How do I help my son who has just been diagnosed with ADHD?

Lindsay - posted on 03/20/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My son has been kicked out of 2 daycare facilities in the past 1.5 yrs. He has just been diagnosed with ADHD and is not on meds yet due to his insurance won't cover any that we found yet. I was just informed that the daycare that hes been in for the past 2 months is about to call it quits on him due to his hyperactive behavor. I have been a single mom for the past 1.5 yrs and have been barely holding on to my job due to all this stress and getting my son the help that he needs. Does anybody have any suggestions?

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Annette - posted on 03/21/2011

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so you have a 4yr old son who has had the pleasure of watching his dad go on and out of jail, watch his mom stress cause his dad is in and out of jail, was let be so he could do what he wants when he wants to,(so he wasnt taught the appropriate ways to handle things) and now.. only gets to see dad a few days out of the month and mom works so much that when she is home she is tired and stressed cause well, she is a single mom... are you SURE it is ADHD? Sounds like a normal kid going thru some really crappy situations that life has thrown at ya... without the ever learning any skills to appropriatly express his feelings...i am a single mom too.. fortunatly for me those baby days are over.. but, i live within my means.. and even now (my youngest is 13) i wont let my job interfere in raising my chldren... email me.. binkxth@yahoo.com

Jodi - posted on 03/21/2011

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OK, Lindsay, you are probably not going to like what I have to say, but here goes.

IMO, this is NOT ADHD. Firstly, it is extremely difficult to diagnose ADHD at age 4, and it is generally a much more accurate diagnosis at around 6-7, AFTER they have started in a school environment. Secondly, I would very much say that your son's behaviour is totally related to the lack of stability in his environment. You need to stop labelling him, and to be honest, I would get rid of the doctor who diagnosed him (if one did at all). Labelling your child ADHD is NOT going to get him the help he needs, and will only compound the problem.

Now to address the real issue here - the home environment and that of his dad. You have stated that your son needs him in his life. I don't know the man from a bar of soap, but I can tell you that sometimes, children are better off without their father in their life. If his presence in his son's life is toxic, he is better off staying away.

I do want to say that it is normal for a child to be a bit out of routine after a weekend with the other parent. My son used to be a little difficult and tired every time he cam home from a weekend with his dad, and it often took a few days for me to get him back into routine. I also used to work 50 hours a week. I didn't, however, have the issues with daycare that you are having, so it seems your son's behaviour is more extreme than my son's was.

What is in your vcourt orders with regard to visitation?

I would suggest you speak to a child psychologist to help you get to the bottom of this behaviour.

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Banannine - posted on 03/21/2011

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I hate that doctors are always stamping children with ADD and ADHD. it seems to "go to thing" when they dont want to deal with a deeper issue. My sister was diagnosed with that also at about 4 yrs old. Her father didnt want to see her and she was simply acting out. I cant tell you what to do, but i can tell you that it helped immensely getting her doing creative things. children are creatures of habit and routine. while you cant control exactly what happens at dads, you can have a very effective schedule at home. My baby sister still sees her father about once a month, She is 10 (big age difference =) and plays piano, paints, goes to gymnastics and a ton of other things. It took some work on the teachers part but her grades are good finally and she has gotten over the typical symptoms. we never had her on medication. I worked with children who suffered a trauma of loosing a parent, or seeing something terrible and we always focused on having a timed routine of weekly things to do. when they werent with me, they would use what they learned to play with other children and it helped a lot. Maybe try to do some routine activities where he can learn a few things like drawing every evening with him. it builds security, and gives a form of expression. good luck to you.

Theresa - posted on 03/21/2011

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If the visits are supervised, then someone is there watching and hearing everything. Talk to the person you drop your son off with for the visits about the things your son is telling you. They can't tell you what is being said and done at visits, but it at least lets them know things to be aware of. I do agree with what Jodi said. It sounds much more like he's just having a hard time with all the transitions in his life over the last 1.5 years. I would be very sceptical of any MD who diagnoses a preschooler as ADHD. ADHD runs heavily in my family. My oldest nephew had lots of issues because he was diagnosed so late, not until after 4th grade. I didn't want that for my kids, so I talked to the doc, and his preschool teachers early about my concerns of the possibility. I was told by everyone that diagnosis before school age is very hard. Many of the same things that seem ADHD are normal for preschoolers who are still learning selfcontrol. I would see if you can find a small home daycare that would be able to give him the time and attention he needs better than a center. Be up front about his behaviors and about your situation so the provider goes into it with eyes wide open. If they know what to expect before they even start with him they will be more willing to stick it out through the rough times. Also if they understand the changes that he's had in his life they may be able to be more loving and understanding toward him rather than labeling him as a "naughty" child.

Lindsay - posted on 03/21/2011

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I do agree with a lot of what u are saying and thank you for ur support. He does go to a therapist once a week and that is who diagnosed him with adhd which is from best outcomes. His father has supervised visitation and I can not have contact with,but this past weekend he saw his father but for the past couple of months says he hasnt so my guess is he was in jail and this past time he saw him he came home after and stated "my daddy shoot u,my daddy has big gun and the next day he said my daddy shoot ur eyeballs out and to top it off the next day he said my granny shoot u. Now I dont know if I should be concerned or if hes just acting out in some way. I know his father has always been interested in guns,however me not so much...I cant stand them and dont want him or me to be around them...hell I dont even think he should know what one is.


I hate to take his father from him or even him to think that I did...I dont want him to hate me for that.I love my son and will do anything for him. The fear of losing him kills me even though I dont do anything wrong to be able to lose him...the thought is still their. The father is a crazy man and he will do anything for revenge and he knows the only thing that will bother me is through my son...

Lindsay - posted on 03/21/2011

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He is 4 yrs old now and his father has been in and out of jail and when he was home he was a stay at home dad. He didnt really watch our son he just stayed behind the computer & let him do what he wanted. It took me a min to get him on a schedule,however once he started seing his father ever other weekend his behavior has gotten really out of control & it takes me a week to get him back on his schedule once I get him back. I also work 50 hours a week which im sure doesnt help matters since he doesnt see me that often either. Even though his fathers not a great man I know he needs him in his life...I just need him to cope better with the situation.

Jodi - posted on 03/20/2011

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How old is he?

I just find it conincidental that you have been a single mum for the past 1.5 years, and in that same time his behaviour has been an issue. Did anyone investigate that correlation? This would have been a big change in his life too, and I would imagine it would have had a major impact on his behaviour.

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