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Ascendant posted 2/17/2014 21:02 PM

*Sigh*

Some days I just want to put my face in my hands and cry.

It's just such an onslaught. It never stops. No combination or form of discipline and/or positive reinforcement has really worked beyond a few days.

My son is almost 7 years old, and ever.single.thing is a fight with him: eating breakfast, getting dressed, getting winter clothes on, doing homework, eating dinner, taking a shower, reading.

If I let him do it on his own, he takes 10x (literally) longer than if I help him, which basically entails me doing it. I told him to go take a shower before bed, and 15 minute later he comes out of the bathroom with his clothes still on asking whether her could use my tablet in the AM.

I have to redirect him back to the activity every three seconds because he's running off, or touching the damn dog, or the cats have knocked over his drink because he wasn't watching them.

Sometimes I'm just so tired, and there's always more to do: dishes, or laundry, or whatever.

I am just mentally exhausted right now. I get irritated, and then I yell (I know, I know) and then I beat myself up for yelling, and then all over again.

nowiknow23 posted 2/17/2014 21:07 PM

((((FP)))) It can be relentless, I know. There were days with my ADD/anxiety kids that I thought I would lose my mind. Sending you tons of BTDT strength.

Has he been evaluated? Is he being treated for ADHD?

jrc1963 posted 2/17/2014 21:14 PM

FP... I sort of know your pain... While my DS doesn't have these issues, I teach students who do.

I have one student in particular who sounds identical to your son... only difference is he's 13 not 7.

While I'm not a big advocate for medication... I can see where with some children medication is very helpful. Have you had your son evaluated by a Dr with an eye towards possibly using medication to help him.

Here is what I've observed in my 15+ years of teaching children with ADHD and ODD and other disabilities... What frustrates you about his behaviors, frustrates him as well. I have seen children like your son break down into tears because they KNOW that they aren't like everyone else... They KNOW that they should be able to concentrate... They KNOW that they shouldn't always forget stuff, get sidetracked or be disorganized... but they just can't help it.

They want to "be better", "listen better", "do better in school", "be good"... They tell me this. And if you can get past the frustration you're feeling as a parent... You'll probably see it for yourself.

I can understand your frustration completely... I have felt it myself in the classroom.

Behaviorally speaking... You are going to need to be very fair, very consistent and very patient. Consistence is key! Have a very set routine at home for your son. Make a schedule with him and stick to it... don't waiver or change routine without warning unless you absolutely have to. Be consistent in any punishments (consequences) and rewards... Changes may happen very slowly and be microscopic but keep plugging away.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like for more advice or just to vent.

Ascendant posted 2/17/2014 21:15 PM

Yeah, he's on Methylphenidate. He takes one 20 mg time-release in the morning, about 7:30 am before school, and a 5 mg booster at noon at school. It's helped tremendously at school, as his academics and behavior have improved markedly.

At home though....there are some days where it seems like his only mission in life is to do the complete opposite of what I ask him to do. It's little things he intentionally does to troll me, like dragging his towel on the floor behind him after his shower, because then he knows the dog will chase it. I know he's doing it to get a rise out of me, because when he does it he drops the end of the towel on the floor, and then looks at me, and then starts walking by the dog (which is out of his way) to get to his room.

There are a million little things like that, where I can tell that he's 100% trying to get a reaction out of me. I try not to give in, but when it's so relentless...

Ascendant posted 2/17/2014 21:21 PM

You are going to need to be very fair, very consistent and very patient. Consistence is key! Have a very set routine at home for your son. Make a schedule with him and stick to it... don't waiver or change routine without warning unless you absolutely have to. Be consistent in any punishments (consequences) and rewards... Changes may happen very slowly and be microscopic but keep plugging away
This is the part that we most struggle with in our house. My wife and I both have jobs that change schedules on a weekly basis. So essentially, no two weeks look the same. Some weeks he doesn't go to a sitter at all, and some weeks he does a few days, and the schedule there is non-existent. At my SIL's house, her 4 and 5 year old are routinely awake at 11:00 pm on a school night.

