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What's a step mother to do?

My husband's exwife recently send their 13 yr old son to live with us because she couldn't "take it anymore". Come to find out he was failing every class and had in school suspension for "paraphaneila" on the bus. It has been hell the last 2 weeks with him. Found out he was dx with A.D.D. over a year ago but there has been no intervention. My husband doesn't want to "label" him and doesn't want to "medicate" him. But I am the one at school every day and I am the one doing homework with him every night. What's a step mother to do?


Anonymous said...

Look online for books by Dr. Doris Rapp. One really helpful one is, "Allergies and the Hyperactive Child." It helped me immensely when my son was younger, and we did not use medication. This book is only available through used booksites online, as far as I know, and is worth the little bit of money you will spend on it. My son is now 24 and graduating from college (he didn't start right away). He has done very well in college. He never liked school as a child, did poorly in school, and did not think it would give him anything important for his life. Try to be patient with your son, as difficult as that may be, and don't let the "challenges" discourage you as a parent. We can now laugh at the time he broke the kitchen chair, when I told him to sit down (you know the usual mealtime difficulties). I can't remember the actual dialogue, but he sat down rather promptly and the chair collapsed underneath him! He used to "log roll" from the top of the couch, over the people sitting on the couch. If your son seems to have any sense of humor, encourage it, let him laugh sometimes, as laughing at life is important, and may help him get through the more difficult things. Our son was actually diagnosed with ADHD, had all the symptoms, irritability, mood swings, tantrums, etc. - I simply am not including all of those details here. Often ADHD children are actually rather bright. They say Thomas Edison was most likely ADD. Please try to get the book! (I am contactable if you have questions).

Anonymous said...

My step-daughter was dx'ed at 5yo with ADHD. We later received a dx of bipolar disorder with ADHD at 7yo.

ADHD is commonly misdiagnosed. You should really have another dr evaluate him as well before you begin medicating. I would highly suggest a neuropsychologist and/or a psychiatrist.

If your child's behavior seems like an extreme case of ADHD, there may be somthing more going on. Disorders like autism, bipolar, epilepsy, anxiety, mood disorder, oppositional defiance disorder, etc. often appear to be ADHD. It takes a dr qualified to distinguish between them to make a correct dx.

I am all for medicating for ADHD. I just want you to be certain that you have the right dx before you start. In our case, the stimulant medication for my step-daughter actually made her go into a manic state quickly. She was out of control. She is now stable on an anti-psychotic plus a stimulant for her BP and ADHD respectively. I really wish that we had gotten a second opinion of her behavior before hand.