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Old 02-19-2014, 11:34 AM
 
834 posts, read 2,418,974 times
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Hi: looking for suggestions/advise. I have a 1st grader with very impulsive ADHD. She's been taking Focalin for school and up to recently it has worked great. In the last few weeks, she's gotten notes from principal's office for biting. She's done this in the past but when she was 3 years old and not on meds. I didn't think this behavior would come back. Next time there won't be a warning but a suspension. We make sure she has a good night sleep and good meals, particularly breakfast. In the house besides homework we do games and 1 or 2 tv shows. We don't do "eating" games, just things like playground, bike, tennis, reading, etc. We do role playing to discuss good behaviors and not so good behaviors.

I can't think of what, if anything, I can do to help this child. I can't be shadowing her every move and serve as her conscience. Any of you have input or suggestions for me? I'm opened to reading what you have. Thanks for reading.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:42 AM
 
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I've got adult ADD (had it as a child, wasn't diagnosed until my late 20s). If she's acting out, I'd say she's got something that's causing her stress. Are the other kids harassing her? Is she struggling in any of her classes?

As an adult, I've found that meditation really can be helpful. A friend of mine who teaches a class full of kids with undiagnosed disorders (it's an underfunded urban school) does a sort of "meditation" time for them after lunch where he walks them through just emptying their brains out and focusing on "nothing" as it were. He says it helps immensely with their attitudes and focus. You might want to look into teaching her to self-soothe that way? I don't know. I think it would have helped me a lot as a kid if that had been in my bag of tricks. I got stressed out A LOT back then.

You may want to look into the medication as well. I was doing GREAT when I tried Straterra a few years ago, until I wasn't. The first few weeks were awesome, but once I built up too much in my system, I basically stopped functioning. It was awful. For 3 days I sat on the couch and stared at a solitaire game on my computer. No joke.

What situations is she biting in? Is it unprovoked or is there a reason?
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:36 PM
 
834 posts, read 2,418,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
I've got adult ADD (had it as a child, wasn't diagnosed until my late 20s). If she's acting out, I'd say she's got something that's causing her stress. Are the other kids harassing her? Is she struggling in any of her classes?

As an adult, I've found that meditation really can be helpful. A friend of mine who teaches a class full of kids with undiagnosed disorders (it's an underfunded urban school) does a sort of "meditation" time for them after lunch where he walks them through just emptying their brains out and focusing on "nothing" as it were. He says it helps immensely with their attitudes and focus. You might want to look into teaching her to self-soothe that way? I don't know. I think it would have helped me a lot as a kid if that had been in my bag of tricks. I got stressed out A LOT back then.

You may want to look into the medication as well. I was doing GREAT when I tried Straterra a few years ago, until I wasn't. The first few weeks were awesome, but once I built up too much in my system, I basically stopped functioning. It was awful. For 3 days I sat on the couch and stared at a solitaire game on my computer. No joke.

What situations is she biting in? Is it unprovoked or is there a reason?
Thank you for your reply. We practice some breathing to take a sec and take a deep breathe. In the past there was focus on transitioning, but right now in 1st grade, I don't even know how the teacher breaks up the day. I may need to do more of the breathing practicing at home.

This is public school and they do give a ton of homework. Perhaps trying to juggle homework, all the reading required at home and the 2 after school activities is stressing her out. She does tennis (she needs to release all that energy) and the other class is piano.

One biting was because during a staues game, she wanted a kid to move, so she bit her to cause her to move (ugh!). The other was because 5minutes before dismissal to home she decided she was hungry and told another kid she was going to eat her. Grabbed her arm and bit her. (If only she had waited a couple more minutes from what was a fantastic day!).

I ask her why she did those things and she says she doesn't know. It's the impulsivity. In "paper" she know the school rules and that it's not nice to bit, hit or be mean to others.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:01 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
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If she has the impulse to bite, could she use something like a chewy tube? http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...l_3iwgq4ol7s_e It could give her an outlet for when she has the urge to bite.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:20 PM
 
14,258 posts, read 15,125,255 times
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The homework could be a bit of a shock to her system after kindergarten and a big stressor. I remember struggling through it at that age, and I thought it was torture - and I was actually a pretty good student.

Does she seem stressed by the work itself? And how much does she enjoy the activities? Piano was very difficult for me, and it was never something I enjoyed. Mainly, my hyperfocus didn't kick in with that like it does with stuff I enjoy, and so it was always a struggle. But I know people with ADD/ADHD who can get lost in music.

Hm. So they're just impulse bites, really. That's the hardest thing to address. If things are getting more stressful at school though, I could see an old behavior erupting again just spontaneously. This is one of those things where I wonder if a therapist might have the best answer. I feel like mucking around with experimental solutions could just lead to her getting suspended, since it doesn't sound like the school is open to working with you. I'm NOT a parent, so I don't really know how this works, but I might grill her teacher on what they've been doing in class, how she's getting along with her peers and what her attitude has been during the day. Especially that stuff about the peers - I was basically feral as a kid and had no idea how to act socially. As a result, some of my interactions were just bizarre - and there was more than one episode of spontaneous shoving or whatever. I easily could've gone the biter route, looking back on it.

Um, not to hijack the thread, but where did you pick up the breathing exercises? One of my relatives has a very smart kid your daughter's age who has a lot of trouble winding down at night (often can't sleep at all), and I have been looking for kiddie meditation books for him to no avail.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:27 PM
 
834 posts, read 2,418,974 times
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Breathing exercises that I've seen on videos and baby yoga. Nothing formal but just a matter of finding quiet time and breath several times.
She was the one who wanted yo do something with music and she does enjoy the class. Same thing with tennis. Every so often I ask about how's the class going and if she still likes it. We have a little schedule to break up homework a little at a time so that it's not overwhelming. But still toward the end of the week I can see she's tired.

I'm just worried that finishing this year may be a challenge. I don't want her to lose her personality but need to work for the school and be safe for her and the kids around her.

Thanks for your feedback. We will keep working with this bundle of energy. Thx
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:00 PM
 
Location: South-Western New Jersey
469 posts, read 491,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston_2010 View Post
Hi: looking for suggestions/advise. I have a 1st grader with very impulsive ADHD. She's been taking Focalin for school and up to recently it has worked great. In the last few weeks, she's gotten notes from principal's office for biting. She's done this in the past but when she was 3 years old and not on meds. I didn't think this behavior would come back. Next time there won't be a warning but a suspension. We make sure she has a good night sleep and good meals, particularly breakfast. In the house besides homework we do games and 1 or 2 tv shows. We don't do "eating" games, just things like playground, bike, tennis, reading, etc. We do role playing to discuss good behaviors and not so good behaviors.

I can't think of what, if anything, I can do to help this child. I can't be shadowing her every move and serve as her conscience. Any of you have input or suggestions for me? I'm opened to reading what you have. Thanks for reading.
As an ADHD individual myself, sports was always the place to turn to. It helped give me discipline and relaxed me. Another thing would be to get her into a routine. Third, find a way to get her to relax. Stressful environments cause impulsive behaviors(such as biting).
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:11 AM
 
Location: South-Western New Jersey
469 posts, read 491,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryazer24 View Post
As an ADHD individual myself, sports was always the place to turn to. It helped give me discipline and relaxed me. Another thing would be to get her into a routine. Third, find a way to get her to relax. Stressful environments cause impulsive behaviors(such as biting).
also to quote myself on this topic, please do ensure they are disciplined outside of the sport. The discipline needs to go hand in hand.
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