Something to work on. He was also RX'ed as having several developmental delays, but he began OT/PT/ST really early, like around his third birthday...so he's closed the gap in many of those areas, and is close in others.

jrc1963 posted 2/17/2014 21:33 PM

There are a million little things like that, where I can tell that he's 100% trying to get a reaction out of me. I try not to give in, but when it's so relentless...

This is the absolute worst! My students do the same... and "Planned ignoring" (not giving them a reaction) just never seems to work... they will just keep doing something, anything, to get you to react.

I wish I knew what drove this behavior... I keep researching to try to find out.

I'll let you know if I ever find an answer.

cmego posted 2/17/2014 21:35 PM

My ADHD/OCD child is 10.5. I'd say around year 8 was the worst. She was driving me crazy, and not to mention that I was going through a separation and so many changes were affecting everyone.

I continued to switch docs/therapists until I found a good fit. I also decided to medicate her and after many different changes, we have settled into a good combination now. This year has been the best that we have had. She takes Zoloft/Strattera and something that helps her sleep/eat better (another anti-depressant). She focuses much better. Although she can drive me crazy when she is nervous or excited/anxious, overall she is much better.

So, I get where you are. It helps that I have 90% custody and a very stable set schedule.

Timers are your friend. Frequent breaks. 15 minutes of homework then 5 minutes of running around, then 15 minutes of homework. they thrive with limits and timers.

hang in there!

Ascendant posted 2/17/2014 21:53 PM

This is the absolute worst! My students do the same... and "Planned ignoring" (not giving them a reaction) just never seems to work... they will just keep doing something, anything, to get you to react.
Right! And as is the case with many ADHD kids, they are usually ridiculously intelligent, and so they are clever enough to do things that they can excuse as an accident...
Timers are your friend. Frequent breaks. 15 minutes of homework then 5 minutes of running around, then 15 minutes of homework. they thrive with limits and timers
We stumbled upon the timer thing on our own...the only issue I have with timers is that my son, instead of worrying about what's at hand, spends every two seconds asking how much time he has left. He's always been like that...if he's doing homework right now, he's asking about the babysitter tomorrow...if he is getting on the bus to school, he's wondering about lunch on Saturday. All over the place.

jrc1963 posted 2/17/2014 22:01 PM

FP... they have timers that are good for visual people... that actually shows the count downs in various visual forms...

Check for them in the teacher stores.

nowiknow23 posted 2/17/2014 22:03 PM

He's always been like that...if he's doing homework right now, he's asking about the babysitter tomorrow...if he is getting on the bus to school, he's wondering about lunch on Saturday. All over the place.
Yep - seemingly random connections, no segues, no obviously logical train of thought. It is both fascinating and maddening.

And it does get better. My DS is 20, and he is no longer medicated for ADHD. He functions so much better than even 5 years ago. Hang in there.

Jrazz posted 2/18/2014 00:00 AM

My DD is almost 4, and I wonder about this exact thing. Her dad has ADD and is on medication for it. I know that 4 is pretty young to expect much focus, but she is on another PLANET when I ask her to do anything. It's so hard to mentally pull her back into the room with me for anything.

Her pediatrician is keeping an eye on it. She has a couple other sensitivity flags, according to ped, like an aversion to being touched that she has had since infancy. The fact that she seems overwhelmed by things ranging from hugs to the texture of blankets and tags on her clothes are pretty significant. It doesn't keep her from socializing but we had to teach her to ask people for space when they insist on a hug she is reluctant to give. She can't have anything touching her in her bed - sheets, stuffed animals... and she can rarely sleep in the same bed with someone. She never wanted to be held... just left alone. She will hug but you can tell she is trying to overcome her discomfort. DD is brilliant and sweet, and perfect just the way she is, but sometimes I lose my cool when she won't listen and I have to remember that she may be avoiding me by compulsion rather than disobedience. She's never experienced anything physically traumatic other than playground bumps and bruises.

I completely get the whole losing your cool and then feeling like crap later. I hope that you and your son get the support you both need to make the day to day things easier.

