Child W/ ADHD & ODD Mom stressed out to the MAX!

User - posted on 11/21/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hello COM (Circle of Moms) I'm Candace. I am a single mother of a seven year old son who has ADHD and ODD. Currently I am working on my Associate's Degree in medical assisting and I work. I have been having a lot of trouble this year. Like kindergarten, my son is having major behavioral issues. I've just about had it with the teachers calling every day and every thing I am doing is not helping. I was so stressed out today I fell and was in tears because to be honest, I feel like a cursed mom. I don't know what I've ever done in my life so wrong to deserve a child like this. So far (he is in first grade) he's been suspended twice, kicked off the school bus and he's gotten in a fight with another child during music class in which a teacher was injured and is planning on coming after me for money, in which I don't have to spare.

I can't explain how I feel without simply asking that you all please do not judge me if you don't have a child with ADHD/ODD you clearly don't understand my frustrations. I believe in Christ Jesus and have onced asked him in prayer: "Am I cursed?" When I was pregnant with my son I never imagined my life would be so miserable. I look at my friend's children and I am immediately saddened because I wonder why my son can't be so well behaved. It's so very hard to love him and I have contemplated giving him up for adoption. Deep down I know that I could not go through with it.

I tried changing his diets and cutting out all (and I do mean all sweets, but he would only sneak them from other children or from lunch @ the school. His father is of no help and neither is my family. Sometimes I find myself binging on food because I am so stressed out. He's currently taking medications Intuniv and Adderrall which really don't help with his behavior. Since he assualted the teacher, I've withdrew him from school, too scared to enroll him anywhere else. I've called the doctor's office and let them know that I need counseling or therpay services for my child. I normally do not reach out to the open world about this situation, but I am in desparate need of help and I don't have anywhere else to turn. ~Momonherlastleg~

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[deleted account]

Sorry it took me so long to get back to this. I hope you are still reading....

The gluten free diet is a little difficult to follow at first, but you quickly get the hang of it. Cutting artificial dyes is a lot easier, just read the labels.

Gluten free is not difficult if you "eat clean" meaning you eat mostly non processed fruits, vegetables, and meats (bought out of the produce department and meat counters). Just leave out breads and pastas. There are gluten free flour brands you can buy to make your own breads with if you must have them, but they are a bit pricey. Also, there are no nutrients in breads or pastas that you need to stay healthy that cannot be found elsewhere. In fact, pasta is pretty much void of all nutrient, just a good filler. Avoid junk food like frozen dinners, canned soups, boxed "meal makers" like Hamburger Helper or Mac&Cheese type stuff, and such. I just avoid the middle isles and frozen section in the grocery store.

User - posted on 11/22/2013

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I was just cutting out all sweets so no I have never actually tried to cut out wheat, etc. and thank u for responding, (both of you moms) it means alot to me!

User - posted on 11/22/2013

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thank you for responding. Well when he first got suspended I was thinking of spanking him, but I didn't because as he is getting older I realize that only fuels his anger. He (it was halloween when he got suspended) just missed out on going to his cousin's costume party. When he was at home during the suspension, I made him do these assignment (math reading ) that I'd found down at the public library. Could you tell me more about this gluten free diet?

And yes my gut instinct told me to spend more time with him because when I come home sometimes I am sooo wore out that I can't think of doing anything but what I felt needed to be done. I reallly like the twenty minutes a day idea.

[deleted account]

I don't have a child with ADHD or ODD, but I have ADHD and am sociopathic myself (which is often described as a severe form of ODD. They are not the same exactly, but the symptoms are similar), so maybe I can help by helping you to see things from his perspective?

First a couple questions:
When he assaulted the teacher, how did you discipline him? Did the school react as well?
I do want to assure you that it will be very difficult for the teacher to come after you financially if the altercation happened on school property, as the school's insurance will cover any of her medical expenses and replace any destroyed property. If it does, then she can't sue you for anything further.
Also, What do you do with him while he is suspended?

As for his diet--cutting artificial colors and gluten will do much more to help with his ADHD than cutting out sweets. Sweets don't really have any more effect on ADHD kids than they do on regular kids. I started a gluten & dye free diet about 2 years ago, and while I still require medication, the difference is TREMENDOUSLY positive.

You sound like a really busy mom with working full time and a demanding school curriculum. Please don't take this as an insult--I fell into this same trap with my own son a few years ago, and didn't realize it until someone pointed it out to me!!! You may not be spending enough time with him. I know right now it seems like you are "all consumed" with him, and you are unable to focus on anything other than him, but if you really look at your day and where your attention is, you might find that you are never 100% focused on anything. When you are with him, you are focused on making dinner, getting homework done, dealing with bills, cleaning, etc. When you are doing all those other things, you are worried about your kid.
Your kid picks up on that. He knows when you are with him that you are thinking about 100 other things, and to a child with ADHD, whose thoughts fly in and out of his head at a mind boggling pace, that means he has to be CONSTANTLY fighting for some of your attention. And because he has ODD, he's got the stamina to go at it until you crack.
Try spending 20 minutes EVERY DAY with him--100% focused on him. Let him talk, play a game with him, run around with him, read a book with him. Do whatever he wants to do (except not screen time--no video games, computer, tv, etc.). I set a timer for this so that, one, I don't get carried away and neglect my other responsibilities--knowing the bell will ring and remind me, I am free to let those other thoughts leave me for a bit (having ADHD, actually letting thoughts go is very scary bc we never know if we can get them back or not). Two, the bell ends our play time, not me, so my son gets mad at the bell, not me. He might yell at me, but the blame is squarely on the bell.

The first few weeks, he'll be sad or mad at the end of the playtime, but if you stick with it, it will become routine. At first, he will not be confident that it will ever happen again, so he won't want it to end, but once you do it for a while, he will trust that tomorrow he'll get your time again, and he won't put up a fuss. Also, because he knows he is guaranteed time and attention every single day, he will not feel like he has to be continuously fighting for it. His behavior will improve in all areas and you will be less stressed because you won't have to worry about everything at once.

Shannon - posted on 11/22/2013

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I am so sorry you are going though all of this without support. Have you tried taking out ALL unnatural things from his food like colors, preservatives, nitrates and nitrites in processed meat, dairy, and wheat? Also, be sure to read labels because high fructose corn syrup is more damaging than regular table sugar.
I hope you can get some counselling for him too. Has he been through traumatic situations? His behavior sounds way more complicated than ADHD and doctors are so quick to dope kids up with meds rather than find out the root of a problem. Poor little boy, I really feel for you and hope you get some relief soon.

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