My 6 year old son has adhd: Hi. I am... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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My 6 year old son has adhd

Gratitude2015 profile image
15 Replies

Hi. I am new to this site and am so glad I found it. I have really been struggling with my 6 year old son. He was recently diagnosed with adhd. He is definitely a huge ball of energy, super helpful, very impulsive, can't hold his attention, when I try and talk to him it seems he is not listening. He usually gets in trouble at school everyday. Calls from the vice principal at least once a week. 2 days ago he thought it would be funny to try and flush a milk carton down the school toilet and when spending lunch with the vice principal he threw his lunch try in there parking lot. I cringe everytime I get a call from the school during school hours. I bet him to please try and think through before he acts. My poor boy .. I don't know how to help him. It's the beginning of our journey and I am grateful I am not alone in this.

15 Replies
ADHD_DAD profile image
ADHD_DAD

Hi. Welcome aboard. First the good news. I was told early in our journey by a professional that if the parent of 6 year old is already aware of the diagnosis and is seeking help, that child is going to be just fine. Now the not so good news. There is no cure for ADHD. It is best to think of ADHD as a chronic condition, like diabetes, which can be managed, but not cured. For us, the management of ADHD has been a "three legged stool" with the "legs" being medication, reasonable accommodations at school (in our case a 504 plan, but some children require an IEP-Individualized Education Plan), and lifestyle modifications at home. Most of us resist medications at first believing we will "medicate away" the child's personality, but we come to learn that our child is not ADHD; rather, our child has ADHD, a medical condition which can be treated. I do not hesitate to take a medication when I am in pain, and when my son couldn't function at his best or was getting into trouble, he was hurting. Lifestyle modifications are important not only for the child but to maintain "sanity" in the home. There needs to be structure with a specific (enforced) bed time and routines (repetition helps "burn in" the steps that other children can just remember). The "bonus" of the set bedtime is that you can build in post bedtime quiet time for yourself which is ABSOLUTELY necessary (this is a marathon, not a sprint). For us, it has also meant check lists in the bathroom (morning getting ready routine) on the door he exits (list of contents for backpack), etc. This really works and they become less necessary as they learn the routines. I also teach my son to always put things in the same exact place so you don't have to remember where they are. Like everything, this requires daily and numerous reminders. The most challenging for us was the reasonable accommodations at school. This is very challenging and I invite you to click on my profile and read some of my old responses on that topic. Sometimes I ranted more than I wanted, but this has been a good outlet for me. What I will say is that I (and many here) have learned much about that process and can help you. You do not have to go it alone. The school will make you feel like yours is the first child to ever have ADHD, but, of course, that's not true and we can help. For us, the change to private school was a life saver. My son, who was, of course, special needs and we were told, "doesn't grasp the concepts" now has all A's and is on the high honor role. I do not apologize if this sounds like bragging. We have all had a lifetime of listening to others brag about their perfect kids while ours struggle to do the most basic things. I am due! What I hope to impart here is that this is manageable. It is hard work (sometimes exhausting), but it is worth it. Our kids need heroes more than most and you can be that hero! My son is very self aware and he is very grateful for all that we have done to help him manage his disability. Although he's now a teenager (with all that can come with it), he actually thanks us regularly for the support we provide. How about that? Please know you are not alone and that you can do this. These children can be successful and having an "on the ball" parent like you will make your son one of the success stories. Be well.

Gratitude2015 profile image
Gratitude2015 in reply to ADHD_DAD

Wow! That is very encouraging! I am so so happy to hear of your son's progress and success. That really made my morning to hear this. Thank you so much for your response. I am definitely going to go to your previous posts to see your journey.

ADHD_DAD profile image
ADHD_DAD in reply to Gratitude2015

You're welcome. It's my replies that include that info. I post infrequently but reply periodically.

GoDukes profile image
GoDukes in reply to ADHD_DAD

As a dad who has been on a similar journey for about 6 years now, I have to agree with everything this gentleman said. First, it was a big help to me to join this group and realize how many others were going through this too, because sometimes it does feel very overwhelming and isolating. Second, you will always need to be your son's biggest advocate. Others may try to help with varying degrees of effort, but none will match your effort because none will match your love for your son. Third, as he mentioned, it definitely is a multi pronged approach. There is no magical pill or counselor. Lastly, it is an ever evolving challenge as kids grow and change. Learn as much as you can and be willing to try different things. I learned patience I never knew I had and it has made all the difference helping my son. I wish you and your son the best!

Karen_ADHDmom profile image
Karen_ADHDmom

I have a 5.5 years old and a 4 years old with ADHD. My oldest is in Kindergarten and my youngest attends Early Childhood. They go to school 2 hrs 40 min a day. Oldest was really wild and I used to get emails/calls/warnings weekly. We started on guanfancine shortly after his 4th birthday. Big Help! Still wild but better. He recently started ritalin, super low dose 2.5 mg before going to school. Its been only a bit over a week - no significant change. We started for focusing/attention concerns. WE shall see how it goes.I wish luck with your child. I am new to the site as well but feel free to contact me to exchange thoughts when ever you want.

