General Question

YARNLADY's avatar

How do ADHD children who need constant supervision support themselves when they grow up?

Asked by YARNLADY (45458points) November 6th, 2019

I am currently raising an ADHD child who only follows the rules sporadically. His psychiatrist diagnosed him as “possibly” autistic.

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24 Answers

Sagacious's avatar

I would want to know for sure and get on the best action plan. Perhaps what has been considered hyperactivity is actually autistic behavior.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I have quite a few friends with ADHD. One of them is a very successful man who remodels, paints, installs new kitchens. He works more than most people, and he is constantly on the go. Has a wife, two kids and a house, normal life.

He does suffer migraines and its difficult for him to relax. He has a lot of sex to burn the excess energy, too.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I have been a life long sufferer, of ADHD. it’s actually gotten worse, over the years. There’s no hope of a degree, or something that would help me. I simply cannot concentrate on anything.
I don’t have an answer. But it’s hindered me, throughout my life.

janbb's avatar

A cousin’s son who was on the autism spectrum went to a school that catered to special needs children. He did well enough that he went to a small college and now is a scientist doing industrial research.

If your child is being home schooled, I would look into perhaps a private special school or other sources of support.

Have you considered medication? I know it can help some kids, particularly with ADHD.

MrGrimm888's avatar

The medication, is essentially meth…..

KNOWITALL's avatar

@MrGrimm Yep. Most of my friends wont take it.

And the man I described does take melatonin, as well as his son who is 10 and also has ADHD. Very hard for them to wind down and sleep.

jca2's avatar

Many of them will learn to channel their energy through their work or hobbies.

JLeslie's avatar

Some people learn to control or compensate for their ADHD and do very well. So many factors go into being successful in a career.

If he is very out of control I would seriously consider medication for him, if he isn’t on medication, and I typically think these meds are over-prescribed. I know children who ask for their meds, because they know it helps them. I know children who don’t like taking the meds also, so the only way to know is to try them, maybe try a couple of the first doesn’t work out well.

Another idea is to change his environment. That means sending him to school. It might work, it might not, but testing it out is probably better now before his personality gets more and more locked in.

We all know children behave differently with different caregivers, and especially they behave differently with family members who they interact with daily compared to people outside of that circle. Children have to deal with worries of embarrassment and disapproval in school in a different way than at home, and it can be an effective way to shape behavior.

Story time: I have a friend whose son was diagnosed ADHD and some sort of obstinate disorder. He was a handful! PreK thru 1st grade he went to a private Catholic school. All the teachers knew him, and knew him to be hard to control. My friend told me about some of the interactions at school, and I recommended trying a new school. Mind you I knew many many more details about her situation than yours.

When I recommended a different school I didn’t mean it had to be public or private, just new set of adults who didn’t know her son already. Her son already was better behaved at 7 than when he was 4, but that school he was attending had expectations of him to be misbehaving. It was a vicious cycle of sorts, that I think we can all understand. Buttons were being pushed daily.

She changed to the public school (she cried about it, it was very hard for her) and it was like night and day, he thrived. I should mention in this particular case her son did take medication, but I don’t remember what age she started him on it.

Is your grandson very intelligent? It seems to me the very intelligent kids have an easier time controlling themselves once they get put in a situation that really interests them.

I’m not a doctor as you know, I’m just conveying what I’ve observed. I also don’t know much about your grandson, so obviously I could be wrong with my advice, I realize that.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

There is hope.
I have no solutions but my friend’s son is doing well as an adult with a good job and raising a family now.
.Good luck :)

raum's avatar

Wondering about what the future holds is natural. But first and foremost, you’ve got to focus on the present.

There are a lot of ADD adults that do well in life. And others that struggle. There’s no guaranteed path to one or the other. You just have to do your best.

Right now, he needs a psychiatrist that will give you something more concrete than “possibly” autistic.

Does he have an IEP? Can the public school provide FAPE? If not, they are on the line to pay for an NPS.

