ADHD, In The Eye's Of A "Sufferer"

SarahOliver2014 By SarahOliver2014, 18th Jan 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

Short story and tips on how to cope with ADHD and around people who suffer with it also

About Me

Hi, My name is Sarah, And I have suffered with ADHD since I was 3 years old and have been on medication since I was 4. I am 21 year old now about to turn 22 and I am still to this day being medicated. I just thought I'd share a few things with you, how to deal with children and adults with ADHD and also how to deal with it yourself if you have it.

Not There Fault

Ok so from a personal experience I can't fret enough to you all that the things that us sufferer's do, we cannot physically help, whether it be not concentrating or listening to you, behaving out of line and mood swings, it cannot be helped, I agree that it should never be used as an excuse and that sometimes bad behaviour is done intentionally but at 21 years old I still have mood swings and tantrums and I can't concentrate for long periods of times, I cant watch a whole film and I have the mental age of a 15/16 year old, although this doesn't make me stupid or behind others my age It just means that my maturity level is lower than it should be at my age.

How To Cope With An ADHD Child

*Children with ADHD don't often "hear" what their parents are instructing them to do and so do not always obey them. There is simple solution to this. A child with this disorder will switch off at every opportunity possible, make sure the child always has eye contact with you, use small simple sentences and avoid using too many questions. Also every now and then ask if the child is understanding what your saying as if you tell them a lot of things in one go chances are the only thing that went in was the last part. If you want them to hear all you are saying, pause on every subject and make sure they are understanding you

*They’re disorganized and easily distracted, keeping other family members waiting on them while doing simple tasks like putting their shoes or coat on. My only suggestion is an obvious one, if you know what time you are planning to leave, make sure the child is the first person ready. So before your shoes and coat are on make sure they are wearing there's, that way they are ready to leave and you are not being rushed or held up. Other than this solution I suggest that if your not in a major rush to make it fun by doing things like races to see if they can put their coat on faster then you can or see who can be ready to go first, I'm not saying this will work but it worked on me so it's worth a try.

*Children with impulsivity issues often interrupt conversations and demand attention at inappropriate times. I'm going to tell you all right now that this is such a hard thing to control, I've recently been in a situation lately where I needed to listen to professionals and not interrupt but I did and sometimes I didn't even know I was doing it. It is so so hard NOT to interrupt and demand attention as a child with this disorder, it's probably the hardest thing about having it in my opinion. My only tips are if you are in the street passing a friend and decide to chat and your child is getting impatient then try to involve them in the conversation a little or give them something silly to do like counting how many people are wearing red jumpers or how many people have funny hair, simple things please simple minds, and with this disorder this is unfortionaltey the case, we are not stupid no, but we are a little "simple" meaning were not particularly street or stranger wise and were not Einstein's but we can still achieve anything that a regular person can if we try hard enough.

The Impact It Has On You As A Parent

Ok so I don't have a child with ADHD, although I have a 1 year old son, but I remember everything I put my poor mum through and hate myself each and every day although today we are so so close. My mum would be in tears a lot and her hair would fall out and she would get really depressed all because my behaviour was so bad and out of control, not because she wasn't controlling it or helping or raising me properly, it was because it is a severe disorder and some people don't realise how severe it really is. You as a parent will feel physically and emotionally exhausted pretty much every night you go to bed and you dread the next morning and what's in store for you.

You get frustrated when they don't listen to you or do what you are told and as a symptom of ADHD if you have an argument with your child and go to bed angry, your still angry in the morning, we are fine, brand new day, happy happy and don't even remember yesterday and wonder why your so angry, my mum was a godsend during my childhood because its very rare to find a mother who will have a terrible day, be shouted at and screamed at and hit by her child and go to bed in tears, yet always wake up the next day with a fresh start like nothing ever happened so to not trigger my disorder off again, I don't know how she did this but she deserves a medal for doing so. In order to meet the challenges of raising a child with ADHD, you must to be able to master a combination of compassion and consistency. Living in a home that provides both love and structure is the best thing for a child or teenager who is learning to manage their disorder. A few tips to help you through this are:

The Power Of A Positive Attitude

Your best assets for helping your child meet the challenges of ADHD are your positive attitude and common sense. When you are calm and focused, you are more likely to be able to connect with your child, helping them to be calm and focused as well.

*Keep things in perspective. Remember that your child’s behaviour is related to a disorder. Most of the time it is not intentional. Hold on to your sense of humour. What’s embarrassing today may be a funny family story ten years from now (for you though not for them, I have SO many embarrassing stories that 10 years from now are still as "cringe" as they were back then, although I must admit SOME are rather funny to hear)

*Don’t sweat the small stuff and be willing to make some compromises. One chore left undone isn’t a big deal when your child has completed two others plus the day’s homework. If you are a perfectionist, you will not only be constantly unsatisfied, but also create impossible expectations for your child.

