Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Behavior Plan

I met with Preston's psychologist today and told him what I was going to be doing regarding the CURE. He was supportive and mentioned that there is research on supplementation showing that behavior does improve but not to the level that most medications work. That's the tough part is that when Preston is on his medication, he does do very well. It's the before and after side effects that are so nasty and again, the general idea of not knowing truly how else medication affects the body that is so hard for me.

We also talked about setting up a behavior plan at school. Both at school and at home, he needs positive reinforcement on what he does well and less punishment for negative behaviors. I still believe in natural consequencing as suggested in Love and Logic, but essentially, avoiding any 'hammers' on naughty behavior; quick and to the point. When he argues with me on consequences, that is countable. Back to reinforcement, he suggested that the teacher needs to provide a visual chart or tracking system for Preston throughout the day and reward him for very specific tasks or goals such as following directions, completing work in class, not disrupting teacher or classmates, etc.

The psychologist also reminded me that ADHD really is a performace disability and not so much a capability disability. Preston is very smart and very capable but is impulsive and as Dr. Barkley has also mentioned, doesn't think into the future to forsee the outcome of his actions. This is why Preston struggles with completing work in school and at home. He can't focus long enough to take the time to do his work. I need to continually remind myself of how to deal with every scenario based on him and what part the ADHD plays. That doesn't mean that they get away with their behavior or that they have an excuse/out, it really means that I have to approach things differently to help him get things done and succeed.

Regarding his depression and vascillating moods (mostly to extreme anger), I will be sitting down with him when he is in a 'good place' and help him categorize his types of anger (very angry, a little angry, frustrated, etc.) and find an appropriate outlet to correspond with it. For example, extreme anger may require some extreme venting. Honestly, I worked with a fellow (who I adored) who when he got angry would take a baseball bat outside and beat the hell out of the ground with it. He'd come back into the office pretty normal. I'm guessing your first reaction is, WHOA! That was mine as well. I actually thought it was a little creepy, but then I realized that I myself am a door slammer. Well, I used to be at any rate. These days I go jump on my elliptical and burn out the belts or do push ups until I collapse. The Nurse Practitioner that actually suggested making this list and finding outlets suggested aggressive release for aggressive anger - the release has to match the feeling; that actually makes alot of sense to me. Drawing a picture doesn't work when you are burning up with anger. I will post this list on his bulletin board in his room and will remind him to look at it when he has any degree of angry feelings.

We're taking another multiple-prong approach with this little fellar - behavior plan at school, behavior plan at home (I recently set up a very structure routine for after school and in the evening), relying on my 1-2-3 Magic and Love and Logic and the supplmentation and nutrition. I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond today and got a Kitchen Aid blender to make 'Glowing Green Smoothies' in. I think I can make it something he will drink. He drinks the Odwalla Super Greens, so hopefully I can make this work for him. I'll be waiting on pins and needles for his minerals and supplements to arrive...

AN ASIDE
We stopped at Tasty's Donuts on the way home today (happy little donut man with his crown and triton at the top - I had to put something up there to get your attention) and got some of their Blueberry Cake donuts. OOHHHH my! Those are really something. Sprinkles cupcakes, chocolate mint brownies and Tasty's blueberry donuts are an 'all bets are off' treat. I won't look up what they are made with - I don't want to know. There are some treats that once in awhile I really do enjoy just enjoying them. Moderation. I promise, I didn't have five donuts. Just one. And half. Don't tell anyone.

Disclaimer: I do not endorse foods with colors. They are naughty. They look good, but they are naughty. Enjoy your blueberry donut but pass on the sprinkles and things that are so pink they are made with the same coloring as Pepto Bismol.

Helpful Hint: After you indulge in a high carbohydrate food, have a healthy fat with it to help prevent your blood sugar from spiking and then storing the excess sugar. Coconut oil is a fabulous choice here as it is immediately processed in the liver and burned as energy (upping your metabolism) and not stored. I would recommend avoiding coconut oil after 5pm for sleeplessness.

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