My Forum Comments
While my son’s ADHD medication is prescribed through the ped’s office, that is only because I feel more comfortable with one doctor prescribing any and all medications for my son due to his unique medical needs because of his physical and mental needs. Little background, my son was in and out of doctors offices and hospitals since infancy, so he has always had multiple doctors. I prefer one central doctor to be the “go-to” for everything, to know everything that is going on with him. However, at the beginning of our ADHD journey, even though my son’s doctor is pretty well versed in the different types of ADHD medications he was unwilling and unable to prescribe any ADD/ADHD medication without an official diagnosis. Which I completely understood.
My son had a neuro done when he was 5, and I found it very insightful. In fact, I still sometimes refer to it. At least in ours there was entire sections that gave me pointers to help me navigate certain situations. Later on we had a Conners Assessment done which specifically addressed the ADHD. So while the ped may write the prescription, he does so based on the recommendation of the reports of the ADHD experts. ADHD really becomes a team effort between counselors, teachers, parents and doctors.
We had the same type of issue with reading. My son loved ABC Mouse. Or basically any tablet/computer based program. We would purchase games that were at his level, not at his grade and work from there. Leap Pad Platinum makes a lot of different types of learning games at different levels. Something about the gaming type experience really helped engage him.
Thanks for the suggestions! I found the one I had see on Facebook. It’s this one: https://www.heyjoy.io/ The Octopus. It looks a little bit more childlike with its pictures, but my son is very visual and I think will respond better to the photo prompts than the word prompts. Due to his school’s strict uniform policy, this would be an at-home tool. So I’m not concerned about him being teased at school because of it being a little more “little kid” like.
I also liked that it had an app, so that as he marks things off, I get notifications (like say feeding the pets) and can create some sort of positive feedback. Really just trying to help him gain some independence in the mornings and afternoons-he won’t always have me around to nudge him to his next task. For example, this morning (like lots of mornings) – he was just walking around in the living room. He had 10 minutes before he had to leave. He had ate breakfast and gotten dressed, but his lunch wasn’t made – his teeth weren’t brushed, his hair wasn’t combed. These are things he knows how to do and he doesn’t mind doing. He wasn’t being bad, he wasn’t playing. He was just stuck. All he needed was a prompt to complete the next task. All I had to say was “hey bud, did you brush your teeth?” And his response was “oooooooh….yeaaaah, no” and he ran off to do it. But if I hadn’t come out of my room (was getting myself ready for work) – who knows if he would have stopped pacing in the living room.December 11, 2017 at 5:05 pm in reply to: Challenges at school with a parent.. Can someone do this? #70226
We had a FBA done and then a BIP done in 4th grade (4th grade was a ROUGH year for my son) and I found it extremely helpful and a terrific way to advocate for my son. School does need to be a safe place for every student. The FBA and BIP encouraged the safe environment for all.
Having a BIP also made it possible for each and every staff member at the school that came into contact with my son to be playing by the same playbook. So even when a less understanding administrator came through, he/she still had to follow the BIP. Honestly, I found it one of the most useful parts of his IEP.
My son is on Concerta 27 mg. We’ve tried other medications because of issues with insurance, but none of worked as well as Concerta for my son – so we’ve cut a lot of extras out of the budget in order to afford it.
Our insurance covers the generic Concerta, the ones with “ALZA” printed on the pills. Which I believe works in exactly the same manner as the name brand. We’ve only ever tried the name brand and Alza. So I can’t speak to the other generics out there. I will say, Concerta works a lot better than other stimulants for my son.
Appetite suppression is the main side effect my son experiences. At almost 12, he still gets presented with a child’s menu at every restaurant we go to, he’s so small. So his doctor did recommend not giving the medication to him on the weekends and on school breaks so that he would get some added calories in during those times. We never noticed any “withdrawal” symptoms. He just behaved how he would unmedicated. Up until recently we had been practicing that. He’s interacting independently more on weekends with peers and has more weekend homework assignments, and has the knowledge of side effects to know that even though he doesn’t “feel” hungry his body still needs to eat. So, with his input, he’s been taking his medication during the weekend too. He says he feels it helps him make better choices when he’s with his friends and helps him do his homework on the weekends. He asked for help to remember to eat.
I’m sorry your family is not supportive of your decision. I would talk to your daughter and see what she says about what she is experiencing. Your daughter can give you first hand information about what she is feeling.
We struggle with this too. Like you, my son goes to a top notch charter school. We’ve also been in mainstream schools and if anything, the peer relationships were worse. I agree with Penny, get the teachers and the counselors involved. There is one teacher at my son’s school that has taken a particularly active role in trying to incorporate my son into different peer groups. He’s a “favorite” among the students, so he kind-of acts as a mediator of sorts. If nothing else, I know my son feels less alone during free times because he has that teacher to talk to.
