8yo Girl - ADHD - Inattentive - Help!! - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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8yo Girl - ADHD - Inattentive - Help!!


Both my children struggle with ADHD. My son is hyperactive, my daughter is inattentive (at at times hyper). But i am writing about my daughter as I don't know what else to do to help her. She is a beautiful, sweet, intelligent, funny little human....but... we struggle with her either inability to follow directions that are more than one-step (pick up your plate, brush your teeth and get in the shower), when she does "decide" to do as she is asked, it is on her own time (not when asked/told), she throws fits (like a 2 yr old) when she is frusterated or aggrevated and has a break down crying fit over (in my eyes) the smallest thing (nothing in my closet fits me, i have nothing to wear). Getting ready for school in the morning is a nightmare. I even let her sleep in the clothes she is wearing the next day. I have tried talking to her until i am blue, but if I am honest, i get frusterated with very easily. I feel like her self esteem is crashing. She is on medication, and it helps, but the side effects are horrid (tummy aches, head aches, joint pain etc) every day. My husband thinks she is blatenly being disrespectful and thier bond is seriously suffering. When we discipline her, its like she doesn't think she is in trouble - she acts like it is no big deal, apologizes then goes back to whatever. Talking to her doesn't seem to help, spanking her doesn't seem to help, taking things away from her and grounding her doesn't seem to help. I know this is long and I apologize, but I just dont know what else to do... I should mention that I also struggle with ADHD, inattentive - but was diagnosed until I was an adult....

8 Replies

ADHD is SO very frustrating I know! What really helped my son with following directions was to make him some small "posters" of the steps he needed to take for routine type things that are more than one step (because he had the same issue with forgetting multiple step requests too....) For example - the getting ready for school : get up, out of bed, go to bathroom, brush teeth, wash face. Go get dressed. Go eat breakfast. Get backpack, go to bus stop. We had the words and a little cute picture too. It takes time to figure out what you need/want to make them for and actually making them but it was SOOOO worthwhile for us - cut down on some of the yelling and frustration because he KNEW to look at the sheet for what was next (or at least I could just say "look at your before school sheet" or "go to bed sheet" or whatever it was. Since time seems to be an issue for her too you could put a clock in there with "this MUST be done by ____" and the picture of either the analog or digital time. If you want you can even reprint one for each week and have a check box for each day by each item and reward her somehow (find out what her currency is that will motivate her!) if she gets a certain # of checks each week with the future goal obviously being every box checked for every day.

I know it's frustrating and hard not to yell but I also learned the hard way that the kiddos tend to tune that out :-( OR they get used to NOT having to do something till they knew that Mommy REALLY meant it now cause she was yelling...ugh!

I know even as an adult I sometimes have trouble following multi-step directions, esp. if I'm preoccupied or don't really want to do what I'm supposed to be doing (ex. cleaning the kitchen as opposed to reading a book!!!) so try hard to be patient - even though it IS hard to do.

This sounds exactly like my daughter at that age. You describe it well and it helps makes ME feel better because when o think back (she is 20), I just think - she was difficult. I remember at 8 when my daughter would apologize for things or feel like she knew she did something wrong. Unfortunately, in the teen years, she just blamed me or lacked any remorse for making bad decisions. We did have her in therapy. We also stressed that she had to take medication every day, but this did NOT happen. I guess from reading other posts, we should have tried an anti-anxiety med or anti-depression med. it might have helped with her mood and perhaps that would then result in conscious decisions.

Hi there I have Inattentive ADHD and was diagnosed in my mid 20s. People with ADHD lack multiple neurotransmitters, and the ones I mention below I believe are of the most crucial importance. As a child I also suffered from the exact things you mentioned of your daughter, especially the doing stuff at my own time instead of when it needed to be done. When you have a low level of a specific neurotransmitter, it basically gives you major difficulty in the areas that it would otherwise be helping you out in. Stimulant medications primarily work with Dopamine and Norepinephrine, which takes care of those neurotransmitters, but what about those other important ones? Thankfully supplements, besides helping fight off bad side effects from stimulant medication (like the stomach aches and headaches you mentioned), can also help with synthesis of these other neurotransmitters we lack. Taking stimulant medication by itself can cause a lot of bad side effects that can cause people to stop taking a medication that is helping out their condition, but is causing a lot of discomfort. Supplements greatly help diminish and eliminate the side effects from stimulant medication. Protecting heart rate and blood pressure from rising is crucially important, especially having a good amount of antioxidants in order to fight off oxidation from the medication, which is bad for the body. These supplements are safe for kids, and thankfully a lot of companies have gummy/chewy options supplement options. I'm currently in grad school and plan to obtain my PhD. to become a psychologist, and supplements along with medication have done wonders and have made my life a whole lot smoother.

Neurotransmitters in the brain that people with ADHD lack:

Dopamine : A neurotransmitter in the brain that affects your levels of concentration, motivation, pleasure senses, and sense of pain.

Norepinephrine : A neurotransmitter and stress hormone that deals with attentiveness, emotions, impulse control, planning ahead, sleep, and interpreting actions of others.

Serotonin : A neurotransmitter that deals with mood regulation, sleep, nervousness, empathy, appetite, digestion, and sexual urges.

Acetylcholine : A neurotransmitter that deals with muscle contraction, pain responses, mood regulation, REM sleep, and coordination.

