Monday, February 2, 2009

ADHD Support

WANTED: Mothering Advice for Raising My Child with ADHD

I have a lot of mixed emotions lately about my parenting skills. I have a daughter, age 7. She has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS which is on the autism spectrum. I have done a lot of research, read a lot of books and been involved with a lot of support groups on this matter. During her last assessment, the doctor advised me to not focus on the PDD-NOS as much anymore because she wasn't exhibiting the problems that tend to follow that disorder as much as she was with the ADHD and Mood Disorders. She suggested that I get more informed on those subjects. That appointment was about 8 months ago and I haven't really done much since then as I am still trying to sort it all out!

Lately, I have been feeling very confused about being a mom. I don't feel like I got the memo that was passed out, or maybe my What to Expect books didn't come with the right chapters. I see other moms who seem so natural at raising their children. I am very hard on myself because I am educated, empathetic and feel like I have tried and given so much to my family. Yet, as much as I give, nothing seems to satisfy my family's needs.

It was during this past weekend, our pediatrician advised that we increase my daughter's medication dosage. So, we did. I am also on the same medication and need an increased dosage. We both started the medication, Vyvanse last fall. We were prescribed the lowest dosage for our weight. When we first started on it, we noticed results. But, after about three months, I realize that we need more. I hope this isn't an ongoing tolerance issue to a prescription drug, but that isn't the point of my post here, so allow me to get back on topic... Also, I have learned recently that I have also struggled with ADHD my entire life, yet it wasn't until recently in discovering my daughter's deficits that I also had ADHD. Another post for another day!

Last night, after realizing how exhausted I was from the multiple prompts that were needed to get my daughter to do a simple task like brush her teeth or get out of the tub, I realized that I needed some help. at her. Now, if you have been reading my blog, you know that I have been working oI am thinking of looking into a parent support group for ADHD or something like that.

I have talked with my daughter and have told her that we need to work together to come up with ways for her to listen and obey me so that I don't have to yell. If you have been reading my blog, you will know that I have been Scream-Free for a few months now. I am proud of myself in this accomplishment. However, I feel like my daughter will only hear me if I scream at her. And, I do NOT want to do that. I want guide her. I want her to flourish.

Can I still guide her without having to yell? Will she be able to flourish and not feel like she is broken or disabled, unable to help herself without the use of medication or being yelled at?

I really am reaching out here. I strive to be a good mommy to her, and to my youngest, who by the way in the midst of being potty trained. Wow! Talk about will power for a mom. I am rewarding her with 3 M&Ms every 30 minutes she keeps her training pants dry... Today is day 7! I will be so proud of her once we accomplish the potty scene. Moreover, I will be proud of myself. I need something to make me feel accomplished these days. I miss my professional rewards big time. Wow, I really digress. Now, I must go, it appears there has been pee spotted, but, it is NOT in the potty, only on the carpet. Must go...


Christy said...

Your paragraph about the screaming really hit home for me. My son doesn't seem to hear me unless I am yelling or screaming. His hearing is fine but it is like he can tune everything out when he is in his "zone". I'm also struggling with how to get through to him without having to raise my voice just to get him to respond to his name or a simple command.

Good luck!

You ARE a super mom if you're going through all of this and potty training at the same time!

btw, I'm sra_nelson on twitter in case you don't recognize my blog log-in.

Unknown said...

I'm facing the same challenge. Sometimes, I feel like yelling is my only option for getting things done by my daughter and my elder son.

I'm few months back from you and I've not yet started stopping my shouting although I feel like I'm not a good father either ;-)

I do not feel I can give you more advices except what I'm learning. I'm learning to say what I want them to do (like do not speak your mouthful will become speak your mouth empty). I do not know f it helps but if brushing teeth is to be done, keeping your teeth healthy is another way to give goals.

You are not a bad mother because your child does not obey. You are facing the limits of our human instant power and have to realize the long-term power we have to influence others.

On twitter I'm PerfectoVirViri

lynnmosher said...

Hey, Andrea! Don't beat yourself up! You're doing a great job. It's just that you're faced with a few more difficulties than others and just need, by trial and error, to find out what works for you and your girls.

Have you tried the buzzer/timer? It really worked for my kids. We timed everything to keep from yelling all the time. If they didn't do or stop doing whatever it was by the time the buzzer went off, there were consequences.

Will be praying for you! Blessings...Lynn

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the design gig!

I like the suggestions of a timer and immediate consequences, and of stating things positively (what to do) instead of negatively (what not to do).

I also wonder if, like me, you have any resistance to reality -- i.e. if you do, working on accepting the way things are and the way things have to be done can help reduce the urge to yell that comes from expectations that clash with reality. But perhaps your yelling urge comes from something else.

May I also remind you that There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans -- 8>) and If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing badly (G. K. Chesterton).

Anonymous said...

Hmm...Lynn's idea about a timer was a good one. Not beating yourself up is also a good idea.

In terms of tasks, try breaking down general tasks into smaller steps (planning on doing a blog post about this - maybe I'll do it today). I run into the same issue with Gus all the time. I'll tell him to get dressed about 50 times before it's done & yeah that does get frustrating because he knows how to do it. So I tried telling him each step, one at a time. Take off pajamas; put on shirt; put on socks; put on pants...It's been more effective.

Try to have patience with your daughter & with yourself. If I think of other strategies, will let you know. Hang in there & good luck!

Elizabeth Channel said...

I have these same struggles, as you well know, and I find breaking tasks down so stressful to me personally. We have done the index cards with the tasks (like getting ready in the morning) and that kind of thing does help.

For me, it's just the time it takes to kindly ask him to follow the tasks, review the cards, etc. I tend to lack patience for this kind of thing. I have all kinds of patience with teaching my children reading or math, but when it comes to sequencing everyday activities, I have an incredibly difficult time.

If you find a good resource, please let me know! I do have a good friend here with a slightly older child who has ADD and she has been a great sounding board for me. Maybe God will send a similar friend your way. Always praying for you, friend!

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrea~
I am your fellow Modern Mom-er and I was checking out various blogs and decided to check yours out. Your post caught my eye. My son has Aspergers, and I know that your doc told you not to focus on the PDD-NOS diagnosis, but some of the things you were saying I can so relate to. One thing that has helped my son when he was younger and having difficulty with transitions was to make a schedule for him. It can be simple or fancy it up with pictures and imput from your child. Knowing what is expected visually for daily activities can help alot. Also, a check list that I posted in a place that my son would see every day when he got up to do tasks to prepare for school. He began to enjoy the idea of finishing his list. Lastly, I just read a great idea today....have your child start the day with a box of play money. Then, decide how you want to set it up, but you can decide that for say...having to prompt more than twice on a given task you will remove a play dollar or coin. At the end of the day, you add up what remains.That can be used toward the earning of a special reward(can be material but better to be activity). That is the basic premise. You can modify it in whatever way works for you. Feel free to message me via MM is you want to talk further. :)

Mrs4444 said...

Many kids on the Spectrum (most, I think) are not auditory learners but respond better to visual cues. Have you tried creating "visual schedule" for your daughters? They can make a big difference :)