ADHD Parents Together
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ADHD & Sensory Issues HELP

My 8 year old daughter has ADHD, ODD & SPD. How do I get her to wear different shoes & clothes? She refuses to wear any other shoes than the ones we got her almost 1 1/2 years ago. They are so small her toes are almost popping out of them. She also refuses to wear socks and that started when she was 4! She has to wear the same panties and pants everyday so I have to do laundry every night. She also licks her lips horribly bad and refuses to use any chapstick. We have bought her every kind of chapstick and she puts it in and then has a complete meltdown because it burns or doesn’t feel right. So I have to set my alarm in the middle of the night and put chapstick on whilenshe is sleeping. Her lips are raw and scabbed over. I get embarrassed because I feel like people think I don’t take care of her. She has brand new clothes, shoes and refuses to wear them. It’s stuff that she has even picked out. It’s exhausting and her temper tantrums are horrible when we ask her to wear something different. I am dreading winter because she refuses to wear snow boots or anything warm. We start counseling soon but I am just at my wits end. She has been to OT and that helped somewhat but only temporarily. Anyone else have a child with these three things? It’s so exhausting and I am just tired of trying to get her to see that her pants have holes all over in them, her shoes are so worn that it makes her walk sideways and she needs to dress warm. I feel like a crazy person dealing with her at times.

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Same . My son had a huge meltdown this morning because his Jeans didn’t “fit right”. We pick outfits together the night before school, and wake up earlier during the week. We go shopping together , and try on shoes and outfits as well, like you do. Then we get rid of the older clothes and shoes. I tell him we have to donate them, because they no longer fit.

I also found some “seamless” socks at Walmart and that made a difference for us. They also sell seamless panties. Maybe you can give those a try? As far as her lips, have you tried Vaseline?

This diagnosis is very hard. My son really tested my patience this morning! It’s trial and error, consistency and so much patience. I am exhausted, and most days I feel like my morning has been ruined. Then I remember, he can’t help it. I just have to continue to help him.

Amazon has great stuff for those with sensory issues as well.

I am sure you are doing a great job!! and you not crazy

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Thank you so much for your response! It’s so hard to relate with friends that have kids that will wear whatever. I feel like your were speaking my thoughts with what your wrote. I have too so many times felt like my morning has been ruined by the meltdowns. Maybe I will talk to her about donating her clothes! That’s a great idea!

Again thanks for taking the time to respond. It’s nice to be able to relate!

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I think you can do 2 things work with a therapist on a regular basis and see if they can work of this with you.

Also does she have OT- occupational therapy in school? This must be impacting her education? Find some way for this to be worked on at school. Ican't imagine it only being this way at home. They can he her deal with her sensitivity to things. If it is only happening at home ask her doctor to refer her for OT services ( make sure its person that works with children).

Hope this helps

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The school doesn’t have an OT in staff. But we went once a week for 6 months but couldn’t get her into new shoes. We are starting counseling in October and the counselor said she may have OCD too and it’s a control thing but still sensory related. It’s so hard to figure all this out and get her the help she needs. All her teachers say she is a great kid, but they do get frustrated with her because they do require snow pants in the winter and she refuses to wear them. She is literally the child at school when it’s like a blizzard and she is out there with tennis shoes, no socks, no gloves, no hat and a sweatshirt. It’s the most frustrating thing ever. Hoping this counselor can help as this is her specialty.

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Mrmt99- it is common for parents to think that the school doesn't have OT. But most "Specialist" don't have a desk at 1 school site many work an multiple sites. But by law they have to do what your child needs so they have to hire one if they don't employee one. So if it is really as bad as you are describing, it has to be interfering with school during the day. Do the teachers say anything?

Just curious where do you live?

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They mostly recognize the ADHD issues not the SPD issues. She goes to a very good school and the teachers and counselors are amazing with her. I guess they do have an OT arhat rotates but it’s more speech therapy based. The OT i was taking her to is just right down the road from her schools and they have all the sensory stuff and worked with her, it just wasn’t making a difference and the bills ad up quickly. Just looking more for strategies at home and others experience on here with the combo ADHD/SPD/ODD

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I have seen some amazing successes with OT. I saw one child go from putting nothing in his mouth to now starting to eat soft food. What I am saying is no matter how good other things are OT's should help a lot because your child most likely has a very hard time doing things like focusing because she is dealing with things like uncomfortable clothes, chapped lips they could really help you and hers lot.

