Arguments every day and nothing was done – like living in a tornado. This was a reality for many years for 12-year-old Bonnie and her family. The turn to a calmer and more structured life came with three different assistive tools that give support in time planning and sense of time, as well as decreases stress, anxiety and sleeping difficulties.
After many years of difficulties in concentration, control of behavior and sound sensitivity, an assessment was made showing that the then 7-year-old Bonnie has ADHD. It was a bumpy and messy journey to get there.
- Bonnie was crying through her first five years of life. She couldn’t take a no. Many times we had to leave places because she was making such a fuss when things didn’t go her way, in a way that wasn’t manageable, says Bonnie’s mother Céline.
The family was shuttling between different social care services and medicines replaced each other. Bonnie had difficulties falling asleep and was also waking up many times during the night, wakening the rest of the family. During a period of time when she was sleeping at her grandparents once a week, the rest of the family went to bed at 6 pm to catch up with sleep. But the limit of what everybody, especially Bonnie, could handle was reached. Finally, they ended up at the right place.
The pediatric and adolescent medicine reception remitted a Somna Weighted Blanket and the child and adolescent psychiatry remitted a MEMOplanner and a MEMO Timer to Bonnie.
- By then, we were in a situation where we felt like we were living in a tornado, it was all about staying alive, not living a life. For the first time I felt we were giving the right help and support. Now when Bonnie can carry out her daily routines more independently, both she and the rest of the family has a more calm, structured and less stressful everyday life, Céline continues.
The MEMOplanner is a digital planning tool showing activities for today, coming days and coming weeks. Reminders about Bonnie’s medicine, training and homework are input into her planner. When it is time for an activity an alarm goes off and is repeating itself at 15 minutes intervals until someone checks the box for the activity as completed. The family; mother Céline, father Brady, 16-year-old big sister and 6-year-old little brother; are all used to the alarm and go and get Bonnie if she is not around.
With myAbilia, a cloud-based web service, information is automatically synchronized with the MEMOplanner and the family can manage the MEMOplanner from a distance, such as adding activities and get confirmation that a planned activity has been carried out.
- Earlier I thought it was very nagging and annoying to do what I should do, even if it was just basic things. Now I’m listening to the alarm, it makes it easier, tells Bonnie.
The MEMO Timer gives a better sense of how long an activity takes, or in how long an activity will start. When the chosen amount of time is finished, it will alarm with noise, light and vibration.
- The MEMO Timer helps me understand time better. It is really good when I am about to read for a certain time, for example, says Bonnie.
The Somna Weighted Blanket in turn decreases worry, anxiety and sleeping difficulties thanks to the weight, pressure and embracing effect. The quality of sleep is improved in several ways – the weighted blanket helps Bonnie to easier calm down in the evening but also to fall back to sleep when she wakes up during the night.
Mother Céline notices that before the family had access to the assistive tools, and even knew they existed, she and Bonnie argued several times a day.
- When Bonnie needed to take her medicine, do her homework, brush her teeth, and go to bed. Nothing happened! It could take two hours before we sat down to do her homework. Functions as reminders and counting downtime have made it so much better. The number of arguments has decreased and created much more harmony, she says.
- When a family is living with ADHD one feels inadequate and one doesn’t have the time to search for information about what tools could make it easier. I am grateful for the professionals who understand what we need. Just think about what a society is saving when people with diagnoses get the right aids in time.
Bonnie feels the best when she is cooking and baking, preferably cakes. When she was ten years, she got her own baking machine. Today there are many more kitchen appliances lined up on the kitchen counter.
- Bonnie is cooking and baking as a grown-up, she is incredible. In school she has difficulties with math and Swedish, but when she is baking and measures, and translates American measurements to Swedish measurements, then the calculations are working perfectly, tells Céline.
- Last summer I baked 40 cinnamon buns every morning, packing them down in a trolley, and sold the buns at the beach, tells Bonnie, at the same time as she opens up the oven door to tenderly check if the afternoon's sponge cake is ready.