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"When ADHD, Anxiety, and SPD Triple-Team My Daughter"

Tough love is never the answer when a child battles these invisible demons.

4 Comments: "When ADHD, Anxiety, and SPD Triple-Team My Daughter"

  1. It is truly hard to know when to challenge and when to comfort whether it’s myself, adult daughters or grandchildren. I tend to comfort pretty quickly because I usually cannot function myself when I am uncomfortable so I give others the same consideration. Not always helpful or appropriate. I wish when I was diagnosed with ADHD combined I had understood the additional components of anxiety and for me depression.
    This magazine is like a mental trip to a spa for me. Wow my language spoken and understood here.☺️so the explosive anger business is a hard one. My daughter w Dyslexia was and is harder to guage when it comes to outbursts. Yes she learned some from me but I hate seeing her lay it on my Grands!. How to disengage is my interest and to de escalate. May the Good Lord bless us all!

  2. My son and I have this combo. It gets easier as they get older and can self-advocate. Our society is big on bossing others around and dismissing them, so I have had to unlearn in order to pay attention to what my son says, and not push him too much. And I’ve had to learn to take care of my needs in a less-emotional way. I don’t owe anyone an explanation of why I don’t like to eat bananas-I just politely pass on them. It is a really hard balancing act!

  3. This sounds so much like both my son and I. I never know the exact balance of when to push him and when I need to back off because it’s more than mere discomfort that he can not get through. I like to think I’m doing better than my parents did with me though. Sometimes I wonder if they even knew me at all as a child. They’ll say things like, “Well you always loved new situations!” and I can’t help but just give them a blank stare back because nothing could be further from the truth.

    They were definitely pushers. And, well, I guess I did learn to adapt. I had to somehow. Sometimes it ended up with wild ridiculous tantrums, but since that seldom did any good, I learned a different coping skill. I learned to disengage my consciousness, to fracture my mind into some kind of auto-pilot in order to protect myself from the emotions and sensations I simply couldn’t handle. Essentially, I learned to disassociate, but in a way that few outside of me can notice. I’m a bit more wooden when I’m “fractured”, a bit slower of whit, etc, but for the most part function in a way that no one else much notices – at least I guess so, since no one ever really commented on it. But I’m not really “there” when I do that, and my memories when I come out of it are either missing or very fuzzy. The problem is that as I’ve gotten older, this got worse. It worsened and worsened until the fractures caused such disassociation that it WAS noticeable as I became virtually catatonic and confused. I’m in my 30’s and this has happened twice in the last 3 years, with me needing weeks of intensive therapy each time in order to re-stabalize.

    I still fight with Anxiety daily, despite my psychiatrists desperate attempts to get my chemicals balanced and all the work I do with my therapist. I also was formally diagnosed with ADHD, which apparently my parents suspected since childhood, but did nothing about. And don’t even get me started on my sensory issues! Noise is the worst, but I also have severe food anxiety because of strong tastes or textures, different fabrics can irritate me to the point of crying, I have terrible balance, the whole nine-yards. Yet, it is getting better now that I’m getting appropriate help. It’s just a long slow road.

    So I hope, for my son, that I’m doing it better. I know I have to push him sometimes, or he’ll let even minor twinges of anxiety rule him and keep him cooped up and so guarded against the world that he doesn’t experience it. But I try to be cautious too. I try not to push too hard too often. I try to be careful of his needs, especially his own sensory issues! (We are a family that buys ear-plugs in bulk, and carry them virtually everywhere!) It’s such a balancing act though. I never want to put him in pain, but I know he needs to grow. So, it’s like trying to shape a tree. You have to put pressures on in certain places, if you put too little, the branch may never reach it’s ideal spot, but if you put too much, you might break it entirely. I hope I’m putting out just enough pressure at the right times to help my son be successful in life and learn to manage his issues, but not so much that I’m torturing him into something worse.

    1. I always try to address fears and concerns for my son up front, so he can be as comfortable as possible in situations he’s resistant to. For instance, noise-cancelling headphones for 4th of July fireworks. It is hard to know where the line is between encouragement and challenge, and pushing too hard.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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