Struggling with a new ADHD diagnosis - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Struggling with a new ADHD diagnosis

tara1982 profile image

Hello everyone! I'm new here and reaching out for some help and hopefully to connect with some other mamas with ADHD kiddos! My name is Tara and I'm a mommy to a sweet 10 year old girl.

For the longest time I've known something was a little off, but my husband was in denial. She has always struggled with sitting still, focusing, fidgeting, not listening, forgetfulness, high energy, sleep and the list goes on. School is definitely a challenge for us around here! I was approached by the school where they expressed their concerns with me. She's "behind" other kids her age, and seems to struggle with the same obstacles over and over again. I decided to make an appointment for her.

A week ago, we got the diagnosis. I just feel so lost for my sweet girl, and I don't know how to help her next. Doctor is already pushing for medication, and I just can't bring myself to go through with it yet! At the same time, my baby is struggling with friendships, grades, focusing, sleep, she's delayed and behind all the kids her age. I feel like I'm constantly looking for ways to just "tire her out" and counting down the hours until bedtime- total mom guilt over here!

If you have any possible suggestions or advice for us, please shoot it my way! I look forward to reading your responses. :)

19 Replies

Learn more about the meds. Getting the right one and the right dosage is the hardest part. They swear we will get there but it’s been hard. We aren’t ther yet. Starting on third dosage soon. But research each one and just try to get the right dosage and pill. Trust your Doctor. Go to a phycologist that deals with nothing but ADHD. We are in same boat with our 13 year old grandson. We didn’t want the meds either and put it off till now somethings gotta happen. It’s just too hard on him. So, now we started the trial by error with meds. Hoping to once get that right but as he grows it will probably change till he stops growing. Good luck. You’re doing the best you can.

Hello Tara,

It is very difficult to make those decisions. My son is 13 and now I felt a little more comfortable with meds. The amount of struggle and problems in school was way more then my fear of meds. I realized that fish oil and healthy diet without artificial colors etc, won’t do the trick .

Remember, you can always stop the meds. It is hard to find the right fit. We are on the third combination since September.

Please watch dr. Russell Barkley . It really helps.

Good luck

tara1982 profile image
tara1982 in reply to Aniusia

Hello, I think we're leaning more towards medication. All the side effects sure are overwhelming and freak me out, though. However, it's tough seeing your ten year old throw herself on the floor and have a complete freak out session because everything's just way too much for her to handle. It just seems all too much for a little kid to handle, and I wish I could go through it instead of her.

My daughter (8) was diagnosed last week but we too have known for awhile. It’s heart breaking to watch her struggle but I’m not ready for the meds just yet. Our doc encouraged us to go the behavioral route and see how far we get. I want her (and us) to learn some better skills. We started her 504 process at school a few months ago and it is helping. She has a wiggle seat and noise canceling headphones, has been moved to the front of the classroom, is given written instructions, and takes tests in a quiet untimed setting. We certainly have a way to go and I too feel a little lost.

I’m still not great at explaining it all to her. Any advice on how folks have successfully communicated the diagnosis to smart and curious little

in reply to Katertot

Thank you for writing out these details. We are at that stage as well - not ready to start medications and going to have a 504 meeting to be set-up for next year.

Think of her diagnosis as her need to wear glasses. If you have the doctor telling you that she can't see would you deny her a pair of glasses. I know that's silly but it really helped me come to the realization that the medication does work, its a matter of finding the right one. Sleep issues, get a bed tent and two body.pillows, create a relaxing secure environment for her. My son is 8 it took us a long time to get him to sleep all night, the bed tent saved my boy. Lack of sleep impacts her behavior so fix that first.

Hi there, I am new to this group as well. Looking for support and just knowing others are going through the same make it a little easier. My son just turned 8 last week! My husband wants medicine and I want to research like CRAZY before making a decision. We put him in a smaller setting at school and it made a huge difference for him and his confidence.