You're a good dad. You love him and want what's best for him. It sounds like you put your heart and soul into him - don't be so hard on yourself.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 12:40 AM, February 18th (Tuesday)]

Ascendant posted 2/18/2014 00:08 AM

The fact that she seems overwhelmed by things ranging from hugs to the texture of blankets and tags on her clothes are pretty significant. It doesn't keep her from socializing but we had to teach her to ask people for space when they insist on a hug she is reluctant to give. She can't have anything touching her in her bed - sheets, stuffed animals... and she can rarely sleep in the same bed with someone. She never wanted to be held... just left alone.
This is interesting. My son is really texture sensitive...clothing tags, especially....but other things as well...certain jacket fabrics.

However, when it comes to personal contact, we have the exact opposite issue. My son climbs into our bed and nestles under my arm every single night. He's a hugger and a kisser, and we have actually had to talk to him about being affectionate with his friends at school and letting them have their personal space.

Jrazz posted 2/18/2014 00:26 AM

Note to self - don't get our kids together... Kidding.

Sorry, you gotta try and laugh about it when you can. DD has a fleet of friends who greet her at daycare and she just cringes. The thing is, she's not shy. She's extremely confident. That's why her doc wants to watch. We want to give her every opportunity to feel comfortable with herself and her surroundings, and if she starts to struggle we want to be ready.

It's the most painful, exhausting, amazing, fulfilling job in the world. Take it from NIK - (whose strength and effort towards her kids is nothing short of inspiring) - it's worth the ride.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 12:27 AM, February 18th (Tuesday)]

gonnabe2016 posted 2/18/2014 00:51 AM

FP, I have a SN kid and I understand how draining and exhausting it can be. There is not a darn thing wrong with sitting down at the end of those *tough* days and having a good cry.

Something that I started doing a long time ago has *helped*.....I go into his room after he goes to bed and watch him for 10-15 minutes while he's sleeping. (Quietly, of course, so as not to 'wake the beast' ) But I look at his sleeping face and focus on how sweet that face is......and it helps. It helps me remember that he isn't this way *on purpose*, kwim?

Prioritize your chores and maybe consider lowering your standards a bit. Laundry is washed and dried but stays in the dryer or a basket? Oh well. Find low-priority areas to take advantage of in order to mitigate the high-priority areas.

And maybe consider 'letting go' of the *towel-dragging used to incite the dog* thing. My SN kid thinks it's *great* to have me unwrap a granola bar for him so that he can run off with it....the dogs follow in hopes of getting crumbs. That used to drive me totally batty and I wasted a lot of energy 'policing' it until I just gave up. What I am trying to convey is, choose your battles.

And totally pick jrc's brain because she has a lot of experience and insight in dealing with SN kids.

homewrecked2011 posted 2/18/2014 05:40 AM

My nephew has ADHD -- he ended up playing professional football. The endless energy has served him well,,, my sister got him into sports -- the type of sports where you move around ALOT with no sitting, plus the practices 2 nights a week helped, too. She got to sit on the bleachers or in the car for a nap while the coaches had him! She got him into soccer, basketball, karate, wrestling, track, but not all at once! They usually took a season off, but that was when he began "acting up" because he had no focus, no goal, no plan, no outlet. She also got him into band in 5th grade- something about concentrating on the instrument "clicked" and re-routed his brain (is that possible?) She swears by this. It had to be an instrument with a alot of finger movement - the saxaphone. He would have gone crazy on trumpet or trombone, for example.

cmego posted 2/18/2014 07:13 AM

My dd has an aversion and fascination to textures/fabrics too. She has a need to pick, pick, pick, pick, pick. She started picking her skin to bleeding, her bellybutton to bleeding, etc. I still have to keep an eye on her hands. She needs the sensory input. Do you see any wrapping or wanting to be tightly wrapped up? Especially at bedtime, my dd still wraps blankets around her head. Or she will twist her legs together tightly when sitting. They call this a need for "grounding" because they feel like they are floating. Some people use weighted vests, I didn't try them because she found her own way to ground herself. My dd also didn't like to be touched or held or even seemed very attached to me. She is still uncomfortable with being held, she is stiff, but will allow it some. When she was like 2 of 3, I watched all of my friends daughter cling to their legs, and my dd would be the one climbing to the top of the playground. I knew then something was "wrong".