Scouts has been heaven sent to us. It does have some costs associated with it, but those costs are minimal – and there are several “types” of kids in a troop, so we’ve found a couple our son can relate too. And the leadership in the troop has been great.
Also, we’ve sought out kids in the neighborhood. These are kids that are typically a little younger than him, that don’t go to his school, that are more than happy to ride bikes or run around with him for a few hours a few times a week. The neighborhood friends seem to help fill the gap, so even though he doesn’t have any friends at school he knows he has some friends waiting to ride bikes with him after school.
I also agree with Penny on working on emotional awareness and social skills at home. Just like we teach table manners at home, it’s important to work on social skills too. My son used to throw a huge temper tantrum if he lost a game, so we started doing family game night or his Dad would start playing a game with him on the XBox and we’d work on our emotional response when we’d lose. He soon started showing improvements at school.
Another free activity might be a local park when the weather is nice. Kids usually play really nicely together for short periods of time and that might give her a nice outlet to work on social skills for brief periods of time.December 5, 2017 at 12:03 pm in reply to: How to deal with friends who don't understand your ADHD? #69706
I have chronic migraines. In the past I’ve found it really hard to explain to people, previous roommates in particular, my condition. The invisibility of it makes it hard for them to comprehend. And I understand it’s difficult for people to understand, BUT a good friend makes an effort to understand and will show empathy and compassion even when they don’t fully understand it. Your roommate lacks both. She seems toxic.
It’s hard to let even toxic people go if they have been in your life for a long time, but it’s important to set up healthy boundaries so that their negative influences don’t impact your self esteem. You should be there to uplift your friend, just as your friend should be there to uplift you.
I am a very scheduled person. I like my routine, I like my quiet. My eldest son and I could be perfectly content going on a car ride in silence. In the early days of bringing together our blended family – combining all the different personalities types caused me a lot of anxiety and made me feel like a failure a lot of the time. All the kids weren’t happy, or dinner wasn’t to everyone’s liking, or the house was a mess, etc.
During one shopping trip, I happened upon a little sign that said “You may call it chaos, I call it Family”. I bought it, and hung it in the house. Find your perfection in the imperfection. There is no shame in going to a quiet space if things are too chaotic for you (I did that just the other night). There’s no shame in a home cooked meal NOT being on the table every night (my “home cooked meal” last night was sandwiches, fruit and chips). Close the door if the messy room bothers you.
What you were describing about walking in the door and immediately feeling overwhelmed, we feel a lot of the time too. We started a “give me 10” rule. If an adult says “give me 10”, it’s a cue to the kids to leave them alone. The adult goes to their room and shuts the door and the kids leave them alone. Gives the adult some decompression time.
I’ve seen a lot of great suggestions. I agree to what others have said. Night time routines are important, and so are day time routines. We knew if our little one took a nap past say 2:00 in the afternoon, the evening was going to be ROUGH. So no naps after that. I seem to be the one to always follow the routine a bit more than the husband (kids actually prefer husband over me, but alas – they get me), so I do the nightly routine. I don’t mind. It goes more smoothly, so I’m less stressed, the kids are less stressed and the husband is less stressed. Perhaps he can contribute in a different way, like tidying the kitchen while you’re doing the bedtime routine. BUT I also don’t stay in the room, I say the good nights – give the kisses, make sure the “sleepy time friend” is tucked in with them, make sure the electronics leave the room with me (electronics in the room are just too distracting for our group so no electronic devices stay in the room at night time), I make sure the fan is on low, the night light is on and I shut the door behind me.
My son was a very very pick eater. To the point where he actually attended several counseling sessions to address the situation. His pediatrician told me to focus on the protein source of the meal – have him start there first. To not worry if he missed a meal, and not feel his belly with empty calories. If I was concerned, I could add protein shakes to his diet. And not to be afraid to add things like an extra scope of real butter to his mashed potatoes or give him a glass of whole milk. But to stay away from snacking.
If you stick with it, and continue working the kinks out, you’ll find what works for you.
November 30, 2017 at 9:34 am in reply to: Girlfriend broke up with me the day before thanksgiving. #69296
- This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Pump2Duncan.
I am not an ADHDer but I am someone who has completely lost themselves in a relationship before. That question that she asked you, “who are you without me?” is an extremely difficult one to face, but an important one. Who are you? And who do you want to be?
