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ADHD

(20 Posts)
Fairytalefancies Tue 12-Jun-18 10:01:20

My 10 year old has always had behaviour issues. He is up and down emotionally, every single teacher that has taught him has noticed issues such as not listening, getting out of his seat, inappropriate talking/interrupting in class etc. This is also reflected at home where he is often mean to his brother, arguing, fighting etc.
At school he is class clown, showing off to the other children about how he is the best at things. No one takes him seriously now and he is feeling it.
He is never invited to parties (I tried to suggest that perhaps kids that age don't have any parties, but then we bumped into nearly the whole of his class at a venue celebrating some ones birthday).
He often gets into trouble losing his break and lunch time play. He gets in fights/rough play with his friends (a few of which also have behaviour issues).
He is often very angry and emotional not understanding why he is being punished at school. Recently he has been saying things like 'the only reason I am alive is because of you mummy'!
This is hard to hear. He generally loves school despite all the problems, he has one good friend that he is very attached to and since he joined the school it has improved DS's quality of life at school no end.
We are awaiting a Paed appointment with a view to assess for ADHD. I'm just looking for some words of wisdom/support from others in a similar situation. We are at our wits end and DS is so emotional, he feels he can do nothing right sad. He was very anxious about going to school today, he didn't want to go as he is missing both breaks due to behaviour yesterday. I feel at a loss in how best to help him.

WWYDNameChange Tue 12-Jun-18 10:14:58

Ask @MNHQ to change your topic, I think you've put it in the wrong category 💐

ADHD is hard, it often comes with a whole heap of other problems. Have you spoken to the school SENCO? They might be able to put a EHAT in place for you son, its a document that describes his needs and what helps him concentrate and calm down. This will be available to all teachers, it means they should follow the plan if your DS gets into trouble.

Also maybe look at CAMHS? They provide counselling and therapy for children, but the waiting list is absolutely huge.
When is your Paediatrician appointment? It's best to go really prepared, lots of written information about incidents your son has been involved in, what his behaviour is like at home etc. The more information you have, the more they'll be able to help 💐

Fairytalefancies Tue 12-Jun-18 10:31:53

Whoops didn't realise I did that. Not paying attention... I am very stressed. Thanks for the reply, it is very hard. We are in the process of getting a plan in place, its all talk but nothing seems to be getting done. It feels like he will have left primary school before anything will be done! We are in the process of sending off questionnaires based on DS's behaviour so do not yet have an appointment. Thanks for the tips, I have just started to write things down so will make sure I carry this on.

AnyaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 12-Jun-18 16:45:03

Hi there Mumsnetters,

OP has asked for this thread to be moved to Parenting, so we're moving it there now.

BertieBotts Tue 12-Jun-18 16:47:49

Hi OP, I have ADHD. I think it will benefit your child to be diagnosed at his age rather than struggling through teen and adulthood not knowing why.

Fairytalefancies Tue 12-Jun-18 17:24:24

Thanks BertieBotts. I often worry his symptoms are not enough to be diagnosed but then we get some horrendous times, it is impacting the rest of our sanity. We have just filled out the questionnaires along with schools one so hoping to get an appointment through soon.
Are severe mood swings part of ADHD? as I worry about whether there are other mental health issues as he can appear quite happy then be completely enraged then back to normal.
I am also concerned about medication if/when it comes to it and the unknown long term effects. I am hoping to try and improve things at home for him to help his organisation and relaxation...finding it tough at the moment though as I am the only one tying to be proactive and drowning in my attempts, (I also think DH has it) I have reached my stress threshold and have been have signs of anxiety that has built up over god knows how long so feeling pretty broken all round.

PickAChew Tue 12-Jun-18 17:31:40

Irritability can go hand in hand with hyperactivity but it's not unusual for the whole caboodle of restlessness, inability to focus and being aware that your behaviour is getting you into trouble and alienating your peers to have a massive negative effect on self esteem.

It is worth seeking help because people with undiagnosed ADHD often end up self medicating.

Fairytalefancies Tue 12-Jun-18 17:58:49

I always was impressed with his resilience to comments and 'punishments' at school, he is usually always keen to go to school, I have definitely seen a change in him with low self esteem so it is definitely getting to him now. He even asks 'what is wrong with me?'
and it is starting to affect him.
What do you mean by self medicating PickAChew? Do you mean medication of the recreational kind?

PickAChew Tue 12-Jun-18 18:16:49

Yes, Fairytale, though glugging masses of (fizzy) coke or coffee aren't unusual, either.

And even if he doesn't need medication, he would benefit from some self management skills before the dual challenge of secondary school and adolescence hits and makes everything ten times more complicated for him.

Fairytalefancies Tue 12-Jun-18 19:38:13

Secondary school....a whole new world, I am hoping he will enjoy it, with a bit of freedom and independence! Am I dreaming?
I am dreading teens if it's worse than this!! Would home education be better? (not that it is an option but who knows).

BertieBotts Tue 12-Jun-18 20:09:08

Don't panic and think ahead all at once.

