Showing posts with label adhd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label adhd. Show all posts

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Free Morning Routine Printables

Thank you for all of your kind and insightful comments and emails on Dear mom of an ADHD child. I had no idea it would get the response it did! I nodded in agreement with so many of your comments. None of us are alone in this journey and I think talking openly about ADHD is the first step. We need to raise awareness and not just for our children but for ourselves and others.

I had a lot people ask what we do for discipline. The truth is we are still trying to figure that out completely but we have made so much progress in the last year.

Our daughter Kayla was first diagnosed right before her 5th birthday. She is now 7. We had tried everything from time-out to yelling to ignoring her behavior to taking things away to behavior charts. Nothing seemed to work. I researched and researched and found out that a reward system was what works best for children with ADHD. When I read that I felt like I was out of options. We tried a reward system before and it didn't work. But what I later found out in behavioral therapy was that I was doing it wrong.

She needed charts and instant gratification. We needed to set the house rules and only focus on three that we really could not and would not put up with. Coming up with those three were easy. Inside voices. No hitting. And use your walking feet. I found out that when I said no running that to her that meant she could skip and jump as long as she wasn't running. So we changed our no running to use walking feet.

After establishing the house rules one of the first things I did was search for a free morning chart since mornings are the most challenging part of our day. But the one thing I could not find was one that said anything about taking medicine. And taking medicine is a huge struggle. So I made my own. and I wanted to share it with all of you! I also made ones for parents who don't need the medicine option and blank ones so you can fill it in with whatever works for your family. :) You can laminate it or put it in a sheet protector and have your child use a dry erase marker to check off each thing as they complete them. After Kayla completes her she gets a star on her reward chart for the day. The charts aren't fancy, but simple and to the point is what works best for us! Click on the image to save them to your computer or pin it for later!

Here's to hoping they work for you and you don't have to repeat, "brush your teeth!" a 101 times.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dear mom of an ADHD child

Dear mom of an ADHD child,

I know you are tired. You are worn out. Your house is always in chaos and never clean. There is yelling and fighting between siblings. There have been toys thrown and tears cried. Toothpaste has been spread all over the mirror and homework is a constant battle.

You have called your husband crying. Not knowing if you can take anymore. You've wondered if she would have been better off being an only child, thinking if only she were I could give her the attention she wants. You have yelled more than you like to admit. And you've said things you wish you could take back.

You've made hard choices. Change the families diet? Therapy? Medicine? Maybe you've made all of those choices at different times. Whatever choice you make you are never sure if it's the right one.

To the mom who doesn't give medicine. I know everyday is a struggle. Sometimes you can't wait for bedtime. You are exhausted and tired of yelling. You are doing the best you can when sometimes you don't feel like you are. You change your child's diet and take your child to therapy. You just wish something would "click." You deal with people telling you, "just give your child a pill." You are tired of explaining your choice.

To the mom who does mediciate. I know everyday is a struggle. Sometimes you can't wait for bedtime. Your child has good days but sometimes they have bad ones. You are exhausted and tired of yelling. You are doing the best you can when sometimes you don't feel like you are.You deal with people telling you that you are drugging your child. They question how you could do such a thing. They question the type of doctor you bring your child to being sure that doctors "these days just hand out pills." You've done your research. You tried everything else before this. You've been to multiple doctors. But what they don't understand is this. They didn't see the difference the moment your child took the right medicine for them. They didn't see your child being able to focus and listen to everything that is said to them. They didn't see the notes sent home from teachers who said they noticed the huge difference and that things are just clicking for them now. They didn't see how happy that made your heart and what a huge difference it has done for your child more than anything.

I've been both moms. The one who doesn't medicate and the one who does. Neither of them are easy choices. You both question if you're doing the right thing every single day. And whatever choice you make you make it every day. But only you know what's best for your child. And only you can decide. Not your family. Or friends. And that's something you need to let go. You need to stop letting it bother you. I know it's hard but please do it. Because we all know you are doing what you think is best for your child. And that's all that matters.

I wrote this letter for me. But I wrote it for you too. And I hope you re-read it when you need to.

A mom of an ADHD child

Sunday, September 22, 2013

our decision regarding adhd

Our choice to put Kayla on medicine for adhd wasn't an easy one. It was hard. It's still hard. A lot of days I still have this battle going on in my head about whether it's the right choice or not. But deep down I know it's the right choice. The right choice for us.

2 years ago I walked out of a psychiatrists office with a prescription in my hand. We had only spent a total of 30 minutes talking to that man. I felt a little uneasy, which is kinda funny because all that I wanted up until that point was to get her on medicine. To get her something that would help her. But now that I had a prescription for adderall I wasn't so sure I wanted to give it to her. I researched the pros and cons. The side effects. And finally after some debating I decided to give it to her. I could at least try it for a few weeks and see if it made a difference and if I decided to stop giving it to her, well, it would be out of her system the next day and as if she never even took it. 

