View Full Version : How do you handle day-to-day life

Mary FL
03-11-2012, 07:42 AM
with a child with ADHD, anxiety and sensory issues? It helps to finally know what is going on with ds, it really does. However, the behaviors still are there and both dh and I are drained. I feel like I've aged 10 years. Of course it doesn't help with both dh's father and mine declining in health and all the other things life brings.

How do you and dh keep the joy alive in your marriage and in the home? How do you let your other children know they are special, too, give them time away from the family (or one-on-one with a parent) while you are running to doctors' appointments and because you homeschool and there's no help around to baby-sit that child is coming to most appointments too?

Thank you for your help.

Jennifer in VA
03-11-2012, 07:48 AM
Not sure what to exactly recommend, as we're not in the same boat. Here is what I do know though. Our oldest is in P/T and O/T (at a place where our insurance covers a large portion of the bill), there are kids with similar issues as your son and seem to be getting help from one or the other. The therapist is able to help teach strategies to the child for various issues and make commendations to Mom (the one's who usually take child in ~ :lol:).

For me, it's actually been good to go because there are many kids there with invisible issues, it's a feeling of "we're not that different after all".

Mary FL
03-11-2012, 07:53 AM
Thanks, Jennifer. Ds had OT eval and is starting therapy next week. It's a very bright and cheery waiting room. Do you know when I was there last week one of the moms from one of my groups was there in the waiting room? :lol: It does help to know I'm not alone. Still, no one comes to my home and sits down and has a cup of coffee and just is there, KWIM? My mom lives 1200 miles away. I am grateful to talk to her on the phone.

I also worry about my daughter. This is hard on her. :sad:

Hollie in SC
03-11-2012, 11:05 AM
Mary, :group: to you! Transitions and changes are hard on everyone. You also have a lot of extra stress right now. I had some quick thoughts to share from our experience, but everyone's experiences are very different.

Since having our Noah, life has been :eek: In good and more challenging ways. :) We wouldn't trade him for anything, but priorities have definitely changed. And priorities is a HUGE part of it. I can't tell you how often we say, "no" to things now. It was hard at first, but our needs are just that, NEEDS.

The hardest part is playing the "divide" and "conquer" game which often leaves one of us (dh or me) with Noah and one of us with the other boys. Yes, that is a challenge on our marriage. We learn more and more to try to make sure we get time together at home. Yes, dates are a nice thought, but don't always happen. Sometimes that means that the older boys get a video in the evening (instead of during the day) and that Noah might get some room time. Just doing what it takes to allow us to connect as a couple and spend a few uninterrupted moments together.

One thing we have tried is something Jill mentioned a while back. Allowing one child to stay up later with the parents for some focused time. Even it it is just 15-20 minutes. Also, just keep the dialogue up with your daughter. Ask her how she feels. Let her know it is okay to tell you it is hard when it is. See if she knows something that will make her time better. I've been surprised at times when my older boys have answered questions like that--sometimes they want something so little (like my 11yo answered yogurt covered raisins a while back in a similar situation). The flip side is that our boys have grown a lot in having Noah in our family--in ways they surely would have missed otherwise. God is using these parts of our life to grow their hearts. :hcry:

Mary FL
03-11-2012, 01:45 PM

Have any of you had changes in your schooling approach? In other words, send a child to private school so you can focus on the other for a season. Or, do more co-op classes outside the home so the children can be separated for part of the day? We're in one co-op now and could add another.

Dd also takes ballet one hour a week. Trying to make sense of all this and spinning my wheels.

03-11-2012, 02:53 PM
We have chosen to take a step back, realize that this is a season and that we will get through it. I don't have to solve everything today, I can just keep working on it. Some things have to be put aside or on hold and that's ok.

Lisa TN
03-12-2012, 12:27 AM
My daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers in November. She has sensory issues, anxiety, and was previously diagnosed with ADHD.

I am a single parent, and her 22-year-old brother has high-functioning autism. He is very independent, so most of my time is now spent with her, and he seems to understand that.

I took a step back from formal studies and came to Beyond Five in a Row because I thought a unit study approach would better suit her needs. We have tried canned curriculums, but they did not seem to mesh well with her learning style.

As far as co-ops go, we're not involved in one at the moment. There's several in our area, but she's got PT, Language, and Art therapy and will soon be adding in OT. I've also got PT myself and will be having knee surgery in April.

What's helped most is to be consistent. Daughter is extremely stubborn - and if she doesn't understand the reasoning behind something, she won't do it. I explain situations to her ahead of time as much as possible ("When we go to the rec center to swim, running is not allowed because it is wet and people who run can easily fall.")

