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To moms of kids with ADD/ADHD

My dd is 9 years old and has serious issues with keeping her room clean and picking up after herself. She has ADHD and takes meds twice a day. I've noticed that when I clean up her room at put everything away she becomes almost hysterical because she can't find anything. I know that she should be cleaning her own room, but sometimes it is to the point of filthy. She seems to cope better when things are chaotic, anyone else with ADD/ADHD kids notice this??

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Asked by emnasmom at 2:41 PM on Aug. 28, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 3 (23 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • I'm exactly like her. (I have autism as well as moderate ADD.) My mother gave up on me, and my life is eternal chaos. I'm not saying give up, but try picking your battles (or every day will have you two at war over this, and that's not good for either of you), and the two of you could maybe make a day of planning her space better and creating organizers out of boxes and other things you can find to fit her stuff. There is no point on spending a ton on them, in case they don't work out at first (a lot of trial and error is involved here.) Plus, making them invests her more in the end result you hope for, and gives you guys something to do that hopefully doesn't involve butting heads over her mess. :O) Look to kit-bashing furniture, different sized boxes (liquor stores have great sturdy ones for free) using her out-grown clothes or artwork to cover things, and pieces of lightweight wood covered in denim with lots (cont)

    Answer by roachiesmom at 3:37 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • (cont) pockets glued on, strips of wood with hooks or magnet tape attached and then hang it behind a door. My son has one that is the backboard support of his loft bed, but we designed it that way from the start. Since it's the weekend, maybe she could spend some time doing inventory to try to figure out things she wants together, and figuring out how to store them, and what the units should look like.

    Good luck!!!

    Answer by roachiesmom at 3:43 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • Mine is an aspie and my house is destroyed because he cannot cope with everything put away. He actually panics when I make him clean it up and he has literally gone behind to to undo the clean I maange almost as quickly as I pick it up. Not that I have given up trying but I do cut my losses sometimes. Maybe you might give her a space that she can keep her way while everywhere she needs to make an effort to keep up. I do agree it's frustrating. It's not a strange thing though. Have you mentioned it to her specialist. he might have some ideas for you in coping with it. The idea above is a great one.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:32 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • Are you sure that medication is right for her? There are many therapists who work with people who have ADD/ADHD; they teach them not just coping skills, but how to use ADD/ADHD as an advantage in their lives. Thom Hartmann has written extensively on this topic; you should be able to find his books art your local library, there is lots of information at his website: You may also want to explore how foods affect behavior, either from the Feingold Organization ( or another source. We eat a "clean" diet; no processed foods, no chemical additives, no meat, very little dairy
    My daughter's attention issues were helped dramatically by fish oil supplements (though we have since switched her to hemp oil). It is important to use a good brand, like Nordic Naturals; it takes about 8 weeks to become effective.

    Answer by rkoloms at 7:06 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

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