Post # 1
Little A is diagnosed with NVLD/Aspergers (we will have a clearer answer after she goes through more neurological testing) as well as ADHD.
Little A has been off the walls lately. She talks 24/7. She never ever stops. She even talks to herself when alone. She even talks in her sleep. She is extremely fidgety and very very hyper.
Her doctor has recommended medicating her so that she will do better both socially and academically. The idea of medicating my little angel scares the crap out of me.
Do you have ADHD? Does your child? How do you deal? How do you calm down?
She gets so riled up sometimes that she ends up flapping her arms or almost hyperventalating.
Please give me some advice!
Post # 3
i’m so sorry you are going through this…my brother has ADD with “traces of ADHD” as the doctor’s say. When my brother was five he was told he had it and my mom waited several years to have him medicated. Back then the only options were Ritalin which is HORRIBLE but it worked.
My brother is a functioning 27 year old man, he works two jobs and is obsessed with fishing and boating and spends ALL his free time doing this. My brother however, is completely dependent on adavan (spelling?) with some dyxadrene for fast acting medication.
Every summer when school would finish my mom would allow him to CHOOSE if he wanted to be medicated and more often than not, my brother would choose to BE medicated – he likes himself better when he’s medicated because most of the stuff he does when he’s not medicated is out of control and he literally cannot control himself.
I know people will say meds are the worse and over medicating our children is a bad thing but your poor baby sounds like she can’t control her movements, she will probably find relief from medication.
There are support groups, you do not have to deal with this alone….hugs.
Post # 4
I’m a teacher and have had multiple kids with ADHD as well as a child with Aspergers in my class. A lot of them have something that they can fidget with, which seems to help them focus and sit still more. Usually it’s a stress ball that they can squeeze.
Another thing that my student with Asperger’s had was a “calm down procedure”. It was basically a series of steps that he went through on his own to calm down. Something like this: sit down on a chair, put your feet on the floor, take three deep breaths, count to ten.
Post # 5
I know people may say I am crazy for suggesting this, but lots of studies show that caffeine will actually calm someone with ADHD down. You may want to try small doses to she how she reacts.
Post # 6
@SoontobeMrsA: Not a mommy, but a teacher. When you have a clearer diagnosis, I’d look into dietary/nutritional control. I’ve seen amazing results with very focused diets–for some kids it’s gluten, for others, dairy, certain dyes, etc. High-quality vitamin supplements help some, too. I’m not saying you’re not feeding her well–I’m recalling you have some issues yourself with food sensitivities, so I imagine y’all eat pretty healthfully.
And I know medication scares you, but it can make a difference, if you’ve exhausted all your other options. Good luck!
Post # 7
Caffeine…. really… works. I have ADHD and I struggled as a child, not so much now though. It should have the reverse effect on her though! I know even now caffeine in coffee can still make me sleepy.
I know it’s a struggle and I’m sorry I don’t have anything magical to help out with this. :/ But I think the caffeine option may be worth a go.
Post # 8
@SoontobeMrsA: I have ADHD – and when I am on a low dose of extended release concerta I can focus and feel like everything around me is a lot more manageable. Stress just heightens the ADHD and if I don’t take my medicine I can easily distract myself, and have a hard time doing anything. As for the hyperactivity – it doesn’t always imply “hyper” in the physical sense but in the brain function sense which would make sense if your little one is non-stop talking.
I understand your concern about medication as I was really hesitant to jump on the pill popping band wagon when I was diagnosed. I only take my medicine during the academic year when I have a million school and work things to juggle. I take myself off during breaks and during the summer when my life isn’t as hectic. I have to say even my fiance notices the difference in me when I am on the medicine. It’s like I am more “together.” I have also not felt any addictive effects from the medication.
It’s no secret that ADHD is one of the most over-diagnosed learning conditions – sometimes it seems like doctors throw the medicine at you like candy. But when you see the difference in someone who has ADHD and someone who doesn’t on the medication it’s dumbfounding. Medications used to treat ADHD are stimulants molecularly similar to cocaine, people with ADHD will calm down and those without will act like they are on stimulants.
This is a really tough decision – and I would recommend that you research as many options as possible and try what seems to be the safest for your little one.
Post # 9
Thank you everyone for your kind words and advice.
