My Forum Comments
First, I’m really sorry that you are struggling with this. It’s really difficult to navigate. I have 2 children with ADD, my son was diagnosed at 7. It was obvious from very early on. My daughter was diagnosed at 13 and we missed all the signs because they are so different in girls. So many years I made the same mistakes, begging her to tell me why she lied about EVERYTHING which just made her tell more lies to avoid things that she was having trouble processing. She’s lied to me, my husband, her teachers, her friends….
Your daughter is not a bad kid. She is actually pretty awesome with her ‘different brain’. She just can’t process in the moment and she knows you want an answer and she gives you one and usually it’s all downhill after that. It’s a process to work through and help them to be more mindful of this. Making it a negative just invites more shame and that’s a hard cycle to break.
Learn as much as you can about your daughters brain and help her to understand what she is able to at her age. Parenting with love and empathy is so important. I spent so many years not understanding why my daughter was the way that she was and I felt/feel immense guilt that we missed it for so long and we’re having to help her relearn healthy coping skills. My pediatrician said now that I know better, do better. I spend my days learning about my kids brains and devour books and podcasts. I have made it my mission to advocate for my kids and love them for the people that they are and not the people I had hoped they would be. Our life is a circus, but it’s my circus.
So many resources are geared toward boys, this was helpful to both me and my daughter. https://www.amazon.com/Attention-Girls-Guide-Learn-about/dp/1433804484/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=girls+with+ADHD&qid=1560175859&s=gateway&sr=8-3
All the best!
Hi! Long story but my husband was diagnosed (ADD) as an adult shortly after our first child was born in 2005. He tried meds and didn’t really follow through. I just became the wife that did everything for him and ultimately I became his enabler. Honestly, I didn’t know enough about ADHD to even know what that would look like in a marriage, only that I was frustrated that I didn’t have an active partner. Fast forward many years and our middle child, 7, was just diagnosed with ADHD – Inattentive type. We had tried epsom baths, magnesium, essential oils, visual cues, positive parenting, omegas, diet changes…you name it. He is off the charts smart but can’t write a sentence even after he’s told me what he plans to write. He was completely non functional at school and falling behind. We tried accommodations with minimal improvement. We started medicine and after a trial with Concerta it was not a good fit (mood swings, aggression, incessant fidgeting) we switched to Vyvanse and the change was astonishing. He is a different kid. I can’t even tell you. He does have issues with eating and he is also little. We do a lot of protein shakes and I make his dinner later when he’s more hungry and we also do a bedtime snack. When he says he’s hungry, I let him eat. When he pushes dinner away, I do not force him to eat. We monitor his weight weekly and we’ve been able to recover those first 1-2 lbs we saw drop after a month on medicine. He takes melatonin to help him sleep. After all the research I’ve done, my husband agreed to also begin medication and he is also taking Vyvanse and it’s helping quite a bit. My 13 yo daughter was also just diagnosed (cannot believe we missed it, it looks SO different in girls) and she is also taking Vyvanse. She said she finally feels awake and that her whole life she felt exhausted. Life can be so hard with ADHD and it sounds like you are doing all you can on your end. If you try meds and don’t like them, you can try another until you find a good fit or stop altogether. I felt SERIOUS mom guilt for medicating my child until I saw my little boy, present and happy and confident. We were not able to achieve that without medicine.
I could have written this post 2 months ago. You have exactly described our son, also 7. We saw signs very early on (before kindergarten) but never had him officially diagnosed until he was unable to complete ANY work in 2nd grade and was not only distracted but becoming a distraction to the class. We had been using routines, printed visual charts, workbooks, magnesium supplements, nutritional supplements, Epsom baths…you name it. Behavior modifications are great and we also practice positive parenting, but when your child cannot focus to process anything it becomes a huge cycle of frustration for all involved. In order to get a plan in place at school we had to label it and finally got him diagnosed. I cried the second she mentioned stimulants. I never wanted to give my child ‘drugs’ but seeing him struggle in every area of his life was enough for me to swallow my mom guilt over medicating my child. She started him on Concerta 18mg and day one I noticed an immediate difference… He heard me for maybe the first time. He was present. However, that same afternoon he had a massive crash and the most epic tantrum ever. We rode it out for 2 weeks as directed and some things got better but he was still falling behind at school and we started to see some aggression and he was super fidgety. She switched him to Vyvanse and what was awesome about that is there is no waiting to see how it’s going to affect him so we’d know pretty quickly if it was a good fit. Lucky for us, attempt number two on medicine was a hit for him and he is finally able to keep up at school and regulate his emotions and actually have conversations with me and others. He’s a different kid without having any ill side effects. He takes 20 mg of Vyvanse and then 7.5 mg Adderall in the afternoon since the Vyvanse does wear off pretty quickly, he needs something to get him through homework and karate. Seeing the difference in him at school and with his siblings and friends in the neighborhood I have zero regrets about giving him medication. Do I wish that I didn’t have to? Of course. But that’s our reality. My husband was diagnosed with ADHD at age 27 shortly after we were married (15 years ago) and has just recently started taking the same medication as my middle son and we are in the process of having our 13 year old daughter diagnosed… I had no idea it presented so differently in girls until I immersed myself in research after E was diagnosed and now it’s crystal clear to us. I am hopeful that when she can start medicine she will see a huge difference in her life as well. We are selective with who we tell because of the judgement but anyone who wants to question our decision to medicate our child who has a neurobiological disorder can take him home for a week (unmedicated) and let me know their plan to ‘fix’ it.