I also give her a bigger hand in her education. I've got index cards with different activities listed on the back - She gets to pick and choose what activities to do each day. There is one "Required" card that has Daily Language, Vocabulary, and Cursive on the back, and she must choose a Math activity each day (which is almost always Life of Fred). Otherwise, she gets to choose. I can easily swap out activities from week to week (or day to day).

Angela in MT
03-12-2012, 06:38 PM
Honestly, I wouldn't make any decisions until you process a little more.

I was at our state's homeschool convention this weekend and went to a panel on disability. Three veteran moms spoke and they all said the same thing: you have to put your marriage first.

So how do you and dh recharge? For us, date nights just don't happen. They are too expensive and we don't feel rested afterwards. So about once a quarter my dad, who is an airline pilot, flies in and keeps the kids overnight. We go to a hotel in town so we are close by in case anything wonky happens.

As for therapy or dr appointments (we have 3+ a week), I usually take Dd and dh takes the other kids grocery shopping and then my boys have karate. We live some distance from town, so we have to maximize our time in town. Sometimes we meet up in town over peanut butter but usually we eat at home from the crockpot.

We do try to get the kids some alone time with each of us, but especially their dad. One night a week my husband plays chess with oldest DS and then another night he plays checkers with younger DS.

As for schooling, all my children are quite young. But we are sticking it out together at the moment. We are a family and for us, we feel we need each other and to get through things together. This may not always be the case, but for now, I feel we are all learning a lot from each other and benefiting from helping each other through our struggles.

But, and I should have started with this, this is what works for us. I only typed it all out because sometimes seeing how other people make it work helps me to figure out how I am going to make it work?

Hope it helps!

Shannon F.
03-12-2012, 09:40 PM
Mary, I am not sure where you are in Florida, but we need to be friends!:roflol:

I can only speak from my own experience. My ds is almost 11, has ADHD, sensory processing issues. He takes meds for ADHD (since he was 7-8) and I can tell you that the meds make a HUGE difference for my son. Most of his symptoms disappear with his meds, including his sensory issues. This has made a major difference in our relationship with him and his with his siblings. I so vividly remember the life sucking feeling! Also, our relationship (mine and my sons) was affected because he was CONSTANTLY getting into trouble. He was NOT fun to be around at all, and he knew it. That was the bad part. He wanted to do better, he just couldn't. He went through speech and OT and things improved some, but the REAL change came with the meds. And, I was so anti-meds because I was a classroom teacher and saw so many kids strung out on ADHD meds. I was very hesitant. We could not do the feingold diet because my dh was against it, so I just had to let that idea go by the wayside. Anyway, things have really calmed down in our house. My son is a joy to be around again. He loves it that he can be successful and not have all the stress. He would be the first to tell you that his meds help him tremendously.

But, I know that meds aren't the answer for every child or every family. I just wanted to give you our perspective.

We are in Pensacola, BTW, just in case you ever want to have a meet up!

Shannon F.
03-12-2012, 09:45 PM
Homeschooling WAS our different approach to school with this child! He went to ps for Kinder and it was a NIGHTMARE. He still says he'll never go to public school again and he's in 5th grade! As far as the littles, it helps to have them all together as much as possible. My son has JUST NOW gotten more independant in the last three months. I can give him a written plan for the day and tell him that he is responsible for that work for school to be over.

Laura F
03-12-2012, 10:55 PM
Mary, I called Shannon and picked her brain about meds a few years ago when we were both living in Corpus Christi. My dd is a completely different child on meds, but she is still a work in process. I promise that your life won't always be spent shuttling him back and forth between appointments. This is a season in your life, and it's tough to adjust. But it will become your new normal. :group:

As for appointments, my dh is away frequently and cannot leave work to help with our regular appointments. Everyone typically comes to appointments, but that's where schoolwork is a blessing! Everybody always has something constructive to do. (Plus I've learned that exam table paper is awesome for drawing!) Another dd is diabetic, so she has her appointments. As for my tiniest dd, she recently decided that she would only allow a "girl dentist" touch her teeth (no kidding!) so we've added traveling to the "girl dentist" to our list of specialists.

Really, it's no different from driving to somebody's piano lesson or homeschool gymnastic lessons. You just figure out a way to make it work.

Mary FL
03-12-2012, 11:58 PM
This is an encouragement! It's late Monday night, and after a long day coming to the boards and to see all the replies is so helpful.

Shannon F.
03-13-2012, 10:20 PM
All my kiddos go to appointments too! It does get better. I have just learned to incorporate them into our day. That is the time that I pull out the cd player/nook/kindle/ipad/new book/magazine/stickers to keep the momentum going. Along with the paper in the offices, those gloves make great balloons for everyone!