YARNLADY's avatar

Thank you for your discussion.
He was on medication for three years, but there was no obvious difference, so we stopped it. He takes melatonin most nights.
The public school he attended through 4th grade called us once or twice a week to take him home because of his behavior (mostly saying NO to whatever they asked him to do) the final straw was when he ran away from the school and they called the police to catch him. He had an ISP, but they said it didn’t help.

He is currently taking a computer coding class for two hours a week, and he loves it. He also loves his electronic circuit kit and plays with it for hours.

JLeslie's avatar

So, he is able to focus on what he loves to do. I think that’s a good sign.

Maybe he has ODD. Oppositional Defiant Disorder. I think the diagnosis is a little bit of BS, but there are some techniques that supposedly work.

Does he have any interest in going back to school? To a different school? I have nothing against homeschooling, but sometimes schools have magnet prograns and elective classes that can be amazing for children who seek a lot of information on a particular topic.

A tech or computer magnet or charter school might be very good for him.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I thrived, as a technician, at the veterinary emergency hospital. But I stuggled running anesthesia, and in somega parts of the lab. Doing cell counts, was especially difficult. In fact, I struggled with doing urinalysis, and basically anything else to do with the microscope.

I think I connect with animals, better than with people… I was a good LEO. But hated the paperwork.

jca2's avatar

@YARNLADY: He was on medication but there was no obvious difference so you stopped it. There are many different medications and there are many different doses. It might be worthwhile to try something different.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Or…. Kids were never meant to be confined. And schools get kick backs, for every child on the meds….

YARNLADY's avatar

@jca2 He eats a well balanced diet with lots of fresh greens and fruit, plus about a cup of pistachios every day.
@MrGrimm888 His doesn’t like people telling him what to do. I give him his assignments and he chooses what to do on a given schedule.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^People are animals you know? We weren’t meant to live this way.
Children were supposed to be running through forests, and playing. Not sitting at desks, being forced against their natural tendancies.

I get it. Education, is important. And we may as well do it, when their minds are developing. But we’re pushing against nature’s design. IMO. ADHD kids, are just normal kids. But, they are being forced through a process that our evolution hasn’t had time to adapt to. So. The solution is to drug them, and make them fall in line? They are not bad kids. They act like any other young animal, on the planet… THINK…

JLeslie's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Learning how to kill an animal in the wild isn’t simply instinct, children learned it from their parents. They also learned those pretty red berries are poison. Not to mention being quiet and still so that big cat doesn’t perceive your presence. Having self control and showing some obedience is also part of what is necessary to survive. I watched wild animals in my backyard for years, and of course you can watch them on tv shows, and the young do follow and mimic their parent or parents, and do as told to a large extent.

People are on continuums, let’s say on a scale of 1 to 10 most are at a 5 on their ability to focus, but many people are 2’s and 3’s and others are 8’s and 9’s.

I find the children who are extremely obedient and docile worrisome too, so don’t go thinking I want all children to be robots, not at all

I do think the expectations for children to sit still for long periods at very young ages are a problem, especially for boys. I also think this push for academics at very young ages is a problem. I understand now they teach reading in kindergarten, I would have hated it. I don’t think kids should be doing anything they hate for long periods of time at age 4 and 5. Hopefully, some of this is changing again.

Keeping children back a year, or not starting them till age 6 in school, sometimes is helpful.

I hate doing things I don’t want to do, while my husband is more tolerant of it. It makes him better at work, and he enjoys work more than I do. Or, maybe it’s just the type of work. He thrives in a corporate environment, and I hate 9–5 M-F.

Parents drug their kids because they worry about their children being able to survive on their own as adults. It’s not just because they want their children to be easier to deal with. That’s exactly what this Q is about, hoping a child will be ok when out on their own.

