Posted by: Marie | 2011/04/30


ADD &  negligence

A friend refered me to this website, and I thank you for having this forum.
A year ago my 8-year old daughter was diagnosed by a professional, with ADD, mostly w.r.t impulsiveness and lack of focus. She is on Ritalin 20mg on school days. Apart from bad handwriting she is otherwise doing well at school with an average above 70%. However, I''m at my wits'' end with her negligence. Not only does she loose pieces of school clothing, but she forgets to give important forms or letters or written messages to the teacher or principal, put in a prominent place (agreed upon by her) in her school bag. It very often also seems as if she has short term memory, because I would ask her something, and 5 minutes later she would say " she forgot" . She is also very clumsy as of late, and has broken more things in and around the house at the age of 8 than she''s done at the age of 3. I don''t know whether it is ADD-related, or age-related or what, but I don''t know how to handle all of this, and know for a fact that I don''t handle it well emotionally, as I get very impatient with her, with both of us sometimes in tears. Please help.

Expert's Reply


ADHD Expert

Dear Marie,

I wish I could provide more comforting words, but unfortunately all the behaviours you have listed above are very common with ADHD.

You seem to be on the right track by having developed a system regarding important messages; perhaps taking this approach through to other areas will help? For example, leaving notes above the light switch to remind her to switch them off, or above the towel rail to remind her to hang up the towel can help to do away with "little" annoyances and reduce family tensions. For more serious matters, if a system is in place, instilling a consequence may do the trick. This needn't be something severe, but perhaps loosing TV privelages for an hour.

The most important factor is for you to remain calm and try not to get emotional about such things (I know this is easier said than done). If instilling systems and consequences does not aid the matter, it may be worthwhile discussing her behaviours with her prescribing doctor and checking that her dosage is still optimal.

Enrolling her in a sport of some kind may help with the clumsiness and should boost concentration if only for an hour or so.

Best wishes,

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Dana | 2011/05/11

Hi Marie. I see my 7 year old daughter in your letter. I had exactly the same problem with her. I also get impatient. I take her to a pediatric psychiatrist and she prescribed Risperdal for the impulisveness and clumsiness. I suggest you discuss this medication with your daughter''s doctor. My daughter has vastly improved since onn these drops. Also what helps is repetition. Everytime she behaves in an impulsive manner, let her start what she was doing from scratch, but in an orderly manner. For instance if she comes home from scholl and throws down her bag, let her go back to the car, walk into the house in an orderly manner and put her bag in her room. This teaches them to think before they act.

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