Apr 9, 2010

Texting +ADHD = DISASTER

My ADHD/LD son is 13.  I recently decided, against my better judgment, to get him a cell phone and allow him to text.  I set limits of usage, allowing only 200 texts per month with our data plan.

I soon realized that his life started to revolve around his new found freedom.  He felt powerless without his phone.  It was an ever-present accessory that I soon began to despise.

I randomly checked his texts to make sure he was sending and receiving age appropriate messages.  I was shocked at what I found.  His "friends" had began bullying him via text. 

We successfully addressed and eliminated the bullying issue at school and on the bus during the first month of school.  Now, it has crept back into his life.

My husband and I discussed the bullying texts with him.  He confided in us that he felt so much pressure to "fit in" and text like everyone else does.  Having ADHD and LD, he has always had a problem "fitting in" and relating to his peers. This seemed magnified now that he was attempting to text.  He frequently misspelled words and didn't understand when the kids texting him were joking or being serious. This is a common symptom of ADHD... inadequate social skills. 

We mutually decided to allow him to keep the phone but that there would be no more texting.  To my surprise, my son was relieved.  He said he instantly felt better knowing the "pressure" was now gone.  I told him to use me as the scapegoat.  I have no problem with him telling his buddies that his "mean mom" took his texting privileges away.

I explained that kids generally text things that they would never have the nerve to say face-to-face.  He agreed.  I'm encouraging him to actually use his phone for it's intended purpose.... to CALL his friends and actually SPEAK with them.  He's so much happier now and his hands, especially his thumbs, are beginning to straighten out.

Do you allow your ADHD/LD child to text?  Has he/she encountered text bullying?  What have you done to stop it?

32 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. Our son has also been the brunt of much bullying. He is ADHD, and also has Aspberger symptoms. Your blogs are so encouraging. He is about this age...and the distractions of technology are so great!

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  2. this is very insightful. thank you for sharing. I have a six year old that won't be using a phone for a while but this is something I'm really going to be thinking about now that you brought this up.

    i find that with our kids, technology can be helpful but at the same time, it needs to be managed or things can backfire. we just got the Wii and it has helped him a bit but at the same time, certain games have made him crazy. For that reason, we decided not to get the Nintendo DS because it mostly has the games that don't bring out the best in him. Conversely, the ipod touch seems to have games that calm him like puzzles and chess.

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  3. For my 13 year old daughter, texting became the center of her world too. The good news is that like most things she hyper focusses on, the obsession with texting fell by the wayside. She rarely texts now. Fortunately we didn't have the bullying to deal with.

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  4. Wow, everyday I find something new to worry about. Thank you ;)

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  5. My daughter has SPD and she has some issues understanding social cues. I wonder also how she will navigate the complicated world of texting. We are doing traditional occupational therapy, berard AIT, and may add Brain Balance in the fall. Hoping by the time she is a teenager she'll be more prepared and comfortable with her world. If you haven't heard of Brain Balance, it's worth a look. They are doing lots of work with ADHD kids. http://brainbalancecenters.com

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  6. I am sorry to hear your son has encountered bullying via text messages. But I am also glad to hear that he has surpassed the problem and is now able to live without text messaging! I think you did the right thing by taking away his privileges before the problem worsened. His confidence and self esteem are very important and therefore he does not need people bringing him down.

    I am a Language Stimulation Specialist in Miami. It makes me sad to hear about these stories, but it also opens my eyes to the reality of the matter and how important it is to help these kids. As a Speech Therapy Center, we are always offering communication wellness and awareness to our community. Feel free to visit our site and access our free parent resources!

    www.MySpeechTherapyCenter.com

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  7. Thanks for sharing this informative thoughts. I really appreciate it... I am looking forward for more posts.

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  8. Hi! We are looking for parents of children with ADHD because we need your first hand knowledge! Please visit us at http://www.sleepstudyforadhdkids.org

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  9. Thank you for sharing. Have you considered encouraging your son to create a blog? Blogging is on the forefront of "cool" compared to texting, and he would have complete control over the content. A blog could provide your son with an outlet for creativity, shaped in any way he sees fit. Just a thought, take care!

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  10. I suffered for years from ADHD, could never concentrate or sit down for more them ten minutes for that matter, I tried all sort of drugs none took any positive effect on me, until I tried Adderall, this switched things completely for me, if anyone has a similar problem I suggest you read up on this medication online and see why it is so much better then all the rest out there

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  11. http://ldblog.com/2010/09/28/adhd-rd-connection-confirmed-and-refined/ - If a child really is having reading difficulties and attention problems, there are non-drug options for therapy and education. This is why I like the Brain Balance approach to neuro-behavioral disorders like ADHD. They actually teach and do targeted exercises that strengthen brain communication between the two sides of the brain so that medication, in most cases, can be lessened or discontinued. I particularly like the “truth” section of their website. They also make dietary changes and offer behavioral. It’s a whole person approach and is brain based, not drug based.

