I joined this group because I am losing my mind. My 5yo daughter was recently diagnosed with ADHD. It's taking a toll on me mentally at the moment. She becomes so focused on what she needs or is saying that she constantly repeats herself until she gets whatever she's needing. Even if I am in the middle of a conversation...it goes on and on and on. She is literally everywhere in the house. Doing a little of everything all at the same time. We finally found what we believe is the right meds at the right dose. It at least keeps her at bay during school and her behavior there has improved over the last couple weeks. She's not spitting or hitting anymore. I guess I just need to know how the rest of you cope. My patience gets drained within hours of being in the same room as her. What are some tips or advice for me? How to keep her busy during non-school days? Thanks for any advice!
Newbie here! First time post!! - CHADD's ADHD Pare...
Welcome.. we are so happy you have joined us on this journey. Boy have most of us been there. We were told that if the type of medication is correct, the dose is correct and the timing is correct then medication should take away 60% of their behaviors that are related to ADHD.
What other tools are you supporter her with? We also started therapy and an educational plan. Together with these 3 tools life was just about manageable.
I also really recommend working with a child psychiatrist since this journey is long and there will need to be modifications to the medication.
It sounds like you are already miles ahead with starting supports young with her.
We are always here, if you are curious about all the posts that were written I would suggest you read precious posts written on the site.
Big hug for all your stress.
I have found with my son that he needs physical activity as a way to release all that stimulation. He was also a spitter at 4 years old. I'm a single mom to 2 kids, and I know it's hard to stop, or even put off, something you really need to get done. Does she do any extracurricular activities? Getting her into some kind of recreational gymnastics, or sports may help curb all that energy. Also, I've learned you gotta pick your battles. For example, when it's 10 degrees outside, we are getting ready to leave, I ask my son to put on his coat. He says no. I just reply with ok, that's your choice. Yes it's cold out, but it's just a 15 ft walk to the van. He's not going to freeze. Or I could tell my son "Don't touch that. It's hot" and he will touch it simply because he has to find out for himself. He's a very strong willed child. I've learned to give up control when I can, because it's not worth the battle back and forth over things that are not life or death. Also, my son's psychiatrist, who we are fairly new with, calls him a 10 touch kid. He needs to be touched at least 10 times throughout the day. Whether it's just a pat on the back, a little kiss on the cheek, whatever. I've tried hugging him more often, just out of nowhere, and I think it's working. I hope something I said helps you. Best of luck to you and your daughter.
Hello! I’m so glad that you reached out and found this community! It’s been very helpful to me as a form of mental support.
I hear you with the drained patience. Your daughter and my six year old son sound similar: my son rarely stops talking or moving or doing. It’s mentally very draining. He is the oldest of four with the other kids four, two, and six months. I am daily maxed out with patience, but it’s gotten better as I have made some changes.
First, I lowered my expectations. Many days, my children watch two hours of tv so that I can get time to eat my meals without interruption. Sometimes I give my daughters tablets while we wait for their older brother to get out of therapy. This is just a joke, but last week my husband came home and asked me what was for dinner, and I said apple cider and bourbon…because I had not made any dinner that day! So we had scrambled eggs.
Second, I see a therapist. It’s one hour of quiet for me to process through difficult times. I had to try four different therapists before I found one that I clicked with.
Third, I try to see ADHD as a superpower and all the good that can come of it. My son was also recently diagnosed as autistic, and I am having a hard time with that.
Forth, we learned the zones of regulation together. I practice these as well…I have LOTS of opportunities.
Fifth, we work with a GOOD OT. I know now that I need to “fill up” my son with physical sensations three times a day and at difficult times just to have him be manageable. Activities like chewing gum together, a weighted blanket, a strong hug, pushing on the wall, running around the yard several times, jumping on the trampoline.
I learned these over the course of three years working with child counselors, anger management specialists, OTs, doctors. Reading articles by Dr. Kazden from the Kazden method also really helped me.
