ADHD Parents Together
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Tired of feeling like a terrible mom

Hello, I am new here. I am a teacher and our son was diagnosed 6 mo ago with adhd. He will be 6 in May. He is very smart with some sensory issues as well. His main problem is defiance and impulsiveness. We are an OT and psychologist each week/month. Love being somewhere with like minded individuals that are non judge mental. This world is a mean place.

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My son is the same age and same diagnosis. The world can be hard at times... focus on the good moments. Accept that you will have bad days and embarrassing moments. Let them slide right off you, and instead only accept the good.

For example, today we went out for dinner. 99% of the dinner was excellent. The kids get free ice cream with their meal - and my child went a little crazy after the ice cream and almost knocked over an elderly lady in the restaurant lobby. She gave me a mean look, but you know what, lady, you are fine, and life goes on. You have to let those little moments go and focus on the good. I think of the big picture. My child is improving every day, even if it is only a small amount. No one is perfect. Not even me, but each day we try to be the best we can be.

Good luck. Remember that your child will never be perfect, but as long as they are trying you can't ask for much more. Love you child, they need love and acceptance for who they are.

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Thank you. Do your kids play with your phones when out? It seems that is the only way i can get my son to leave his sister alone and not bother everyone around us. Many times we do not go our, but if we do I give him my phone to watch his science shows just to keep him “calm”. 😒

He means so well and at times tries so hard. I am constantly trying to remember that. Thank you for your kind words

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Oh yes, I let him play on a phone if needed. He's not actually all that into electronics so it usually doesn't keep him busy for too long. He plays with toys well at home, so I don't mind if he plays on a cell when we are out.

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It’s the only thing that can keep his attention for long periods of time.

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You are right about this world being a mean place. Is your child on any type of medications? Sometimes meds help with the impulsive behavior. Defiance is also part of this condition but that is something you will have to work on with your child. With kindness and love remind your child that this behavior is not acceptable and possibly reward your child with positive reinforcement when he or she does actually change their behavior. Its tough being a parent of someone with this condition.

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We went to his pediatrician 6 months ago and he was concerned about giving him medicine bc he had just turned 5 and also because he has some anxiety too and he didn’t want to make that worse. We are going again next week. I am hoping we can start him on something. I just want him to feel better about himself and not to suffer. :(

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My 5 year old son has the same problems. He was in trouble at school a lot. I put him on Ritalin. It has made a huge difference! He has gone a whole month at school with out any trouble and was actually starting to do his work. I know a lot of people are opposed to medication, but it has helped us a lot.

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I’ve been opposed but only because I have seen students so drugged up they sleep all day. I don’t want it to change his personality and just the fear of the unknown. If his pediatrician will prescribe it I think we will give it a shot. The impulsive behavior; yelling at friends, hitting/throwing things and just being mean is what I hope is helped. I think his defiance is an entirely different issue!

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It helped my son a lot. But we’ve tried at least four medications and some made him more aggressive, so have patience! He’s not had any side effects. Just start on the lowest doses.

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Was your son defiant before the medicine?

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Yes he was very stubborn and if he didn’t get his way,it was total meltdown. He disobeyed his teachers and was in school suspension twice. As a kindergartener.

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Oh gosh. Sounds just like my little guy. We have had in school Once already. He is very smart and ahead of where he should be.. for now. I pray medicine can help him like it has your little guy. Thank you for sharing.

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Yes, my little guy has already passed all of kindergarten requirements. He just needs to figure the rest out!

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I just want to pipe in as a teacher as well and a mom to a son with ADHD to let you know you're not alone. My son has the inattentive sub-type and struggles with the executive functioning and also deals with anxiety. The anxiety is why we have not medicated at this point either. Our son turns 8 in March, and while he struggles, he is learning and doing well in school and sees a therapist once a week to just talk about his feelings and work on some issues with daily tasks. I think as your son gets a little older and you have found some good resources, you will figure it out. You are already doing the right things, especially by joining this group. You are NOT a terrible mom!

I think it is particularly hard for me as a teacher because as I teach high schoolers, I see how things turn out for some students. I try to stay focused on the ones who do well with ADHD, and there are quite a few! Honestly, I find that the students who've been diagnosed and have received the support they need are really thriving in high school, which is great news! It's the students who have not been diagnosed and/or have not received the treatment and support they need that I worry about. So, to all of us on here, I think our kids are at a great advantage because here we are. :)

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Thank you. My son’s anxiety seems to stem from thinking he is bad from always getting in trouble or feeling like he is bad. He responds to me so much better than he does my husband. Probably because I am an elementary teacher and have more patience!

