Hi, I’m Jamie, and my twin son and daughter were diagnosed with ADHD last fall at the age of 6. My son also has anxiety/depression and insomnia and my daughter has sensory processing disorder. We also have a healthy almost 11 year-old daughter. We are on a combination of medicines with my son, and on Vyvanse for my daughter, along with nutritional supplements, trying to get more sleep, be more active, etc. But - when off their meds (even for a few hours) - it is traumatic for our family. It’s that bad. We are trying everything we know, and I am in therapy for added support, but we are regularly and continually overwhelmed. Does anyone else out there have twins or siblings with ADHD+ who can share success strategies? This mom would be so grateful. ❤️
Twins with ADHD: Hi, I’m Jamie, and my... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...
CHADD's ADHD Parents Together
Hi Jamie. I have four boys, three of whom have ADHD. Two of the boys are a year apart in age and are hyperactive with their ADHD and my oldest has ADHD inattentive type. I had one son tested for sensory processing disorder but the occupational therapist said that his symptoms while they look like sensory processing disorder are actually a part of his ADHD. In terms of success strategies I first want to say that I applaud you for supporting yourself for going into therapy. You need to make sure you are taking care of you. Taking care of ADHD kids is a long-term view. Their successes and improvements come in baby steps and with consistent parenting. Here are some things I've done and do to help my kids:
1. Routine. A consistent routine. I print up a schedule and laminate it. My sons use an erasable marker and check off each item as they go. They know what's expected and when to do it. (I leave blank areas to write in any unusual events that need to go into the daily schedule - appointments, errands etc.)
2. Rules. Rules are clearly posted. When my kids were younger I posted the rules in multiple places in the house so they had reminders of what was and wasn't allowed. In the kitchen I have the consequences of rule violations. Rules and consequences are clear to both child and parent.
3. Rewards. In order to increase desirable behavior I had to set up a way for my children to want to do it. I was always looking for the things my kids found rewarding whether it was a small treat, something from the dollar store, a Pokemon card, staying up an extra 15 minutes past bedtime, an extra 15 mintutes of video game time. What kids find rewarding changes though and ADHD kids get bored fast. So rewards can change quickly.
Remember that changing behavior takes time, takes repetition, and takes consistency. It took years to get my youngest to stop sneaking out of his room at night to watch tv.
4. Modeling. Model the behavior you want your child to do. If you want your child to be patient and respectful then you have to be patient and talk respectfully. This is particularly challenging when you have a child who rages regularly. How can you speak calmly and patiently when you have a child shouting hateful and hurtful things? Don't take it personally. If we remember that we're the adults and it's up to us to show the example, lead the way and not take it personally, we can show our child how to treat others with kindness, love and respect. (And then we can go cry in our closet later.)
5. Support System. Build a support system for yourself of people and places you can go to for help—family, friends, (this online group is a great resource) conferences, educational classes, etc. Check out CHADD and ADDitude magazine for articles on topics that will help you gain information. Know that you are not alone, but that there are others out there who are trying to make it through as well. It is possible. You can do this.