Hello

Hi my name is Latasha Kerry, I am a parent and I am in need of help. I have three boys who have been diagnosed with ADHD and one of them has been diagnosed with ADD. It has become very stressful, time consuming and I have a lack of energy. I have tried different counseling agency and I am at the point where I am switching over to another counseling agency and I have reached out to a pediatric counselor. I am trying medicines which helps sometimes at school. They have moved up to a more structured grade and as of now their grades are bad. I live in a small community and their are a lack of resources here. Its getting harder.

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  • Hi Latasha. Three boys with ADHD is definitely a challenge. I have one boy with ADHD and whew! The best advice I can give as a mother who is going through it and as a mental health counselor is to first make sure you have an accurate diagnosis (diagnosed by a psychologist) because being misdiagnosed does happen. There is technically no such diagnosis as ADD anymore. I assume they meant ADHD with inattentive presentation and the other boys have ADHD with hyperactive/impulsive presentation or combined presentation? In either case, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends medication plus counseling as the treatment.

    Medication can definitely help at school but you will still need a lot of structure and routine at home to help with the morning (before medication is taken -- assuming the use of a stimulant) and in the evening when medication has worn off. Emotion is a big component of ADHD so a calm, very patient approach is very helpful. Teaching you and the boys emotion/behavior management is where a counselor will help you. Best of luck to you! Saying some prayers for you!!

    ~Tara

  • Hey I definitely appreciate this information which is always helpful. They have been diagnosed three times, seeing counselors and taking meds, but consistency is what I'm working on and emotion/ behavior I do need to work on. Can you give me some tips.

  • Sorry, I didn't see you had responded!

    Structure/Schedule is an important option that can help. I put up a chart to help with the morning chaos. He simply could not remember what to do (seems crazy when it is the same thing literally every single morning but that's part of ADHD). It took a while (by that I mean a few months) to really get it down but it has helped tremendously and I think made him feel better about himself. I had to use leverage too though. He could not watch TV, play on the computer, or anything else until the list was done. His brother without ADHD got it down in 1-2 weeks. My sweet ADHDer took longer because he fought it. He just did not want to be told how, what, when... But, I refused to bend. He finally realized it was just better to get things done so he can do what he wants. That is what took a while to get into his head. Don't get me wrong, mornings are not always a piece of cake now but they are FAR better than they used to be. As they say "the skill is not in the pill" and learning to do what you need to do in a timely manner is a skill. Often he would get his list done but just before the bus came so it was too late to play. I would give him time markers to help him recognize time passing by (another issue for kiddos with ADHD). I would say it's 7:15 now, you only have 30 minutes left... I would get his attention (before meltdown) and calmly say I'm trying to help. I want you to play but you have to do what you have to do.

    Evenings are harder in my opinion. There are often activities like soccer or whatever that interfere with the schedule. But, I work hard to talk him through what the evening is going to look like and give him time markers along the way. We also have a set bedtime routine, even if that bedtime routine doesn't always start at exactly the same time.

    Kids are different but I have learned that when my son is very tired or very hungry, not much will work until those are fixed. The hunger one surprised me some because he didn't say he was hungry (that was because of the stimulant suppressing appetite). But, when I brought a snack (it was happening when I picked him up from school) and suggested we ride quietly while he ate (sometimes he was quiet, sometimes not), it was amazing the difference in about 15 minutes. Otherwise, he would work himself up about anything negative that had happened at school, and it was hard to settle him back down.

    This book (Coping Skills for Kids Workbook) is also very helpful. It has coping (emotion mgmt) techniques in four categories to choose from: calming (like breathing, meditation type things), distraction (read, play), physical (stress balls, pop bubble wrap, take a walk), and processing (counseling, write in a journal, write music). Very good. smile.amazon.com/gp/product...

    She also has a good website with a few free downloadables: copingskillsforkids.com/

    I hope this helps!

    Tara

  • My name is Ellen my grandson was diagnosed in 1st grade he repeated that grade and was put on Focalin it has helped a lot he does so much better at this time I don't have in counseling he has a good pediatrician we do have days we're it gets to be a battle .

  • Peditrician, how do they help???

  • Latasha, I have 3 boys with the diagnosis as well. 2 of them, twins, have ODD. They are on medication and it helps at school. TaraCrowl gave great advice. I read Taking Charge if ADHD by Russell Barkley. He has informative videos on YouTube as well. We implemented a reward system that was in the book to help get things done at home, like morning routine. 2 of them have really taken to it, but one is still trying to buck the system. Like Tara, we have the time markers. They get points for making each time marker and if he wastes time, he doesn’t get the reward. It’s challenging with the one, but I’m sticking to my guns and praying he will make better choices for himself. Pray and take care of yourself.

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