Medication is a discussion you'll have if and when he's diagnosed but I think it can be enormously helpful. If it does come to that, you'll have support with how to approach it and what the safeguards are. It's absolutely not a case of just medicating and then you're left to it. There is a lot of crap talked about medication but it's not taken lightly and it is actually the most effective treatment for ADHD.

To me it sounds like his symptoms are quite severe (compared to mine) as it's affecting his education (in terms of his behaviour alienating him from teachers) and friendships. So some kind of management should help with that and it's best if you can get this in place before his self image totally goes wrong.

You can put things in place to help him, but be wary of adding so much scaffolding that when you take it away (e.g. he moves out) that he just falls down. What is more likely to help him is encouraging him to find strategies which help him, and supporting him with things he asks you to help with, rather than doing it all (especially the thinking and figuring out what would work) for him. This will help him to learn how to develop healthy coping strategies rather than coming to rely on unhealthy ones (e.g. being the class clown because he gets into trouble just for doing normal things and at least this way, he also gets positive attention from his peers, which he might otherwise find hard to get).

I think for me home ed would have been a disaster as I needed the structure of school, and if he wants to continue in education then a very "typical" path (e.g. school, sixth form, uni) would be the most beneficial, nothing outside of that normal path, unless he wants a different route entirely. But that's a long way off.

Emotional disregulation is absolutely associated with ADHD, as keeping emotions in check is basically part of impulse control, and ADHD gives you poor impulse control.

The very best info I know about ADHD are the talks on youtube by Dr. Russell Barkley. Nobody understands it like he does. They are long but extremely worth it. You can't see the slides on most of the videos anyway so I recommend to just listen to the audio while you're doing something else. You might prefer to wait until you have a definitive diagnosis, so until then, the key words you want to google are "ADHD executive functioning". This is the best and most up to date understanding of ADHD and gets it right, IMO - it explains why certain things are hard and helps with understanding exactly what is going wrong so that you can help your DS to put the right things into place.

Another good youtube resource is the channel How To ADHD although this is mostly aimed at people who have ADHD, you might still find it helpful.

Fairytalefancies Tue 12-Jun-18 21:31:59

Wow...thank you for your response, some great tips there. I will definitely look at those resources. I have been honest with DS about seeing the paediatrician for his behaviour and we have talked about ADHD. He is actually quite mature for his age, despite his behaviour, and likes to know everything about everything...I hope I'm not giving him false hope of a diagnosis, either way we definitely need strategies to help deal with his struggles, so I hope to keep it all positive for him.
He is such a lovely, funny and intelligent boy and I just want to be able to guide him in the right direction.
Were you diagnosed as a child or an adult BertieBotts? My DH shows possible signs of ADHD in the form of anxiety, poor communication, distracted, busy mind, insomnia, not listening (most husbands maybe?? hmm ) I'm doubtful he will ever seek help or GP opinion, but maybe something will come from this assessment, not sure if they bother looking at hereditary factors. I am desperate for him to get some form of counselling for his anxiety, it manifests in many ways but worst of all is physical pain (all tests are clear for illness), he isn't comfortable with this at all.

BertieBotts Tue 12-Jun-18 23:53:00

As an adult. I actually worked it out through MN! I'd been fascinated by/posted on threads about lateness, disorganisation, struggling with messiness etc several times over the years. I had been massively struggling but couldn't put my finger on what/where the problem really was, and I can't remember if it was a general discussion thread or someone else's specific issue thread which had drawn me in some time but somebody posted a link to the wikipedia description of ADHD:PI (inattentive type) and my blood ran cold reading it because every single thing it listed was all of the problems I was struggling with and suddenly here it was linked all together and named as a cause.

It was about two years after that that I finally went for diagnosis because initially I showed it to DH and said "Holy shit I think this is what's wrong with me" and he laughed and said naah, you're not ADHD. I'd never considered that I was before either, so it made me doubt myself and I wondered on and off but I kept coming back to it, and the more I read and learned about it the more I realised that I really had to go and speak to a professional because it was ruining my life, and if it wasn't ADHD then I still had a problem. I think it wasn't picked up when I was younger because I'm not obviously hyperactive and my impulses don't tend to be problematic ones - I'm not prone to lashing out in anger, I'm more likely to do something that people find weird than aggressive (I was never popular at school) and I'm far more fidgety than any other kind of hyperactivity. I had not really noticed this, but I am literally never still. But I do talk too much and very fast and jump from topic to topic erratically.

I used to think I had anxiety BTW but I haven't had a single anxiety symptom or depressive episode since being diagnosed. I think because now when I fuck things up I can trace it back and go - oh crap, I've done that because of this, and I'll be annoyed at myself, but at least it makes sense - whereas before it just used to feel like I would randomly fuck up ALL the time and I couldn't see the patterns or work out why or seem to prevent or predict it at all, and how can you not be anxious when that's your reality? It's scary because you can't trust yourself and you don't know what you have or haven't done.

So I was 27 when I was diagnosed but a lot of adults are getting diagnosed now, often when one of their children is diagnosed. It is extremely heritable, about as much so as height, so if children have it usually one of the parents does as well, and when an adult has it about half of their children will. You might have to let it come from him, though.

