June 18, 2009
…..here’s a link to the audio archive:
…..here’s a link to the audio archive:
Sorry this is last minute, but I will be the guest today at Gramma’s Garden, a Blog Talk Radio show on ADHD hosted by Pam Glidden.
Join me at 1pm EST today (June 18) where I’ll be talking about moms/women with ADHD. Info at http://tinyurl.com/njfsba
Got a question for me? Call it in 1pm-2 at (347) 308-8263
See you there!
We now know that ADHD is highly genetic. In fact, if you have ADHD, there’s approximately a 50% chance your child/children will have it, too.
There are three subtypes of ADHD:
3. Combined type
So what happens when mom has inattentive ADHD and junior is hyperactive and impulsive?
In my case, I have the inattentive sub-type and my daughter is hyperactive and impulsive. Let me give you an example of how these two subtypes under one roof can collide:
Mackenzie doesn’t close a door; she slams it. When she’s happy, she doesn’t laugh; she shrieks. When she talks, the volume of her voice often rips through my brain like a knife. When she’s hungry, she wants to eat.. NOW. Conversely, when she asks me a question and I need time to process her rapid-fire words, she’s already out of the room, feeling nothing but contempt for my slow cognitive tempo.
It’s like watching a hurricane sweep over a sleeping willow tree.
One way to help me cope is to use hand signals. When Mackenzie’s voice begins to rise, I signal her to lower it. When she’s racing through the room, I use a stop sign or time out hand signal. If I’m in desperate need of quiet and solitude, I’ll tell her I’m taking a time out in my home office and will be ready to interact again in 10 or 15 minutes. It’s often a matter of seeing it coming and having a plan before the overwhelm sets in.
I wonder if you have the same issue at your house and how you handle this mismatch of temperament and the resulting sensory overload.
School’s out and if you’re a mom with ADHD, you’re either laughing or crying. Laughing, maybe, because you don’t have to deal with homework battles, IEPs, worrying about your child’s academic success, him being bullied, issues with friends, etc.
Crying because now you have 2 1/2 months to figure out how to keep your child entertained, happy and out of trouble.
Last night, my daughter asked me the one question that always puts a chill up my spine. It’s not about sex. Or drugs. No, I’ve mastered those topics, for the most part. At least in terms of feeling comfortable discussing them.
No, what she asked was, “Mom, will you play Sorry with me?”
Ever since my kids were little, I have always hated playing board and card games. I hated sitting through the 50th video playback of Barney, Mr. Rogers, Raffi (is he still around?). Well, you get the picture. Certain kiddy activities are simply over the top dull. Well, for me, at least.
Board games are aptly named, in my opinion, because they bore me to death. Sitting at a table, waiting your turn, playing games that typically hold no strategy and seem to go on for a hundred hours, is not my idea of fun. I’ve struggled for years over this one, thinking I was a horrible mom for either going along with the request but detesting every painful minute, or avoiding it like the plague (“Sure, Mackenzie…just give me a few minutes while I , etc.).
I finally realized that this was a no-win situation. One of us would be unhappy. So over the years, if I simply could not fathom the idea of playing a ridiculously boring game with my daughter, I’d suggest a re-direct. The best “out” was running out to get ice cream- that always worked. We still had time together and we both ended up very happy.
But last night, I did play Sorry. And I lost. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.
Face it. Summers can be tough if you have a family that includes a child or two with ADHD. And it’s even tougher if you, too have ADHD. I was reading the posts you wrote in response to my blog, ADHD and Hypersensitivities and was struck by how many of you, like me, are super sensitive to the chaos and noise at home.
With summer coming up fast and kids out of school, it can be pretty difficult to handle days filled with kids at home making noise, messes and more.
I always advise parents to keep their ADHD kids super busy with organized activities. But that can be awfully tough if you, as a mom, have ADHD. Organized isn’t our middle name!
Consider day camp (overnight camp if they’re old enough). Kids need activities and particularly, those that match their interests. But sometimes, camp is out of the question, so here’s an idea to keep them busy while allowing them to burn off some excess energy.
Hop Balls not only do that, but they also improve coordination! Let your kids bounce through summer. Just keep them off your carpet!
This past weekend, I woke up with a great idea: why not have a garage sale?
It was Saturday morning and of course, I hadn’t planned any of it ahead of time. But it just “felt” right. I’d remembered years ago when I had a garage sale and how much work was involved. So I decided to do something different this time around.
Instead of spending days grouping things and agonizing over prices, this garage sale would be a “pick your own price” event. I told my family that I didn’t want to be like everyone else in the neighborhood (ha, like that’s going to happen…), so they finally agreed to go along with my plan.
I spent all of 2 hours running through the house and basically grabbing things I normally would have tossed or given to charity, then my husband put up signs for me.
It worked! Though it only lasted 4 hours, we sold over $100 worth of stuff, plus we de-cluttered the house!
