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Archive for the ‘ADHD’ Category

Well, for the second morning in a row – Miss Abby woke up in a splendid mood! She decided she wanted to wake up to High School Musical’s We’re All In This Together this morning and by the time I got back there, she was sitting up in her bed JAMMIN’! Another day that she started in a GREAT MOOD! She got dressed, I fixed her hair, she helped me wake Maggie up and then took her medicine before I could even blink an eye. Maybe we’ve turned a corner…

Patrick is home sick today and I had to wake up early enough to get ready, fix Abby’s lunch, get both girls ready and get both of them to school on time. Not too bad. I even had time to spare to do a load of laundry. Woohoo! I like waking up a bit early. Anyway, I fixed Abby the cutest little lunch today. She has a toasted cinnamon mini bagel, carrots and ranch (which will probably come home – but at least I made the effort), blueberry applesauce, a grape juice box, 2 marshmallows and 2 midgie tootsie rolls. She’s going to love it!

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sorry it’s a bit blurry…

Now I’m going to be singing those darn songs all day… Go Wildcats!

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good morning!

The other night, Abby and I talked about her ADHD medicine. We gave it to her all weekend and had a great weekend… with only minor fussing and arguing on all parts. Her medicine just helps regulate her personality – not only at school (helping her concentrate), but at home by helping her to be able to actually listen to what we’re saying and think more clearly about what she is doing/going to do. Anyway, as I lay in bed with her the other night saying prayers, we had a little talk. I was very understanding that she didn’t want to take it on the weekends and her reasoning is mainly a bit of a control issue. She did agree that we had a great weekend and she was extremely proud that she hadn’t gotten in trouble all weekend. As I explained to her how the medicine worked (for the hundredth time), I think she started to understand that she needs it – that we need it. Until we started medicating, we just dealt with her/our “problems” (and not too well). I want her have a happy childhood – with minimal fussing and fighting. I feel bad enough as it is that it took us 5 years to figure out the problem.

As I’ve stated before, Abby works best on a schedule… a pretty strict one. We’ve always known this, but recently, I’ve added a few things to make life even easier. A good friend of mine suggested combating our morning problems with a hanging closet organizer that houses several days worth of clothes. This has been a godsend – Abby and I pick out 3 days worth of clothes on Sunday evening and she knows exactly what she is going to wear every morning. No more fussing about clothes – CHECK! The next thing we had to tackle is taking her medicine. We’ve finally figured out that she likes it best sprinkled in some blueberry applesauce (go figure) – but not in a dish. She wants to take one spoonfull of it ONLY. No more fussing about medicine – CHECK! Our next issue to work through is actually waking up every morning. Even though we get her up at the same time every morning (7:15), she fusses and fights about getting up. Phil over at MyKidsFamily suggested getting her an alarm clock… and not just any alarm clock – one that she can wake up to music. GREAT IDEA! I set it up last night so she could wake up to High School Musical’s Bop To The Top and woke up in the happiest mood this morning! She even told me she liked it so much she turned the volume up! No more fussing about waking up in the mornings – CHECK!

We’re getting there – slowly but surely. We’re having more great days and less not-so great ones. It’s a learning process for us as well as it is for her. Look at what she got at school the other day… a GOOD CONDUCT CERTIFICATE! Her first – and only 3 other people in the class got one.
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We got a letter from the school board yesterday. Of course we’re a bit apprehensive, but upon opening it – we’re shocked, delighted and amazed. They’re sending us a letter saying that Abby has ELIGIBLE FOR THE GIFTED PROGRAM and we need to fill out this form and bring her for further testing to get her placed before the next school year! YIPPPEEEEE! We always knew she was smart…

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monet donkey…

I left work a bit early yesterday because I was not feeling too well and went straight to St. Mark to pick Abby up. I figured we could lay on the couch and watch a movie (probably one of the High School Musicals). Anyway, Abby wanted to get her homework done first (SHOCKER). She had to draw a farm animal, write it’s name, what it eats, it’s size, what it’s babies were called, what color it is and if it has fur or feathers. She chose a donkey and man-oh-man… she spent some time working on it too. It took her a solid HOUR to draw and color the picture. She had me draw a donkey first so that she could see what they kind-of looked like and then she went to town.
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Look how proud she is of her finished project! Mommy’s proud too. We may have another artist in the family! Look how well she drew the donkey. Oh, and if you were wondering, the square thing is the trough and in it is hay (yellow), grass (green) and oats (light brown). The other thing is a water pail. She’s so excited and hopes hers is the best in the class. I don’t see how it couldn’t be – do you?
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This is one of the few times I got to actually see her on her medicine. She still takes it on Saturdays, but we’re so crazy-busy with soccer that we can’t really notice much difference. Not yesterday. I picked her up before it wore off and she came straight home and worked dilligently on this project until it was done. What a difference the 10 hour Metadate makes! She didn’t even freak out as her pencil tip broke, she just calmly (I said “calmly”) asked me to resharpen it over and over (and over) again.

Nice work, Baby!

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ADHD update…

As you may remember, we had Abby on the 20mg of Ritalin (6-8 hour time release), but that wasn’t working quite long enough. She was having a bit of trouble after school, so we switched her to the Metadate 10 hour. We started her out on 10mg, but realized that wasn’t doing what we wanted it to (she started gradually having more and more attention issues at school again), so we upped it to 2 pills every morning (or 20mg). Eureka! She’s now doing well in school, is turning in GREAT work, bringing home stellar progress reports and is also having a much better time at her after school care facility because it’s lasting longer.