Gratitude2015 profile image
Gratitude2015 in reply to Karen_ADHDmom

I can totally relate. My son is supposed to start guanfacine I am hoping it helps his focus.

rcrainel1979 profile image
rcrainel1979 in reply to Karen_ADHDmom

Hi Karen… wow you have 2 with ADHD! I couldn’t imagine what you must go through. I noticed you saying in your response that one of them is on 2.5 mg of ritalin….was that for the youngest? Mine is only 3 and I’m in the middle of getting his diagnosis and as soon as I do I want to push for meds because I also have ADHD and they work. They say the normal age for a diagnosis is 5 and I noticed your youngest is 4, so was he diagnosed? Thanks for post and I look forward to your response.

leila65 profile image
leila65

Hey I felt drawn to reply to your post, I used to be an Access Bars facilitator, it's an energetic process that as an adult with ADHD I have found having my bars run (32points on my head) really helps me in many ways. It's a process you can learn to do on your son and you can connect with other practitioners and share this process too. You can find a facilitator near you on accessconsciousness.com

It may or may not be something you are drawn to, but if you are ....learning the one process Access Bars is all you really need....don't be pressured into learning loads of other courses unless you really wish to.

I hope this helps..,...and if not....best of luck on your journey. Trust your gut instinct to know what is right for your son. As a mother we often overide our own gut instinct when told by others inauthority about our children. Truly what do you know about ADHD that you never realised you knew? What gift can this be in his life once you value the different capacities it brings.

I only realised recently I have ADHD, as tough as my life has been, I wouldn't change the amount of creativity it gives me and energy.

Look for what brings your son joy? Is he creative....or does he love to dance or write or swim? Finding how he loves to express himself will help so much and finding regular physical activity he really loves. Allow him choice...... You will find he will teach you so much if you ask and really listen to him .... ADHD kids are amazing children..... They just need space and to be valued for their difference...... To me it's a gift not a curse.

All the very best to you and your son 🙂

Gratitude2015 profile image
Gratitude2015 in reply to leila65

Thank you so very much!!!

Marissabelle profile image
Marissabelle

I see you Gratitude2015. This was my son in preschool and through second grade. I dreaded those phone calls, I stopped enrolling him in extracurricular activities, and after school care was not going to work. All interactions turned negative including with family members. Concerta has helped my son in school. So has a shift in expectations. My son is 10 now but he has the executive functioning of a 7-year-old. It's really hard when the world sees a big kid but the expectations need to be for a little kid. Raising ADHD kids can be tough on relationships. Therapy helped my husband and I to understand our son and how to work on our relationship. It also gave me the strength to set expectations with family members.

Gratitude2015 profile image
Gratitude2015 in reply to Marissabelle

Thank you so much! I really appreciate the comment. It feels so good not knowing we're alone.

SurvivorFan profile image
SurvivorFan

Hello! ADHD dad said it well:) My son was 5 when he was diagnosed with ADHD and your story sounds similar to ours. Lots of calls from the school due to out of control/impulsive behavior. We did not start medication until his pre-k teacher put it to us this way- would we hold off giving him meds if he had asthma or diabetes? Of course not. Like previous reply it is not something they can control. Since implementing medication, parent training through Adhd dude Ryan Wexelblatt, and having him on an IEP through school he has come MILES from where he was. Just got report cards yesterday and he is above grade level in math and reading! Yes, bragging as well a bit over here:)

Now, does that mean everything is perfect over here? No. There are still hard times of the day. Working on social stuff is still and will be on going but I have hope. My advice is listen to your gut, your his biggest advocate, push for change when needed. Starting meds can sometimes be challenging as it is not one med fits all...but there is a med or combo of meds that will benefit your kiddo! Additude mag website has some great articles to help you learn more about that side of it:) Your a good mama for starting this journey early!

Gratitude2015 profile image
Gratitude2015 in reply to SurvivorFan

Thank you so much. I am encouraged. I am defining to look into additive mag. You have lifted my day

HoldingonLou profile image
HoldingonLou

My son was diagnosed with add in Elementary school. He had an IEP and was medicated. After trying different meds he finally took adderall extended release. This really helped him focus and stay on track, as well as exercise and a set bedtime schedule. There are great resources on here so don't worry. It's just a part of who he is.

rcrainel1979 profile image
rcrainel1979

Sounds like you have your hands full. Mine is 3 and hasn’t been diagnosed yet but I’m positive he has it. At what age did you notice his symptoms? Is there any advice you could give me as far as discipline? He thinks everything is a joke or funny.

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