*Believe in them. Think about, or make a written list, of everything that is positive, valuable, and unique about your child. Trust that your child can learn, change, mature, and succeed. Make thinking about this trust a daily task as you brush your teeth or make your coffee.

When You Take Care Of Yourself, It's Much Easier To Care For Your Child

As your child’s role model and most important source of strength, it is vital that you live healthfully. If you are overtired or have simply run out of patience, you risk losing sight of the structure and support you have so carefully set up for your child.

*Take care of yourself. Eat right, exercise, and find ways to reduce stress, whether it means taking a nightly bath or practicing morning meditation. If you do get sick, acknowledge it and get help.

*Seek support. One of the most important things to remember in rearing a child with this disorder is that you don’t have to do it alone. Talk to your child’s doctors, friends, therapists, and teachers. Join an organized support group for parents of children with ADHD. These groups offer a forum for giving and receiving advice, and provide a safe place to vent feelings and share experiences. These worked wonders in our case as I went to a group for children with ADHD when I was 10 years old and met my best friend Shane there and became very close to his family, we are still in contact today and our mums are good friends and they are godparents to my son. It's nice having a friend who has ADHD and understands what I'm going through and what it's like, think about introducing your child to others with the same disorder so they can talk and not feel left out or different to others their age.

*Take breaks. Friends and family can be wonderful about offering to babysit, but you may feel guilty about leaving your child, or leaving the volunteer with a child with ADHD. Next time, accept their offer and discuss honestly how best to handle your child.

Get A Structure In Place, And Stick To It!

Ok so even at my age I still HATE change, I do not deal with it well at all, I get panicky over the smallest things like routine change or moving my room around and I get panicky when I don't know what's going on and people keep secrets it's a horrible thing to have to suffer yet I do every day. I am constantly paranoid and get sweaty palms when people even mention change! Children with ADHD are more likely to succeed in completing tasks when they occur in the same place and around the same time each day. Your job is to create and sustain structure in your home, so that your child knows what to expect and what they are expected to do.

*Follow a routine. It is important to set a time and a place for everything to help your child to understand and meet expectations. Establish simple and predictable rituals for meals, homework, play, and bed. Have your child lay out clothes for the next morning before going to bed, and make sure whatever he or she needs to take to school is in a special place ready for the morning.

*Consider placing clocks throughout the house, with a big one in your child’s bedroom. Allow enough time for what your child needs to do, such as homework or getting ready in the morning. Use a timer for homework or transitional times, like finishing up play and getting ready for bed.

*Simplify your child’s schedule. It is good to avoid making your child lazy and unsociable, but a child with ADHD may become more distracted and “wound up” if there are too many after-school activities. You may need to make adjustments to the child’s after-school commitments based on their individual abilities and the demands of particular activities.

*Create a quiet place. Make sure your child has a quiet, private space of their own. A porch or a bedroom work well too, as long as it’s not the same place as the child goes for a time-out.

*Do your best to be neat and organized. Set up your home in an organized way. Make sure your child knows that everything has its place. Role model neatness and organization is extremely important while growing up so make sure they see it as much as possible.

Don't Forget Praise And Positive Reiforcement!

As you establish these consistent structures, keep in mind that children with ADHD often receive a lot of criticism. Be on the lookout for good behaviour and praise it. Praise is especially important for children who have ADHD because they typically get so little of it. These children receive correction, remediation, and complaints about their behaviour but little positive reinforcement.

A smile, positive comment, or other reward from you can improve the attention, concentration, impulse control and more importantly behaviour of your child. Do your best to focus on giving positive praise for appropriate behaviour and task completion, while giving as few negative responses as possible to inappropriate behaviour or poor task performance. Reward your child for small achievements that you might take for granted in another child.

Rewards And Concequences

Ok so below are a few examples of a way you can reward your child for good behaviour and proceed with consequences for bad behaviour.

Rewards:
*Reward your child with privileges, praise, or activities, rather than with food or toys.
*Make a chart with points or stars awarded for good behaviour, so your child has a visual reminder of their successes.
*Immediate rewards work better than the promise of a future reward, but small rewards leading to a big one can also work.
*ALWAYS follow through with a reward!