I too worry about him as he gets older and into high school. I just want to get all the resources I can and help him now while he is still young and willing to listen to me.. ;)

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It's important for you and also your husband to add positive encouragement into your strategy. Constant negative feedback by one or both can cause depression and anxiety and later, defiance disorders. Try to track how many times you and your husband recognize good behaviors, even small things. If it's not 5:1 positive vs. negative, you could be setting things back. Being firm is great, just don't forget to build them back up.

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What type of treatments do you find helpful other than medication?

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You're doing the right things Mama! Please don't be so hard on yourself, I know we all do it as parents. You're so very right that the world is a mean place, so many don't understandor want to understand anyg type of special needs kids may have and it's unfortunate. Children can be so mean to each other and parents don't teach them kindness like they used to when I was a child. Even before my kids were diagnosed, I still taught them to treat everyone else like you want to be treated.

I have an 18 yr old son with ADHD and 12 yr old with ASD. I also have a Goddaughter whom I am very close with who is 5 with severe ADHD. My 18 yr old had this same behavior when he was your son's age and there weren't as many resources or help back then unfortunately but we did put him on meds that helped him after changing doses then meds a couple times over the years.

The reluctance of the Dr to put him on meds that may help him would really bother me bc they can change our kids quality of life and ours as well. My Goddaughter has been on meds since she was 4 bc of how severe her ADHD is and has changed doses on 1 that made her too sleepy and now is on another one that has the "upper" in it and is doing very well with it. She doesn't have the outbursts, anger, meltdowns or as much anxiety now as she did before. She used to bite her arm when she would get upset or overwhelmed, biting so hard she would draw blood sometimes but with this med, she has stopped doing that (which was part of her anxiety) and she is able to now talk and explain what's wrong. She has improved in school so much it is amazing but she has always been very intelligent as well.

Another thing you may want to think of is changing his diet. Red eyes are the devil!! You would think a little slushie every now and then would be ok but I see a HUGE difference when her or my son who is ASD have them so we stay away from it. Gluten also plays a role so we've switched up the diet some and they can't tell the difference in their food either.

Structure and time management is a must for me. We keep a tight schedule so everyone knows what should be happening at that time. Organization is also key to us, we have specific places things go...shoes, coats, iPad, etc. If I see something out of place I just do a gentle reminder that like "I see your iPad is on the table son, can we put it away?" He will come and put it in its designated place. Same goes with shower time, bedtime, etc. There's a time set for everything so we all know what we'r doing at that time. It has made life so much easier for us all!

Hoping and praying you get some help from the Dr with advice or even meds if you want to go that route, they're a life changer for many. Good luck!

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We stay clear of all dye and high fructose sugar. Never thought about Gluten though.. interesting.

His dr said he really wanted to wait until he was a little older before trying medicine because if his anxiety and how many of the medicines for ADHD can make anxiety worse. He is already so worried about being “bad” and upsetting me I don’t want that to worsen. He is very insecure. However we are going back for 6 month follow up Wednesday. My husband and I are at wits end and now I feel our marriage is rocky because of it. I just need some relief somewhere! :) thanks for listening.

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I'm open to listen or talk anytime. So sorry for the late reply, lots going on. Yes, dyes and sugars are a no for us as well. The Gluten is mainly something that has helped my ASD son the most but we use it on my ADHD goddaughter as well and removed it from her diet to see an improvement. I had already taken out of my diet for a med condition I have so it came to me in researching my own health first then applied to theirs fortunately. It really has helped a lot.

How did your checkup go? Yes, many meds for ADHD can make anxiety worse rather than better so we researched that ourselves too. She goes to a Specialist and saw a Neurologist before being placed on meds for ADHD as well as some genetic testing to find the right formula. The difference in her since meds has been life altering for her and she can now voice her frustrations but she is also afraid of disappointment and the feeling that "no one loves her" before she started meds. That was a huge factor in deciding and she is in individual and family couseling as well.

I completely understand the marriage part and it does cause major stress if you're not of the same agreement on it. Prayers that you find a resolution and relief!

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Thank you. We actually started medicine 2 months ago. He is on Concerta now and everything seemed to be going great. He wasn’t as defiant and doing better in school. We went to Disney last week and all the behaviors came back.. defiance and hyper ness mainly. He was up late and off schedule so maybe that was why.

I have Lupus and have been told Gluten free can help. It’s in EVERYTHING.

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