ADHD Parents Together
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Hi all! I am new here and excited to connect with some other parents who know what I am going through. My 3 year old son was recently diagnosed with ADHD after waiting 7 months to see a behavioral specialist. Since he was 1 we have had problems with aggression and hyperactivity. He was discharged from him first daycare at age 2 for continually biting and hurting other children, and then started a home daycare. He was there for a year but his behavior was getting much harder to control and though the daycare provider was a blessing to us, it was time to try to get him into a preschool setting. We tried for an IEP at the public school in our town after he received his official diagnosis so that he could be in that with teachers who are more able to handle his behaviors. They basically told us that although everything was supported on paper, they did not actually witness any of the said behavior and aggression when they observed him for an hour so they could not support providing services. After that we started at a private preschool about a month ago and I have already received a message that we need to have a meeting because his behaviors are getting increasingly distributive and more frequent. He is also getting worse at home. He is constantly breaking things, throwing things, and hitting. We tried guanfacine as his first medication but it did not help at all and we were very hesitant to try any kind of stimulant due to his age. We finally broke down last week and agreed to try Ritalin because we just cannot manage the behaviors. Today was the first day and he dose is extremely small, it did not seem to help. I am so exhausted and mentally/emotionally drained. I am welcoming any kind of advice/input/encouragement. Thank you!

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Hi. My son is 4 1/2 and we have a lot of the same issues. We were asked to leave an at home Day Care after 9 months because she couldn’t handle him and still care for the other children. We took him to a center based Day Care and again 8-9 months later they were starting to lay the foundation for us to find alternate placement. Our son has some developmental delays as well, thankfully we were able to get an IEP. The problem is it might as well not exist for the amount of consideration the teacher and aides in his class give it. He is in a 12:1:1 integrated pre-school classroom, with 6 neurotypical children and 5 other children identified with a need. I am having to coach them through behavior planning 101 and it is exhausting. The other day, my sons teacher sent me a message in a school app stating that they “would not be able to maintain him in their program if his behaviors continued”. This was after I have been begging for the behavior consultant to come observe him. I called the principal. I have learned the hard way now that the school isn’t going to give anything we don’t demand. I’m finding that the key is to be persistent yet cooperative. Don’t give up because the first person has said no. Go to the next. Make sure you call or go in person, it’s a hell of a lot harder to deny services when you have to look a loving and desperate parent in the face. Demand another evaluation and make sure it happens when you know there might be issues (as bad as it sounds). I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. People who don’t live with it just don’t understand. Your child doesn’t want to struggle and constantly be in trouble, the world just doesn’t understand how his brain works. A friend of mine suggested a book that has recently become my best friend that you might find helpful. It’s called “How to talk so little kids will listen”. I got it on Amazon, cheap, and it is wonderful. Most of the time I’m too drained to read anything at the end of the day so I was hesitant but I am also desperate. I’m starting to see that we need to change if we want to see a change in our son. “ When a flower doesn’t bloom you change the environment in which it grows, not the flower”. I’m starting to see how my reactions make a huge difference in his and how to stop over reacting. It’s still hard but his behaviors when he’s with me are drastically improved. Three weeks ago, I had to physically wrestle a screaming, flailing, hitting, spitting, 4 year old every single time he had to change his clothes or get ready to leave. We have had maybe 3 incidents in the last three weeks and I was able to figure out the cause of each. I know you’re exhausted but if you’ve made it this far through my ramblings, trust me this book is a game changer. We are also going to start a visual schedule at home, which you might find helpful. If you haven’t had one suggested before, you should be able to get directions on google. Lastly, I’m planning to try essential oils soon. They are a little pricey which is why we haven’t tried them yet, I’d hate to spend the money and have it do nothing, then again...desperate. Good luck, I hope some of this helps. I’ll try to remember to let you know if any of the new stuff we’re going to try works. If you ever need to just unload on someone whose going through the same, feel free to reach out. Best of luck!

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Thank you so much for your advice and words of encouragement! It’s nice to have people to talk to who understand! Like you said, people don’t get it unless they are living it and they tend to look at you as a “bad parent” or someone who cannot control their children. I will definitely look for that book, your ordeals sound a great deal like mine. The hitting, spitting, biting, throwing things... it’s so exhausting. I am going to request another observation from the school for IEP now that he is in a new preschool, but he is incredibly smart for his age and no other learning issues which is making the IEP even harder to obtain. Most schools don’t offer IEP for ADHD alone. I just need to keep plugging along. Thank you again and it’s nice to meet you!