03-14-2012, 11:49 AM
All my kiddos go to appointments too! It does get better. I have just learned to incorporate them into our day. That is the time that I pull out the cd player/nook/kindle/ipad/new book/magazine/stickers to keep the momentum going. Along with the paper in the offices, those gloves make great balloons for everyone!

Same here! We always leave with glove/balloon faces and the exam table paper filled with crayon drawings.

Mary, when my youngest was diagnosed with Autism, we began ABA therapy out of our home along with OT, PT, and speech appointments. We had therapists coming in and out and appointments every other day--it was chaotic.

The only solution I could come up with at the time was public school for my two middles. It was absolutely the best decision for both of them--for all of us.

Mary FL
03-15-2012, 12:05 PM
Our public school system isn't the best. Now looking at academies that offer classes to the homeschool family. It would start in the fall. Also looked at Montessori school, but it's very pricey.

Believe me, I'm thinking about different scenarios I didn't entertain in the past. Funny how that works. Want the best for both of them and the whole family.

Thank you and keep the ideas coming.

03-21-2012, 02:40 PM
I am right where you are. This past year has been so very difficult for us. It definitely helps to share the things we've all learned to help us navigate through hard seasons. For us, we just take it day by day. I have a plan, but I know that I have to hold it loosely and see what the day brings, be willing to change things. I learn as much as I can to help my children with each of the issues they are dealing with, but I also know that I can't implement it all, and not all at once. I have to keep in mind our limitations (finances, my energy levels, our entire family's needs, our quality of life, etc.) when I make decisions about whether to add in a new therapy, or a special diet, or a new exercise routine, etc.
I pray a lot, asking God to guide me and I have to trust him to take care of it all, to take what I can give and to multiply it, to cover the gaps...I feel insufficient a lot. But he is sufficient to meet all our needs.
When I have ideas, I try them. If it doesn't work after awhile, I try something else and just keep adapting until I find something that works. We need a lot of routine and structure, yet flexibility for the unpredictable health or behavior issues that come up.
I try to focus on the basics first: enough sleep for everyone. exercise, preferrably in the morning if we can. protein for breakfast and throughout the day. taking care of physical needs helps a lot with the sensory and behavior issues. I am learning to take care of my own needs too, so I can handle caring for my kiddos.
I can get really serious and sometimes need to learn to lighten up and laugh! I let my kids have plenty of down time too, and sometimes they watch their funny cartoons and crack up... it helps them to laugh too. :D
My kids like water, I made bath time a big part of the day and we did baths in the mornings, or afternoons for a long time (instead of after dinner when I was tired and wanted to hurry it all along). I have lots of little bath toys, cups, etc. and I would rotate those and buy fun bubble baths for the kids and this would be a relaxing time for all of us and met their sensory needs. Or let them play in the kitchen sink with bubbles. Daily playdough time (keep it in the kitchen with different accessories). Tub full of rice and cups and scoops for the kitchen. Rotating my toys. Plenty of open-ended building toys. All these tricks I keep on hand for when I need them.
Also, what I've found (this is our second year of homeschooling) is that little bits of practice in every area daily makes a big difference. Just a little writing, just a little typing, just a little phonics, just a little math...
These past few months I really considered school for some or all of my kids. I really researched it all and prayed and came to the conclusion to continue homeschooling. I have a great peace about it now but I had to really work through it and look into every single option for us and pray it through. So I understand where you are at with that too.
I am having to learn to see my kids as unique, to discern what I need to work to change in/for them and what is part of how they are, what to accept and embrace... what we need to keep working on...I never want them to feel like all I do is try to fix them. does that make sense?
These are just some thoughts off the top of my tired head. :)
I am happy to talk with you more, just ask.

amanda b
03-22-2012, 10:21 AM
We had a very rough first 1- 2 years after we adopted our son with severe special needs. It was hard for the bigger kids to get used to so many scheduled appts for therapy and drs, plus add in the occasional overnight hospital stay when mom is away staying inpatient with the little one.

We did send the older kids to school for one year at their request. THey hated it and are happy home again now. For a while, we really juggled letting one kid come to appts with us and the other go to the neighbors, or grandmas, or aunt's, or on a playdate, instead of bringing all 3 kids to dr appts. Then ds got old enough to stay home alone while we go to appts- that has made a HUGE difference!

We also just got an ipad to use at dr appts for the child who is "just" waiting for the other one to have their appt. During therapy appts at home, I let them watch TV or do something special while I am busy with therapists.

Also, we let the oldest, ds, stay up later with us each night to have special time with us. Our middle child, dd, I take upstairs to do bedtime routine each night and while we are reading chapter books, etc- ds and dh get to spend time together playing board games usually, so they each get time with one of us each night. Our youngest goes to bed around 6PM usually (he takes meds that make him sleepy), so we have a quiet evening with the other kids.

hope that helps