July 25, 2017 at 2:12 pm #128318
moonmommy3MemberJuly 25, 2017 at 2:12 pmPost count: 1
We have a beautiful, sweet 17 year old whose inattentive ADD seems to almost be getting worse. Trying to keep her on track is exhausting and draining – for all of us. She seems to resist all efforts to help her focus even though she wants to go on to University. We thought we had time but each high school year has brought on new challenges and now she is going into her last year and she is as unprepared as she was back in grade 9. We have her on medication which seems to help but not as much as she needs. We are getting to the point of accepting “this is the way it’s going to be” and that she’s not going to University unless there is a major shift in her attitude (her aptitude is fine – when she applies herself ). My question is: do some of these things sound familiar and if so, do they grow out of them??
-Lots of little lies about finishing work and cleaning – lies that are VERY easily discovered and really ridiculous to even lie about
-Doing well and working on projects but NEVER HANDING ANYTHING in = terrible grades
Eating terribly (sneaking junk food and snack food while claiming she is a healthy eater)
Grandiose ideas of what she is going to be when she graduates HS like a brain surgeon when her grades are barely above 50
Getting her to clean her room or doing any household chores is like pulling teeth and it ends up with us taking phones away until it’s done – it’s a painful process
Her dad and I are at our wits end trying to help her but she actively resists all efforts even though she says she wants the help. We are trying to keep her on a schedule but it’s difficult when we fall asleep by 11pm! 🙂
Any suggestions? I am so glad to find this forum – hoping to learn from parents who have been there, done that.July 28, 2017 at 12:25 am #128319
That Guy with ADHDParticipantJuly 28, 2017 at 12:25 amPost count: 123
I’m sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your daughter. Teenagers can be challenging at the best of times. Throw ADHD into the mix and it certainly can make things worse.
I understand from some that medication can become inaffective over time and that a dose change or medication change may be necessary. You might want to start with her physician about that.
Since being recently diagnosed at the age of 53 I can look back at my teenage years and see how the untreated ADHD affected me and my family. Being “told” to do something was like Kryptonite for me. The more “help” I received the more distractions I would find to the point that I would get nothing done. I ended up cramming an entire school project or exam prep into a single evening or weekend. With a tight deadline like that I could hyperfocus and actually achieve some successful results. Over time I would develop some coping strategies that worked for me and my family learned to remind me of appointments, assignments, exams rather than forcing me to sit down and do it. Since being diagnosed I have done my share of learning and one thing that stands out is not to tell a person they need to do something but to simply give them a gentle reminder. Rather than saying “You have an exam on Tuesday so you’d better study or you’re going to get an F” you could simply ask “Don’t you have an exam on Tuesday? What’s it about again?”. For me the threat of the first version would send me into an uncomfortable anxiety and a million thoughts would go through my head but not one of them on the upcomming test. The latter example would simply remind me of my schedule and make me think about the topic which often (but not always) kickstarted me into a study session. While no two people with ADHD will share the same results as I had my readings seem to indicate that it works for many.
Your daughter may also be suffering from comorbid disorders like depression and anxiety which can throw other issues into the mix. A big one for me (and still is) is having a low self esteem. Often forgetting or losing things, getting low marks, struggling to stay focused, and making simple mistakes makes me think of myself as a loser at times and it is almost impossible for me to stay focused then. The best solution to a low self esteem is “Success”. Reminders of when she does something well and fewer reminders of when she doesn’t make the grade can go a long way to improving self esteem and, along with it, any associated anxiety and depression. While having a clean room can be helpful for someone with ADHD (less clutter to distract us) I am a believer in giving kids their space. In my opinion forcing her to clean “her” room and taking away privilages until she does will just become another distraction. Others on the forum may argue with me on this point but while I didn’t consider myself a messy kid I learned to appreciate a clean “clutter free” environment to live in (there are fewer distractions in a clean simple uncluttered space).
Things to consider might be Cognative Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which in my area is free for group sessions. Also, coaching has been a very effective method of ADHD therapy. It provides the participant with practical life skills and backs them up with a person who holds you accountable for them. While I personally can’t afford coaching at this time I am looking forward to taking it when My situation changes.
Oh my, it’s late. I need to stop rambling and go to bed. These are just “my” opinions which may or may not be shared by others in the forum. Perhaps they can comment on their own situations if they think it would benefit the discussion. Feel free to ask me anything and I will do my best to answer your questions to the best of my ability.
That Guy with ADD
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