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Ughh, I get the bad parenting feeling. The stares I get when he’s losing it in public makes me want to never go out again. There are so many fun events I want to take him to but avoid. I know that it will be over stimulating for him and overwhelming for me when he inevitably can’t control himself. It’s too bad that you can’t get him an IEP if he’s struggling. Maybe they will have a 504 option instead, since they are usually less intense. Is he your only child?

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He is my youngest, I also have a 7 year old son who has never struggled in school with behavior or otherwise. I totally get the feeling of not wanting to go anywhere. I tend to avoid going out in public with my son or even getting together with some family and friends. It’s just too much. And if I know I have to go somewhere, I usually have anxiety about it beforehand. I was looking a little bit into the 504 but because he is not in the public school system yet I don’t know if they will do that. I am going to look more into it. It’s so hard to find info by yourself just searching online. I wish I could afford an advocate! How old was your son when his ADHD started to really show? I know my son is so young to have already been given a diagnosis but it is because his behaviors are so severe. That is the reason we saw the specialist, the regular pedi wouldn’t even consider a diagnosis. The specialist saw him once and had no doubt that it was ADHD.

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He's kind of always had atypical reactions. His speech was very delayed and even before that he cried much more than would be considered typical and much longer than would be explained by colic. The word "busy" was regularly used to describe him by others as soon as he could crawl. My in-laws would say all the time, "I've never seen a baby like this" about his crying. My husbands family is huge so that's really saying something. He's been getting speech since 15 months and OT, PT and a Special Education Itinerant Instructor for attention and behavior since around 20 months. We got our official diagnosis in September right after his fourth birthday, everyone involved knew though without it being confirmed. I always knew something wasn't right, he was such an unhappy baby a lot of the time and he met all of his milestones late. He is getting there but he's behind his peer group in everything except attitude *sigh*. I think that people other than me understand about 80% of what he says now. I think that most of his behaviors are out of frustration. Things just don't come easily to him and he can't focus long enough to get through the task. He also wants to do everything himself now but a lot of tasks he doesn't have the fine motor for. Adults are easily frustrated by him because he moves from activity to activity before you can even sit down with him. To set up an activity feels like a waste of time because it takes so much longer to put something together than he will stick with it. Just trying to paint with watercolors yesterday on a coloring book page was a nightmare. I am lucky that I am a Medicaid Service Coordinator for people with Developmental Disabilities and have worked in this field for a while. Thankfully at work I have a lot of support from a lot of people who know what my options are. Our agency's Behavior Intervention Specialist's office is also down the hall. I can't imagine how tough this must be for families who don't have this support. I'm struggling to navigate everything and find resources and I have a lot of services in place for him. The hardest part is that even if I can get myself to stick to the new way of thinking that I'm reading in that book, I have way too many other adults involved in his day to day to control. We can't send him to Day Care anymore because of the behaviors so we have to have people watch him one on one at our house. It's a nightmare. I'm constantly worried about his self-esteem. It sounds like you're on the right track and working hard to get more resources for him. That will be the biggest difference maker in his success.

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There is something I found just recently on my own. I believe every state has it called PIT....

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ecac-parentcenter.org/

Give u info so u can be an advocate for your kids.

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Sorry not PIT but PTI

I believe it’s Parent Training & Information Center

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I agree. It is a big challenge with behaviors such as you describe. Perhaps the school can observe him at his daycare and see the same behaviors that you and they see. For the medicine, if the dose is really small, you have to work your way to a good dose for his age and weight in order to see if it works.

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I did not read anything thoroughly here, so this is likely unhelpful, but throwing it out there just in case. The early intervention therapists were incredible with my youngest. She was so smart, I couldn't believe first of all that she would qualify and secondly that the suggestions they made would be so helpful. I almost dismissed the suggestion to have her evaluated. At first, they didn't work but with consistency, the techniques worked. You probably are way past that, but again, throwing it out there just in case. There should be a measured way they are testing your son, not just looking at his behavior. Maybe you do not have these services in your state? Everything was paid for for us. They met us at our house, parks, grocery store etc. Good luck! Hang in there!!

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Hi! Hang in there.

ecac-parentcenter.org/

Give u info so u can be an advocate for your kids. See if your state has one of these. Parents who have disabled kids who educate other parents!

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