Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Parenting my nephew with special needs

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Joined: May 14, 2009
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Posted May 14, 2009 at 6:22:48 PM
Subject: Parenting my nephew with special needs

I am a new full-time parent to my 7 year old nephew following the very unexpected death of my sister. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD and is currently being treated with Tenex 1 1/2 mg a day. He is in a special education program that allows him to attend mainstream education as well as receive the individual attention he so often needs. He currently sees a psychiatrist once a month to manage his med and a counselor once every week to discuss management of his behavior. While I had a very close relationship with my sister and nephew before she passed I am feeling pretty clueless as to how to manage him on a daily basis. I have 7 year old and 5 year old daughters at home also. Can anyone recommend any resources, books or spare any advice about the discipline techniques you use on a daily basis? I don't want to set him up for failure by expecting too much and I don't want to set the precedence that I will let the behavior slide either. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:May 14, 2009 7:42:51 PM

I am very sorry to hear about your loss. That is really quite tragic and sad.As we say where i originate from when someone dies, je jung bosal.

First of all, I was a child with ADHD. That is if you buy the existance of this LD. I personally do not. Atleast not the way it is commonly thought of or considered. Those with ADHD can control themselves. We can manage our own behavior just fine. We tend to have a different perspective and many of us are extremely bright. We are just people though. We are just like you. And everyone else looking at the world and interacting with it in our own way. I do believe there are people that exhibit the symptoms of ADHD for one reason or another. Though the common reasons and rationals to this particular LD do not pan out on a scientific level i think they are just looking in the wrong places. I don't think medication for ADHD is good for children most of the time for a multitude of reasons. Though final call must be made by the gaurdian of any child. I would be very careful about the medications. Having ADHD does not make one exempt from rules. It means some rules need to be mildly relaxed (so that one can interact with the world in their own unique way) not thrown out altogether. For example, if he wishes to eat standing up while eating dinner with the family if he isn't acting out at the table while he eats standing up then where is the harm? I feel the same way about the classroom. If i child isn't running all over shouldn't they be able to position their body as it feels best to them so that they can learn instead of being uncomfortable? But when it comes to really out of line behaviors he knows better and he *can* help it. He doesn't even need to stand it is just sometimes a little leeway goes a long way. Expect from him what you would expect of Cher the musician or the Wright Brothers, or the writer Agatha Christie, Or whats that swimmer's name the one recently who won the olympics? Even Simon Cowel on American Idol has ADHD. Do not expect less of him over this diagnosis. Expect him to be.... A different kind of person with a different perspective and a different way of interacting with the world to some degree. But demand of him what you demand of anyone else. Then, be supportive of him and let him work it out as he needs to so he can meet your demands. But don't you dare relax on him over this one. Many of the most brilliant minds including Ben Franklin are either ADHD or likely were ADHD and just were never diagnosed due to the time frame from which they lived.

I don't know a thing about ODD. So i won't touch that one with a 10 foot pole.

Take a deep breath, this is going to be ok. It will work out. And you can make it work. But simply going to a board like this one isn't enough. And maybe he should be seeing someone to deal with his mother's passing? Maybe you should too?

As for how to manage him more information is really necesary to get any idea exactly what behaviors you are trying to manage.

It sounds to me like he has a healthy helping of help. Maybe he has too mudch help? Maybe not... Maybe you should try asking him some of these questions? He may have some interesting answers for you.

My advice to you is to stay away from groups like NAMI and CHADD that take large sums fromt he drug industry, and to seek alternative therapy as much as possible. If however a drug truly is necesary when all other options have failed, then... You must do what you must do. But first it is best to try every other avenue for some time.

You might also want to start out going a bit light on the discipline as he isn't your child. And he knows he isn't. I am sure he loves you but he also loves your sister she will always be his mother. And you will always be his aunt. But now you are also his primary care giver. You may want to slowly ease into that roll as far as the discipline issue goes. He has had alot of.... issues and problems and set backs and tragedies lately to confront. Adding more stress is likely not the best course of action. So taking it easy for a while talking about things is a good idea.... And slowly ease into the transition from doting aunt to primary care giver, give him time to adjust.

I am sure you are in shredded pieces over your sister. But if you think you are torrn up over your loss, he is far more so than you are. She was the woman who gave him life. He misses her in a way, no one else could. And in that respect it gives you 2 something to bond over as you miss her in a unique way as well even if not the same one he misses her in.

I wish you and your family all the best... I am so sorry... And if i come across anything that might be useful to you i will pass it along to this thread. Good luck.

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Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:May 14, 2009 8:50:58 PM

My daughter has ODD in her long list of issues. The one book that I found to really help with the ODD behaviors was The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. http://www.explosivechild.com/

You all have a lot to deal with and it will take time for everyone to adjust. Keep reaching out to get the help you all need. ((Hugs))

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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