Resources for ADHD in children
April 9, 2014 8:37 PM Subscribe
So... I am 99% positive that my three-and-a-half year old daughter has an ADHD diagnoses in her future. She is the poster child for literally every symptom on the "10 early signs" list, and family members/care providers/random aquaintences have all asked "do you think...?" So while of course I will eventually do the appropriate screenings etc - what I'm looking for here are anecdotes, experiences, research and strategies for a parent of a child with ADHD (or, you know, who exhibits all the behaviors and issues of one who does).
First off, let me preempt the "normal toddlers are hyper and inattentive, don't pathologize the poor kid so early" comments, by saying that I have not come to this assumption lightly. I have family members with ADHD, and I also have many years of experience working with children; so while I'm no psychiatrist by any stretch, I do feel like I have a pretty realistic view of the bell curve of normal toddler behavior vs symptoms of something else. From day one, my daughter has pushed the limits at the end of that curve.
From very early on, she always slept far fewer hours than any other infants I knew (we used to joke that she didn't get any of the AAP memos). I tried everything. She was a spitfire personality, talked late, but was always very interactive and emotionally precocious, so her pediatrician ruled out autism (We actually got a referral to a speech therapist at her two-year well check, but right around that time was when her language skills suddenly exploded; now there is no getting her to shut up - like, ever.) She is the sort of child who yells "hi! look at my monkey boots!" at strangers in grocery stores. She pushes every boundary, breaks every rule, and pulls apart everything within reach, over and over and over (and over). Her curiosity and ability to destroy and conquer are limitless. There is literally no form of discipline that seems to work with her. She is extremely imaginative and clever with physical problem-solving, but poor with things like the alphabet and counting (though we regularly practice them).
But mainly? The ENERGY. At one, she was pushing objects (bowls, wastbaskets) up to bookshelves and coffee tables and climbing onto them. At two she figured out how to climb onto the kitchen counter and from there to the top of the fridge; at three, she scaled a six-foot brick wall in our backyard. The child literally never stops moving. She bolts away from me in parking lots on a regular basis and can escape from any constraint you can concoct.
Friends who haven't met her regularly laugh and nod at my stories, and then when they actually see her in action, I get universal comments of "oh... wow" and "man, you were seriously not kidding" and "holy moly my kids are not like that" and my favorite, "is this... normal?"
Assuming this craziness keeps up, and whether or not we get any sort of official diagnoses, please suggest to me all your best books, articles, websites and personal anecdotes on how to be the best mother to this little walking tornado that I can be.
Elimination diets have had nodiscernible effect. I am currently making a strong effort to keep sleep and such on a steady routine and give lots of one-on-one attention, which helps. She does also have a younger brother who is (by all accounts) pretty much developmentally and behaviorally average. Oh, and stuff about older kids is fine too (if you have ADHD yourself, what do you wish your parents understood/did differently/etc??)