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ADHD in Girls

ADD in 6 year old twin

My daughter is 6 years old, and has a twin brother.  She is diagnosed with ADD and on Concerta.  For the past few months she has not slept at a normal bed time.  If you let her, she will stay up until 12 a.m.  Normally the kids are in bed by 8:30 at the latest.  She has trouble sleeping alone, and often starts or ends up in our bed.

She is a very sweet child, but lately her behavior at home is out of control.  She gets angry for no reason and talks back.  At school ALL of her teachers and support staff have nothing but positive things to say about her.  She is focused at school and listens to everything they say.  She is getting OT and speech services as well as math and reading support.

I really feel like I am at my wit’s end.  I feel frustrated and angry and alone.  I know I shouldn’t get angry or yell, but I do.  Today, my daughter climbed over the banister of our house and had only open space beneath her to the floor, which would have been at least a 10 foot drop.  When I finally got her down and asked her what would possess her to do something like that, she just cried and didn’t respond.  I think she felt embarrassed and hurt, but I don’t know what else to do.  I am so grateful that nothing happened, b/c I know I would be forever shattered if she was ever hurt.

This is all very new to me, as she has been diagnosed in the last few months, and has been taking the medicine since January.

Replies

Hi beafighter!

A couple things came to mind as I read your story.

1. If she is doing well at school but not at home, she may be experiencing rebound when her medication is wearing off. (Here are some articles on rebound and what you can do to minimize it: http://www.additudemag.com/q&a/ask_the_add_medical_expert/print/1695.html, http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/957-2.html, and http://www.additudemag.com/q&a/ask_the_add_medical_expert/print/1842.html).

2. Read all you can about ADHD to better understand her behaviors. My #1 book for ADHD parents is “The Explosive Child,” by Ross Greene. “Superparenting for ADD,” by Dr. Hallowell, is fantastic as well.

For instance, climbing over the banister may have been a need for sensory input. She may be a “sensory seeker”—my son certainly. is. Find a pediatric occupational therapist and schedule an evaluation. They can tell you what her sensory needs are and formulate a treatment plan. This will include instructing you on how to help her at home and outside of OT. I found this information invaluable for understanding some of my son’s behaviors, and learning to manage them.

3. A lack of adequate sleep may be causing some of her problems. Tell the prescribing doctor that she’s not getting to sleep until around midnight and ask for suggestions. Many kids with ADHD take a natural supplement called Melatonin every night to help them fall asleep. My son takes it and it’s a life-saver—he’d be up until midnight as well without it. Instead, he’s asleep by 9 pm every night. Your doctor may have other suggestions as well. And there are some articles on ADDitudeMag.com on taming sleep issues for those with ADHD that you will find helpful: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/7547.html and http://www.additudemag.com/addnews/71/7010.html. And there’s a great podcast all about Sleep Solutions for ADHD Kids you can listen to here: http://www.additudemag.com/RCLP/sub/10676.html.

The bottom line is it takes quite a bit of time to adequately learn how to effectively parent a child with ADHD in general, and then tailored to your child’s specific needs. It also takes your child a long time to learn self-regulation and coping strategies. My son was diagnosed at six, but didn’t start showing signs of self-awareness and being ready to learn self-regulation techniques until he was nine.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on May 19, 2014 at 5:15pm

HI,
Your struggles are very familiar. I am a parent of a 9 year old twin girl who was diagnosed with ADD 4 years ago.
I give my daughter Melatonin 5mg’s each night @ dinner it comes in 3mg and 5 mg I started @ 3 mg when she was smaller and it has changed her ability to sleep tremendously. Prior to using the Melatonin (suggested by her Neurologist) she was a very restless sleeper and would most nights stay awake until 1-2 am. Melatonin is naturally occurring in the brain and is not addictive .. Please research yourself . Good luck .. I hope she starts to go to sleep easier as it is so difficult on her and yourself.

Posted by MomOf2@least on Jun 19, 2014 at 11:48pm

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