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ADHD in Girls

Vacation with family

Hi, my name is Rick and am new to this group. My daughter Ella is 6 and is ADHD / ODD. Up until recently, she was taking Abilify and Intuniv.

She struggles with staying focused and is defiant.

Her behavior started to worsen so we saw her pyschologist. She was concerned with this treatment and we are switching to a new psychiatrist we will see in early March. In the meantime, we tapered her off her medications. However, she has not been able to function at school or home.  Thus, we got a month supply of Focalin from her pediatrician. After a couple of doses, does not seem to make much of a difference. Just need a bridge strategy to make it to next appt where hopefully will get a new plan to try.

We have spent the past few days with extended family in the mountains and we have gone from bad to worse. She has been very difficult and struggles to play well with her cousins that are a couple years older than her. Her mom and I are at our wit’s end. Been reading groups such as this and very encouraging to know that we are not alone.

Not sure if we should just go home or try and make it thru.  We were supposed to leave Thurs but not so sure that is a good idea at this point.

Any advice / tips / encouragement are hugely appreciated.  Thanks!  Rick

Replies

Rick, I know what you are going through.  I have an 11 year old daughter with ADHD impulsive type and possibly bi-polar.  Getting off the usual routine is difficult, especially without the help of the correct type and doseage of medication.  My best advice is to find a psychiatrist that specializes in adhd and odd.  Behavior charts work well too - we tried a behaviorist as well - basically all she did was set up reward/loss of privilege charts which you can find online and which cost us hundreds of dollars. Regarding your immediate situation, you did not mention what your daughter is doing.  Maybe an offer of a reward for good behavior for a part of the day may work - a small toy, special treat, etc.  Spell out the specifics- no yelling, or no physical behavior or whatever the problem is and see if she can hold it together.  A written visual list works best - we find that writing down expectations is far better than talking - you may need to tweak the list periodically to address upcoming issues.  Arts and crafts seem to calm my daughter - so did tactile things like play dough, water.  I know it is difficult especially when there is no typical routine on vacation.  Good luck.

Posted by Doylestownhoppie on Feb 19, 2014 at 8:49am

Thanks. We tried some Focalin that her pediatrician prescribed to us to use in the interim. Did not work at all.  In fact, she said that it ‘made her engine run faster’. Yesterday, instead, we tried some Ritalin that she was on over a year ago. Magic. She said that it helped her brain slow down.  She started apologizing for her actions. Just had a great day. Made me want to cry just realizing I had my daughter back, at least for that moment in time.

The psychiatrist we are seeing does specialize in ADHD. Appt is March 4th.  But, at this point looking for an extended release version of Ritalin (maybe Concerta or something similar).

Yes, good idea on the arts and crafts. That does seem to settle her. However, we have to curb the ADHD some for that to work.  Hopefully, continuing with the Ritalin will help.

Posted by ParentofElla on Feb 20, 2014 at 8:47pm

Hi Rick, I too am new to this group. I have a 7 year old daughter who is severely Adhd combined. She really struggles with new places and with changes in people she normally deals with or in her routine. So I hear you! My little girl becomes anxious, stroppy and prone to meltdowns in these situations! I was wondering if you had the chance to see an Occupational Therapist yet. That really helped my daughter. We found she responded really well to weighted blanket and cushion on an angle. It helped her stop moving. We also had some breathing techniques that helped immensely. The most important part was to have her close her eyes when she got to that stage or just before you felt she was feeling “fast” then with eyes closed she would do Angel Wings slowly while standing breathing in slowly as she raised her arms and breathing out as she lowered her arms. Closed eyes was important for my daughter. I know it sounds crazy but it really worked for us. It helped to give her the movement her body craved while the angel wing movement required her mind and body to be in sync. The eyes closed prevented visual stimuli distracting her. We would do at least 5 or up to 10 slowly and it really brought her back to “just right”. If you can find a breathing exercise that helps her it means you can have a plan with her for when you are out about and she starts to feel a “fast” episode coming on. Sorry for the essay!!! Hope some of it helps. And hang in there it does get easier

Posted by AvaB on Feb 21, 2014 at 8:40am

My son was extremely over-activated on Focalin too, like your daughter. However, he did well on Concerta and now Quillivant, both a long-acting form of methylphenidate, the active ingredient in Ritalin. So glad you found some moments of peace.

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

Posted by adhdmomma on Feb 21, 2014 at 6:52pm

Thanks for everyone’s feedback.  Really appreciate it.  We made it back home with sanity intact. End of week was much better than the start.

We have done OT in the past.  Our psychologist recommends to pick back up.  Will do.  It’s helpful (but expensive).

Was weird with Focalin.  I pushed so hard with the doctor to try it.  Though, to be fair, she only took it two days.  We just don’t have the energy to give it another chance yet.  The ritalin is working good, though we are back to having issues eating which is what our original issue was with ritalin.  Is Concerta or any of the extendeds better with eating?  At this point Concerta (assuming she can swallow it) is what i am hoping to try when we meet with the psychiatrist.

Thanks again.

Posted by ParentofElla on Feb 23, 2014 at 3:04am

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