Sometimes ADHD can work for you. Had I not impulsively jumped into this project, I know it never would have happened.
I’m wondering when you’ve had flashes of positive ADHD moments!
Let me be the first to say that I am thrilled that ADHD is getting positive media coverage and that it’s going mainstream in that more and more people are understanding this condition. For instance, this month’s Health Magazine , is featuring an article on ADHD and The Today Show had segments both yesterday and today on ADHD (one on adult ADHD and one on ADHD in children).
But, does that mean it’s become more accepted as a medical diagnosis?
Back when I first became professionally involved in the field of ADHD, it was quite an uphill battle to get people to understand that ADHD is/was real. I do think we’ve made good progress; after all, it has now become a topic in mainstream media.
I’m curious to know how this is playing out in your life. Do people you come across accept your ADHD or do they still insist it’s a character flaw or something you can overcome “if you only tried harder?” Let us know how mainstream it has become for you…
One of the things I love to write about is hypersensitivities. As in… being sensitive to certain fabrics, smells, lights and more. Little is written about this and it’s a shame, because most women don’t realize that ADHD and hypersensitivities often go together.
And it’s not just in women; it’s our ADD kiddos too who have meltdowns because of sensory overload. For many of us, it takes YEARS to figure out that clothes with tags make our kids grumpy. Or that wearing panty hose puts us over the top agitated. Or that we can hear the humming of the refrigerator in the next room. Or that we can’t tolerate what my daughter calls, “mouth noises.”
Does anyone else hate wearing nail polish? I swear, it feels like my fingers weigh 10 pounds each when I put it on. So I no longer do.
So here’s my tip of the day: stop fighting! If you hate wearing makeup, either stop wearing it or only put it on when you have to. If your kids are squirming all day because they can’t tolerate wearing jeans, give them sweat pants!
I highly recommend the book, “Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight: What to Do If You Are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World“, by Sharon Heller. Read it and I promise you’ll feel so much better, knowing you aren’t alone.
Also, check out my article on this topic HERE
What makes your nerves shatter? Wool? Telephones ringing? Certain odors? Do tell!
Those of you who know me and/or my work, know that I try hard to teach folks with ADHD to forgive themselves. We are sooo hard on ourselves when we are trying to manage piles of paper, keeping our homes orderly, remembering important dates, managing our families, staying on top of things at work…and more.
You know how some weeks can be simply overwhelming. Well, I am having that kind of week, myself. I feel like I’m a target for anything and everything that possibly could be going wrong. But to save you the trouble of having to read about my week of insanity, let me focus on one area that really got me crazed.
I’ll be writing a lot about my kids. After all, this is about Moms with ADHD and Moms with ADHD who have Kids with ADHD. I belong in both categories. I have one daughter with ADHD and one without.
Mackenzie, the one *with* ADHD has other special needs. That means that once a year (usually more), we have to attend an IEP at school. An IEP is an Individualized Educational Plan Meeting where we discuss what her needs are and how they’ll be addressed.
Of course, my IEP is THIS THURSDAY and my papers aren’t in order. That’s where the “sick” part comes in. Though I’ve known about my ADHD for…oh…a long time now…and am considered an expert in the field, I still have my moments. And this is one of them. Papers make me sick. Or I should say, disorganized papers falling off my desk into piles on the floor make me sick.
One of my mantras when I offer presentations on ADHD is to do what you can to get the help you need. In my case, I lucked out. My older daughter, Kate, is extremely organized. Now, I could have chosen to spend hours looking for and organizing the papers I need for this upcoming meeting, but Kate was in town and she offered to help me.
She was able to pull together a binder with all the needed papers in oh…about 2 hours, tops. If I had taken this on, either it wouldn’t have gotten done, or it would have taken me literally weeks to finish this horrific task.
The moral of the story- if something makes you so distressed it makes you literally feel sick, due to your ADHD, think about what options you have in getting help. It could be hiring an ADD coach, a professional organizer. Or it could be as simple as asking someone you trust to help you out.
Time to put away the Tums!
I’m utterly thrilled and excited to offer you a whole new resource, here at www.momswithADD.com . But let me explain how this new site evolved.
After nine years of running the very successful ADDconsults.com, I’ve learned quite a bit from you. In recent years, I found that many people – women – were contacting me because they’d read my book, my articles and understood that as a woman with ADHD raising a child with ADHD, I had the unique perspective of understanding their own challenges.
Little is written about the unique challenges we women face, so I’ve decided to focus my attention on you- a woman with ADHD who is raising a child or two that also has ADHD.
I will be posting information about moms, kids and even a bit about my own experiences in raising my daughter, Mackenzie. Hopefully, my insights will help you along as you search for ways to make your life easier. I know how hard it can be!
Look for blog posts, articles, resources, products and other tidbits from me. You’re not alone on this journey; I’m here to help! And I’m glad you’re here!