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ADHD Parents Together
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New to this and I feel lost

I have a wonderful, smart, funny 7 year old daughter and we are in the process of having her diagnosed with ADHD. For the longest time my husband and I attributed her issues to just being a phase and we thought she would grow out of it. It finally "clicked" with us this school year that all of her behaviors match up with almost every symptom of someone having ADHD. As soon as we came to this realization, the next day we got a call from her teacher because she had the same concerns. She struggles to focus and get any work done, constantly moving around in class, nothing holds her interest, always talking, she assays interrupts and has virtually no patience. At home we see those things as well and she also has tantrums, the kind you would expect of a 3 year old any time She doesn't get her way. She gets easily frustrated with herself and becomes very upset easily. The thing is, she's super smart, when she can focus she knows exactly what she's supposed to do on her homework and gets it done quickly, and she reads at least a full grade level ahead of her classmates. But just today we got a call during school time from her teacher because she was not doing any of her work, she wasn't even starting her work. Her teacher says she is a sweet loving child at school and she can tell she is loved and loves her life. Its really only at home and out in public with us that she lashes out and has tantrums. We're so frustrated and sad and lost. We don't know how to help her or what we should be advocating for at school. We don't have her appointment with her doctor for another 3 weeks and things seem to be spiraling downward. Any help or advice?

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You mention she has tantrums like a 3-year-old, well, that's partly what ADHD is, it's' a developmental delay in certain specific areas having to do with self-control. It's called executive function, and it might help to read up on that.

At school, you mention that she's ahead in some areas, but can't seem to complete her work. Talk to the teacher about reducing the length of her assignments to something that her attention span can handle.

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Just a quick reply here to let you know that you are not alone!!! It is so so hard and stressful to watch your child struggle, and for you to struggle with knowing what to do. Perhaps you can call your doctor's office and strongly ask for an earlier appt? Sometimes they leave specific spots open for "emergent" appts, and would be able to fit you in. 3 weeks can feel like an eternity when you're struggling. Also, does her teacher know she is scheduled for this appt? Maybe she can go easier on your daughter knowing you are working toward a solution. Ugh I have been where you are, and it's so stressful!! Take solace in the fact that you are catching it so early. If your daughter isn't finishing her 1st or 2nd grade work for a semester, in the grand scheme of things, that's ok. Hang in there! It really can be exciting to see the changes that medication can bring, and to see your child find relief.

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I just want to let you know that I understand! My daughter who is now 9 has(and had) almost identical behavior. For the first time now this year as my daughter has started 4th grade she is actually ENJOYING school, where every past year she has "hated" school. As your daughter matures it should become a little easier for her to control her behaviors and pay better attention particularly at school. My daughter sees the school psychologist once a week and while she didn't like that at first, she now looks forward to it. We also go to family counseling outside of school together because while her school life has improved her tantrums have become bigger and more physical at times at home which is affecting our family life. I wish I could tell you that things will get "easier", and in some ways they will I promise, but I've learned that parenting an ADHD child is a roller coaster on a daily basis. I would recommend doing a lot of reading about it so you understand what she is feeling and get ideas about how to make things go smoother. There are many resources and on this forum it is so nice to know that we are not as alone as we feel. Many people know the struggles.

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You might want to look into having her tested for GT classes as well? My almost 7 year old son is in GT (and I think he is likely ADHD as well) -- but this year GT is his saving grace. He excels at self guided work but gets so bored and falls behind in regular classes. Part of the problem, if she is above grade level, might be that the work is genuinely not interesting her. Best of luck and hang in there!

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Hi. I am having similar issues with my son. I have been taking him to a behavioral therapist who helps us reward good behavior and not punish bad behavior. They are constantly told no and are being reprimanded. They are punished enough by themselves and their teachers. It’s important to make sure they know they are worthy. It’s hard. We try to make excuses in the beginning and then quickly realize we need to accept they are different. Take full advantage of the 504 or IDEA programs available through your school district. They will provide special privileges for your child. By law they have 60 days to evaluate and come up with a IEP (individual education plan) for your child who is bright. They earn extra time for tests and a quiet environment for learning their most challenging subjects. My son happens to have a math crisis. With common core standards it can be difficult. They pull him out during math and give him one on one attention and guidance.

Ask your child’s school for a district evaluation in writing. This may help self confidence and elevate some stress at home as well.

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Hi there. Is it possible you could ask for an urgent care visit with your Dr. Explain what your seeing at home and at school. Call your local mental health provider, also explain what you see, they call in you in for an initial consultation. This where we started just about 3 tears ago. Just got ADHD diagnosis in Nov. 2017.

Thus is NOT and easy road to travel and each child's situation is different. A dew things they have in common is hyperactivity, lack of focus, and impulse control, and often excessive taking.

Pediatrician and Mental health professional are the vest places to start.

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