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ADHD in Girls

How can I help my child cope with changes?

My 9 yr old daughter has a really, really hard time with change.  She still sleeps with us, she has a ritual that has to be done every night, and she gets really worked up about the time, if it’s past the time she has created in her mind that she has to be in bed by her anxiety gets worse.  Her pillows have to be int he same postion, the room has to be extremely dark, witht he fan running, I can’t switch sheets because she doesn’t like the feel of new bedding and can’t go to sleep if we have new stuff on the bed. She has to hold my hand to fall asleep and I have to tell her a storyt hat I make up every night or she can’t fall asleep.  This gets to be very exhausting to me, and I know what you are probably thinking, why am I leting her get away with this?  Maybe you already know the answer, because when she gets something stuck in her head about the way it should be, it’s nearly impossible to change it.  No matter how much I talk to her about sleeping in her own bed, and how much better sleep she would get, how we could go pick out brand new bedding for her bed…etc, nothing works. 

My question is this, I need to understand how her mind works so I can learn how to parent her better.  I know allowing this behavior to continue isn’t goof for any of us, but I don’t know how else to do this unless I’m up for weeks with sleepless nights and exhausted and drained from battling these issues with her, sure I could force her to sleep in her own room and battle this out with her…but I’m not sure I have the energy or patience to carry it through, to be honest, there has to be other ways to get through to them, right?!


My daughter has Epilepsy, Autism and ADHD. She went threw the same things your daughter is going threw. She will be 15 next week and sleep in our bed up until January of this year. All the doctors, family and friends told us we were crazy, however it was not effecting them so I really don’t think highly of there opinion. When we got do she wanted the dog to sleep with her in her room and she has slept in it ever since. I think with kids like our who have anxiety for whatever reason we need to think about how they are feeling inside and all the things going on around them. My daughter takes Clonidine to help her fall a sleep and stay a sleep.  Talking to other parents helps , just knowing you are not alone.  Stay strong to what you believe in and trust your gut. You could also try putting a cot next to your bed and still have her next to you like a co-sleeper.

Posted by masigler on Mar 24, 2014 at 10:27pm

Talk to a therapist about this behavior. I’m hearing symptoms of different conditions that could exist in addition to her ADHD. A therapist can tease these out and help her get through this phase.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 25, 2014 at 5:00pm

adhdmomma, we see a play therapist and she suggests that I sleep with my daughter in her bed until she goes to sleep, and then get up….do you mind saying what condition you think you might be seeing?  I know you aren’t a therapist, but I could look into it more if I knew that it wasn’t just ADD, thanks!

Posted by klsmidwestmom on Mar 25, 2014 at 6:16pm

I am definitely NOT a therapist. In fact, the only training I have in ADHD is from the school of hard knocks, raising my son. Some things that stood out to me were: her insistence on everything being a very certain way and getting upset if it’s not (the “ritual”) and needing to hold your hand to fall asleep. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it could be a sign of anxiety, OCD, or even autism spectrum. It also could simply be her “form” of ADHD. There’s certainly a spectrum to ADHD too.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 26, 2014 at 7:07pm

Thank you Penny, I also wondered a little bit about if it could be some form of autism, I’ll ask our therapist about it more, thanks again!

Posted by klsmidwestmom on Mar 27, 2014 at 1:18pm

My daughter slept in my bed until acouple of months ago. She’s nine. It’s only western culture that frowns on this. However it’s exhausting for you with her being so needy. I would first work on her being able to fall asleep alone before putting her in her own room. If you’re feeling squashed you could put a single bed up against yours if there’s room. Perhaps you need to do it v gradually starting with you being there next to her & not holding her hand & just do that until she is used to it. It might be easier to make changes in school holidays when there’s less pressure.

Posted by Janeybee on Mar 27, 2014 at 1:59pm

My daughter still sleeps with me (I’m a single mom) and she’s 10.  Her therapist sees no problems with having a family bed.  However it does sound like your daughter may have OCD.  I suspect mine does too and ADHD usually always comes with other disorders.  My daughter has ADHD, ODD and I suspect OCD, although she has not been diagnosed with that.


Posted by Tamiller30022 on Apr 11, 2014 at 4:30pm

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