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Smunkey
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08 Oct 2008, 10:41 am

My 9 1/2 year old stepson has both Asperger's and ADHD. For those of you with both, at what age did your internal controls kick in terms of you being able tp regulate your own behavior without constant reminding from your caregivers? Everything seems to be such a battle, starting from the moment we get him out of bed in the morning (is it really supposed to take 10 reminders to get dressed at this age?) And it goes down hill from there. Constant correcting of the same poor manners, lack of focus, lack of control when he's very happy about something. His latest catch phrase - "I'm just excited!" and everything that we try to instill is completely forgotten. It's frustrating since there seems to be no improvement with age. Is there an age when he will have gain enough self-awareness to function in the real world? I dread the day he will want to get a drivers license because I see no possible way he could stay focused enough to avoid an accident.



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08 Oct 2008, 11:42 am

I have both Asperger and ADHD, and I didn't learn to regulate my behaviour and take care of myself before I started taking ADHD-medication a few months ago. I don't think internal control just kicks in. If he had that control he wouldn't have ADHD.



Smunkey
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08 Oct 2008, 12:10 pm

Do you live independently? Were you able to hold down a job prior to the medication? How is your everyday life effected?



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Snowy Owl
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08 Oct 2008, 1:22 pm

I lived independently but were not able to do my housework, finances, remember to eat etc. I don't think I should have lived by myself.

And I could not hold down a job prior to the medication. Most of my problems came from the lack of impulse control and procrastination. Did a lot of stupid impulsive things, and poor short time memory made it difficult for me to understand the consecvenses of my actions.

Did not mean to scare you. I think my ADHD is quite severe. Many people have it milder, and some people even grow out of it.



beef_bourito
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08 Oct 2008, 4:25 pm

I have both and i still have a lot of difficulty with my executive functioning. it's hard to motivate myself to do anything i'm not interested in (i have to unpack as i just moved out into a house with other students but i've put it off for a while). i started medication a few months ago and i find it helps a bit sometimes but not enough. i'm going to see the doc in a week to talk about meds and i'm going to ask to try something else since i don't think methylphenidate's (ritalin, concerta, i'm on concerta) doing it for me. i was more excitable when i was younger and had a harder time focusing, but i was more able to motivate myself to do things because i had constant reminders.

now you should know i was only recently diagnosed because i made it through school without having to deal with my disorders so i never got help for them until now. since your stepson is diagnosed and is (i'm assuming) getting some help with it, he should improve over time, but one thing you need to understand is that nothing can be forced upon him. he will learn the strategies when he's ready and until then there's really nothing you can do but give him the opportunity. you're probably like most parents and just want him to "get it" and can't understand why he doesn't just do it, that's perfectly normal, but the problem is that he thinks differently from most people, his brain works differently, and you're asking him to make his different brain work in a normal brain's setting. this is very hard, it takes time, effort, and desire, so the best thing you can do for him is to be patient, which can be REALLY hard at times.

just be happy that he's only 9 1/2 years old, he's still got another 8, 9, or 10 years until he graduates high school so there's a lot of development that can be made in that time. his brain will be growing a lot in the next few years so you may see some very significant changes (for better or for worse), so just wait and see what happens. this doesn't mean you should just stand by and not do anything, but just understand that you won't see immediate change.



anna-banana
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08 Oct 2008, 4:55 pm

I'm diagnosed with ADD but I'm pretty sure I have AS as well. in my case ADD went from mild in childhood to quite severe from high school onwards. my executive functioning is... well it's not fuctioning at all lol

I have my friends to remind me when to do things like cleaning etc, I have standing orders on my account to be able to pay the bills. I tried to learn how to drive but decided I would be too much of a hazard to others- my dad had undiagnosed ADD as well (at least I'm 100% sure he did), he drove everywhere all his life and every time I was in the passengers seat I literally prayed for my life, and I've never even been religious. he had loads and loads of minor accidents caused by his lack of focus.

it sucks, but you can live with it. there's strategies that help you cope and if your kid grows up to be smart enough to apply them then you have nothing to worry about.


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DW_a_mom
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08 Oct 2008, 5:15 pm

I would suggest that you narrow down your battles. From your description, I worry that are trying to change too much. It's difficult to tell from a brief post, but morning to night should not a set of constant instructions. My son doesn't have ADHD and even without that there are only so many self-control skills he can master at a time.

We noticed a huge overall improvement in our son once we stopped trying to prohibit his pacing, weird noises, constant touching and other behavior that actually are stims. All these annoying behaviors are actually things that help him self-calm and focus. So it is possible that a behavior you think needs to be controlled is actually what the child needs in order to focus. Give some thought to that, at least, perhaps experiment with it, and see how the more essential tasks go.

Pick your battles. One skill, one behavior, at a time. And some may need to be separated to time and place - some annoying behaviors, for example, my son has learned to control when out of the house for social reasons, but is free to engage in at home.

Some things he may just grow into. My son matures slower than other kids, but he IS maturing, taking on responsibility, and finding ways to work around some of his own self-management problems. It comes from within, really.


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rainbowunicorns03
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18 Dec 2014, 9:18 am

my daughter also has both conditions she is 12 and i still have to remind her to do all of those things its a nightmare