Consequences:
*Consequences should be spelled out in advance and occur immediately after your child has misbehaved. If for example you are out and they misbehave and you wish to punish them, don't wait until you get home to put them into time out as they are by this point behaving most probably and your then letting there anger out again by punishing them for being good which is how they will look at it as they haven't been naughty for a while. If you wish to punish while out shopping for example, then make sure you don't buy something your child normally looks at as a treat like a toy or book or even a sweet which most parents do while shopping with children, or just simply find a quiet corner and do a time out there, who cares if people stare what gives them the right to judge you like there children are angels.
*Try time-outs and the removal of privileges as consequences for misbehaviour.
*Remove your child from situations and environments that trigger inappropriate behaviour for example if they are making lego or painting ad getting frustrated because they cant do it then take them away from it for a while or distract or help them. Or if you are at a friends house with their children and you see your child getting annoyed or starting to fight with the ther child, remove them and distract them with something else until they calm down, although they don't look angry on the outside, you as there parent know there triggers and know there emotions before they even do.
*When your child misbehaves, ask what he or she could have done instead. Then have your child demonstrate it.
*Always follow through with consequences, don't tell them you will put them on the naughty step if they don't behave then a short while afterwards they are still misbehaving and carry on for a while and you still don't do it then they will just laugh at you when you mention the naughty step and not take you seriously because you say it and never do it, also if they refuse to clean there toys and you tell them if you don't do it you will take there favourite toy away, if they do not do as they are told make sure you show them you are serious and take their toy away, don't give it back just because they decided to do it, the whole point was they didn't listen so they were punished, its not a punishment if they get it back because they did it, its when you ask them to not when they feel like it, you are in charge!

Better Sleep Can Help ALOT!

Insufficient sleep can make anyone less attentive, but it can be highly detrimental for children with ADHD. They need at least as much sleep as their unaffected peers, but tend not to get what they need. Their attention problems can lead to overstimulation and trouble falling asleep. A consistent, early bedtime is the most helpful strategy to combat this problem, but it may not completely solve it.

Help your child get better rest by trying out one or more of the following strategies:

*Decrease TV time and increase their activities and exercise levels during the day.
*Eliminate caffeine from their diet, this is in things like coke and other fizzy drinks.
*Create a "calm down time" to lower down the activity level for an hour or so before bedtime. Find quieter activities such as colouring, reading or playing quietly.
*Spend ten minutes cuddling with your child. This will build a sense of love and security as well as provide a time to calm down.
*Use lavender or other aromas in your child's room. The scent may help to calm them.
*Read stories to them, it's extremely relaxing and a good way for them to learn also.
*Use relaxation tapes as background noise for your child when falling asleep. There are many varieties available including nature sounds and calming music. Children with ADHD often find "white noise" to be calming (I personally don't as I watched too many horrors as a child and it used to freak me out and still does!). You can create white noise by putting a radio on static or running an electric fan.

Making Friends

Children with ADHD often have difficulty with simple social skills. They may struggle with reading social cues, talk too much, interrupt frequently, or come off as aggressive or “too intense” Their emotional immaturity can make them stand out among children their own age, and make them targets for unfriendly teasing.

Don’t forget, though, that many kids with ADHD are exceptionally intelligent and creative and will eventually figure out for themselves how to get along with others and spot people who aren’t appropriate as friends, although this isn't always the case. Moreover, personality traits that might exasperate parents and teachers may come across to peers as funny and charming.

Social Skills

It's hard for children with ADHD to learn social skills and social rules. You can help your child become a better listener, learn to read people’s faces and body language, and interact more smoothly in groups.

* Speak gently but honestly with your child about his or her challenges and how to make changes.
*Role-play various social scenarios with your child. Trade roles often and try to make it fun.
*Invite only one or two friends at a time at first. Watch them closely while they play.
*Have a zero tolerance policy for hitting, pushing and yelling in your house or garden.
*Make time and space for your child to play, and reward good play behaviours often.

In Conclusion

I hope this has helped a few of you, it's all very well having all these books and articles out there on ADHD but no one knows this disorder better then someone who personally suffers with it as much as medical professionals want to argue that, they don't know how we feel as they are not us, they may see what's outside but they can never see what happens inside the mind of a child with ADHD and also what we can and cannot help. We shouldn't be judged or punished for things that we don't know we are doing, its like telling someone with Parkinson's to stop shaking or someone with torrettes don't swear, it is not possible to not do it, it cannot be helped. People with ADHD have all of the above disorders all in one: Mixed conduct of emotions, mental health problems although not to an extreme extent, anxiety disorders, panic attacks and even torrettes in some cases. It's these reasons that makes me angry when people who don't have this go around and say they we are "faking it" or we are just naughty and seeking attention, they don't realise that ADHD isn't just being hyperactive and naughty, its all kinds of horrible disorders in one that make our lives extremely hard. A little sympathy and consideration from "the norms" would be much appreciated as they don't know what its like to cope with all these feelings inside just one person.

Tags

Adhd, Adult, Advice, Attention, Bad, Behaviour, Childhood, Children, Defficit, Disorder, Doctor, Hyperactivity, Medical, Naughty, Teenager, Tips

Meet the author

author avatar SarahOliver2014
I have a 1 year old son who is my whole world. I haven't had a great life, Yet it hasn't been awful. I've had ups and i've had downs but i'm trying to live for the here and now.

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