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ADHD in Girls

IN NEED OF SERIOUS ADVICE FOR MY DAUGHTER!

I am new to this website but wanted to post my story. I am a 26 years old with a 6 year old daughter who was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD last year by our pediatrician. He suggested we try to put her with a child therapist to help with her ADHD and ODD but our insurance didn’t cover it. We decided we wanted to see if we could put her on medication to help her with it but by the time we could get her into the doctor to be seen our insurance had been canceled. We just moved to a new state and are trying to get the insurance through the state because the insurance here will cover the therapy sessions and we want to get her into the pediatrician to get her on to some medications. I am just curious to know what I can do for her now that will help us because since we have moved she has been acting out alot more, which I know is from the huge changes that have been taking place but I just don’t know how to handle it anymore. Are there any types of ways I can discipline her to help her understand how to listen to me and my husband? Also, what medication would you recommend for her to take at her age. She will turn 7 in October but I want to try to get her on something before the new school year starts. Any advice would be definitely appreciated. Thank you!

Replies

I suggest you read Dr. Amen’s book “Healing ADHD” its a great book, easy read and gives a lot of advice and useful information. I also am not sure that asking others what medications they suggest is the right option, it’s important to work with a doctor that specializes in ADHD because not all medications and/or dosages are the same for each individual. It’s important to do your research about the types of medications available and the possible side effects and then talk with your doctor about what might be the best way to start.

It has really helped with my son to give him more options to help him feel in control. Having him help determine his consequences, giving three choices on what chores I want done in the house and then he chooses which one he wants to do for the week.

Good luck!

Posted by cheroyley on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:50pm

A move is a big deal for a little kid. she is acting out in part because she is expressing her anxiety about moving. Kids with ADHD don’t like change. My 10 year old has a huge adjustment every beginning of the school year and end of the school year.

The best way to get good behavior out of our kids is to give positive reinforcement. Charts with rewards work great. Look online for good chart ideas and advice. But once she is over the edge of that “riot cliff,” do you best to be firm and let her know what behavior is appropriate and what isn’t. Medication helps but doesn’t take away all of the emotional symptoms of ADHD. Our kid still have blow ups - mostly when she is hungry but still.

Things will get better and you will see the best of your child. Be patient as she navigates this new, big change.

Posted by momodoodle on Jul 29, 2014 at 1:57am

Hi katylynne!

There are many changes you can start implementing while you are waiting to try medication, including
(1) diet changes (http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/23/slide-1.html and http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/62/slide-1.html),
(2) implementing structure and routines (http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/37/slide-1.html and http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/31/slide-1.html), and
(3) behavioral modification and appropriate discipline (http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/30/slide-1.html, http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/89/slide-1.html, http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/81/slide-1.html, and http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/88/slide-1.html).

As far as medication, read all you can about the different options. Each ADHD medication affects each individual differently, so our experiences with medication won’t necessarily help you and your child. Here’s a primer on medication for children that will help though: http://www.additudemag.com/resources/free-downloads/10176.html/how-to-use-adhd-medications.

Keep us updated!

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

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 29, 2014 at 1:15pm

A move is big for anyone but especially for young children, then add ADHD on top and you have a doozy for sure.

But you can start to set out some structure for her.  If you have just moved I am assuming there is still household stuff to set up?  Maybe you can engage her in setting up her own room/space.  The thing with ADHD kids is that they can be whip smart and quick.  They are taking in more that we do probably!  But they cannot intentionally slow their brain down enough do the things they want to do.  Stimulants can help but don’t forget habits!  Habits are an ADHD person’s friend.  You as the parent need to help her to implement good habits.

And, giving her some choice over how her space is to be set up is a good thing to get her to engage with.  But not too much at a time.  One thing at a time for ADHD kids, literally.  So if you are giving instructions like this “Make you bed, then come out to breakfast, and don’t forget to brush your teeth. Oh and pick up those socks on the floor!”  What you are going to get (as you may have noticed) is one of those things at best and at worst get their brain so tied up that they accomplish exactly nothing but sitting on the floor playing with a toy.  So you have to meet them where they are.  One thing.  “Make your bed” wait, watch them do it. “Great, now come out for breakfast and we can talk about what we are going to do today”

I know it can seem like too much work, like it shouldn’t be this way, etc.  And you are right, it shouldn’t.  Their brains should work in a certain way, but they don’t and that is just the reality and that is what you have to deal with.  So, one thing at a time.  Engage her in her world.  Let her help you but when you do give her exactly one thing to do (and don’t criticize or get involved with how she does it, knowing that you may have to go back later when she is not looking and redo it to your own liking), have lots of conversations throughout the day about what is coming next.  ADHD brains at lose ends get themselves into trouble.  So keep her occupied, but don’t expect to be able to point and direct.  She is not that kind of kid, she never will be, meds or no meds, therapy or no therapy (although I recommend you utilize all methods of help) you are never going to be able to say to her “Clean your room” and expect it done half an hour later, or any other large direction like that.  “Go play” is an invitation to mischief.  I can’t tell you how many experiments with toiletries have been done in my bathroom/kitchen/living room carpet when I have said “Go play”.  I am speaking from very messy experience here!

You are at the beginning stages of this process.  It is a process.  I was just where you are a few years back with my daughter wondering how the hell she and I were going to get through life like this!  But engage her in her life and her treatment and keep conversation going about what is acceptable, what isn’t, etc.  If you try to be a dictator you will trigger ODD too so you have to keep an open dialog.  Fine for parents to be the final word, but kids learn better in general when they are tasked with coming up with the answers.

So taking my many messes I’ve had to deal with, if I had just yelled at my daughter or gotten irritated with her each time she made a mess, all she would have focused on is the most intense emotional part of that situation - getting in trouble - not the mess!  But I wanted her to focus on the mess and learn from it.  But the more I got upset the more she did it.  Making the mess - getting into “an experiment” as she likes to call it - was self soothing for her.  She was doing something she liked and it made her brain feel good.  Me yelling at her made her brain feel bad.  So what does she want to do more of? Make a mess, an experiment!  So after I finally got wise to the way her brain works I’d say, “Now what are we going to do with all this mess” and she’d say “Clean it up?” and I’d say “Good idea, maybe you can spearhead that effort since it was your experiment and I want to make sure nothing explodes or anything” and she’d laugh and go run get towels and spray and we’d talk about how difficult it was to get mascara out of a carpet and how nail polish remover ruins the finish on tile and then guess what, next time she’d be doing an experiment in the bathroom, on the counter - where it is easy to clean up because she herself had discovered the problem with doing an experiment on the carpet.

I didn’t become the source of the most intense part of that event with getting upset at her.  When I did that all she would feel is “I am always in trouble”.  Instead I discovered a way to be a conduit for her to learn through.  Instead of telling her “Don’t do this on the carpet!” which believe me I tried a number of times, I allowed her to both take responsibility for her actions and to discover the pitfalls which allowed her to decide where it would be best for her to experiment. 

All this didn’t come naturally by the way.  It came from reading a lot about how the ADHD brain works, talking to her, PAYING ATTENTION to how things impacted her and then I finally started having success in dealing with those more pesky parts of ADHD.  I think the more you learn as you go along you will find such opportunities in your relationship with your daughter and it won’t be so stressful and confusing.  The behavior you see doesn’t come out of a vacuum, it comes from the way her brain works and the more you know the easier on you and her.

Best to you.

Posted by YellaRyan on Jul 29, 2014 at 5:52pm

Great advice.  Thanks.

Posted by Abhi2014 on Aug 14, 2014 at 6:36pm

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