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Old 10-13-2004, 06:28 AM   #1
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Routines/discipline & ADD

I've recently come to the conclusion that my 10 yo ADD son is very dependant on me for WAY too many things getting done. Basically unless I'm there to "motivate" him he doesn't get much accomplished - getting dressed, cleaning his room, doing his homework, doing his chores - I'm always there "don't forget...." "if you want to......then you must ........" and so forth. I have two kids with ADD/ADHD and I feel DRAINED. I'm not sure if he needs to change meds - he's on Stattera (we tried the stimulants and he develped tics and moody behavior from them). It's taking him 2 hours to do 30 minutes of homework! My 6yo ADHD son is more on top of things than him.

Is this typical for an ADD child? Are there any good books that help with this sort of stuff? - I think I might need a more formal routine/system in place for him that my non-ADD 11 yo daughter. This just occured to me recently I have been doing this for so long it's become second nature to me, and it's a habit that I want to stop.

Weez

 
Old 10-13-2004, 07:30 AM   #2
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Re: Routines/discipline & ADD

Oh boy, can I relate to this! My 14yo severely ADHD son is the same way despite alot of structure and routines. In Junior High, he became self-conscious enough about his appearance to take over the bathing and getting ready in the morning routines. As far as the rest of it, though, if I want anything to get done, it takes *multiple* reminders. I'll be reading the other responses with interest...

 
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Old 10-13-2004, 07:45 AM   #3
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Re: Routines/discipline & ADD

My son is 12 and I am going to the doctor today to start him on meds. I’m thinking Adderall. Was that the med that your son developed tics with and you say that now on Strattera he has none? My son has been on Ritalin and Dexedrine over 6 years ago and did develop slight tics. I thought maybe Adderall would not do this to him.

I have had to be ‘behind’ my son in all the things you mention and more! My older son (15) says ‘don’t do that for him, he’s being lazy!” Sometimes it is being lazy, but other times, it is being unable to connect. I used to tell him to do things till I was blue in the face. Then I learned to be right there overseeing most things or not allowing him to move onto an activity that he wanted to do until his room was clean.

If my son did his homework by himself it would take him as long as it takes your son. I oversee him, guiding him along especially if he has to do web stuff. He’s likely to go to a fun site ‘just to check something real quick’ before he gets to the homework.

I saw a Dr. Phil show yesterday that talked about a family where the parents constantly told their children to clean their rooms and it never got done. The mother admitted that every 3 months she would ‘help’ them clean although it wouldn’t last. Dr. Phil basically told her to give consequences and carry them out. Apparantly she didn’t follow through and let it slide. I know that doesn’t even work with an ADD child. I do have his book Family First which I am half done with that gives you suggestions on these issues.

I have tried many behaviorial modifications with my son. One of the more effective is reward, not punishment, for doing what he has been asked. I have gotten through six years without meds using this and patience, LOTS of patience. Now we are at a point as a family and my son where we are suffering. His grades are starting to slip. He was always an A and B student, but now is getting B's and C's. My husband does not have as much patience with him as I do and that is where that conflict stems from. I need to go this route to see if we can be better for it. If I don’t, I’ll always regret not at least trying.

So, in answer to your question, it is typical for an ADD child. I would suggest the book above and strict routine and reduction of as much clutter in his room as possible. My son does better in an environment that is orderly and roomy.

Oh, I tend to write books as a response - LOL!
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Last edited by sawbuck44; 10-13-2004 at 07:48 AM.

 
Old 10-13-2004, 08:06 AM   #4
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Re: Routines/discipline & ADD

Thanks so much for both your responses - I see that I'm not alone.

We've tried a few different routines for him and they never "clicked' in the sense that they never became second nature to him -perhaps I need to havea better reward system? I guess what I need to figure out is - is he not getting anything accomplished because he is actually distracted when he is supposed to be doing something or is the just working slowly and not clear on what he is supposed to be doing? Perhaps that needs to be the first step. Frankly I think it's a distraction and forgetting what he is supposed to be doing issue primarily and anything school-wise that requires writing can sometimes take him a while. At school he is doing well - he gets all A,s and usually a B in lang arts - I think it's because of the type of structure he has at school that he does better there - good grief, do I have to set up our home life like school?! Because he does well at school I've been reluctant to change his meds hoping that we can work out these home problems with routines and perhaps a different type of discipline system.