They’re correct when they say that it is truly trial-and-error. The doctors can’t prescribe you a dose based on weight or age – it’s totaly up to the parent to “figure out” what dose works best for THEIR child. We tried 4 things (10mg then 20mg of Ritalin… and 10mg then 20mg of Metadate) and finally found what worked best for Abby.

Now our major problem is that she doesn’t really like to take it. I crack open the capsules full of little “balls”, put them on a spoon and then cover it with chunky applesauce (so she can’t detect the texture of the little “balls” of medicine). This works fine some mornings, but others – taking her medicine is just a PAIN! She knows what the medicine does and she is PROUD that she’s doing better in school and isn’t getting in as much trouble, but she just does not like to take it (even though she loves applesauce). This morning she actually took the whole spoonfull in her mouth then filled the rest of her mouth with juice. You can imagine that didn’t turn out too well for us. She ended up getting a spanking and spit it all over the floor. Nice! Well, then I had to get out more medicine and give it to her (that stuff is expensive – I HATE to waste it). Does anyone have any other suggestions?

We were going to do drug-free weekends to give her little body a rest, but since she needs it to concentrate for her soccer games on Saturdays, we’re just going drug-free Sundays right now. We still haven’t decided what we’re going to do this summer. We know we’re going to keep her on it through our vacation to Disney mid-June, but what about the rest of the summer? She’s going to a daycare summer camp with some friends and is SO EXCITED. Maybe we’ll try it – maybe we’ll talk about it with her camp “teachers” and see how she does without it.

I don’t know – why isn’t there a manual for parents to tell us exactly what to do in these situations?

When your child won’t get up in the mornings, here’s what you do:

When your child doesn’t want to take their medicine, here’s what you do:

When your child freaks out because you’re not having Spaghetti O’s for dinner, here’s what you do:

Too bad life’s not that cut-and-dry simple. Raising a child is never easy, but raising one with ADHD is truly a challenge. We have bad days, good days and great days. Thankfully we have more great days now…

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addendum…

I would like to add an addendum to last night’s post. Abby woke up this morning in a great mood! She came in the kitchen about 7:25 as I was fixing her medicine and some apple juice to take back to her. I decided to give it to her as I woke her up… to get it in her faster. Well, that wasn’t needed. She gobbled it right up as soon as I put it in front of her (I mixed it with some applesauce mixed with sugar and cinnamon), ate a few apple jacks and drank her juice. We joked a bit about her having an appley-morning (apple juice, apple sauce and apple jacks) and went back to her room to get ready. Last night before the bedtime-blowup, we had laid out her outfits for the rest of the week in an organizer in her closet. A last ditch effort to fix the “getting dressed” issues we have EVERY morning. Well, she picked out one of her outfits and started getting dressed BY HERSELF! She was so excited to have picked it out and she KNEW which one she wanted to wear today. After getting dressed, she went in the playroom to watch tv while I got Maggie dressed. No fights brushing teeth, no fights getting her lunch figured out, no fights period!

She surprises me sometimes. I mean, this morning is what I would like EVERY morning to be… Worry & stress-free! I know she’s got it in her… this is the little girl I know. I just wish she was around more often!

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Mommy-guilt…

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Look how cute and happy Abby looks standing on the end of the dock at the marina today! We were finishing up feeding the ducks and the sun was on her back and the wind picked up her hair in the playful way… I couldn’t resist snapping away with the camera (which I happened to have in my pocket).

I want to preface by saying that I’d never do anything to physically harm my children – EVER! That being said, let’s just say that we didn’t have a good start to today. Actually, that’s a major understatement… this morning was HORRIBLE! Abby didn’t want to get up, she didn’t want to wear what we picked out, she couldn’t brush her teeth, she wasn’t taking her medicine because she was hungry or tired or thirsty or her feet stunk (no exaggeration) … it went on and on – for about an hour! Patrick is lucky. He can leave for work when he is tired of the fussing. Mommy can’t leave – I have to take Abby to school in the mornings.

Well, I had finally had enough and I snapped. I seriously started seeing red. I screamed ’til my throat hurt – fire and brimstone rained down in our kitchen. After threatening to pry her mouth open and SHOVE the spoonfull of medicine down her throat half-way to her knees, she decided it would be wise to just take the medicine. Tears were dried up, appollogies were made and we went on to school.

Kids are amazingly resilient… Moms – not so much. I thought about that all day, so I took off work 2 hours early and picked her up at school. I was a bit surprised when she had totaly forgotten about our “little incident” this morning. She was SO EXCITED to see me! After coming home for me to change clothes, we went to the marina and fed the ducks. We went to the park and played for about an hour. We came home and finished homework and she played in the yard and played with the little girls next door… just like nothing had happened. I talked to my Daddy a bit about it today and he said most parents have guilty days… where we’ve done something wrong and try to make it up to them by doing something fun. Still doesn’t make me feel much better about screaming at that cute little thing.

I know this is hard on her – but it’s doubly hard on the parents! All these emotions coming to a head – day in and day out! I seriously feel like going all “Britney” and ripping my hair out sometimes (but then I’d get the po-pos after me). I’d like to say that tonight was different than this morning, but it wasn’t. It’s now 9 o’clock and she’s still back there screaming about something stupid. Is there an end in sight? Is there a light at the end of this extremely gray tunnel? Sometimes I feel like we’re almost there… that it’s getting lighter and lighter. Then on days like today – I feel like we’ve hit the brakes and are going in complete reverse. If it weren’t for the fact that she was doing better in school… I’d feel like we were just spinning our wheels.

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