i have a nine year old daughter with adhd and she is a very sweet child most of the time. unfortunately she is the youngest of 3 and her older brother has down syndrome so sometimes she feels neglected. i know this but there is nothing i can do i am a single parent and he just needs more attention. i try to give her alone time at least once a day but due to his health that is not always possible either. now she is having screaming tantrums and telling us that no one loves her only her brother. i think this is just a way of getting attention but i dont know how to tell if she really feels this way. we tell her all the time that we love her. (by we i mean my mother and oldest daughter)
however that doesnt seem to be enough. her counsilor says to ignore this behavior but ignoring her makes me feel guilty. i dont know what else to do for her. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by sandygriffin74; 09-25-2007 at 12:32 PM.
first, pay attention to her diet. if she is ADD and is eating an excess of junk, processed foods, sugar, fatty foods, fried foods.... foods not found in nature, it will cause her ADD to escalate out of control like that. make sure she's eating a healthy natural diet consisting of whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, low in bad fats, low in sugar, white meats, etc..... it will help!
also, make sure she is getting enough sleep. if she is sleep deprived at all, it will also cause her ADD to get worse and those emotional tantrums will get bigger and more out of control. sleep is VITAL to everyone, but especially to someone with ADD!
last, you might try having her hormone levels looked at. it's rare, but not unheard of for a girl to start puberty even at nine years old (i know, just what you need, right?)! anyway, i know before i was diagnosed with ADD, when my hormones were out of whack, i became a raving emotional mess! i have a couple of friends who started their periods at 9 and 10 years old and their doctors put them on something (no idea what, it was a LONG time ago, so things have most likely changed since then anyway!) that really helped with the mood swings! don't take the "it's a phase" or "she just wants attention" line from your doctor either. make him do the test so that if nothing else, you can rule it out and go from there! good luck!
thank you for your ideas. she is on trazadone to help her sleep and for night terrors. however she still only sleeps for about 5 to 6 hours a night. makes for a lot of early mornings and late nights. but no more night terrors. she is a very picky eater and the ritalin seems to supress her appetite so i am guilty of letting her eat what ever mostly because its easier than fighting with her. i know i shouldn't but sometimes i feel guilty for not being enough for her. as far as puberty goes i'm not sure i can take that. both of my older 2 kids are doing that right now and some days i want to strangle them all. her older sister is almost 17 and her brother is almost 13. life here is real fun most of the time.
WELL, i do know from many years of working with 9 year olds, that they are quite smart and very receptive to things that will help them. you might try the old heart to heart method. explain to her the things that are going on with her body (as far as the ritalin killing her appetite, her not wanting to eat much, and how eating junk might be affecting her behavior). talk to her about healthy foods and how they can help her. sit down together and plan out a menu that she will want to stick with and then help her stick with it. tell her that even if she's not hungry for the healthy foods, to eat them anyway, and treat it like medicine for her body.... because essentially that's what it is! and help her make a goal of not eating junk that will mess with her behavior.
as far as the sleep issues.... what causes the night terrors??? i don't know what trazadone is, but i do know when i take a prescription sleep aid, i actually sleep worse than without it. i have numerous nightmares all night long and when i wake up, it's only been about 5 hours and i feel awful! it might be something ADD related, i don't know.....
chamomile tea or warm milk are both good remedies for relaxing at bedtime. could help with the night terrors if she is relaxed before falling asleep. but that's a shot in the dark since i don't know the cause. anyway, all this talk about sleep.... it's almost 2 am!
Have you taken her to a sleep specialist? Who is trying to manage the night terrors? Night terrors at the age of nine is not common at all. Sleeping 5-6 hours put your child in the severely sleep deprived category as well.
It would be worth getting treated and evaluated by a sleep specialist.. night terrors after the age of five are considered a sign of a serious sleep disorder.. unfortunately sleep deprivation can cause these issues as well as some medications. Just because my son almost five was almost misdiagnosed ADHD when it was his sleep apnea.. I am wary of anyone, but a certified sleep specialist trying to treat a sleep disorder.
If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.
Trazadone is an antidepressant that likely will cause somolance. It is prescribed off-label as a sleep aid.
Night terrors in some people can be caused by Ritalin and other stimulants. I am unsure of the exact mechanisms but it is related to sleep deprivation. The brain moves in and out of sleep stages either too quickly or slowly.
I suffer frequently from insomnia. Neither prescription or OTC drugs help - most make it worse. Valerian, St. John's Wort, and Melatonia help at times.
The key for me is to burn off as much energy as possible in the evening then do something I find relaxing. Practical application: TV viewing, Internet, etc. hinder. Any kind of physical exercise helps. Reading relaxes me.