I'm really struggling getting ADHD DD to do anythint

(16 Posts)
christmastreewithhairyfairy Tue 06-Aug-19 10:24:33

DD is nearly 9 and has a dx of ADHD. She's not really naughty, she has a temper but that's not the main issue - the thing I'm really struggling with is her complete inability to stay on any task whatsoever (apart from reading or screen time).

It's worse in the holidays - I just mean getting dressed, brushing teeth, finishing breakfast and clearing away her things etc, I'm not even attempting much homework because just day to day tasks take so much time and me standing over her keeping her going. I've written a list of things she (and DD2, and I - so it's fair) has to do before being allowed screen time, but I'm so sick of having to repeat each one ten or more times a day and even then it taking an age.

Its slightly better on medication (Equasym) but I'm loathe to give her it all through the holidays as she is already on the small side.

I'm going insane dragging her through life like this. This morning I lost my shit and shut myself in my room (trying to get her ready to leave the house for a treat FOR HER)

I know how horrible and unsympathetic i sound and that it isn't her fault. Is there anything I can do to make it easier or just I just need to try and learn to be a more patient parent?

OP’s posts: |
LightTripper Tue 06-Aug-19 11:21:13

My experience is autism not ADHD so I may be way off beam (though this sounds very familiar!) - have you tried visual prompts? I know my DD is much more likely to get on with things if I actually show her a pair of shoes or an outfit than if I just ask her to do it without the visual prompt.

christmastreewithhairyfairy Tue 06-Aug-19 13:24:16

Thanks lighttripper. Tbh I suspect she may have autism too and am going to try and get her assessed.
We do use some visual prompts e.g I've asked her to make a poster with what she needs to do each morning but she's very adept at ignoring them and finding something to read or fiddle with instead

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Lackofsleepforyears Tue 06-Aug-19 19:15:29

My DD is 10 and was diagnosed with ADHD and then ASD. She is extremely bright but my goodness I empathise. She is currently on Atomoxitine but I am not convinced it makes much difference but after a disaster trialling a stimulant medication I am too afraid to try anything different. getting her ready is such hard work. We have tried tick lists, visuals, lots of praise, bribing with treats if she can follow the lists/visual for a day or even treat for each step but none of this works! Her mind is always full of more far more important things. She also has a temper and is actually always up to something. Making potions, building dens, setting up pranks etc.We have tried a huge range of tooth brushes, toothpastes and we did have some short lived progress with letting her choose her own nice products and a wash bag. Even getting her dressed is a nightmare. She has no sense of urgency or what is appropriate to wear. Yesterday I caught her wearing wet shorts as they were her favourite so she go them off the washing line. I will read others replies with interest! Luckily, my son with ASD only follows routines brilliantly (he struggles when there is no routine) and our NT daughter just gets on with it!

Grasspigeons Tue 06-Aug-19 19:20:58

I was going to add to the visuals thing. Also if she has a phone, sending texts can be visuals.

christmastreewithhairyfairy Tue 06-Aug-19 21:16:11

Lackof our DDs are cut from the same cloth! I feel your pain. We've tried endless reward systems too, with barely any impact. Either she's not interested enough in the rewards, or she just can't overcome her impulse to do something she finds more interesting in the moment.
Grass I cannot imagine a future where we can trust DD to hang onto a phone for more than about 10 seconds!

Has anyone had any success at all?

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christmastreewithhairyfairy Wed 07-Aug-19 11:25:55

Bump - any ADHD pros out there?

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LightTripper Wed 07-Aug-19 14:58:57

Maybe a whole schedule is a bit too much - could you start by handing her individual cards with the next task?

It's hard though: I think they just get so caught up with whatever else they are doing that boring stuff like getting dressed and brushing teeth really struggles to get their attention.

Have you seen this "tendril theory" cartoon? I feel it so hard (even for me, but I think my daughter is even more like this!!!)


Doesn't really help you get out the door though!

christmastreewithhairyfairy Thu 08-Aug-19 07:58:00

That tendril theory cartoon is great - I showed it to DH (also ADHD) who said it's spot on and was actually helpful for him too.
Now just to work out how to persuade DD that she needs to retract those tendrils when we need to do something! At the moment even with warning she either doesn't try, or can't do it (I'm still not sure which)

I like the individual cards idea, I was thinking all 3 of us can have cards that move from "to do" to "done"

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LightTripper Thu 08-Aug-19 09:50:06

Given DD is 9 maybe she can brainstorm some ideas too? If she has more ownership in the system she might be more engaged/willing to actually use it? She can't enjoy everyone being stressed and missing out on things/being late to things either... I think it is a great idea to put whatever system you come up with in place for all of you, rather than just DD!

christmastreewithhairyfairy Thu 08-Aug-19 11:00:20

Thanks lighttripper. I have tried in the past to get her involved in solutions. Tbh she doesn't seem to be interested or really care if everyone else is stressed sad
Sometimes we do miss out on things e.g. we don't make it to an event on time but I'm not sure she really deep down connects those things with anything she has done (or not done).
Today she is doing everything in her power to avoid getting dressed, and I don't have the energy to push it, whereas DD2 and I have done all our morning tasks. Feels like whichever way I do it I have to treat one or other DD unfairly sad
Sorry to mope, just feeling very down about it all today

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Crusoe Thu 08-Aug-19 12:53:26

12 year old with ADHD here. I feel your pain, no real solutions but just to say it does seem to improve with age. I no longer have to nag ds to get dressed (and the choosing appropriate clothes is better too), teeth cleaning is still hit and miss as is bed making. Sometimes it’s perfect, army standard and other times it is apparently “done” but still looks like a bomb has hit it!
There has been progress though. My new line of attack is gentle reminders and backing off a bit, it helps maintain my sanity.

christmastreewithhairyfairy Thu 08-Aug-19 17:03:06

Thank you Crusoe that is reassuring! Sounds like while there are things to do to help, mostly i have to grin and bear it and drink lots of wine for a few more years and hope it improves in babysteps

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Lackofsleepforyears Thu 08-Aug-19 18:27:27

Christmas my DD doesn't seem to be interested or really care if everyone else is stressed too! I try to get her to empathise but she really struggles with theory of mind . However, even if it is somewhere she really wants to go, she still struggles. It is like she thinks the world will wait for her! We tried the cards...but sadly it did not help and she actually lost one! I too am trying to avoid a phone as long as possible as this will be a huge distraction! Crusoe, I really hope time helps us too.

Waveysnail Mon 19-Aug-19 16:57:42

Try half dose or slightly lower dose of equasym for holidays. Ds moved to delmosart and doesnt seem to affect his appetite as much

Waveysnail Mon 19-Aug-19 16:58:03

Timers work well.

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