Injuries and ADHD result in a very tired household.
I am sure most parents with a child living with ADHD feel tired and understand my pain.
Previously we have been very blessed with our son and he would sleep through anything. On a normal night he did take a little longer than a “normal” child to fall asleep but generally once he was gone he was gone.
Well 4 weeks ago, his little comfortable world changed!
I got hurt!
He saw me in my driveway screaming in pain (yep, hopeless with pain person right here). I had fallen and fractured my ankle.
To 7 year olds, their Mum’s are superheros, they are invincible and they don’t even think of the fact that they could be hurt one day.
As a result of this injury I was totally unable to do anything as I couldn’t get around. I can’t drive as it is my right leg and I pretty much sit on the couch or at my desk working.
His world as he knew it changed, I couldn’t do school runs, I couldn’t do activities after school, I couldn’t do school activities, we couldn’t take the dog for a walk, I could do no housework (what a shame – lol), no bedtime routine and no cooking (we cook together at least once per week).
As we all know a change of routine for ADHD can be a huge disaster.
Then add to that I developed some complications with my leg as a result of the injury which caused intense and potentially life threatening (glad it didn’t go there) pain for me, so again his invincible mum was vulnerable. A lot for a little boy to take on.
Not only was he worried about me, he started having huge sleep problems.
He couldn’t settle in his own bed at night and resulted in a screaming episode when he was left alone in his room to sleep, whether the light was on or not.
He takes sometimes hours to settle and actually fall asleep and finally when he does a few hours later he is up and in our bed for the night. Of course with the lack of sleep then it increases the ADHD traits so it is a wicked catch 22.
Behaviour at school was escalating and the aggressive traits started coming out as well.
Generally, I am a heavy sleeper and don’t hear anything but the problems I am having with my leg see me sleeping lightly so I know most nights when he comes in and I don’t need to tell you how children sleep in bed!
So for us we are now about to start out journey with Melatonin. We tried the natural version for a little over one week and unfortunately that didn’t help so after we visited his psychiatrist she agreed that it has all been escalated by my injury and we are to start script Melatonin to see if that helps.
So for the next 4 weeks we are trying yet another strategy to see if it helps, but then we should be back at school after the school holidays and I should be back on my feet. So hopefully things settle down for him by then.
I will keep you posted on our Melatonin Journey.
3 Tips to helping your child living with ADHD to function when his world is in turmoil:
1. Keep as much routine in other areas as you can
It is important to keep to the routine as much as you can. If things are really out of whack then even as simple as still going to bed at the same time will assist. Their world has gone crazy and they are searching for any form of stability and familiarity that will help them make sense of this craziness.
2. Assure then that it will be OK
Sit them down and discuss what is happening right now and what to expect when things settle down. If the scenario is where someone has been hurt or has died then it is important to assure them that it will be fine and things just happen like this to everyone and that it will take time to work through it. The important thing here is stability and finding the things that they are already familiar with.
3. Finding things that they like to do
Do they have a special friend that they like to spend time with? Do they enjoy going to their Aunties place or Grandma’s place? Maybe they could do something there and get them away from the crazy situation if it is at home and distracts them for awhile.
Side note: We are also starting our Sleep Talk journey as well, so I will blog on that too.
Tagged ADD, ADHD, Melatonin