The old diagnosis would be Aspergers, now she is "on the spectrum", but brilliant too. Then combined with ADHD and OCD. And needing sensory input. It was a mess.

Yes, find a timer that sits in front of him so he doesn't bug you. Finding the right medication helped focus my dd. One doc gave up, I switched docs who is well known in the area, and he kept switching until we found the current solution. But, it caused her to lose weight, so we had to correct that. She is still quirky, don't get me wrong, still high energy, still a little "strange" on some days…last week she froze her tongue to a metal pole, then built a real igloo. Her friend were inside ignoring the snow. So, there are plusses and minus. I also make sure she always has a physical outlet. I am about to buy her a trampoline. When she was 2.5-4, she bounced those trampolines with the handles into the ground. I bought at least two of them.

Some things I just let go of (like the towel), and just found what worked best for us. Maturity and medication have helped. Thank goodness.

[This message edited by cmego at 7:17 AM, February 18th (Tuesday)]

Ascendant posted 2/18/2014 08:26 AM

Thanks for the input and kind words, everybody. I really appreciate it. This morning was a little better.

tesla posted 2/18/2014 08:44 AM

Special ed teacher here...I work with ODD and tons of adhd kids.

Here are some places that I've found success.

Always give choices but they are choices you come up with, not choices he comes up with. And then tell him that you don't care which one he chooses. Example: If you want to play a video game after dinner, then you need to clear the table. If you don't want to play the video game, then I'll clear the table. You can state it in reverse as well...If you clear the table, then you can play your video game. If you don't clear the table then you may not play your video game. He'll test you on it the first few times. They always do...so stick to it, take deep, calm cleansing breaths and continue to repeat your conditions. My experience is the less emotional, frustrated you are - the more likely he will eventually be compliant.

Behaviors that are kinda driving you crazy, like the towel thing...tell him you don't care that the towel is being dragged on the floor, just make sure it gets in the wash because he's not going to want to dry himself with a dirty, wet towel next time. Maybe he decides to defy you on that...well, than he's drying himself off with a nasty towel. That's his choice and make yourself okay with that.

Always think in terms of the consequences of his action being something that directly affects him instead of the consequence is dad getting frustrated and yelling. He most likely gets a payout from 'controlling' you.

I love ODD kids (except for when I want to kill them ). They are tough and these tendencies can make them be great leaders and people who think outside the box if they can learn when it is appropriate to excercise defiance and when it is better to jump through the hoop.

Kalleigh posted 2/18/2014 09:20 AM

my son is 11, he doesnt not have ADD, but what he has is slowness and a very laid back attitude, if I dont push him in the AM he would never get ready on time.

Ascendant posted 2/18/2014 10:13 AM

And maybe consider 'letting go' of the *towel-dragging used to incite the dog* thing. My SN kid thinks it's *great* to have me unwrap a granola bar for him so that he can run off with it....the dogs follow in hopes of getting crumbs. That used to drive me totally batty and I wasted a lot of energy 'policing' it until I just gave up. What I am trying to convey is, choose your battles.
Yeah. Honestly, it's not the act that bothers me, it's the fact that it gets our puppy all riled up and nipping at my (naked) son, who then uses the dog as an excuse for why he now cannot possibly get dressed....and he knows this; it's the reason he drags the towel in the first place.
I love ODD kids (except for when I want to kill them ). They are tough and these tendencies can make them be great leaders and people who think outside the box if they can learn when it is appropriate to excercise defiance and when it is better to jump through the hoop.
Yeah, it's such a "different side of the same coin" thing. My son is odd, and weird, and funny, and sassy, and I love all those things.

He has a set of brass ones.

I guess where it really starts to become irksome is when we're on any kind of schedule where we needed to leave *5 minutes ago*, you know? Getting ready for school, to go to the sitter, etc.

Always think in terms of the consequences of his action being something that directly affects him instead of the consequence is dad getting frustrated and yelling. He most likely gets a payout from 'controlling' you.
Oh man. This, ^^^ 1000x.

[This message edited by FacePunched at 10:14 AM, February 18th (Tuesday)]

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