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Parents of ADHD Children

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I am new here.  My son was diagnosed by the school with ADHD a year and a half ago and with all the intervention at school and home he is getting much worse in his behavior at home and in his academics where he is just shutting down.  I can’t control him or divert him like I used to be able to.  And he is verbally saying hes crazy and stupid which I know he hasn’t hear that from anyone but very aware that hes “different”  He also is an early riser, sometimes 4 a.m.  no matter what time I put him to bed, etc.  He just has farmer genes.  And I think this has a huge affect on his functionality during the school day. 
  We are currently trying various medications which I finally caved and agreed to try but unfortunately two have had adverse affects.  I am currently setting him up for another consultation with a specialist to see if something else is going on..  I personally was on the fence about the diagnosis from the beginning because i never observed the extreme behavior he was exhibiting in the school setting and he is a very stubborn child.  He is advanced in math as well, at a 4th grade level. 

Has anyone else experienced this?  Where the child is getting worse??  Is it possible that there is too much interventions which is tiring him out or affecfting him in another way?

Any input is greatly appreciated!



My son was diagnosed at age 9 (grade 4) and was fine without any medications and just a few accommodations at school.  He was still impulsive at times and still very emotional at home, but it was manageable.  When he entered grade 6 (middle school) things went downhill.  Apparently this is very common as there is a lot of brain development that happens at this age, so it can become very taxing on them.  I kept asking for help, but kept getting told that he was only mild to moderate and didn’t need medication.  By Christmas he was on the verge of a mental breakdown though (bawling at home, so, *SO* frustrated, he’d leave class without permission, etc.) and I pushed to be sent to the ADHD clinic downtown.  We got in very quickly and have started on medication.  Since then we’ve seen improvements and set backs.  We’re still working on getting it right.

I know every country is different, but it seems odd to me that a school can diagnose a child.  I mean, you definitely need to have all the forms and information filled out by his teachers, but those should be along with the multitude of forms and questions you as parents would fill out.  There needs to be symptoms in every area to say it’s ADHD.  For example, my son has a hard time sitting in his seat and concentrating at school (among other things), but he is also very emotional at home and moves at home (among other things).  He can be impulsive both places, and also when he’s with his friends.  When his teacher suggested I take him to our Dr to be assessed for ADHD, she told me what she was seeing in class, but also gave me questionnaires and for so many of the questions I answered yes based only on my observations at home.

Accommodations should make things easier for him, not more stressful.  They should be helping.  What sorts of interventions are they trying?

What symptoms were they seeing in your son that made them think of ADHD?

What research have you done yourself into ADHD and are you seeing similar traits in your son, or is it only at school?

Posted by Rai0414 on Feb 28, 2014 at 1:45am

The school psychologist evaluated him and his pediatrician diagnosed him but mostly off the notes from the school psychologist and staff.  He is receiving speech, OT and every other intervention they offer.  At school he cannot sit and perform more than 5 problems without being distracted and getting up, etc.  At home he can sit and complete a math problem book from front to back, sit and build with lincoln logs, play with cars, etc.  At home I see more of the behavior but I attest most of it to him being tired after his school day and competing for my attention with his sister, who is a strong personality sibling.  He does get very frustrated and cries and has outbursts but don’t most kids??  His personality since he was little was stubborn and he would shut down if he didn’t want to do something.  I knew how to divert him or make him attand to me (tho he was always a bit defiant).  despite all this he has lots of friends even though he is overly sensitive.  I am just afraid that the constant therapies and interventions are taking him away from the “norm” of the classroom and development and he is seeking the one on one attention for other reasons.  Hopefully a second opinion with an ADHD specialist will give me some insight.

Posted by LadyMorrigan9 on Feb 28, 2014 at 2:13am

Wow!  It’s amazing all the things your son is being offered!  I have to fight for my son, and even still he’s on wait lists for many things.

Your son can work on math, but is it one of his favourite subjects?  How is he with one of his least favourites?  Another characteristic of ADHD is hyperfocus on things they enjoy.  For example, my son loves to read.  I have to actually take his books away sometimes or he isn’t able to do other things.