GABA : A neurotransmitter that deals with anxiety, sleep, and how relaxed or tense the body feels.

theres a link on my profile page of a google doc I made of every supplement I take. It mentions what grocery stores and online stores (Amazon has all of these supplements a lot cheaper than markets like Sprouts and Whole Foods) sell these supplements, and some information about each of the supplements and how they help out people with ADHD, in case you're interested. Supplements have greatly helped me out, and have also done wonders for some families and individuals I've worked with, hope this helps. I also have a link to a video series I made on Youtube about problems people with Inattentive ADHD face from the Elementary school years through adulthood, and a link to a book I published on Inattentive ADHD that explains what to expect and how to prepare for the different stages of the lifespan. Hope this helps.

Wow, I feel like everything in your post describes my 6 year old daughter. I have concern as well that lately the bond between my daughter and my husband is breaking. He thinks she should be told something once and she should do it. Her medication is out of her system in the evenings which is usually when he’s around the most. I don’t think he understands she really can’t control certain things and so I feel like I’m jumping in more and more to prevent her from getting into trouble with him. He was recently diagnosed with ADD and now I’m starting to wonder if I should be tested as well.

I don’t let her sleep in her school clothes but our morning routine is focused around her eating so I’m literally getting her ready (dressed, brushing hair, putting on shoes) while she’s at the counter eating. It’s an amazing morning when I actually get her to brush her teeth. I’ve explained to her I only need 5 minutes from her to help her get ready but she wakes up starving and her meds decrease her appetite so I feel like she’s gotta eat right away. Funny thing is that before her diagnosis and her taking medication our mornings were easy and flowed perfectly.

I’ve been looking into putting together a behavior/chore chart with rewards. She loves being given a goal and meeting it. She also loves earning money to buy her own toys. At 6 she wants to be independent so I think a list of duties with a picture of a clock for when she needs to have it done may help her succeed. It seems like I only get her to do things when I yell. It creates so much negativity in our home which scares me about the long term damage I’m doing with our mother daughter relationship and her self esteem because like your daughter, mine is so awesomely amazing.

Best of luck to you!

Applecrisp in reply to CourtDS

Mornings with our son (8) are a nightmare as well. It’s a relief to hear someone else say it seems yelling is the only way. While I know that yelling is bad long term, it legitimately works and being nice absolutely does not. He takes advantage of every nice, understanding gesture to further stall and waste time. If you are not constantly on him he isn’t ready, isn’t eating, isn’t going to leave the house, will definitely not make the bus. I’m at wits end and joining an adhd support group.

My son is almost 14 and still has challenges with multi-step instructions! I would highly recommend a checklist for the mornings. Make getting ready in the morning like a game and have a reward and you will see a change in your daughter. The trick is to also plan ahead the night before as much as possible. Establish a routine and set the expectations. Put clothes out the night before (I refused to let my son wear his school clothes to bed) pack lunches, pack backpack up, shower at night, and I get up 30 min before anyone to get ready so I can make sure my son stays on tasks. My sons reward is he can watch a video on his phone with breakfast as long as he’s ready to walk out the door. (Dressed, groomed, teeth brushed, shoes on). It works as he looks forward to this and there us a “what’s in this for me” ! If he doesn’t do what’s expected he looses the phone for the morning. Also you mentioned your daughters med side effects. My son doesn’t experience these and he’s been on the same meds for over 5 years. We tried like 8 different meds before finding the right one so just wanted to share there are other options out there if her current meds are giving her bad side effects.

Hi there! You are not alone. You are describing my ADHD son EXACTLY!!

Your daughter is not intentionally being disobedient. Three directions that we find simple, are not typically carried out the same way for children with ADHD. I can tell my son to get the mail, put the clothes in the dryer and feed the cat. His brain is wired such that he will get the mail, then move onto something else forgetting the other 2 tasks. They have a lot of difficulty staying on task, retaining information and being inattentive. I have come to realize this is just the way it is, so I am having to check after each task to remind him of the next task. You might try this too.

My son will also throw a fit over the smallest thing. I have learned to ignore the fits, but then later there are consequences for the behavior and a discussion about why there was not need to over-react. I also remind him of the age-appropriate behaviors he should display when things don't go his way.

Discipline, spanking and taking things away does not work well for my son either. He forgets about the punishment, apologizes and then the next day does the same things that brought on the punishments. I've tried to have a fun event planned for the weekend and remind him if he has difficulty, the event is canceled. Most weeks he can't get to the fun event, but other times he does. I think having a tangible reward may help you.

I have 6 year old twin boys and a 9 year old son who ALL have ADHD. The twins have ODD as well. The morning routine, and me thinking we have to get everything done or I’m a bad mom, was making me a crazy person. I made a checklist for each of them. If they get everything done before time to go they get a reward. If they pittle around I don’t say anything (SO HARD). When it’s time to go we go whether they’re dressed, had breakfast, brushed teeth or not. Their psychologist said often they enjoy getting me upset bc it makes them feel powerful and in control. One of them makes it obvious that he is trying to upset me. Just pointing them to their list and letting them sink or swim has been best for me. It’s not easy bc I want them to get everything done, but they aren’t always going to have me and they have to learn to manage their lives on their own. Hope this helps.

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