So she took it. And she was focused and determined. I remember giving it to her that first Saturday when she had a soccer game. Her eyes were focused on the ball and she was determined to get as many goals as she could. She listened to us. We never had to repeat anything to her unlike before when we would repeat ourselves all day long. She's always been into art so she did art as much as she could. She would color and cut and paste and color and cut and paste all day long, even in the car. I later learned that they have a name for that, which I can't remember at the moment. All of these things were what I considered good side effects. But there were some bad ones.

On adderall Kayla wouldn't eat. We would have to force her to eat. And everyday at 3 pm she would become extremely emotional. She would spend most of her time from 3 pm until bedtime crying, like hysterically crying. And when we went back to her psychiatrist he suggested upping her dose or giving her a second dose in the afternoon. But I wasn't comfortable with that. So I dealt with it, figuring that's how it was suppose to be. We never made it back to a third appointment with that doctor. His schedule was so tight and I was tired of the back and forth phone calls of trying to get us in to see him that I decided to stop going. And I never went back to get another prescription which was probably the best thing that ever happened.

I decided we could do this on our own. Kayla was starting kindergarten. She would be gone most of the day so our time together would be limited. I thought we would be able to enjoy each other more since we both got a "break." But that wasn't true. I spent the whole school year and summer yelling at her. all. day. every. day. We couldn't even enjoy an outing that was suppose to be fun because she just couldn't listen. She just couldn't focus. She just couldn't control herself even though she so badly wanted to.

I decided to make an appointment with a therapist. We did behavioral therapy for awhile. I was to do a behavior chart. I was to only tell her to do one thing at a time. Instead of telling her to clean her room I was to tell her to clean her barbies. Then when she was done with her barbies I was to tell her to clean up her books but we never made it to cleaning up her books. So we made an appointment with another psychiatrist. One our behavioral therapist who I really like recommended.

When we finally went in for our appointment I told him our story and he told me this...

What we want with the medicine is two things. Number one. No side effects. The minute you see a side effect you don't like stop the medicine. And number two. For it to work.

So that's the whole find a medicine with no side effects, that works and yet still lets Kayla be Kayla. Now I get it. Now I haven't seen a lot of doctors regarding medicine and I know some may disagree with what our doctor said but it worked for us. And luckily the first medicine he prescribed worked for her. She is focused. She is determined. She can now fully listen to what is said to her. She still loves to color and cut and paste. But she eats now. She isn't emotional. And her teacher sent me this email which lets me know I did the right thing.

We are in a happy place. And that's something a couple months ago I thought we would never be at.

**I'm NOT suggesting for every child with adhd to be on medicine. I'm just putting it out there what we went through and what works for us so that maybe it might help someone else. I would appreciate it if you do not judge what we have decided to do. We love our daughter and truly believe we have made the right decision for her. Please do not tell me to just change her diet or that she's just being a kid. We have seen a few different doctors, therapists and psychologists and have made this decision after a lot of research and information. Thank you. And if you are considering medicine as a form of treatment please know there are many different ones at there. They may not all work for your child but if you find the right doctor they will be there every step of the way, guiding you and taking your phone calls every day until you find what works. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

a happy place

It's the last day of summer vacation and I made it. There were days that I didn't think I would but I did. Having a child with adhd is hard at times. I'm not an expert at all as I am only two years in. But I have learned a lot, especially this summer.

When I started this journey two years ago I felt we would never be where we are now. A few wrong medicines here. A few doctors who just didn't care or had too many patients on their hands. A year of us "dealing" with it on our own. A year of yelling and fighting and pulling my hair out wondering what I was doing wrong. Wondering why she just didn't get it. But that's the crazy thing...she just couldn't get it because in her words her brain wouldn't let her. And after we had a heart to heart talk about her behavior she said these words to me, "Mommy. I just want my good brain back." That was the moment I knew we couldn't do this alone anymore. I had to face the facts. We needed help and that didn't make me a failure as a mother.

So fast forward a few months of behavioral therapy with the right therapist and a few doctor appointments later we are here. In a happy place. She can think clearly. She can listen fully to what is said to her. She can think about consequences. She isn't impulsive anymore. But yet she is still her. She is still the sweet, happy girl I know. The one who loves her sisters and doesn't want to fight with them. The one who loves art and playing outside. The girl who loves dressing up and wearing accessories. We aren't spending our days arguing, yelling or sending her to her room a million times anymore. We have become close again. 

There have been plenty of bumps along the way and we still have plenty of bumps and curves and possibly even a few u-turns down our road I'm sure. But for now I am happy. My girl is happy. And that's all I could ever really ask for.


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