Best of luck

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How long should I give OT? We did 6 months this last time around but started getting behind on medical bills so we stopped to get caught back up. 😕

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So this could really be a win win for you guys! Sorry about the medical,( I wish I had a magic wand to make those go away!) but if you get a good OT it could be included in her classroom and you would not have to pay for it. Honestly, trust the opinion of the school based OT, believe me when they are done they will look to exit her, but they also need to look at her learning environment and see how it is impacting her. For example if her feet don't rest on the floor because the seating is wrong, why will work on seating (sometimes just having a block of wood to rest her feet on might make a high difference, this is just one example). It's really about the things that make learning hard for her that can help. Then you can take these strategies home so then learning is all she need to focus on.

So if you feel she could benefit, speak to her case manager ( the person in charge of her plan and ask for an assessment in OT), as long as she already has a IEP or 504 then they have to respond with in a certain timeline. Sorry I can't remember, I think it is 15 or 30 days.

I really hope this gives you some help. The other things is counseling to help her learn to deal with it and I hope you are included in these sessions so you can learn about why she does some of the things she does.

Let us know how this goes if you decide to do it, if not no pressure.

Take care

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Thank u for the info! I am going to call the school tomorrow and see what I can set up for her! I will keep u posted!

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Yeah! I know I am like you willing to do anything and I really hope this gives you something..

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Hello, Sorry you going threw this. See if she wants to shop at the good will. Tell her she is beautiful, try to go get a girls day at the spa. Tell her you see she a big girl and show her how to wash her clothes. Try embracing her descion. Tell her you don't like what she's doing but you give up and want to do what make her happy. Take care good luck.

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Our son won't wear anything in his closest. He wears this one pair of pants (now floods) that I've patched the holes in many times (their soft to him). He won't wear jeans even if we try to find softish ones. We have other soft pants that he used to like but had elastic at the bottom so he now refuses to wear. He says they make him look fat (our son is skinny!) I cosleep and try to remember (when I frequently wake in the middle of the night) to put baby aquaphor (no flavor and doesn't burn) on his lips and mosquito bites that he's scratched at a million times which never get a chance to heal.

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My daughter has said the same thing about clothes making her looks fat and she is tiny! She is 8 and can still wear size 5/6 clothes. I am just getting nervous for winter because the only pants she will wear are Capri leggings. I even went and bought 3 pairs of the same exact leggings as the ones she wears everyday and she says they are not the same and they don’t feel right on her body 😕

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My younger grandson who is now 12 has dealt with this since he was too. Thank God he didn't have to wear uniforms until he was older because I would have never gotten him into them.

We recently tried increasing his ADHD medication and he started excessively licking his lips and scratching himself till he bleeds. Obviously that wasn't a good fix and we backed the medicine down.

He still insists on polyester blend shirts and everything has to fit snugly. Seamless socks helped. He will only wear skinny jeans. I had to take him his Taekwondo pants on the sems because he said they made him look fat.

Things do get better as they get older and more stable so hang in there.

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You didn't mention whether or not your daughter was on medication for her OCD? Her behavior sounds serious enough that this should be considered. Therapy for children this young is often not as successful as it is for adults because they have very little ( or no) insight into their behavior, but there are several medications that can be used along with behavioral therapy that can help.

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She was never officially diagnosed with OCD, the counselor was just speculating while I was giving her all the info at the intake appointment. I think I am going to see if I can get her into a child psychiatrist instead of her pediatrician. I just think I need someone that specializes in medication.

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I am a psychiatric RN, and I worked with OCD patients for several years, on a specialized unit in a hospital, so I can tell you that this is not something your daughter can control and it's very disabling for all of you. I'm sure she is totally miserable. Many ADHD kids have some aspects of OCD, along with other conditions, and they respond to ADHD medication and other therapies. But there are times when the other condition, like the OCD or ODD, requires additional treatment and I think your daughter would benefit from an evaluation for her OCD. See if you can find someone who specializes in OCT treatment, preferably someone who can prescribe or a therapist who works with a prescriber.