Do the research on medicine like everyone else mentioned but remember it might be something she needs. At the end of the day I think we all want the same make our ADHA child strive in life and make our lives a little easier at home.

Anyone know where I could find support groups (face to face) in the South Jersey area?

Welcome! As you soon find out there's no one cure or a fix all cure.

I find that therapeutic recreation is a great outlet for kids or ADHD it's self.

Find a local rec center and find out what programs are offered, there real big on swimming. Anything that gets her up and moving, unplug the tv and hold back the tablet when ever possible.

I think the meds is great, if you feel you can live without them them, that's okay. Learn more about ADHD and associated disorders and talk to your PCP or a therapist about the meds.

Welcome 😐

Hello, medication is a hard decision because as parents we want what we think is next without having to put them on medication. We struggled for years doing everything from holistic approach to every other kind of intervention. Nothing helped, we are still in trials of medication but are seeing results. My 6 year old has been on Focalin for almost 2 weeks. I wished it was something we tried sooner because now it’s a lot of bad habits we are trying to unravel and I believe if we would have started sooner he could have learned better control mechanisms.

You’re not alone, though many times it feels that way. That’s why we are all here, not only for information but support. It’s a long term struggle and finding what works is a roller coaster because one day something works then it’s a new challenge every bit of the way. Keep reaching out for your sanity and your family’s sanity get as many people on board with understanding your child better. I’ve had to exclude several people in my life that just weren’t open to getting it. Good luck to you ❤️

tara1982 profile image
tara1982 in reply to Niko2012

Thanks so much. Your line about having to exclude several people in your life that just aren't open to getting it, definitely hit home for us! I love my mom, but she's constantly on my case about my daughter. "Tara, maybe she needs more exercise." "Tara, she's just tired. She needs a nap." "tara, don't let her get away with that." It's to the point where it really soaks up every little bit of patience I have left. Right now, we're struggling with discipline and finding appropriate ways to have her know right from wrong. I've found that time outs don't work, they have the opposite effect. She'll just scream and cry and continue her meltdown. Instead, we've been using positive reinforcement and sensory objects to help with meltdowns. But my mom doesn't see that! She sees that I'm "letting her get away with it."

For sure getting more and more on board with medication now and continuing to do my research on it... and hopefully will find something that works for her.

Niko2012 profile image
Niko2012 in reply to tara1982

It took my mom 6 years to get it, it’s sad to say but I had to let her know that if she wanted to continue having a relationship with my son she first needed to respect me as a parent and learn his diagnosis(she already raised her own so it was time for her to step out of being a mother to my son but step in the role of a grandmother)

It took a lot of struggling but she’s now in therapy herself,and learning how to better understand him and his needs.

Times are very different now especially with both parents having to work. So taking our parents out of their comfort zone of parenting in this day and age is very different.

As far as time outs, they don’t work as effective with ADHD children, what I do w my son is nurture him then once he is calm have him show me how he could handle it differently the next time then praise him for knowing how to make a grater choice.

I hope this was helpful, just know you’re not alone

Welcome! You've come to a good place, as I've gotten some wonderful information here and support! It's really hard going through this and even more hard if you don't have the support. I tell my friend all the time that I wish there was a support group for parents of kids with ADHD! (I'm thinking of starting one in my area). One of the greatest things about this forum is talking with others who understand what it is like dealing with the challenges of ADHD in children. I am *sort of* new to this as well. My 14-year-old son was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD about a year ago. I was homeschooling him for almost two years, no meds. He returned to traditional school Fall 2018 and it's been a struggle! We've gone through two meds with no success. I am hopeful we will find the right combination. Its a process! It won't happen overnight, but keep hope! You are doing the right thing-- keep seeking information! All my best to you and your precious son. 😊

I have a 13 year old daughter with ADHD inattentive, anxiety, and depression. We always knew there was something a little off her entire life but didn't get a diagnosis until she was 12. We we were also homeschooling for 3 years due to an eating disorder she developed at age 9 from stress at school that lasted 6 months. This past we decided to let her go back to public school and what a nightmare it's been. We had her on natural supplements for months we thought were working, but clearly were not. She kept getting in trouble at school so we have her on a 20 day contract to do homestudies and finally resorted to meds this week. Ugh. It's going to be a long road. One thing her dr told us when she was diagnosed was that it will always be hard and she won't learn lessons easily. That was definitely discouraging but it's the reality. My husband and I feel robbed in a way. We see this beautiful talented girl that has such a difficult time adapting and coping with her surroundings. I think this forum is great. I'm going to look for local support groups for parents of ADHD.