How old is your son?  I have two sons.  One is 16 without ADHD, the other is 11, so I can compare a bit.  “Temper tantrums” are very normal up to a certain age.  When my ADHD son was still having them in grade 4 I knew something wasn’t normal.

What therapies and interventions are they trying?  With my son in grade 4 and 5, all we needed were some accommodations. 

For example, by that age most kids are able to write assignments down into their planner and then make sure they take home the books they need to do that homework.  My son still can’t do this consistently in grade 6, so his teacher checks his planner each day to make sure that he not only has the correct information written down, but that he also has the books he needs in his bag.  This means he has to hang around a few extra minutes after school, but otherwise he’s not doing anything different than anyone else.

Another one is that he gets overwhelmed easily, so if they get a sheet of math, his teacher will have him do three questions, then go up and show her the work.  Then he’ll do the next three.  That’s a small accommodation, but without it he would just sit there staring into space.

Posted by Rai0414 on Feb 28, 2014 at 2:26am

“At school he cannot sit and perform more than 5 problems without being distracted and getting up, etc.  At home he can sit and complete a math problem book from front to back, sit and build with lincoln logs, play with cars, etc.”

The times at school where he’s easily distracted—are these times when he is in the general classroom (vs having one-on-one time with therapists, etc)?  And if so, is this particular classroom one which has lots of activity going on, or is there good classroom management where things don’t turn into a free-for all?

The very first “thing” I ever noticed (and had no idea it was ADHD back then) was that in 1st Grade one of my sons could NOT deal with the kids who weren’t obeying the rules (would talk in class & goof around).  Ironic that once his full hyper-ADHD got in gear a few years later he became “one of those kids”—couldn’t stay in his seat, couldn’t stop his lips from flapping…

Posted by BC on Mar 01, 2014 at 7:36am

And I do think you’re on to something—that so MUCH intervention is making him feel way too singled out.  For some, nothing but simply going to the nurse once per day to take a pill is too much like having a neon sign that says: “I’m different!”  What grade is he in?  For both my boys that social consciousness set in rather suddenly in about 4th Grade (age 9/10).  They went from oblivious to SUDDENLY aware & not wanting to do anything that made them stick out from the crowd. 

I have twins—one has predominantly hyper symptoms; one has predominantly inattentive.  The fact that “Mr. Hyper” was drawing way too much negative attention to himself and most people couldn’t tell Mr. Hyper apart from his identical twin, Mr. Laid Back & Chill set up a horrible social dynamic…

Posted by BC on Mar 01, 2014 at 7:50am

Lots of good input here.  I might add one thing though.  When your son starts calling himself names, “stupid” and whatever else don’t argue with him.  Almost all ADHD kids have some level of Oppositional Defiance and even when you have the best of intentions disagreement can trigger it.  So he will end up arguing FOR the right to call himself stupid.  And don’t think that if you shut down the conversation that it has stopped!  Both my ADHD husband and child continue conversations in their head - yes, all by themselves - for hours and even days if I or someone has disagreed with them.

I have found it is better to acknowledge and then if you have input put in I terms.  “I can tell you feel bad.  I appreciate that you keep trying even when it gets difficult” - not “Oh don’t say that honey, no you’re not!”  We know that our self esteem is formed in large part by the thoughts that swirl through our minds so you don’t want to trigger a negative rant inside their head.  Children with ADHD need extra help because just as there is only NOW with activities, there is only now in their mind.  So all the praise they may have gotten for doing a good job yesterday is not helping them now.  And if you feed into an argument with your child what will they continue to be thinking? “See even my mother doesn’t agree with me. I never get anything right”  probably not in those exact words but I think it is always dodgy to deny children’s feelings.  If you are feeling pain emotionally do you want someone so say to you “Oh you’re fine, stop crying”, no way.  But we do it to our kids all the time.  For a normal brained child they may be able to successfully ignore that or place it into the “phrases that mother uses when she wants me to feel better” box in their minds.  But children with ADHD absolutely have no ability to do that, especially in moments of high emotion.

Can’t tell you how many times my daughter yelled at me while stomping out of the room “You don’t understand me and you hate me” before I figured this out!  Thank goodness I did though because this one shift has saved our relationship.

Posted by YellaRyan on Mar 04, 2014 at 12:11am

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