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Thank you for your response. Do guys have OT services where you work? Have you seen some relief for children with these types of issues?

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Definitely. OCD is a disorder that causes kids to have unwanted thoughts, feelings, and fears. These are called obsessions or compulsions, which lead to rituals, and can make your kid feel anxious and out of control. Wearing the same clothes, shoes, etc. is a desperate attempt to maintain some control. Milder forms of OCD can be treated with behavioral therapy, like CBT, but the more severe forms usually require medication, like Prozac, or Celexa (just 2 of many). The important thing to know in regards to the meds is that they can help a child get to the point where she can participate in therapy. So the medication may be stopped at some point and regular therapy, like OT, takes over. But we usually saw enormous improvement once the medication was on-board. It's important to realize that kids (or anyone) with OCD are suffering terribly - their entire lives revolve around these rituals (like wearing the same clothes, or having to sit in the same place) and the condition does not become better; it usually worsens with time. And you cannot "fix" them - you eventually become part of the ritual because you are trying to find clothes they will wear, or find the right chapstick, or deal with the school about issues there.

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Thank you for this insight, very helpful.

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I so so appreciate your response. I wonder why she wasn’t diagnosed with OCD when she went through all the testing with the psychologist at the hospital. The more I research it the more I think she has it. And based on what you said she definitely has all these symptoms and issues. I am calling today to get her into a psychiatrist. She is starting counseling in two weeks with a gal that specializes in ADHD, but of course she can’t prescribe so maybe getting her in to a psychiatrist will help us figure out the medication route. It breaks my heart reading this. I know I struggled with some of the same issues that she has growing up but not to the severity as hers. My friends would always joke that I was OCD but I guess I looked at OCD as being a clean freak. I do feel like clutter really takes a toll on me mentally. I could clean everyday and still feel like my house is cluttered. Maybe I have it more than I think. Your reply was very eye opening. This is the first time I’ve posted in here and I am so glad I did. I think I’ve been in denial about so many of her behaviors being told by friends and family that she is just a strong willed difficult child. From the time she turned 4 I didn’t know how to discipline or deal with her, nothing worked like it did with my 3 other. I honestly wish I would’ve listened to my gut instead of believing people when they would say oh she will grow out of it. It’s been so hard on our family unit and my husband and I’s relationship. I am just so thankful I finally had the courage to post in this group. Thank u all for your feedback💛

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Please don't blame yourself for not doing something soon. These journeys are long and hard. What is great is that you are willing and ready now to get her what she needs and it sounds like medication could really help her and in turn help the whole family.

We are here for you and if you are willing to share feel the next part of the journey you could share and help other moms who are in the same spot.

So glad you have joined our world and post any time so we can all try to help you.

Best of luck in getting help.

Big hug!

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Sometimes, a friend can help. My daughter has ADD, OCD and OD. She agrees on clothes to buy and then she won’t wear them. It drives me insane!

Something interesting happened 3 week ago. My daughter had over a new friend for a sleepover. She really likes this kid. This 10 year old is into fashion. Well, she picked overalls, a shirt and jacket for my daughter to wear for first day of school( something I’ve been trying to get her to wear since, forever...) She lined up a couple of outfits for her. Well, now, I know whom to call to convince her to wear her other pieces of clothing waiting with tags still on.

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Good morning MRMT99, Neosporin Overnight Renewal Therapy really works wonders!!! $6 at Walgreens.

As for her sensory behavior, I wish I could give you advise that works but surely its easier said than done. Something I recently read was that sometimes its important to allow natural consequences to take place (let her experience the cold until she realizes she needs a jacket). I use reverse psychology. If you have a child in the family who is her age, maybe take them shopping and let her watch the other child pick out clothes. Might encourage her to do the same. Good luck to you.

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Just wanted to give everyone an update. We finally got my daughter in to see a psychiatrist. She started her on Straterra at night with a gradual increase from 5mg to 10mg over a month. She starts seeing a ADHD counselor every other week and the psychiatrist wants her to go back to OT. I get so nervous about medication. My daughter is a great sleeper and was up most of the night complaining she felt weird, felt nauseous and couldn’t sleep. Anyone else have experience with Straterra?

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