My daughter's diagnosis was several months back. Shes 7. Shes on medicine and I also supplemented it with counseling to help. I opened a 504 in school to help accommodate her deficits and allow her to grow at her pace. It is a struggle for me after I figured out the schooling part now I'm looking into the parenting side of it. It is always an adventure. Just remember you are not alone!

To me it's so unfair to kids to let them be in trouble all the time because you're afraid to try meds. They said the older they get the harder it is to get some stable on meds.

As they grow meds need to be adjusted and sometimes changed. My boys have done better on non stimulants but everyone is different. It's what's best for them and their self-esteem that you have to decide on

Hey, there I read your post and also I read everyone's responses. I really think that the medication will not only help your child but also help you. My daughter just turned five (half of someone of your children) and she has been on two kinds of meds. The first one they tried her on was Tenex. It worked for a while and then maybe a month or so later it was like a placebo. It seemed that I was giving her something for nothing. So, of course I went back to her doctor and he gave me a dozen options and then there was a word that I was so terrified of... RITALIN!!! It seemed like I heard so many negative things about Ritalin that it freaked both me and her dad out that we were already building a brick wall up. Thankfully, our doctor is an adult with ADHD and he was so gentle with us in his persuasion. Pretty much he was letting us know that it was not about our feelings... the main goal was our daughter. And I must admit the medicine has worked tremendously. (Ritalin 10mg) He also told us that we can start low and work our way up if needed. So far, the only thing I hate is the loss in appetite. That is a whole different story. Hopefully, what I said was a help for someone. Yes, we were in denial too. Yes, she is young but I noticed it early because I put her in Headstart. She is our oldest child so when she was in headstart I was comparing her to the other kids. Yes, the other kids was moving around but my daughter just seemed to be EXTRA! And she continued to be extra every day. It would take her forever to go to sleep. And taking a nap was out of the question!!! I could ask her a question about what she learned today and that never ended the way I wanted. She would bounce all day long so at night she literally used to pass out. She would smash her siblings fingers or hurt them. Not intentionally, but it was because her energy level was on 1000. Like everyone else says... RESEARCH!! Research needs to be your friend because you can't always go off every prescription. You need to be comfortable with any side effects that go along with it. And before I close this reply... please make sure you keep a tablet or journal on types of foods, types of activities, etc.

Bye! :)

Dear Tara, what you are going through is very difficult. We’ve all had to go through it. If you haven’t watched the Dr. Barkley video yet, please do it now. It helped me enormously. Know that AHD is caused by the brain not getting enough dopamine. Medication simply allows the brain to absorb more and therefore function more “normally”. It’ll change her life. All the best.

I understand your hesitation. There's a lot of fear and misinformation out there about ADHD meds. My husband and I were the same way with our then 7 year old when she was diagnosed. What swayed us was a psychologist saying, "I would rather treat a 7 year old with ADHD medication, than try to treat a 14 year old with depression, anxiety, and ADHD." We shifted to thinking NOT trying medicine was depriving our daughter of something that could help set her on a much better path and remove some of her suffering. Medicine is not a magic cure, and it's not going to solve everything. But when you find the right one it helps A LOT. She is able to work closer to her potential now, she has friends, and she can make productive progress (through counseling and support at school) on the things that are hard for her.

Sklim1 profile image
Sklim1 in reply to sherishu

That is so true and it's a different way to look at medication.

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