The other night I was sitting in solidarity at my dining room table, coffee in one hand and pen firmly grasped in the other jotting down my To DO list, my Shopping list, my things to get done around the house list, and the list goes on and on. I survive on lists, from childhood to now it is my method of survival. There is something satisfying about seeing a check or a cross out on the list, it is visual proof that I am actually getting things done. As I sat and wrote out my lists with much mockery from my husband, how my lists even have lists it dawned on me, maybe this is exactly what our son Frank needs. Much like myself he too struggles with ADHD amongst other things, yet honestly I feel that the ADHD is the root of all evil, and if we can get that under control the other behaviors may follow suit.
From my own experience, I know the inattention can be a killer, and then the stress of forgetting things can be just as bad, and of course I hate when people remind me of things because even though they may not be scrutinizing on me about my ADHD I know it is a reason of why I can forget sometimes and having to be reminded to do everyday tasks sure annoys me. Wow, it took me 5 years to correlate my situation with his, 5 years to even remember that although we are two very different beings that we both suffer from a similar ailment.
In that moment my inattention grabbed me, and hurryingly I completed a task list for him detailing every major activity from morning to bedtime. I was so excited to share it with him, and he is so use to trying out new behavior modifications that he was happy to oblige. When he came home on Friday afternoon I sat down with him, went over the last, answered any questions he had, then handed him the list with a pen.
It was like magic, my child was transformed. No forgetting, no tantrums, no anger, no excuses, not even one timeout. The weekend went as smooth as butter, it’s a miracle, a Christmas miracle, ok maybe not but this Momma is ecstatic and cannot wait to see how this progresses.
I asked him how he felt the weekend went, and his exact words were “awesome, super awesome”. I also asked him if he would like to share his weekend experience on the blog and here is what he had to say “the weekend went better, much better than it’s ever been, and I am happy to say that I am proud of myself and I am proud of my mom because my mom thought of a way to help me”. I definitely had to hold back the tears on that one, but it is always good to hear. I will periodically check in, and update the blog to let you all know about his progress with the checklist, since we do all know that what may work today may not work tomorrow.
Thank you for stopping by and reading, I hope you find this useful. Any questions, or tips? Please leave a comment below and I would be happy to hear what everyone has to say!
It has been 9 days since we implemented the list, and what a great 9 days. We have seen such a drastic change in Frank's behaviors since we started the list. We are still seeing behaviors, but they have been age appropriate. The worst day was yesterday when he misplaced his checklist rather than telling me, he utilized it as his chance to not do his morning routine despite me prompting him to do it. Rather than punishing him for not doing his routine, and misplacing the list, I simply printed him out another list and he was not allowed any activity until it was complete. He had an aggressive out burst today which I am unsure of what to attribute it to, but I am not going to say we weren't expecting it. Every day is baby steps, and nine days with out an outburst, meltdown, etc. is a huge accomplisment. Tomorrow morning, the slate gets wiped clean and we start the day count once more.
See you soon,