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  12. Hi. I have had a cellphone for the end of my teenage time. I had undiagnotic ADHD back then, and used to text quite frequently. Surprisingly it ended up being a very useful tool, as it kept me connected with a few friend who could help deal a lot with the issues I was having, mainly not to forget stuff for school, not to forget to do some chores, help me if I had lost my bus money or my bus card, tell me if some classes were cancelled or moved.

    The thing is, I never gave my phone number to people I dislike. I was in a period of my life where bullying just... disappeared or was a lot less present. I do feel a bit powerless without my cellphone nowadays, mainly because I feel like I don't have direct contact possible with my friends and family, and no support in case of trouble (which happens pretty frequently!).

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  13. my step son... had issues with this.. and he really was frustrated.. that we didn't understand that in today's world texting is important... I hope my 5 yr old son... who is also adhd.. can see past it..
    http://hyperfoucusmom.blogspot.com

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  14. I read your post and I understand your situation. My son also experienced those things.
    listol

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  15. I totally agree. Texting has become another way that my daughter gets bullied as well. She also has great difficulty with spelling (ADHD, LD). This one I have yet to figure out. With Facebook, I tried to get her to type her status in Word then paste it onto her profile. This prevented some of her spelling errors. However, the ADHD eventually over-ruled and this was just an extra step that slowed her down... and so we continue to try to think up strategies that will help her fit in, but also help her learn to cope with her exceptionalities.
    Thanks for sharing. This is the first time I've found your blog and there seems to be tons on here that I want to read!

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  16. Hey very educational post. I just want you to know taking Synaptol has been very effective to my daughter than other drugs. I think that's really stretching it but it helps and I'm satisfied for now.

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  17. My name is Amy and I am a Community Leader at WEGO Health. I wanted to let you know that your blog was featured in a post titled: "6 Best Blogs by Parents of a Child with ADHD". You can find the post here: http://community.wegohealth.com/group/adhd/forum/topics/6-best-blogs-by-parents-of. I hope you will check it out and perhaps get back to blogging about this important topic!
    Wellness wishes,
    Amy

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  18. I think any natural source is better, but if doesn't do anything about it, that is the time to try med like synaptol try this : Synaptol Reviews

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  19. Good information. Some parents are hesitant to give these meds to their children while some are too eager. buy synaptol

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  20. ADHD Bullying can be a huge problem especially given that the social skills of kids with ADHD tends to lag behind that of other kids.

    Thanks for posting.

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  21. Unfortunately, it seems that the "pack" can smell differences and immediately zero in on the weakest, smallest or different one! My son has been the brunt of bullies since he started school.
    My son is also ADHD, with a few other attendant disabilities as well. I also have a blog about ADHD and would be very interested in linking with you - I feel the more information I can get in front of parents needing guidance and help, the better!
    I will include my blog link for you to check out - you can delete it if you wish :)
    (http://livingwithadhdodd.blogspot.com)

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  22. Incidentally, I like the way you have structured your site, it is super and very easy to follow. I have bookmarked you and will be back regularly. Thank you

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  23. Seems like having ADHD in todays world is even hard then even 5 yrs ago. With everything moving to smaller and faster.

    Looks to be even harder to deal.

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  26. Hi Shane H
    I find your blog very entertaining. I find it interesting.
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  27. I would like you to keep up the good work.You know how to make your post understandable for most of the people.I will definitely share it with others.Thanks for sharing.

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  28. I am sure it is yet another phase and he will be able to manage and handle the problems of this new age and times well.I think your patience has already been huge ...just let things happen as they are happening.

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  29. I am sorry to hear about the bullying, as I know how bad that is since I have been there. My kids also have ADHD and I have ADHD symptoms but not formally diagnosed.
    And like the others said, ADHD and texting can be a disaster because I understand how it is to be hyper focused. But once you get into something else, the texting goes.

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  30. Thanks for sharing the idea there would be some apprehensions from segment but i am up for it.
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  31. I myself have ADD and I have written ways ti cope with it - http://shamikeverything.blogspot.com/. Hope it helps.

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  32. You have some interesting thoughts! Perhaps we should contemplate about attempting this myself.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love comments and feedback!