivated and capable 100% of the time. I ended up over-medicating in high school because I thought meds were supposed to allow me to be an A student (I thought that other people got A’s all the time and the only reason someone didn’t get A’s was because they either didn’t try or, in my case, they had ADHD and weren’t medicated). So every med check with my doc I would say “you know I think I need a higher dose” and my pediatrician for some reason decided I, a 12-18 year old girl, was competent enough in my understanding of ADHD, education, and controlled prescription drug use to decide how much of a drug I should be taking. So I eventually became dependent on it to function as a normal human. This is also another reason I took 2 years off of meds, besides finances.
    When I went off medication, I had been taking 72 mg of Concerta a day (or two 36 mg pills; the highest single pill they have is 54 mg). Now that I’m back on meds, I’m taking 18 mg a day (which is a good starting dose, but i think you can also start with 9 or 10, depending on the brand). 18 mg a day has literally changed my whole life, and it’s the first time in college I can remember not having a single assignment turned in late in the first 3 weeks of the semester. I don’t think I’ll need to increase my dose unless something drastic happens. So just start small and give yourself grace to not be a perfect human being because even neuro-typical people aren’t always A-students, fantastic spouses, or good at being organized. We’re all human.

    Not everyone “agrees” with medicating for ADHD (in my experience they tend to either disagree with medication for anything OR they think ADHD is a made-up thing or an exaggeration or something you have as a kid that you out-grow..). If medication isn’t something you’d consider, I highly recommend finding a counselor who actually specializes in ADHD.

    In addition to medication/counseling, I have found talking about my experience with friends who also have ADD/ADHD is SUPER helpful as well as encouraging. It allows me to share helpful tips and tricks that have worked for me and get new ideas from things that have worked for them. We can swap resources we’ve found, hold each other accountable for deadlines and tasks we need to get done, etc.

    This last one probably won’t fix your relationship, esp. if it’s the only thing you do, but it has helped me SO much with managing my time and staying on-task:

    ***Get the app “Routinery”.***
    It’s super simple, has a free version, gives you a free 7-day trial of the pro version and then is only $3/month or $21/year (which is SUPER CHEAP for the crazy ways it has saved me time, personally).
    Essentially, you can set up different “routines” (aka, ‘Morning’, ‘Night’, ‘Work’, ‘Chores’, or literally any other kind of routine you want). Each routine can be set for a certain day/days of the week (or you can ignore that feature and just do them whenever), and you can set a reminder alarm for whatever time of day you want, reminding you to start the routine. Within the routine, you can add tasks (pre-programed AND custom options) and assign an icon and a length of time to each. For example, my morning routine starts with 1. MEDS (1 min), 2. Drink Water (1 min), 3. Arrange Bed (1 min), 4. Bathroom (3 min), etc.
    once you “start” the routine each day, your screen shows the task title, icon, and a countdown timer showing how much time you have left to complete that task. If you run out of time and are not done with a given task, you can add 1,5,or 10 minutes to the task and keep going, or skip or complete the taste and move on. It also says how long the entire routine is estimated to take if you don’t add time or finish tasks early, and tells you what time the routine will be done. Honestly changed my life and I’ve had this app for like a week and a half. it’s worth trying the free version, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    I hope these are helpful! 🙂

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