I wish I had been diagnosed about 10 years earlier as I think it would have made a huge difference to my life.

PickAChew Wed 13-Jun-18 00:12:43

I was going to say that additude mag is a good read but it's fallen foul of the latest data protection stuff and defaulted to avoiding the issue by making itself unavailable in the EU. Topical bloody ADHD behaviour!

Itchyknees Wed 13-Jun-18 00:22:50

How is he doing academically?

I have 2 with ADD inattentive and I’m fairly sure I have it too. Their paediatrician said there’s no worthwhile medication for the inattentive type but I drink a LOT of caffeine. ADHD can also confer super powers too though! We can hyperfocus - at university people would talk about pulling all nighters, but I could focus for days at a stretch and shift tons and tons of work so long as I wasn’t disturbed too much.

Fairytalefancies Wed 13-Jun-18 08:27:09

I did wonder what was going on with the additude mag, it kept coming up in searches, it looked good.
He is doing great academically, he does struggle with things he finds boring but don't we all. His maths and reading are fantastic.

I gave him some things to read about how to support ADHD (it was for me but he was intrigued), he said 'everything is me' bless him! I've warned him about awaiting a diagnosis but I can see he feels comforted by the fact this is a 'thing' and it not just him making mistakes all the time and not knowing what he has done wrong. So he was up early this morning, dressed and all ready for school before everyone! This is a very rare thing as usually this behaviour is prompted by a school trip.
Bertie, what a journey...I see the benefit of early diagnosis. Thank god things are better for you now.

BertieBotts Wed 13-Jun-18 09:20:18

Oh really? I haven't read anything on ADDitude for ages but it was pretty good. That's annoying.

I don't think it's true there's no medication for the inattentive type. Although I never got chance to try any because in Germany where I live they make you do a load of tests before you can have the medication and by the time I'd organised all of them I was pregnant, and they wouldn't give it to me (fair enough). Then I miscarried anyway but was TTC so they still wouldn't give it to me and now I'm pregnant again, I'm thinking of getting in touch with a doctor I know prescribes so I can see what they say about having it while breastfeeding.

I definitely hyperfocus and it's really annoying when I get massively into something and then I have to stop to eat or feed DS or something, because I know that will totally break my focus and I'm unlikely to get back into it. Actually I've figured out how to keep myself in the zone with snacks but it doesn't work when you're a parent and have other people to attend to.

I think DS probably has it as well but I keep forgetting to make him an appointment to be assessed blush He doesn't struggle (yet) but I notice things and I want to catch it early if it's there so he doesn't later.

Fairytalefancies Wed 13-Jun-18 10:00:30

How old is your DS Bertie?
The process for assessment here in the UK seems to take forever. My DS is at a smaller school than he was a few years ago so he behaviour is being addressed maybe more head on, which is good, but also means he does stand out from the crowd.
I have to laugh sometimes at his ability to be so brazen. He decided to join what seemed to be an organised group of kids playing rounders at the park, and he gets next in line to bat. I was relieved that on this occasion he actually queued up and waited his turn. They kindly let him play. He did end up taking over though and bossing people around and changed the game to cricket, whacking the ball as hard as he could.
A recent group photo was sent to me of him and his cricket team in a winning photo, he was the only one not looking at the camera or holding his prize properly, this is very typical of him grin.

I find cricket is good for him as there is a lot of element to it - batting, bowling and fielding (he does get a bit bored when fielding though). He does not fair well in any sport that involves waiting around for too long.

BertieBotts Wed 13-Jun-18 10:15:07

He's 9. I don't know what the process is here for children but I was planning to ask the advice of a friend whose daughter is diagnosed.

When I say he doesn't struggle, there are things his teachers have picked up on which seem to be getting more of a concern year on year but he is generally getting good results. His school books look like the before pictures I've sometimes seen when people (usually university/high school students) start medication. That's not really a diagnostic criteria, but it's ringing alarm bells for me. And now he's getting to the stage of school that they are doing tests etc - he started out getting top grades and they are beginning to slip and I'm fairly sure this is actually from overlooking stupid mistakes and possibly presentation issues as well - but I do need to look over the test papers to see what the issue is, because it might be they started easier and are getting harder.

I'm going to get him in a minute as he's been off on a residential for the last 2 days so we will see what his teachers made of him in an out of school environment shock

Fairytalefancies Thu 14-Jun-18 12:07:23

How did your son get on Bertie?
I am dreading the residential trip for my DS next year. He sometimes wets the bed, particularly when he is tired!

Well yesterday's keen start to the day was most likely due to him wanting to wear his new bag. He had a 'terrible' day, missed both breaks and is now missing breaktime for the rest of the week! I watched a video by Dr Berkley which was very interesting. He warns about taking activity away from a child with ADHD as shooting yourself in the foot!
I did warn school about using this as a punishment, however they say his behaviour is worse on the playground so have no choice but to remove him as there are insufficient supervisory support to keep an eye on him all the time.
DS told me he snuck out of 'detention' and went out to play anyway hmm
He feels so victimised right now, I could really do with this assessment ASAP.

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