It seems to be more and more common for children to be diagnosed with ADHD. I have seen it run through many children and adults on my husband’s side of the family, and I have also seen what can come of putting them on the medications. We are now adopting our nephew because his parents are not physically or mentally capable of caring for him partly due to becoming dependent and abusing these medications.
My daughter who is now 8 years old has had an extremely strong personality since she was 2… I have done plenty of research since then and since her behavior has become more and more out of control and have found that she exhibits the behaviors of a child with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) with ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) this is not a fun thing for anyone in the household. Next week she will see a therapist, although I have changed how I react to her “episodes” as I found I was doing what I wasn’t supposed to and feeding the situation.
As I said I’ve been researching many ideas when I questioned my daughter about why she wanted to sleep on the floor in my bedroom every night, she told me she wanted to sleep with the dogs. Yes our 2 big dogs will only sleep in the same room as us, I cannot persuade them to sleep in her room, and they are already bonded to my husband and I as our dogs.
All of this made me think… Dogs are great companions, they are always there for you, they are a proven relaxant. So my new research began… Is it beneficial to have a therapy dog for a child with ADHD?
I Found many stories and claims that it works great like this post. There is no scientific or medical proof as of yet but they are in the process of doing studies. From the research however, it seemed very positive, but in many cases people went out to buy a specific therapy dog $4,000 OMG!! CRAP!
This led to further research animal shelters (which would not work very well because I had to make sure my Alpha female approved and that the dog was the right fit) and Rescues and I found this great site called RescueMe.com. I started looking through the site for younger dogs (better for training and bonding to my daughter). When I found dogs that looked like they fit the bill I e-mailed the rescue. After only a few responses we found a dog that sounded like it would be a good fit. We decided to take a day and meet up with the foster and dog at the dog park to see how my alpha responded.
After spending some time at the dog park with no problems whatsoever between my dog and the rescue and my daughter spending some quality time with the dog as well, I was very impressed. After talking to the foster parent I was excited to hear that they encourage people to take a 2 week trial period to see if the dog is a good fit, with having a toddler in the home and 2 other dogs, not to mention wanting the dog for a specific purpose. It didn’t take long however to notice the huge difference in my daughter. Between me changing my methods of dealing with her episodes and the dog there for her to calm down and relax with she was like a whole new girl. My husband who was extremely skeptical about the whole thing is now saying it is the miracle cure!
So now it has been 3 weeks and the adoption paperwork is final, there has still been some “episodes but they are deflated rather quickly when I can get her to go spend some time with her dog. We were extremely lucky as it seems this dog has already been partially trained, sits at my daughters feet and since she is the one who feeds him, trains him, walks him (for the most part) he has become bonded to her, he even sleeps with her (yes in her bed) at night. He cannot wait till she gets home from school, and I think this all makes a big difference for her.
Welcome To Your Forever Home Eros!
Good evening, I have a very similar situation. My 9 is AdHd and ODD and he longs for a dog of his own. His father is not convince it would be of a benefit. I would love to hear more about your experience.
Hi Tanya, we all know dogs are a big responsibility and my husband and I were hesitant, after conducting research I found that it may be just what the doctor ordered. The most important factors are finding the right dog for your child, I would recommend checking out local rescues, that way you can spend time making sure the dog is the right one. Many rescues offer fostering which is wonderful because if for some reason your son and the dog do not click, there is no problem with returning the dog to the rescue. We were very lucky and found the very first dog we went to meet was perfect. My daughter spend about an hour with this dog at the dog park walking him and what not. Now this dog does not leave her side, he knows when she is upset and goes to her. She sleeps in her own room with her dog, instead of on our floor with our other 2 dogs. It can be tough at times to keep that responsibility factor in place, but she is improving. Now when she feels no one understands her and the world is against her she has her dog who will always be on her side. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask!
Thank you for your post . I have a question – did the symptoms of ODD and ADHD improved? We’re they completely gone? If so, how soon after bringing the dog have you noticed those changes? My son is 9 and we’ve received the “bomb ” of hm also having ODD as well as ADHD. We’re feeling king of lost and don’t know what to do first to help him.
Did you stop other therapy door your kid or was it still necessary to continue with regular therapy?
The symptoms have improved, however they are not completely gone and we are still looking for better ways to naturally treat it. The biggest thing I have learned is you have to be able to walk away and not aggravate the situation. My daughter can be a ticking time bomb and sometimes she just needs a quiet place to go calm down by herself.
I love this article. I suffer from ODD and ADHD. I’m 16 and I love reading about parents taking steps to help their children. My parents went into denial when I was diagnosed and as a result I was traumatized when I was younger. ODD is a lifelong struggle, as I’m sure you guys might know, but these steps all help them control the urges and it’s amazing to see. Sorry, I just had to say you are being a wonderful parent, it always makes me happy to see parents accept and work with their children towards helping them.