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(11 Posts)
raggygranny Thu 24-Nov-11 16:37:11

Has anyone any experience of grandparenting a child with ADHD? All advice and guidance will be very welcome!

FlicketyB Thu 24-Nov-11 21:38:27

raggygranny, ADHD can be very variable, how severe are his problems? My son and I have both have been identified as dyspraxic and are both almost definitely at the milder end of the ADD/ADHD spectrum so I have some experience there but some children have very severe symptoms and I have no experience of that.

raggygranny Fri 25-Nov-11 14:50:39

I would say fairly severe. Very poor concentration, which means he is falling behind at school. Violent outbursts of uncontrolled anger. Impulsive behaviour. Very little awareness of boundaries. It is having a serious impact on his family and especially on his siblings, who are on the receiving end of his behaviour and also find that most of his parents' attention has to be given to him. Having said all that, he is a very generous and loving boy!!!

Jacey Fri 25-Nov-11 17:54:45

Sorry raggygranny but these are all part of the disorder ...including you last statement.

Yes ...I've taught children with ADHA's the H bit that makes it very hard. However ...that doesn't mean they are unable to recognise the affect they are having on siblings ...that's were the quiet word at appropriate moments can have a huge impact on their behaviour.

But things have to be prioritised ...everyone in the family needs to focus on one aspect only ...setting a boundary for the rest ...even if that means moving the rest of the family away from their influence! ( different room in the house) These are not unintelligent children ...they just have difficulty in recognising boundaries ...and they certainly know how to push the buttons of responsible adults.

You;ve not stated the age of the child or their siblings ...nor what support the family are getting.

Bottom line ...all children need set boundaries that they know not to cross is the lack of stable boundaries that will continue to cause problems in the family ...don't worry about the lack of educational progress at the moment ...get a stable home life first... don't let them play one adult off against another.

Good luck thanks

Joan Fri 25-Nov-11 21:10:55

Have you looked at what he eats? Sometimes nutrition has a part in it. As his siblings are OK, perhaps it is something that he alone does, such as too many soft drinks, too much of one particular food. Strangely enough, with some people it is wheat - they don't specifically have celiac disease, just a general allergy to wheat. Also, wheat can trigger other allergies. It might be worth trying cutting out one particular food or drink for a couple of weeks at a time, just to see.

This is just a thought.

Meanwhile I would expect the same standards of behaviour from him as from the others. I know it would be harder to enforce, but I can't see how giving too much leeway would help. As long as he knows you love him, you can enforce the boundaries.

Joan Fri 25-Nov-11 21:14:09

With one of my own children the trigger for wild behaviour was music. Weird as it seems, if we played one of our favourites, 'The Hall of the Mountain King' he would run around like a wild thing, eventually collapsing in a heap.

The other thing was red cordial - this is a well known no-no for children with even the mildest behavioural problems.

GadaboutGran Fri 25-Nov-11 23:51:01

You have my heartfelt sympathy raggygranny for having this tough lifelong condition to deal with. I'm learning to live with a son-in-law who was not diagnosed until this year aged 35 (see Relationships Forum) & learning how to support my daughter as he needs micro-managing and many relationships fail. It is a very misunderstood condition & this increases the stress for parents who can feel isopated and judged. The world we live in is increasingly difficult for people with neuro disabilities who don't fit in with it's preferred ways of being, though computers help a great deal. ADDers have many positives and can be exceptionally creative but only if they have the right conditions & are well supported. At least there is support for University students with ADHD via the Disability grants & mentors. Many of my sil's problems have been made worse by parents and teachers who misunderstood and didn't know how to help him, or ridiculed and abused him. As your grandson is young you have the opportunity to teach him coping skills, find out the routines that reduce stress and get the right help. You can also support his parents who will probably feel exhausted. As this condition has a 70% chance of being passed on, we console ourselves that at least we shall understand our grandchildren if they inherit it and give them a better start than their father had. And always remeber that without the fearkessness and impulsive creativity of ADHD many advances in society would never have been made/invented so it is important to society - some think this is why it has been crucial in evolutionary terms. I try and view our situation as a privilege, though it often feels like a burden we could do without.

FlicketyB Sat 26-Nov-11 11:05:25

Raggygranny. One problem my son and I have is wide peripheral vision that leads to too much visual input and stimulation. I sometimes have to walk out of places like department stores or art galleries because I cannot cope with all the stimulation. At home it means I prefer to do any work that needs concentration on my own in an uncluttered environment, desk clear, empty table, quiet or unoccupied room. You may find that giving your grandson some quiet and uncluttered space, some oasis of calm that he can unwind in and retreat to may help.

raggygranny Sat 26-Nov-11 12:15:29

Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions! My son and d-i-l are being very proactive in getting help and bringing the school on-side, so I do have hope that he will be able to flourish rather than being dominated by his condition. But day to day things are hard especially for the brother closest to him in age, who bears the brunt of his outbursts and is embarrassed by his public behaviour. It is very clear that routine and boundaries do help: he responds well to Beavers, for instance, and when he stays here we do try to provide these. FlicketyB what you say about peripheral vision is very interesting and I will ask my son if this has been investigated.

glammanana Sat 26-Nov-11 14:33:52

My friends DGS was diaognosed with ADHD and the parents had a really bad time with him,they took alternative advice and cooked all his meals from scratch nothing shop bought or tinned or frozen,no wheat of any kind and a big dose of cod liver oil every day,it took time and effort to make him eat but after 6 weeks he was a totally different child.This problem seems to affect far more boys than girls or have I just made an unfair assumption there ?

raggygranny Sun 27-Nov-11 20:43:22

I think you are right, glammanana there do seem to be far more boys than girls with the condition.