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GingerOfTheNorth
06-07-2001, 09:54 PM
My son, Matthew, is seven years old. He's a very bright boy. He was diagnosed as ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) when he was four years old. As a result, he sometimes doesn't follow directions. Like most children.

Here's my problem - we recently (three weeks ago) moved to a new town, due to my getting a great job. There are lots of children in the neighbourhood that Matthew has become friends with. I let him play outside, or at his friends' houses after supper almost nightly, and it's rare to see him other than for meals and bedtime on the weekends.

Matthew left this evening to go play at Gabe's house, across the street. My explicit instructions to him were "If Gabe isn't home, come straight back here, don't go anywhere else without letting me know. Be back at 7:00."

7:00 came and went, with no Matthew. I went out at 7:10 to pick him up, thinking that he was across the street. When I got there, the neighbour said that he had been by there, but that since their boy Gabe wasn't home, he left.

I walked down to another friends' house. Rang the doorbell three times. No answer. He was not at three other friends' houses, either. I came home, frantic, and was about to take the car and start driving around looking for him when he came in the door.

I thought my child had been abducted. I don't know many people here, but I know that it is a very safe town. It only takes one person, though.

Matthew is now grounded. I yelled, too. What the hell am I supposed to do? I am raising him by myself, my parents are 2500 km away, my closest relative is my sister, 300k away. I can't seem to get through to him.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I can't continually ground him.

don't ask
06-07-2001, 10:16 PM
I sympathise with your problem.

I have a teenage son with the same problem. He was not diagnosed until he was 15. I then read about ADHD and discovered that the things that he did that drove me and his mother to distraction, are a function of the disorder.

We took him out of school temporarily because his impulse control was so lacking he was in constant trouble and then further trouble from his parents. This was killing his self esteem.

Finally we gave up our resistance to the use of drugs. He started on Ritalin and had a much better time at school and graduated last year. He appreciates the difference in his behaviour and mental fuctioning that the drug made.

Now I appreciate that the use of Ritalin attracts overwhelming criticism, but don't bother me with your sentiments if you're against it. I was pretty sure my boy was going to die very young before he started on it and prefer the outlook we now have.

Sparteye
06-07-2001, 10:20 PM
Ginger, you didn't say whether you've had this problem before. That makes a big difference.

If this is a first incident, I wouldn't worry too much. You have grounded him, which is a perfectly appropriate sanction for failing to go where he was supposed to be and to be home when he was supposed to be home. You have related the transgression with pertinent consequences (if you can't be trusted to go out on your own, you can't go out...), and your son should absorb the lesson. Be sure to clearly explain the relationship between the offense and the sanction.

We had a persistent wandering away problem with my own hyperactive and autistic son, but a two-week grounding finally instilled religion in the boy and he can be trusted outside now.

One possible positive reinforcement: if he doesn't already have one, you could get your son a watch so that he will always know what time it is. This eliminates the I-didn't-know-it-was-so-late excuse.

If this is a persistent problem, then deprivation of cherished privileges is in order. No TV, no computer, no whatever will get through to him. But, unless grounding hasn't worked, there's no need to go that route.

Having a missing child is about the worst, I know. Take a deep breath, thank your stars he's back safe, and expect that this won't happen again.

Kricket
06-07-2001, 10:41 PM
Mistress Ginger, good luck to you.
I have two boys one diognosed and on meds and one not.
I'm with don't ask on the fact that I need no more lectures about Methelphenidate.
It was a long and hard desion and after lots of blood work, shrinks and MDs we had to medicate.

Now, back to the OP. You did the right thing. The impulse habit is hard to break. And they can be so impulsive it is dangerous for him and scary for you.
Before meds you could ask Josh to run in the house and grab you a soda, and the minute he got in the house the request was gone and he was off in his own little world.

You were scared, and hopefully he saw that as your reason for yelling as well as the fact that you were upset of the lack of following rules.
If it becomes a pattern then on top of grounding try taking away other things. He must learn about consequence to his actions.
Chin up love, and if you need to vent or just want to chat drop me an e-mail. I understand that family is out of range right now, but we have a great support system with the wonderful people on the boards, and we're here for you.

Persephone
06-07-2001, 10:53 PM
I don't know diddly about ADD/ADHD, Betty, but I just wanted to let you know that what Mistress Kricket said about the support system here is absolutely true. There are several parents of children with those disorders here, and they can provide a wealth of information, and a good, solid brick wall to beat your head on when things get too much.

((((Ginger))))

Feel free to email any time you'd like!

Love, Cristi (yeah, that's my real name :))

GingerOfTheNorth
06-07-2001, 10:53 PM
He's been on 20mg Ritalin SR each school day since September 1999. I like this because he gets it in the morning before school, and by the time it wears off, the school day is ended.

I, too, have had the lectures, tried ALL of the alternative routes before deciding that Ritalin was worth a try. I'm really bored with people telling me that drugging my child is wrong and that it makes me a bad parent. Obviously there is something lacking in him that can be rectified with the drugs, and by God I'm going to give him every opportunity that I can. That is part of what makes me a good parent.

In the beginning, it was 5mg at breakfast, lunch and 4pm. It made him not eat and not sleep. They switched him to dextroamphetamines. Still the same thing. I moved, and he had a grandma to spend his days with rather than a structured daycare setting, so took him off of the drugs. When school started up, it was back to Ritalin. It works wonderfully but is gone by 3:30 or so, and I don't want to drug him after school hours.

There haven't been problems like this before. I am about at the end of my rope.

Kricket
06-07-2001, 11:13 PM
We went to medicating after school when he hit second grade and had to sit and do homework.
Try giving him meds after dinner so that way he eats, and he will be at a peak at bed time and able to sleep.
Alot of the sleeping problems are because if they take the meds at four, they are at the end of the peak, and the body is starting to rev-up and wander again. '
Josh gets his last meds at 6pm so when he is ready for be he is right in the middle of the four hour effectiveness.
The other thing which I am so bad about is that they need that routine. Have you noticed he acts up more when your normal daily patteren changes? It throws his routine of of wack.
I am so bad with this because I am a spur of the moment type person. But Josh does fairly well with it over the summer when there is no real pattern to follow. We go, go, go all summer.

Sparteye
06-08-2001, 08:53 PM
I have a very short response to people who criticize Ritalin: OK, you get my son through his day - school, homework, learning to socialize, personal grooming, the whole thing - without the meds. Do it for a few days, so that you are running on no sleep, and so is he. Then we'll talk. Sanctimonious ignoranmuses. Harrumph.

Come blow steam any time, Ginger. I'll be listening.

GingerOfTheNorth
06-08-2001, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by Sparteye
I have a very short response to people who criticize Ritalin: OK, you get my son through his day - school, homework, learning to socialize, personal grooming, the whole thing - without the meds. Do it for a few days, so that you are running on no sleep, and so is he. Then we'll talk.

I love you. All of you. Thank you so much.

I spent a long time doing the holistic route, home-schooling, structuring every minute of his day, eliminating ALL prepared and processed foods. I even made my own damned bread and crackers. I reluctantly gave in to the doctors (and yes, there were many, six pediatricians) and allowed them to prescribe Ritalin.

I must reiterate for those reading who haven't experienced what I have: I am a single parent. I love my child. I provide every opportunity that I possibly can for him. This includes 'doping' him (not my words) so that he can pay attention and learn. Ritalin may be prescribed too much, and in some cases it may be the teacher's idea, but for us it works.

Ginger