I don't know what to do...

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2009
I don't know what to do...
42
Tue, 12-01-2009 - 12:36pm

My 8yr old daughter is ADD and I don't know how to handle the fits she has. Our doctor told me for every fit take away one privilege for the day and start new every day. I've been doing this for 2 mo and it doesn't seem to be helping. Lately her fits have escalated into me screaming

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2008
Tue, 12-01-2009 - 1:40pm

Is she on medication for her ADHD? If so, it sounds like it's time for an adjustment or change. Our son's outbursts are gone when his Concerta is active.

Also, our behavioral therapist said to counteract dramatic behavior with dramatic action. So, when the medication isn't active and we're dealing with problems, if our son REALLY misbehaves or yells at us, it's major, immediate action on our end. For instance, he doesn't just lose use of the Wii for the day, we take the whole Wii unit away and he has to earn it back through good behavior. Another effective parent action is to ignore the child. The therapist suggested this one and we found it to work. If our son keeps begging for something, yelling, whatever, we simply say, "We're not talking to you until you stop." And follow through with it for hours, if needed.

Good luck! Hope you're able to get things under control.
Michelle

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2009
Tue, 12-01-2009 - 2:12pm

She started taking Focalin XR just before Halloween so it is all still new to us. I have an aweful time getting her to take her pill in the morning. We had to have a refill just before Thanksgiving but the regular doc was busy so we saw the nurse prac and now we don't go back until the end of this month. I am beginning to wonder if I should take her back in...

Avatar for kathyjoenathan
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Tue, 12-01-2009 - 2:49pm

We break open the Focalin XR

Kathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Tue, 12-01-2009 - 4:25pm

Hi, and welcome


Is she seeing a Psychiatrist for meds or a pediatrician?

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2009
Tue, 12-01-2009 - 7:19pm

Hi Cutemama,

I can really relate to what you are saying. When my 9 year old daughter is having a tantrum and I am yelling at her in an attempt to get her "under control", I can see that she is afraid: things are out of control and she feels like I am out of control too. It made me realize how scared she feels and that the tantrums are not coming from the same place that regular tantrums come from. Regular kids will have a tantrum if they don't get something they want, or if they are overly tired, etc. With my ADHD kid, anything and everything can set her off and no amount of logic or punishment works, while she's in the middle of it.

For a while we used a point system, where every day I rated her behavior on a scale, 1-10. At first, if she earned one day that was 7 or above, she earned something that she wanted. After she got good at earning '7's, then we upped the goal to 3 green days during the week, then it was 3 consecutive days. The scoring was completely up to me, but behaviors that would affect her score negatively or positively were discussed while she was calm. Then, when she was in a tantrum, I would talk calmly to her about working toward a "green day" (7 or above). It took a few months before we started to see some change, but the effects have been long lasting. She was at a 1 or a 2 every day. She is now usually at a 7 or 8, and she also recently started on ritalin. Anyway, the credit for the above program was from her psychologist, whose last name escapes me because we just called him Dr. Todd. If you are interested, I can find out, because he has authored some parenting books and I'm sure this technique is in them.

That is not to say our days are without its problems. She has social issues and her brothers and sister have a very difficult time getting along with her. My daughter is extremely draining to be around, including for me. She constantly wants to be 'on stage', talks constantly, and needs constant affirmation.

What I hope you can get from my post is some empathy for how difficult this is for your child. That is how I emotionally cope with my daughter's tantrums, usually. I do a lot of self-talk and try to get emotionally detached from the tantrum in order to stay calm. If I can separate her from whatever has set her off (usually by getting her to her room) she calms down pretty quickly, although she has had tantrums that lasted 2 hours and were extremely destructive. I have not always been very kind, nor patient with her, either. Almost all days are about survival, but I also try to remember that I need to teach her how to be a productive member of society, and if she can be happy, even better.

Lots of hugs and sympathy to you. If you are on this board a lot, I'd love to share stories, since our daughters are so close in age. For many years (and to some degree even now), I feel like it was my failure for not disciplining her correctly when she was younger, and I know I could use the support from a fellow mom who understands the struggle. Our ADHD kids need different things from us that moms of regular kids (and our spouses and other children) don't understand.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2009
Tue, 12-01-2009 - 11:16pm

The fits are all day, every day. They start as soon as she gets up, especially if it's a school day and she has to be woke up to start her day. After that the fits just keep escalating through out the day. Of course some days are better than others but most are kind of bad. Some of the time she claims to not even realize that she has had a fit. Almost like she is two different people. (It was like that before the meds too)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Tue, 12-01-2009 - 11:20pm
Honestly, I would stop the meds and have an evaluation done by a qualified Neuropsychologist. It sounds like the meds aren't working out.

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2009
Tue, 12-01-2009 - 11:43pm

WOW! Your daughter sounds just like mine. It also sounds like we are living the same life. My husband doesn't believe ADD/ADHD is even a real issue so every time a fit starts I feel like I have to defend her and discipline her at the same time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2009
Tue, 12-01-2009 - 11:50pm

She has only been seen by her pediatrician, how do I find a neuropsychologist?


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Wed, 12-02-2009 - 9:15am
Ask your pediatrician for a referral. A Neuropsych will do a full Evaluation, which should include bloodwork, EKG's, IQ testing, observations, and other testing. Be prepared for several visits. It may not be ADHD at all, or it may only be Anxiety, or really it could be anything without an eval. and diagnosis, A pediatrician, although they mean well is not qualified to diagnose ADHD, or prescribe meds.

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

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