mom’s homework

There are lots of changes in the works for all of us in the Williams household. Luke’s new therapist/counselor is going to hold me accountable. She is going to make sure I am creating and maintaining the best possible environment for Luke, but also for Emma as a sibling of ADHD and daddy and I in parenting ADHD. It is going to be a lot of work but I am looking forward to finally implementing all the systems, etc I knew were the right thing to do in the first place.

We meet her every week right now. Each week we talk through the good and the bad and she shares ideas for managing and resolving any issues we are having. Last week we spoke about limiting screen time. That’s a biggie for me. I had plans when we introduced the computer and the Nintendo DS. Big plans to have time limits and use digital timers to keep track and all of that. I got lazy, it got hard, and I gave up. I have always rationalized that we live where the kids can’t go outside to play (steep mountain, bears and other wildlife) so I let them have more time with the other things to fill that “void.” There are plenty of things they can do besides screen time and I must take back control.

When I told Emma a new system was coming soon, she got very angry. It’s going to be very hard to change a free-for-all system that’s been in place her entire ten years of life! I think that’s why I never implemented these systems when I read about them in the ADHD books. It is really late in the game to be changing things on her. But they are for her good too. She will realize that someday.

Of course, Luke will be upset about the limits as well. He will pester until I give in and let him break the limits. Somehow I have taught him that. I wish I hadn’t but now it’s time to take back control.

I am not going with the full-on, everything is earned, nothing is a right other than food and shelter approach as Russell Barkley and others suggest. That is just too much of a change all at once for children who are set in their ways of controlling me! I am going to give them a small amount of TV, computer, and video games each day. They can earn bonuses and other great things (I am going to make a menu of activities) or they can loose the basic privileges they have as negative consequences for unacceptable behavior. I will write more about it once I get it all put together (I am trying to get it done by Wed evening).

I feel like I get homework assignments of sorts from the therapist and then have to report that they were accomplished. I don’t think she would slap me on the hand or anything for not completing an assignment but it sure is more motivating to have to sit down in front of someone and admit I didn’t do my very best. And she is spot on about everything!

We saw the new doctor in their office as well Monday about medication. We spent over an hour with him going back over all the experiences and medication trials with Luke. He agreed the Vyvanse was the wrong medication and the amphetamines in general (Adderall too) were not right for Luke. He gave me the option of going back to Concerta and meeting every 3-4 weeks to try to make it work or to try Focalin which we hadn’t yet tried. I decided to go back to the Concerta, without the Tenex, and then work with this doctor to try to make the Concerta work. We know the Concerta was very effective with very little side effects when it worked. The problem was that it lost effectiveness after a month or so. We bumped the dosage up once but the same thing occurred. We are at the last dosage (36 mg) and we are down to 1/2 mg of Tenex once a day right now and will be off of it entirely on Wednesday. After Thanksgiving we’ll go back to the doctor and evaluate how things are going and make any adjustments we need to at that time. In the mean time, the therapist is keeping weekly tabs on him in counseling.

So we are back on the upswing. The medication isn’t ideal yet, but I feel confident with this new behavioral group that we’ll find the right thing for Luke.

I’m off to work on our new rewards system! Wish me few distractions and lots of clarity!

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom.
A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom’s view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

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Related posts:

ADHD medication, attention/focus, behavior modification, counseling, General ADHD ·

About the author

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom. A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom's view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

6 Comments

  1. Brandi says:

    I am looking forward to reading about the new system in your house. I too am in the process of finding some therapy services for my Teenybop, and we are starting day one on Concerta tomorrow. After upping our Focalin XR several times, it just stopped working completely … I am hoping that things will be better on the new meds, I really miss my sweet little girl. I look at her every day … but she is like a different child, you know?

    And the guilt … But you understand.

    Reply
  2. Corrie Howe says:

    I can totally relate to this post. I also would prefer less screen time, but I prefer computer games and video games over TV, I guess I think it is slightly less evil.

    Implementing anything new is the hardest part. But I know that when I stick to it, it does get easier. I'm my own worst enemy in this respect.

    Reply
  3. Mrs. M says:

    Wow! Good for you!
    It's overwhelming isn't it? And feels like a second full time job…organizing the visual schedules, menus, routines, rewards, sensory diets, etc,etc. I wish someone would walk in and set it up for me….or that I had two days of alone time to get it all together. Oh well…
    Good luck with all the new changes, etc. It'll be well worth the effort!

    Reply
  4. Cinda says:

    I am excited for you and your family. It is good to have a “coach” as you make these changes. I am rooting for you and for your children!!

    Reply
  5. Penny,

    I am interested to learn how you do with this. This is a big issue for all of us — the limits on the stuff that is “easy”. I feel like there is only so many battles that can be fought. Having said that, however, anything new that is introduced is merely an opportunity for a new experience and a new way of living … one that is hopefully beneficial in the end.

    This summer, as you may know, I made the decision to do homework with our son 6 days a week all the way through the summer with no breaks. Believe me it was tortuous especially in August when “no one in their mind should be doing homework” (our old model of thinking). But we did it — it was hard and there were nights where he made it very difficult and miserable but … in the end he did it and he kept progressing and the transition back into school was smooth with no troubles. (Versus last September when the transition back to school after the month of August “off” was horrible).

    So all a long winded way of saying — Good luck. It will be hard in the beginning but will get easier as everyone gets used to it.

    I am interested in your approach and what works.

    Good luck!!

    Karen
    http://www.lipstickwisdom.com
    http://www.twitter.com/lipstickwisdom

    Reply
  6. We have a system like this in Autism called RDI, Relationship Development Intervention.

    I wish you the best of luck. It is about building new habits for everyone. This is always hard at first, but eventually will become second nature.

    My computer's been down for a while. Been meaning to tell you, since like Luke, I've had the worst time with my attempts with medication (Vyvanse, Strattera, Adderall), even at children's doses. I decided to go ahead and try Attend, the homeopathic ADHD supplement. It took a month to start working, but I am thrilled to report that my ability to focus is equal to Adderall. I am stunned. I split one capsule into 2 and take 1/2 in morning and 1/2 in afternoon (since I am also sensitive to suppplements). The only area where Adderall beats Attend for me is it's ability to slow down my thoughts…but I found another herbal formula that helps with that. I feel like I don't have ADHD anymore and that is shocking to me because, well, let's just say life has never been easy for me int he attention department.

    Just wanted to mention in case this is helpful to anyone.

    Reply

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The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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