You are reaching out for help, and it will come! Stay the course. It’s hard but you will start to see great progress!
welcome to the club!! : ) The best way to cope is a mix of finding alone time for you to recenter yourself and finding shared activities you enjoy with your daughter. ADHD can be exhausting to experience but it also can be highly creative and exciting.
Employ babysitters, recruit family members willing to take your child to parks, playgrounds, excursions to nearby places to explore (beaches, botanical gardens, petting zoos etc). After school activities if her school offers them.
While at home if she can have a few stations to bounce around to: book shelf, music station with a piano keyboard and headphones, art station with an easel, Lego station or dollhouse etc that interests her.
Try not to be too rigid about orderliness and perfect organization, but basic boundaries (art supplies stay next to the easel, Legos near the Lego table, toys don’t travel past this part of the house etc).
If you have a fenced in backyard, schedule outdoor time. If she struggles to come up with an independent activity make a chart of all the activity stations she can choose from.
Try joining in on these creative and energetic activities whoever possible. It can be joyous!!
That’s great that you already have her diagnosed and helped at age 5. In between the lines when you say that when she is on medication she is fine at school, I may be reading that the medication is already worn off when she is at home? Just see how it’s going for you this way- if it’s just that she is a bit too chatty and inpatient when you can’t immediately answer etc then probably you can manage it. Look out for signs that she gets angry and frustrated at home or when actually you can’t have proper bed time routine etc. Look at her sleep pattern and eating- usually if parents think things aren’t right, then probably things aren’t right.
I had this problem with my son whilst he was on ‘first line of treatment’ stimulants - it was maybe fine at school (at least at first) but at home he was unmanageable and suffering from rebound.
Your daughter is very young and most ADHD non stimulant medications are prescribed for children from age 6 but there is choice and they don’t ‘wear off’ so potentially you would be able to see benefits throughout the day until the bed time.
Otherwise try out all the standard strategies- sticker charts with immediate daily small rewards, varied and sincere praise (children with ADHD get bored and if you praise them every time the same it looses it’s value). Don’t give her too much choice as per what activity to do at home- best give a choice of max 2 activities or toys or games (hide away everything else so she can’t pick everything and then engage with nothing and just make a mess). Make sure you ignore ‘small’ bad behaviours and give her impression that at home she has freedom to do what she wants (she needs this to relax after school) but of course since she will be choosing from only 2 things/ activities etc this means you are in charge (but let her think it’s her freedom and she does what she wants). Also worth checking if timers work for her- my son for example will respond better if I tell him ‘Yes you can now go kick a ball in the garden and I am setting a timer for 20 minutes and once it’s up you need to come back for dinner’. Then also preparing him that the time is soon coming up- so let’s say I would say that in 5 minutes I want you back in the house etc.
I only started all these behavioural techniques recently but I think had I been doing it when he was younger, we would have had so much better home experience.
Sorry if this is a bit unclear, this is advise from my son’s ADHD specialist practitioner, and it’s easy said but not easy to do.
My son is older (he’s 9) and he has a tutor who helps him at home with maths and the tutor helps me with the ‘rewards chart’ (I am too disorganised myself to actually methodically carry on with that chart😄So it’s great to have tutor once a week checking that and we add the points etc and my son works towards the immediate small rewards for each tuition and also he works towards the big reward in the future when he collects 100 points).
Otherwise I just want to yell you that you are doing great as a parent because you have had your child diagnosed so early and you are already helping her to manage her school situation which means you are giving her a better start at school. Now it’s about making it a bit more easy for you at home.
Welcome. Plenty of info on these social websites. I tend to try to engage them in daily activities too. Hip hops when warm outside. Love the little trampoline inside. Big trampoline when they are older. You have a great head start on this at such a young age. Pat yourself on the back. Make sure in the school system you connect with the special education services and create an IEP or a 504 plan. A friend of mine once told me to give them a 5 minute activity that is simple and productive like wiping down the floor boards. Gets the energy out and is productive in every way. My son would bend over with a rag pressed against floor boars and run.
Hugs and prayers.