May I suggest some counseling. It helped me. It took awhile, but I was so very proud when I found me. And the relationships I formed after taking care of myself first were much more satisfying, even when they didn’t work out. Kind-of like I was more anchored. So when I did eventually meet the man that ended up being my husband – I felt more centered, more solid, more confident.
I am so sorry for your breakup. Take comfort in your friends and family. It will get better. Don’t worry about making her proud, make yourself proud.
You’re pretty much describing my son. When you mentioned the savage incident, my immediate thought was – well yep, “Savage” is a bad term for a Native American therefore it can be taken as racist. Even though the term was meant in a positive manner. Kind-of like how the term “sick” is a good thing. My son would have taken it the same way as your son did. Social cues are hard enough for him to read, throw in slang and its a recipe for disaster. Sarcasm might as well be a foreign language.
Counseling might be helpful. And additional evaluations never can hurt. My son was in counseling awhile back to help him read emotional cues. It was helpful and gave him a sort of self awareness that helps him control his emotional outbursts when he’s unable to read a situation. He comes home and asks more questions now when he’s not sure about how a situation was really going down.
I know you may feel helpless in your situation, but you can provide valuable feedback to your son. You have first hand experience that no one else can give him. Pick up the phone, use Facetime or even just texting. Whatever form of communication works best. Giving your son an understanding outlet of communication could be the best thing. You don’t say the age of your son, but if he’s too young for a cell phone, perhaps you could talk Mom into him having one just for communicating with you. Or if not, arrange a time to speak with him daily.
I wholeheartedly agree! My son is part of Boy Scouts and we love our Troop. It seems to give enough structure and rules balanced with tangible awards (merit badges) and skill building that my son is really thriving in it.
The BSA is going digital now, so like the original poster said you can find packs, dens and troops online. All of those are more than welcoming to newcomers. Also, in August/September a lot of packs, dens and Troops have a sort of open house to attract new recruits. I’d look for a group that has long term leadership that is willing to talk to parents about ADHD or other disabilities. Our leaders are more than accommodating and accepting but also work to help teach independent skill sets – simple things like properly folding a sleeping bag or preparing eggs over a camp fire.
OP – Good luck on your kiddos Arrow of Light if you’re going for that. I know our troop is starting rehearsals to present the arrow of light to some Webelos soon. Good luck in Boy Scouts next year. It’s a lot of fun!
I personally find this difficult too. Especially when the speaker discusses a subject for a lengthy period of time. Previous significant others frequently told me I needed to let them finish their thought because I would speak before they were finished. This issue carried over to the workplace where bosses would give me instructions in conversation form. I frequently found my mind wandering.
I find it helpful if I kept a semi-parallel conversation going on in my head. Kind-of like if I were writing bullet points down on a notepad of the conversation but all in my head. This seemed to help keep my mind engaged in the conversation while also satisfying its need to “wander”.
You may be completely right, and I agree with ADHD Momma. If the teacher is signaling that there might be an issue, then nothing can be hurt by having an evaluation done. At that age, the child doesn’t even realize an evaluation is occurring.
To play devil’s advocate though, your experience sounds a lot like my son’s kindergarten year. My son’s teacher said the same things and it wasn’t until the end of the year that the special ed teacher told me what ADHD Momma just told you. The teacher was basing her opinion off of her observations of comparing my child to my child’s peers. The special ed teacher was a lot kinder with her words, which made me less defensive, but she said exactly the same thing. My son was emotionally immature, he showed signs of developmental delays, impulsiveness, anxiety, etc. At the end of that meeting I agreed to the evaluation.
Think of it this way, if they do an evaluation and there is no issue – no harm has been done. But if the eval does show signs of ADHD or something else, early intervention is key. There’s really nothing to lose.November 17, 2017 at 3:04 pm in reply to: Why is a majority of ADHD help aimed towards adults and parents? #68480
I think your self-advocacy is amazing and something to be truly proud of. I think you find a lot of parent focused support groups out there because there are a lot of parents out there searching for ways to help their children. However, I think you’ve hit on a true need. Have you thought of speaking with your school counselor or principal about starting an ADHD group at your school? Perhaps a teacher or counselor could supervise the group but the group be student led and focused?
All groups, even all those parent focused groups, had to start somewhere. I would develop a group mission and begin discussing it with school administration to see if you can get something going. Parent focused groups are usually began by parents. I would imagine that a truly child led group would need to be started (at least in part) by a child.
Final thought: The lack of a child-led group has nothing to do with adults believing you are too immature to be productive members of the conversation. On the contrary, I applaud my son anytime he speaks up for himself in regards to his ADHD or any other matter. Don’t let the title of the group stifle your contribution to it.