Is there a good source of caffeine we could try besides soda and coffee? Her stomach issues might make digesting either of those difficult.
She has absolutely no dairy due to casein intolerance. We also avoid anything with red dyes. We did take her off gluten for a while but it did not seem to make much of a difference.
MY biggest worries for her are social as opposed to academic. Her IQ is extremely high and she does seem to be able to focus on her work for short periods as long as she is given a break every so often.
Post # 10
Maybe tea? Try making her some sweet tea! She’ll surely like that and it’ll go down easy and maybe give her juuuust enough caffeine to calm her down. Just boil a small saucepan of water with 2 family sized teabags in it. Dump that in a pitcher with 1 cup of sugar in it, and fill the rest of the way up with water, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Post # 11
Poor Little A. She’s been through a lot in such a short life, but it will make her stronger in the end. I wish I had advice to offer, but I don’t. I only recall my brother being the same when we were younger. He eventually grew out of it (not entirely, obviously) and is completely functioning. It’s such a difficult time to help calm them down though. I absolutely wish the best of luck to Little A.
Post # 12
@ohheavenlyday: lol how did you know a northerner like me would not know how to make sweet tea?!? I will give that a try.
Post # 13
As a teacher, I’m really glad you’re looking into alternate options besides medication. I think it has it’s place, but only after other options are looked into.
Some of my students have had success with using stress relief balls or something similar to help them release stress and calm down, as a PP mentioned. Counting to 10, breathing deeply, and saying her ABC’s are good coping strategies to teach her for when she’s stressed out.
Also, have her complete tasks in one-direction intervals. For ex. “Little A, please come into the living room” *pause and wait for her to do that* “Please pick up your toys” *pause* “Please put them in your box” etc. It will help her to process one thought at a time instead of having 3 separate tasks in her mind all at once.
Post # 14
Hey sweets… well I am a about 6months from being a “certified” Sped teacher, I have worked in TONS of Special Education rooms, I am working on my Masters in Special Education with a focus on Behavioral Analysis AND I personally have ADHD and so does my brother.
To be honest; I am Pro-medication… depending on the child. My little brother has been on Ritalin since a young age; he is NOT dependant on it and only takes it to this day when he is at work or in a group of a ton of people. He is 22 now. I personally take ritalin when I am at work or school. If not I would forget my head! I know that medicating a child can be very scary; but honestly even though I’m not in this position if my daughter was diagnosed with ADHD I would medicate her.
There are also other things you can do; like PP have said, stress balls, or some sort of outlet for her. When she feels too worked up she could draw, or run outside, something to make her feel less crazy inside…. Another thing that helped my brother was HONEY! PURE HONEY! there are places like Gloria Jean’s coffee shops that sell flavored honey sticks. They helped my brother a TON! There is also over the counter things such as St John Wart that is a supplament that has helped us both on the days we do not take our ritalin.
With the Asperger’s diagnosis along with ADHD things such as a stress ball or other sensory things may help Lil A…. Each child is different and just be patient and find those little things that will help Lil A and stick with those! Consistancy and learning the little things that helped us is what has helped my brother and I be as successful as we are! Just know what things she might need assistance with; make her aware of what she needs help with and stick to the things seem to help her the most!
I’m here if ya need to talk girl! You know to just PM me!
Post # 15
Try cutting out anything in her diet that has food coloring. A lot of children actually have food dye alleries and these allergies prsent with the same symptons as both Asthma and ADHD. It is caled the feingold diet or something like that.
Personally, I have ADHD and I use adderall XR, but for a child I do not like to jump right to meds. It scares me to medicate children. If we pump them full of meds for any little problem they do not learn how to self regulate or create coping mechanisms. These are 2 very important skills that need to be learned (no matter what degree of sucess they have).
For the extra energy, I might suggest seeing an OT (if you are not already) who can put together a sensory diet. A lot of children who live with ADHD and are on the Autism spectrum benefit greatly from such services. IN the interum, I also suggest a weighted blanket for bed time. They are wonderful. Honestly you will probably find yourself using it.
Post # 16
@mwitter80: My brother and I both live with ADHD (I am 27 and he is 23). My mom used to give us cofee evey morning when we were little to help kick start our focus for the day. It worked.