When he was first diagnosed at age 7 we tried him on Concerta, Ritalin LA, Adderall and regular Ritalin. He was fine for the first 6 months or so then he started to have strong tics and OCD behavior. I think he's a bit prone to tics even without meds - I've noticed that he goes through phases of throat clearing but docs don't think it's bad enough to warrant any type of additional diagnosis - actually the ADHD doc says that mild tics often go hand-in-hand with the disorder. Anyhow these meds greatly increased the tics to the point where he looked like there was something wrong with him. Once we switched to Strattera he went back to his usual self in terms of tics (once in a while a short period of mild things like throat clearning, but we are probably the only ones that notice).

My son is also obsessed with TV and as soon as I turn my back he turns it on and then everything he needs to do is a lost cause. Even with fairly tough punishment he is drawn to that darned TV. We are thinking of disconnecting the cable during he week and only allowing it on weekends.

Sorry I'm writing a book!

Last edited by weez; 10-13-2004 at 08:07 AM.

 
Old 10-13-2004, 12:00 PM   #5
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Re: Routines/discipline & ADD

I find myself repeating alot of things and it takes him awhile to connect to what I am saying sometimes but it is not as bad as it use to be we are still working on alot of things even for me. I lose my patience sometimes but I am learning to work with him more.
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Old 10-14-2004, 04:31 AM   #6
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Re: Routines/discipline & ADD

This is my 1st post, I am thrilled to find this site!
I too am so frustrated with the lack of responsibility on the part of my boys (9 and 17) All of the Doctors and Therapists have told me that a reminder is fine. Abouth the television thing, from what I understand it is kind of calming the way it flips around so much and with so much movement. Same with video games.
Diane

 
Old 10-14-2004, 10:01 AM   #7
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Re: Routines/discipline & ADD

That's interesting that TV and video games are considered relatxing - that's what my boys say also. From my Non-ADHD viewpoint, I thought that they would be stimulating.

 
Old 10-17-2004, 05:06 PM   #8
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Re: Routines/discipline & ADD

My son is 12 and is ADHD, OCD, and high functioning Autism. If I allow him, he will just get up in the morning turn on the TV and do nothing else. I have used the TV as a reward. He needs to get up, eat breakfast, take medicine, get dressed, brush hair and teeth and then the TV can be turned on. The night before, he puts his backpack by the front door. We still check his homework with the online site his school has to be sure he has it done, but he does it himself. He wants to get it done because he isn't allowed to play video games until homework is done.
Kathy

 
Old 10-17-2004, 06:31 PM   #9
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Re: Routines/discipline & ADD

I'm going to follow this thread...

I'm 30 and just recently diagnosed as ADD and have since learned SO much about ADD/ADHD so far. I wish I could have been identified at a younger age. (College could have been at least 35% cheaper and quicker... )

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out ways to successfully structure my home and work life with more discipline/routine. I have two boys--neither identified as ADHD, though one demonstrates some mild symptoms. My wife is a highly structured person (so you can imagine how fun it is being married to me), and she is very successful at keeping a chart on our fridge for the boys. It has daily things like "Brushed My Teeth, Washed My Face, Ate a Vegetable, Made My Bed, etc." Before leaving for school in the morning, they check over each of their charts and put a sticker on the box for each task. They are 5 and 7, so it turns into a game with them almost. If they go two weeks with acceptable charts, then they get a reward like a trip to the bowling alley or a movie or something.

Rather than having to ask your child seven different questions while getting ready (or even going about the day) you can simply ask "What's your chart look like?" and then he/she can monitor himself/herself as far as the specifics of what's supposed to be done. Has anyone tried something like this with their ADHD child? I'm thinking of having my wife make a chart for me...

Right now, you may be motivated to get them more responsible and disciplined to ease the mental load on yourself, but it is important--if not vital--that they get steered this way for future success. Moms, from my experience in life, are much more understanding and tolerant than are teachers, bosses, and wives. ADHD folks seem to have school struggles, show a trend for switching jobs on a higher than average rate, and are more likely to experience divorce than the general population. Whatever you can do for your kids now to help them with routine and discipline/organization might avoid a lot of frustration and pain later in life...

