Monday, January 21, 2013

There is Hope

hope

This post is for you parents who have a child with ADHD, ODD or other behavioral disorder. Those of you who feel like you are on a long uphill battle that some days it doesn't seem you will ever win. For those who have been drained mentally and emotionally while praying to God that you may be doing something right and that your child will grow up to be good and have a chance at a normal productive life. Two years ago, I was there. That was my every day reality. Today, I am here to tell you there is hope.

It isn't easy raising a child with a behavioral disorder. The things they will do and even worse, the things they will sometimes say can drive you to the very brink. In the end, if you can remain calm, consistent and let them know above all else that they are loved and capable of making their own decisions, there can be change.

Two years ago, Joshua was failing his classes, getting multiple referrals and even suspensions per year. He would fight incessantly with us at home and he would never take responsibility for his actions. Today, he has been on the honor role his entire first semester of 6th grade in advanced classes! He fights and argues less and will actually go to his room when you tell him to instead of saying no. He has not had any referrals or suspensions and only one detention for talking repeatedly in class, which he has improved on now. Best of all, he now notices when things are his fault. If you had told me 3 years ago that we would see the success that we see now I would not have believed you, but here we are.

For us, counseling, medication and constant reinforcement of boundaries and beliefs such as "you always have a choice" were the key. For you, it may take a totally different approach. Your child is worth finding that approach though. Because underneath all the anger, denial, deception and acting out lies a wonderful child, your child. It is possible to see a change and best of all, it is possible to teach them valuable life skills that will enable them to have functional and happy lives. In the end, that's what we all want isn't it? They will never be perfect, but what child is?

13 comments:

  1. Zoe isn't the easiest with her constant crying and mouthing off, so we always tell her, you have a choice. Her choice is to go to her room and calm down before anything. I know many families' with children with ADD and counseling has helped them as well. I'm happy to hear your son is doing much better!

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  2. That's awesome that he's making wise choices!

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  3. Your story will help so many others, Kathleen! We too, have always taught our son about consequences to his choices. :)

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  4. my son has autism so we have treated his medical issues and that has been the biggest turning point for us. The one that has been the biggest changer, removed the anger to best, has been to treat the bacteria, parasites and viruses that go undetected by most doctors. But once we treated those things he has been able to control his anger all on his own.

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  5. My oldest son has ADHD (he is 15) but it has gotten much better as he has grown.

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  6. My daughter doesn't have ADD but we really love using the choice method. Before we couldn't really get a handle on her outbursts but once she has a choice it makes things a lot easier for her to think about what is going on

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  7. Isn't that amazing? Did you think a few years ago it would have changed so much?

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  8. Thank you so much for the advice Kathleen! I have been worrying about my little boy for a long while now because he acts just like your Joshua 2 years ago. Sometimes I feel helpless and I will just cry it out. I am so happy to have read this post and I believe that there is still hope for the both of us!

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  9. Janet, I am sorry you are going through this, but it can definitely get better. I have been where you are now and I struggled through every day trying every consequence and positive reinforcement I could think of. I really thought I was a horrible mom that I could not get control of it. After Joshua was diagnosed though and we started the counseling and then later the medicine, things started to improve and I realized that it was not my fault as a parent and just something we has to work through together.

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  10. I was an ADHD child and although it was a struggle, I managed to get through school and even get my Masters Degree. No meds, but a lot of perseverance on my parent's part to get me through my struggles. Every parent has their own method, and they know what works best for their child.

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  11. I'm so glad things are turning around for you guys!

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  12. I'm so happy you found solutions that work for your son. You're certainly an inspiration for others looking for help!

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