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ADHD Parents Together
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Feeling Overwhelmed

Hi all. I just found this forum and am hoping I can get some perspective. My 5 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD combined type and social pragmatic communication disorder back in November. I've been telling his pediatrician for over 3 years that I thought he had something going on, but he insisted I just needed to be more "consistent" in my discipline. My son's the youngest of 3, and my other two don't suffer this same "lack of discipline" so it was extremely frustrating to be told it was a parenting problem. I'm still very self conscious about people thinking I'm just a terrible parent and sometimes it causes me to be overly harsh in public when he's acting up because I feel judged. I know that's a me problem, and I need to get over it. Any tips?

In any case, we finally have the diagnosis and my son is in therapy and we're trying medications. He is in community pre-K and we're in the process of getting an IEP set up. Its just so frustrating to get bad reports almost every day about his behavior. We're on February break and just started guanfacine (the methylphenidate didn't work well), so hopefully when he goes back to school things will be better. I have no clue what to do this summer (I'm a single mom and dad is not involved). Last summer he got kicked out of camp for behavior issues. My ex-mother in law ended up watching him, but she's in her mid-70's and just can't keep up with him. I'm having major anxiety trying to find reliable care. I'm already taking so much time off work between his school meetings and therapies, I can't afford to keep leaving early!

Sorry this is such a long introduction. I've been feeling kind of isolated lately and it feels good to finally find a community of folks who can understand what we're going through.

3 Replies

I completely get the isolation. I constantly feel embarrassed to take my son (3) to public gatherings because of his behavior. None of my friends understand. They all either have perfect children or no children. I feel like I'm failing almost every day! I try to cherish every good moment we have and hold onto those memories when things get rough. I try to hold onto the memory of his laugh and his smile when hes screaming at me and hitting me for not letting him have a 3rd bowl of granola and milk or for telling him to out his shoes on so we can go to day care. It doesn't always work, but it's a start.

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Being consistent with rules is must with a child with ADHD. At the same time, we do a lot of experimenting with rewards to see what is and isn't going to work. And even when we find a reward that works, over time that reward will stop motivating our child. So in that sense, there's some inconsistency, because rewards are going to change. Know that you're in good company in terms of feeling self-conscious about your parenting. So many of us do. But the truth is that we try so hard to help our kids in so many ways. We love our kids and are going above and beyond. We are good parents. We just aren't understood by others who don't have the kinds of kids we have.

As you keep working with your son's therapist and as you experiment with what is and isn't working on his IEP, you'll be able to fine-tune things. Keep looking for summer programs for him too. I put my son in summer programs every year because he needs the socialization and I need to survive the summer. I make sure to communicate with the staff ahead of time about his particular challenges so that they're prepared to deal with what might crop up. That way there's less of a chance he'll get kicked out of the program.

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Welcome, you've found a great home. Sorry to hear about your troubles. Does your son have friends whom mom ir grandnither may babysit fir a small fee.

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