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OT: How much supervision?

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    #16
    Re: OT: How much supervision?

    Heather, thanks for the reply. We are good with a schedule and chores. We don't really reward them for regular work, except do your work- then play. For extra work and extra effort, they can get extra something. So that's in place.

    What I am interested in is if anyone else with ADD/ADHD kids has experienced this. My son, faced with losing a privilege or token, will fixate on the loss and completely not see the error of his behavior. He will fuss, yell, fit for a long time about wanting his token back, but he may never get back to seeing what he did wrong and apologizing (or whatever is needed). Or, he sees the tasks he needs to do to earn the reward, doesn't care to do them, and stays in his room most of the day instead. You just can't seem to get through the illogical and make it make sense in his head.

    Now most of these are things we've dealt with in the past, but I wondered if that is common with ADD - he really struggles with seeing the consequence in relation to the act. Or given a choice of two things to do, he will choose neither because he doesn't like the choices. You know how all the parenting books say to do things like give the child a choice of wearing or carrying his coat on a cold day. When my son was little, he didn't want either of those, so he would sit on the floor and scream! We don't deal with this so much now, but it happens.

    We've found that sleep is of utmost importance, which is difficult for ADD kids, and work hard at that. Keeping a schedule, being consistent, etc. That's why we've chosen MP this year. Sometimes we use meds to help him, but they really only help with the impulse control, not attention issues. That's still worth it at times. He is then able to stop and see someone else is talking or choose to not pick at his brothers.

    I think the key is what you said about meeting them where they are. I see him as a regular 11 year old who should be capable of at least what his NT 8 year old brother is because he seems fine, he's smart, he's healthy, but he isn't. It's hard to say that. I can not send him to the bathroom to brush his teeth if someone else is there. I do have to follow him around and make sure he gets dressed and gets to the car. I can not leave him with other kids, without structured activity (theirs or mine), for more than a few minutes. He is getting better and is fine 50% of the time, but some days . . .

    So I think I'd add this to all the other wonderful suggestions that are fundamental: ADD kids will need to be separated or given definite structure or activity when left alone, until they have shown that they have the impulse control to make good choices when not supervised. My kids have separate rooms, so I can send them to do audio books and legos. You may not have that since you have more kids. Do they have any screen privileges - educational videos, etc.? If so, they are only allowed to watch when you work. Do you have one child who is more capable? I no longer assume it's the oldest. Have that one help with the youngest. Whatever keeps your ADD kids the most focused, allow them to do that only when you work. You focus on work; they focus on legos, books, paint, whatever keeps them hooked. Or work when they are asleep.

    Sorry that was long. We are making progress and have good things in place, but on bad days, it doesn't seem like anything has changed. KWIM?
    Michelle in Central Tx
    DS 12 (4A modified), Ds 9 (4M), DS 5 (K)

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      #17
      Re: OT: How much supervision?

      Michelle (mymommy1),

      You wrote:
      What I am interested in is if anyone else with ADD/ADHD kids has experienced this. My son, faced with losing a privilege or token, will fixate on the loss and completely not see the error of his behavior. He will fuss, yell, fit for a long time about wanting his token back, but he may never get back to seeing what he did wrong and apologizing (or whatever is needed). Or, he sees the tasks he needs to do to earn the reward, doesn't care to do them, and stays in his room most of the day instead. You just can't seem to get through the illogical and make it make sense in his head.

      YES, we experienced this with one of two of my children with ADD.

      I wondered if that is common with ADD - he really struggles with seeing the consequence in relation to the act. Or given a choice of two things to do, he will choose neither because he doesn't like the choices. You know how all the parenting books say to do things like give the child a choice of wearing or carrying his coat on a cold day. When my son was little, he didn't want either of those....

      YES, common, although not all children with ADD react this way.

      We've found that sleep is of utmost importance.... Sometimes we use meds to help him, but they really only help with the impulse control, not attention issues. That's still worth it at times. He is then able to stop and see someone else is talking or choose to not pick at his brothers.

      YES to sleep (definitely). YES to help with impulse control.


      I see him as a regular 11 year old who should be capable of at least what his NT 8 year old brother is because he seems fine, he's smart, he's healthy, but he isn't. It's hard to say that.

      YES. This is very difficult, especially as we think about the future.


