I went to my daughter’s doctor to find answers to her aggression and lack of focus. My daughter’s doctor did a full evaluation and physical. The doctor sat me down and told me that my daughter had ADHD and ODD. I didn’t hear much of anything the doctor said after that sentence.
I left the office with a prescription for my daughter feeling worse than before. Here is what I’ve done to clear my head and help my daughter live a happy and productive life: follow up with the doctor, monitor and adjust medication as needed, and follow through with other therapy as suggested.
Follow up with Doctor
Since I left the doctor’s appointment so confused, I decided that I needed to follow up and get a lot of questions answered. My daughter, Brooke, has severe aggression problems. According to additudemag.com, if I leave Brooke’s aggression untreated, it can lead to conduct disorder; which leads to running away, destructive behaviors, extreme violence against people, and even stealing (additudemag.com). This article suggests that Brooke sees a therapist. Based on this article, the doctor, and other internet resources, I decided to get a referral for Lifeline Resources within a week of diagnosis.
In my research, I am learning how to work with my daughter instead of against her. According to CHADD.com, positive reinforcement can be a wonderful behavioral tool. Basically, if I reward Brooke’s positive behaviors consistently; the positive behaviors will become habit over time.
Because of my daughter’s significant symptoms, her doctor and I decided that medication was a good first step. It’s important to monitor how the new medication affects your child. Finding the right medication can be a process of trial and error. There are lots of medications available and I was not going to settle with the first medicine the doctor gave my daughter.
My daughter was put on Tenex first. I only kept her on that medicine for 30 days. It calmed her down, and she wasn’t hurting anyone; but she wasn’t the same. The twinkle in her eye was gone, she had headaches all the time, and her teacher said she was like a zombie in class. We tried Focalin next. The sparkle came back to her eyes, yet she was able to focus on a task and complete it. At the 30 day mark, we – the doctor and I – decided to keep that medication.
I am trying to find a medication that will help her control her aggression. The doctor just prescribed Vyvanse for her yesterday; now I have to monitor her closely again for a while.
Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Behaviorist
My daughter needs more than a pill to help her handle her aggressions. But what kind of other help does she need. Her doctor helps us to decide what additional help my daughter needs. Right now she needs a social worker to help with behavior and a therapist to learn how to express her feelings.
I was able to find Lifeline Resources for my daughter. They are an organization committed to helping children and families with disabilities of all kinds. They offer in home visits with a social worker for both child and family. A therapist is also available, and works closely with the social worker. It is like having a whole team helping your child achieve success.
These are the first few steps that I have taken in being proactive dealing with Brooke’s ADHD/ODD. It is a long process. Brooke and I still battle daily, but we appreciate the small victories.
Diagnosis and treatment. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.help4adhd.org/en/treatment/behavioral
Understanding adhd: How is adhd treated?. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.chadd.org/Content/CHADD/Understanding/Treatment/default.htm
Adhd and odd: Parenting your defiant child. (2005, JUNE/JULY). Retrieved from http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/879.html