Discipline for a child with ADHD is super tricky. I wrote this post on Sentences a few years ago, but please note the double entendre: a sentence (consequence) I gave somebody was to write a bunch of sentences. So clever, eh? This particular child doesn't love writing, so it was a mean punishment.
I wrote about a few of the shenanigans of one of our children over here. But in a nutshell, elementary school for one of my boys included:
- swallowing a penny
- running away from 2nd grade (school principal at my house)*
- a "baseball" game with fresh raspberries in the basement
- walking along fencelines (he did parkour guys, it was mostly safe)
- climbing stuff (sometimes at a gym)
- fixing stuff with his own tools
- flag football, soccer, tennis (baseball was too tame)
- making paracord bracelets and selling them to all the neighbors
- getting bullied A LOT because he was super annoying/talkative in class*
- throwing a snowball at a moving vehicle with a perfect SPLAT on the windshield*
- MY butt in the principal's office multiple times, discussing this kid (see previous*)
- insatiable curiosity
- constant need to learn, do, create, talk
- inability to sit still
- having fun at high speed until an energy crash when he'd drop down exhausted
All in all, he makes a great trumpet player now, and a program as exacting as Texas marching band is a great fit. He's a super fun person to have around. He's also like a raging river. There's not a chance that I can stem the tide, but as his mom I have some influence on which way the water will run.
There are two main roads people take for treating hyperactive kids: medicine (uppers) or therapy. The idea of the stimulants is this: let's say a kid's brain is like a high school football stadium on Friday night. It's dark outside, but the lights allow you to see what's going on in the game. Except some of the lights are wonky and they fire at different times and in different places. So it's really distracting. Caffeine or Red Bull or Ritalin will basically help turn on ALL the lights, so that the brain can absorb what's going on and see the game clearly. (Please remember I'm not a real therapist or even close to being a shrink, but that's the basic idea.)
So if I don't want to put a young child on ADHD meds, then how does therapy help?
to be continued