 
Old 10-20-2004, 12:02 PM   #10
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Re: Routines/discipline & ADD

Hope it's not too late, but I'd like to chime in with some things that work for us (son diagnosed ADD/ADHD combo type 8 years ago, just now went on meds (minimum Adderall dosage) as a teen).

1. WRITE THE ROUTINE DOWN. Our son has a folder of index cards (one card = 1 chore). Each step of his chores are written down, by him, in his own way. When he says "I'm done" then I can either respond by checking, choose to accept it at face value, ask him to check it against his card list, etc. Not having to remind all the time makes him feel less "nagged" and us feel more calm & patient.

2. SET UP ZONES & ROUTINES FOR EVERYTHING. Our son has a morning routine (bathroom, shower, hair, brush teeth, deoderant, dressed, meds, breakfast, etc.). The night before he sets up his morning routine zone -- puts out his clothes, stashes his glasses, gets his toothbrush ready, breakfast dishes & containers, etc. Everything goes in the same spot, each time. If he does this, he can be out to the kitchen in 20 minutes. If not, it's at least 35 minutes. He has zones for homework, music practice, etc. He even maintains his own launch pad with his backback, lunch stuff if he needs it, schedules, etc. If it's a repeatable activity, it has a zone & a routine attached in our household.

3. DIVVY UP THE WORK (BUY A LOT OF TIMERS). ADD/ADHD kids have enough organizational issues to battle to start with. Often assignments LOOK overwhelming, which causes them to choose distraction, which means the work takes 'forever', which reinforces the whole cycle for the next assignment. Teach the child to manage time -- set a reasonable goal (10 math problems in 15 minutes). Break up the work so it's not overwhelming. Have them set the timer and do the work. Praise performance & challenge them to do better or beat their own score. The more "into" the game they buy, the faster homework goes by.

4. ELIMINATE THE EXCUSES. Create a "homework survival kit" with everything your child needs - pens, pencil, ruler, stapler, graph paper, dictionary, etc. Those things that they "forget" gets duplicated in the kit for next time. Put the kit in one container (transportable) so they can take it wherever they need.

5. BRING OUT THE FUN GUNS. ADD/ADHD kids get bored, distracted, irritable, energetic. Make learning fun as much as possible. Z had the worse time with sitting still enough to memorize the multiplication table. We wrote problems out in dry erase marker on every window in the house. It was fun, different, something out of the ordinary and it helped him to combat the 'brain drain' that took place when he sat at a table to learn it.

6. COMMUNICATE YOUR PRIORITIES AND EXPECTATIONS. Big grins all around when Mom says "This is a minimal compliance job." Kids (ADD/ADHD or not) need to know what you expect of them...expecting every job to be done 100% right, every time, is overwhelming. If you let kids KNOW when it's a "just get it done, it doesn't have to be perfect" type of situation, they'll rebel less on the rest of the work (in my experience). If something is a priority, state it as such and verbally connect it to something they can relate to.

I could go on & on...but these are some of the things that work (day in, day out) for us. Z'sMom

 
Old 10-21-2004, 02:03 PM   #11
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Re: Routines/discipline & ADD

Quote:
3. DIVVY UP THE WORK (BUY A LOT OF TIMERS). ADD/ADHD kids have enough organizational issues to battle to start with. Often assignments LOOK overwhelming, which causes them to choose distraction, which means the work takes 'forever', which reinforces the whole cycle for the next assignment. Teach the child to manage time -- set a reasonable goal (10 math problems in 15 minutes). Break up the work so it's not overwhelming. Have them set the timer and do the work. Praise performance & challenge them to do better or beat their own score. The more "into" the game they buy, the faster homework goes by.

Ditto on that. My adult ADD brain blows a fuse when I am faced with a task that seems BIG. I've learned to break something into smaller sections/parts that aren't as overwhelming to me. Even if I am doing the same thing in the same time allotment, doing/seeing it in chunks makes it easier. Books are a simple example--I can not handle reading a 400 page book if it is divided into only a few chapters or-- --no chapters at all. However, it doesn't bother me to read a book of the same volume if it is divided into a lot of short chapters. I'll read 50 pages of a short chaptered book in the same amount of time it takes to read 20 in a "too big" book...

 
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