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Severe phobia limiting 9 1/2 year old's activities

Hello! I’m new here.

My son is 9 1/2 and has developed a severe phobia of insects, specifically bees. It is so bad that he does not want to play outside and can go into a panic attack when we try to get him outdoors. He takes Focalin 15mg for his ADHD and we just started Sertraline (Zoloft) 25 mg to help him with the anxiety. He sees a therapist for help with his phobia, but the progress is very slow and I’m feeling so frustrated. Not to mention his therapist is very expensive (though she is wonderful with him). I’m guess I was just hoping for

I know he can’t help it, but I’m going crazy being trapped indoors this summer. My younger son (age 6, neurotypical) is the opposite—loves to play outside, go to the lake, etc. They are both home with me this summer. It is such a struggle to keep them occupied and limiting access to screen time. The 9 year old would happily watch tv or play video games all day. I feel like it is unfair to the 6 year old to hang around the house all day, but I don’t have much of a choice. Not to mention, I KNOW he needs exercise and sunlight and fresh air for his general health. :(

I don’t know what I am looking for here, just support I guess. Has anyone had success in treating a child with phobias? Thanks for your feedback!

Replies

Boy, that’s a tough one.  Maybe there is something else going on like agoraphobia?  Or OCD?  Sensory processing?  Sometimes kids can’t tell you exactly why they are feeling what they are feeling.

Be frank with the therapist about ongoing concerns.  You need tools/parenting skills to get him further.  Sometimes the therapist might not be the right one to resolve the issues at hand.

Be persistent in finding answers!  Trust your instincts, don’t give up.  Good luck!

Posted by Pdxlaura on Jul 26, 2014 at 5:02pm

My son is 10 now and still has a hard time dealing with bees, etc. He freaks out with just flies buzzing around him. It can be frustrating, I know. We were on a nature fieldtrip with his grade and all the kids were under this canopy and listening to an adult about what they were going to be doing. He would not go under the canopy because there was a wasp flying around. So he missed out on the info. I was so frustrated and nothing I could say or do would change his mind. There were wasps flying around some of the different stations as well and it was hard to get him to participate. There are other times when we come home and our little sidewalk runs up between lots of shrubbery and there would sometimes be things flying around. He would like run through there and demand that I hurry up and unlock the door. He has got better about it all but still has a hard time. I have come to deal with it and just reassure him nothing is going to bother him.

Posted by DeborahP on Jul 26, 2014 at 6:35pm

My son goes through stages like that, and then he’ll be ok for a while. When he was 4, he was in the car with grandma and a couple hornets were stinging his neck, but she was driving and had no idea why he was crying. When she pulled over, he had 4 stings. It was brutal and he still remembers it vividly. Any stinging/flying bug takes him right back there. Last summer I had a hard time getting him to be outside, but he was struggling with more anxiety then.

Definitely talk to his doctor about this and enlist their help to find solutions.

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

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 28, 2014 at 4:01pm

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