Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Friday, August 07, 2015

From Asperger's to ADHD

We have had Anna evaluated by her therapist, a doctor, and two psychiatrists. It turns out that Anna doesn't have Asperger's, but she does have ADHD. It is interesting because I had a really hard time wrapping my mind around the potential Asperger's diagnosis. I realized that it was hard for me to accept because it wasn't true. Once I came to that conclusion, the Holy Ghost confirmed it to me again and now I have no doubt. I have ADD and I have heard that it is a genetic condition, so I am not surprised. In fact, now all five of my kids have ADHD! I guess it is something I will know and understand very well down the road. Anna is now on Concerta to help with her ADHD. I hope it helps her. 

It is difficult to manage electronics for five kids in the summertime. I generally want a relaxed theme in our home and at the beginning of the summer, I implemented a plan where there would be no electronics in the morning. The kids get up and have breakfast, do their chores, and then play with each other until lunchtime. Then they could be on electronics until dinner time. I thought that this was working until I realized how very cranky my kids were after five hours on electronics. 

Tyler and I discussed it and then put together a plan that involved 2 hours of individual electronic time for each child, plus some "family time" where they could have some limited time together on electronics. This plan quickly began to look just like our prior plan of electronics between lunch and dinner. Something more aggressive had to take place. 

We decided to do a detox from electronics for two days. No electronics allowed. Then I fasted about what I should do. The answer came: only electronics between 2-4pm. There has been grumbling mainly from Anna, but I feel the Holy Ghost confirm to me that 2 hours is plenty of time. There is such a difference in Anna when she isn't on electronics. Here is a picture of her from when she hadn't been on electronics for two days: 

That is a real smile, folks!

As much as I love the summertime, I am looking forward to school starting back up. The school electronics schedule is this: No electronics Sunday - Thursday. And then two hours on Fridays and Saturdays. Electronics can be a blessing in our lives, but too much of it wreaks havoc in our household. How about yours?


shannon said...

It's such a delicate balance! I'm so glad you've figured out what works for your family! I was thinking what a great pic that is of Anna! Very real, and beautiful smile!! :)
For us, having 6 kids home all Summer was exciting/a bit intimidating! Lol! We have learned to plan our Summers starting early Spring. That way the camps and activities they want to do are worked and saved for and available! I try to keep the kids as busy as possible without over doing it. We did karate camp for 3 of them every other week for 8 weeks, scout camps, play dates, and we always plan out our family vacation or staycation. Something else that has been a huge help is the 5, 2, 1, 0 rule. 5 fruits and veggies, no more than 2 hrs of electronics a day, 1 hour minimum of fresh air and activity, and zero sugary drinks. This gets broken sometimes for eating out or parties, but we keep it as best we can because just like you said, it's worse when we allow the extra too often! Another thing that has helped us is to make theme weeks for the younger kids, like Hawaiian week, creative waterplay week, machine week, cooking from Harry Potters cookbook, invention week, etc...whatever they are excited and interested in. During each week we do the same things but implement the creativity and fun. So water play week we looked on Pint rest and found some simple things to do with water in the back yard. We had friends over and had some great fun with squirting guns, buckets and water balloons! For us it works to have a similar situation schedule each week, like Monday is library day, Tuesday is dollar movie day, Wed. Is bowling, Thursday is our day to find and fill a need, Friday is home made pizza night etc...we just work in the themes and do the pool or splash pad in the afternoons as much as possible. It makes for lots of fun and we are less bored! I.e. less whining and fighting! :) This Summer I had a lot of help from my older 2 boys especially and they did a lot of the cooking--from HP-- it was awesome!! We had one of the best Summers we've had with tons of family time and lots of maturing and help on the boys part. I am glad school is in though because now I can work on my own projects and goals easier!

Jenni said...

Oh for sure! My kiddos are much grumpier and more mouthy if they watch too much tv or are on electronics too long. My kids recently had their dr appt and were told only 1 hour per day of electronics. We do a little more than's hard with such a spread in ages.....I admittedly haven't stuck to our summer schedule too well. ..I want to relax on the summer too. ;) I think a trip to the library is in order for my clan. My kids always want to read after a good trip to the library! Warrior on mama!

Jenni said...

Such great news about Anna! I know that has been such a struggle for you. I'm so glad you've figured out what works for your family too. You inspire me!

Hevel Cohen said...

We don't really have a limit on electronics, but we offer the kids activities that don't involve them.