We obviously did the behavioral things and that type of modification. Everything from the star program, rewards, tokens all of those kinds of things. Not helpful at all. It just didn’t work. Nothing worked with Ryan at that point. He was very interested, but he just couldn’t focus long enough to get any of the rewards. Even then he was sweet and very affectionate, but he was so hyperactive. We were replacing the windows in our house at the rate of about one a week because of impulsive behavior. It wasn’t intentional–just “Oops! This broke!” and something would go flying.
When to help or not
I partly think maybe Julie would have a better grasp on her problem if I hadn’t been so helpful. It has impacted her relatively little, because I am not a sink or swim kind of mom. I’m not going to say, “You know what? You are going to get an F on that paper because I’m not bringing it to school.” I just won’t do that–I just don’t have it in me. On another level, some parents might do more of that and their kids might have a better grasp. That’s the thing that’s hard, when do you help your kids and when do you start to slowly move back and insist that they take responsibility for their own difficulties?
Hard for us
Because Megan can be very forgetful, my husband just gets crazy because every time he turns around she can’t find something and is in a rush and then she gets upset. That is the part that within our family is so frustrating: she is all chaotic, all in a dither, can’t find her way out of a paper bag, everything is so overwhelming. If I can help her break everything down into smaller tasks and help her stay focused and get her to take medication, she can then work through it. That’s the part that’s really tough. It’s just hard for us. She has matured a lot and I’m learning to step back and just realize that I can’t solve everything for her forever. If she is chaotic at times she has to learn how to do that and work through it.
Sibling got the brunt
Michael really got the brunt on him because his older brother Andrew who is only sixteen months older than him has ADD. Michael had a very difficult time understanding why the standards weren’t the same for him and his brother. His brother got away with a lot more, we were tougher on Michael we expected more, and even as Michael grew up and understood the difference I think it was still hard on him. When Andrew was not able to control some of the things he was doing and then Michael would behave and we would get on his case and he’s like well, “Andrew’s whatever” and it’s like “Well, you know it’s hard for Andrew.” He has a hard time. So I think it is hard on the siblings of a kid with ADHD.
I think that I basically bear the brunt. I believe that my husband has ADHD. He still is not convinced that ADHD exists, much less that he has it! Although he agrees the meds work and can see the huge difference. I think he is in denial! So, I plug along, read info, do seminars, find studies, go to therapy and try to educate him. That’s all I can do.
Kids with ADHD don’t take a lot of responsibilities for their actions. They blame other people: it’s not their fault, it’s somebody else’s fault. And that’s very hard. It can be hard on the family: they’re always late, they’re always slow, they’re always moving things. That can be very difficult.
We have wonderful supportive family. Thank God for my parents. They pretty much co-parented with us; they participated in all the family meetings. We had a wonderful family therapist so we kept regular meetings with her as well.