Most parents are very reluctant to drug their children, it’s a hard decision for them. Of course there are exceptions, some parents will just follow whatever a teacher or doctor suggests. I can tell you my two very close friends were told one of their children needed ADD drugs, neither parent wanted to do it. The one with the opposition child finally started giving her child the medication many months after first being told. It was the right decision in my opinion. The other parent never gave her child the medication, also the right decision in my opinion, I never believed her boy had ADD. He did have some disabilities though that needed to be catered to.

jca2's avatar

My best friend’s son had ADHD and her conservative husband refused to have him evaluated in school because he said, and I quote, “I don’t want liberals telling me how to raise my child.” The kid always struggled with his behavior, at home especially. Always spilling things, getting into things, and his mom (my friend) would scream at him and be a wreck. Luckily he turned out to be a good adult and is now a corrections officer. He does physical hobbies like hiking, hunting and craft stuff at home with wood, and helps the family renovate the house.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 Your example is one reason (of many) that I think it’s important our schools keep vocational electives offered in schools, and also in high schools the ability to leave school early, or arrive late for apprenticeships and other reasons. Either be able to earn credits outside of school, or not need all the credits possible in high school to graduate. I’ve been told kids are expected to take math all 4 years now. When I went to school it was 2. I think 2 was too little, but I do think 3 is enough. For young kids, I think we should still be offering half day kindergarten.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Grimmy Agreed. My little neighbor has it, Owen, at 10 he is still a sweet, energetic little guy. He’ll play in cold rain, ride bikes and scooters, go shed hunting with his dad. We’ve made pies together, he brought me a birds nest. The other night he came over alone and asked me to come see his 9pt deer haha.

His only issue is being super active and a lack of ability to focus for long periods. Basically he’s bored. So I do think school is harder for some kids, and meds are not always the answer. Structure really is not always desired for some, like some charter schools have proven.

janbb's avatar

Meds are not always the answer but the can be for some. I think each case needs to be judged on an individual basis.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Jles, and @KNOWITALL . I was put on Ritalin. I was supposed to take it at lunch. So. I had a pass to leave the lunchroom, to get my drugs. I always just spit out the pill, and wondered the halls, and usually read books, instead. I ate a pbnj sandwich, in a rarely used restroom, and then read sci-fi books, until lunch hour was over. I remember it all, vividly. I was probably 12ish. I was reading books, that were meant for adults. In a way, I think it improved my advancement through life. I was always a loner. Lunch, was just a time I got bullied by other kids, and I didn’t like the meds, so I skipped both. While other kids were suffering through Charllote’‘s Web, and the Great Gaddsby, I was reading troves of sci-fi. I did this through middle school.

Once I hit high school, I gave a try, but eventually skipped every day. I went to night school, and was able to test out of every class. So. I dropped out, and went straight to college. I loved college. It was a different environment, and I did well. I dropped out there too, because I lost financial aid. I missed a week, because I had the Flu. That’s disqualified me, for the financial aid I received, because my father was a veteran…

I can’t honestly say, how my life would have turned out, if I just took my Ritalin. I fell in with the “wrong” crowd. I felt accepted, and loved, and valuable, for the first time in my life. I was a “thug,” for several years.
Then, I fell into law enforcement, and worked there, for several years.
Then I fell into emergency veterinary care. That took up most of my 20’s, and some of my 30’s. I did well working with animals.
Then I met my ex. I fell deeply in love with her, and she fucked my head up, REAL good. I recovered, but then she came back into my life. My fault…..

After that, I ended up back in law enforcement. A job I was great at, but hated myself for. I did that for about 5 years, and quit.

Every girl who I have been involved with, just fucked my head up worse.

I guess I am saying that I don’t know what the benefits of Ritalin, would have been.

I might have a family now, and a successful career. If there are alternative universes, I’d be dead in most. But maybe I’d be happy in this one… Hard to say…..

YARNLADY's avatar

His dad was also on the spectrum, they called it ADD in those days. He went to public school for 4 struggling years. His teacher wouldn’t excuse him for the bathroom, so he peed in he closet, on her coat. We homeschooled him after that until his teens, when he attended an alternative school, with teacher guided assignments completed at home.
He was very much into physical activity, and was enrolled in various gym classes from infant to adult. He would swim all morning in our pool, do school work, and swim well into the evening.
He has had trouble keeping a job all his adult life, and been heavily subsidized by us. We are very hopeful about his current employment, installation and repair for Xfinity. He has also started his own business installing security cameras, wall mounted TV’S, and in house entertainment/computer centers.

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