      I can not send him to the bathroom to brush his teeth if someone else is there. I do have to follow him around and make sure he gets dressed and gets to the car. I can not leave him with other kids, without structured activity (theirs or mine), for more than a few minutes.

      YES. The good news is that even if this persists into adulthood, there are varying degrees of supervision available for supported employment. I did not know this when my son was 11, and it concerned me. Today my son works very well in an environment with good, patient, instructive supervision. He receives less pay because of the supervision needed, but he has a steady job. When he was 11, I feared this would never happen.

      AND YES. This all sounds very familiar. I feel for you, Michelle!


      Whatever keeps your ADD kids the most focused, allow them to do that only when you work. You focus on work; they focus on legos, books, paint, whatever keeps them hooked. Or work when they are asleep.

      YES! My son likes "retro tech," so he purchased a record player that looks like an antique radio. Aunts, uncles, grandparents have given him their old record albums. He loves listening to those albums, audio books, or old radio shows in his room after work or in the evenings.


      Sorry that was long. We are making progress and have good things in place, but on bad days, it doesn't seem like anything has changed. KWIM?


      YES. An older mom with a son who has bipolar disorder taught me this several years ago: rather than "fix" all the difficulties, sometimes much of this will come in waves, ebbing and flowing. Just when you think all might be well, there they are again! But we can take courage and keep going. In her case, her son earned a degree in creative writing after 8 long years of part-time college. He could manage only a few courses at a time. This, along with her monthly visits to help clean and organize his small college apartment, allowed him to graduate with honors!


      About age 11 ...
      Age 11 was among our hardest years, because the social/emotional differences became so glaring. But I am SO thankful we kept going with his education to include classical and Christian studies, rather than divert our educational train to another track. Naysayers abound in the oddest places, but keep going. Self-knowledge (different than self-esteem) is assisted by good literature studies, dialectic, and diligent work. Any article by David Wright, father of five children ages 3-12, on the topic of literature studies gives us a glimpse of the possibilities. Had I pursued lesser, easier, or more popular paths, I would have robbed my son of an ability to think well. For us, his educational years of ages 11-18 were powerful in helping him grapple with himself and the world around him.

      Something to consider: My son had displayed a "temper" from toddlerhood, when all the stakes were much smaller. I could scoop him up on my hip to remove him from a situation. By 11, the pediatrician suggested we consult for a formal evaluation. He suspected more than mere "ADD." Despite several stops and starts, we finally uncovered his needs. (MP will likely have a Sodalitas 2016 vimeo available on this topic before too long.) None of this is easy, but it IS assisted by receiving outside help and by persevering with a good education. If my son's situation might help yours in any way, feel free to email cherylswope@memoriapress.com.


      And to Jennifer, you clearly raised an issue that affects many of us!

      Cheryl

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        #18
        Re: OT: How much supervision?

        Just wanted to update everyone: we found an app called Brili to help the older kids stay on task. It was built by a dad whose son has ADD and they couldn't find what they were looking for in a scheduling app so he built one himself.

        We're using the free version right now until we can afford the bells/whistles but so far (we're on day 2) it's helped a lot! The browser version can also be used on mobile devices without buying the separate app!

        Ideally, you set up mini routines that each have an end point, but we're limited to only three kids and three routines in the free version so I just made a day-long routine for each of my older kids. You can "schedule" in rewards whether they're reading, play time, etc and the child reaches those by accomplishing all the previous tasks. The rewards also have a time limit so they know when to move on in their routine. The interactivity has solved our "no one looks at the chart" issue and it will be super easy to modify their routines when school starts! Plus, no pieces to lose (my husband's biggest concern about buying/making something).

        You can check it out at www.brili.co
        Jennifer
        Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

        2019-2020 Plans:

        DS16
        MP10 Lit, MP-Holt Biology, Light to the Nations II, Spanish
        MPOA: Algebra I, High School Comp II

        DS15
        As above, plus:
        MP Greek Tragedies; no Spanish
        MPOA: Fourth Form Latin

        DS12: 7M subbing Sea to Shining Sea for American history

        DS11: Simply Classical Level 4

        DD9: 3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

        DD7/8: Simply Classical Level 3

        DD 4/5: Simply Classical Level C (NT using SC for two-year PreK due to January birthday)

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