Help! My 6 year old draughts been diagnosed with ADHD / ADD and I'm pulling my hair out!

I read this mothers question this morning at Attitude Magazine. First, the mothers question. My response follows:

so i need some major help….im new to the board….my daughter is 5 will be 6 in april….we have seen a councelor 3 times now. After the first visit she said it was her initial reaction my daughter had adhd. The second visit she gave us vague ideas as to steer her away from her fits. and the third visit she said its very clear my daughter had adhd…but no ideas of how to help her….she just said to check in with her periodically……heres some background to my daughter..her sensitivity started about a year ago, my first thought was that it was because of her asthma medicine….she kinda started to get more aggressive and having fits so in may of last year i took her off the asthma medicine, then in about august she started having these crazy tantrums daily screaming things like we didnt love her she was bored…all sorts of thing si couldnt believe were coming out of my 5 year old…..finally we started to notice her non stop fidgeting and how she was becoming slightly more aggitated with everyone in her life…..mind you she is a perfect angel in school… finally we decided to talk to our ped who suggested the councelor…..i guess my question is where do i go from here…and does anyone else have a child who is perfect at school but disaster at home?

My Response:
Great comments. Anni is right on the money regarding new AAP regulations. When, as a parent, you feel helpless, scared and useless, it’s easy to pick up and assume the weight of those emotions.

How NOT To Feel Useless As A Parent of an ADHD/ADD Child
I’d suggest stepping back and listing her positives: what makes her giggle like little girls should, what does she love beyond anything else. Does she have any passions, or lean toward talents?

Take that list and as part of your overall plan, beef up the areas that make her shine. Lead her, even if she doesn’t want it, or fights it, towards supporting activities as a redirect. Allow her and, as backwards as it sounds, support her in the areas you see as chaotic but steer her towards making it “organized” chaos.

Structure, Structure, Structure
Structure her life, which can be difficult, especially if it’s genetic and one of you struggle as well.

Never, Ever, Never Give Up Hope
You can’t. Remind yourself as often as it takes that she is beautiful AS she is. That she’s made to do great things that change the world. Remind yourself when you feel like nothing is working that it’s your job, your highest calling, to help her find her way and discover what her talents are and support those efforts in every way.

You’ll be Tempted to Turn Her “Normal”

Don’t. She IS Normal. Her normal. Encourage it, feed it, give her the structure and tools to embrace it. Ferociously defend her right to that normal, protect her delicate self esteem, the lies that say something’s wrong with her, why can’t she be like them. That’s the greatest gift you can ever give her. Trust me on that.

Never Ever Give Up
You’ll do great. I know this cause you love her enough to seek help and support. You will feel at times you aren’t doing it right or your failing, but in those moments remember: you aren’t alone and you WILL make it through.

Hope this helps!
Daryl Andrews

  1. Great advice – too many panic.
    The kid is fine – it’s important parents think that – so the kid will.
    A kid is perfect in school – lucky you! It’s important that is happening. I used to tell parents if you kid is doing ok in school, cheer up. That where important work is going on – and she’s doing it. Just being good all day may be the trigger – adult have trouble sitting still and quiet and “performing to expectations all day long. (Is she a “late” birthday that makes her one of the youngest in the class? A lot of competition in school – and a lot of disturbing disruptive behavior by others – which may upset her?)
    Wild at home. So? She’s a kid (and yes this all sounds very familiar to mine). They can’t be perfect all the time. (but the kid can’t run ugly and wild all the time – clear expectations, being reasonable, being firm and consistent) Upset parents won’t help. Exercise helps with stress, so does sunlight. And staying calm. They do grow up into nice people.
    Great advice in Daryl’s post.

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