How did you tell your child?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2007
How did you tell your child?
10
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 10:56pm

Hi, me again... like I said in other posts this is bit new to me. I have done plenty of research on ADHD, which my 6 year old son has just been diagnosed with.


What I am struggling with is two things.


1) How do I explain this to him? I don't want to make a big deal out of it, but I also want him to know that it is important to take the medication.


2) How do you get your child to take the medicine? (my son is on ritalin) He insists he doesn't need it... It is becoming a bit of a struggle each morning. I crush it and put it in yogurt or applesauce.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2006
Thu, 04-08-2010 - 6:05am
I told my DD that everyone's body works differently, and some body's are better at some things and not as good at other things. Mommy's eyes don't work as well as they should, so mommy wears glasses that help her eyes work better. Part of DD's brain that helps her remember things and pay attention and sit still doesn't work as well, so she needs to take a medicine that helps that part of her brain work better. She seemed to completly understand that at 8 years old.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Mon, 04-05-2010 - 9:20pm

Hi,


PANDAS is : Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus


It is an auto immune disorder, and there is

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2007
Mon, 04-05-2010 - 6:01pm

PANDAS ?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Mon, 04-05-2010 - 12:47pm

The Phoebe Flowers Series of books helped us too. DD read all of them, and I donated the entire series to the school library for other kids.

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 04-05-2010 - 10:57am

The whole "being bad" thing is why I did explain it to my kid.

Let's see, when he first started (2nd grade), he didn't "see" the helpfulness of it as much. Now, like Sarah, my kid helps determine when he needs a boost, etc., and is a major contributor to deciding whether or not he needs a higher dosage.

I'm trying to think how we explained it back then. I think we just talked about him having trouble concentrating--we'd tried various non-med solutions, like telling him to focus more in class, little notes, that kind of thing (yeah, like that worked, not). So he was aware of the issue. I'd bet you can come up with an explanation for your kid of what the problem is that he can understand. You don't want to make it a big deal--it's just he needs some extra help from the meds, like someone would need, oh, glasses to see, or whatever similar thing would work for him.

We've always been very honest with him about what's going on. Sometimes, this makes me cringe, because he tells people upfront, sometimes, that he has ADHD. But what message do I send by telling him NOT to tell people? That there's something wrong with him? That ADHD is bad? So, I live with it. He feels--correctly, I'd say--that it's important his teachers know, so they can understand.

Medicine: It's simply not a choice. Why does he insist he doesn't need it? Why does he think the medicine is a negative? Never had the problem, but with a 6 yr old, what I'd do for something like that is put up a reward chart--every day you take it without fuss, you get a sticker. X stickers means a reward (extra story at bedtime, family game, whatever--doesn't have to be a toy you purchase!). Used that technique for plenty of other things. I mean, really, what would your response be if he told he told you he didn't need to brush his teeth?

If he can't swallow the pill, have him practice with mini-M&M's or something like that. It's SO much easier when they can just swallow it & be done, both for the kid & for you!

Megan
Megan
Avatar for ralenth
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 04-05-2010 - 10:39am

I found a picture book about a boy with ADHD, who had a lot of the same issues Alex has. It talked about the boy having trouble focusing, sitting still, behaving, etc. This is the book I picked up http://www.amazon.com/Cory-Stories-Kids-About-Living/dp/1591471540/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270478294&sr=1-3

He's also known since he first started taking his medication that it is to help focus, and to help keep him from fidgeting in the classroom. He's taking Focalin, which works great during the day. We also have a "booster" for the afternoon - often times I will ask him whether he thinks he needs it or not - after all it is his body, and it is to help him. He'll tell me yes or no, and is usually correct. His first medication, he was the one to tell me that he didn't like how tired it made him, etc. That's a big part of why we stopped it. Have you tried talking to him about why he doesn't like it? Maybe there is a reason?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Sun, 04-04-2010 - 11:03pm

HI


I didn't tell dd she had ADHD right off, we waited a while and when she asked we told her. I explained to her in detail, and she knows what ADHD is, and how she came to have it( PANDAS).


Meds have never been a struggle, as they are

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2007
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 11:22pm

I have read their other book- Delivered From Distraction.... good book as well.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2003
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 11:21pm

My son was diagnosed at the age of 7. I didn't really tell him specifically that he had ADHD then. I just told him that he was taking some medication that would help his "focusing". He didn't really question it.

What is the problem with the medication? Is it the taste? If so, could he possibly try swallowing it whole. The regular ritalin that my DS took was tiny and he was able to swallow it at a young age.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 11:11pm

I haven't told my son yet, but we did talk about the testing some. We talked about how the doctor said he is really smart, that he has some trouble with his speech and writing, and that sometimes it is hard for him to stay on task. My son agreed with it all. We are not doing medications right now, so that part has not come up.

I am reading "Superparenting For ADD" by Edward Hallowell and Peter Jansen. They compare the child's brain to a race car - super fast! Then they say that the problem is, the brakes are not car brakes, they are bike brakes. Medication helps to boost the brakes up to car size brakes. I am simplifying some, but that is the gist, along with saying that the child's brain is special, in a good way that allows him/her to think in different ways from most other people.

So far I REALLY like this book - it seems to describe my happy son and focuses on the positive aspects of ADHD that the other books don't seem to do.