Thursday, December 21st 2006
Total Transformation Program, By Request

(It’s long. Don’t feel obligated.)

I have four kids, three of which I mention often. The fourth one, not so much. Kim-12yr is a topic i tend to leave off-blog. You may have noticed i don’t put much effort into pretending things are rosier than they are. That isn’t it. It’s more that I thought her privacy should be given more consideration than my blogging might provide. And I did think that.

I’ve reconsidered.

Why? She could read all of this one day, years from now. Yes. She could. And still, I don’t mind sharing details of our lives I haven’t before shared. The main reason for this is that parents are coming from all over the internet to find this blog because just once – ages ago – I mentioned the Total Transformation Program by Dr. James Lehman. Parents are troubled by their kids, looking for answers, and then looking to me for a second opinion on the program before shelling out the big bucks. This post gets a minimum of 150 hits a DAY from those searching “Total Transformation.” My heart goes out to those parents, because I’ve been there. It stinks. It especially stinks when the kids are out of school, and the web search hits multiply exponentially then.

So here is a little of my experience. This is for those who wonder why i only talk about 3 of my kids. It’s for me. It’s for those other parents, performing search after search for answers and for help. (Hang in there, you guys.)

Ten years ago, I married a wonderful man with a two year old. He had sole custody. His first wife had made some unfortunate parenting choices, including neglect. Mike was working lots of hours, trying to keep up with his wife’s out of control spending. He took his daughter and left, taking only her belongings. I met the two of them when Kim was almost 2. We married right away. She stole my heart before he did. Her big brown eyes and easygoing nature won me over completely. She laughed often. Her smile was sweet, and frequent, and she was charming and endearing in ways I can recall but am having trouble naming. When I married her dad, she walked me down the aisle. I was the only Mom she ever remembered. I adopted her as soon as we could afford it.

Before I came along there should have been some critical mom-baby developmental milestones. Basic bonding. In the absence of that, attachment issues can develop. Without a strong mom-baby bond, the child can become developmentally stunted in ways that don’t necessarily show up right away. This was the case with Kim. She’s so smart, and a quick study. She had no trouble developing the skills to appear just as the other kids her age. And yet, she wasn’t. There was a total lack of empathy. Later, there was stealing, defiance, lying, and a delight in other people’s (and animals’) pain. Her fantasies were graphic, numerous, and violent. She convinced herself that if I were not in her life, her ‘real’ mom would miraculously return. She had somehow decided she was Mike’s true – first – love, since I came along later… and wanted to take over my role. She tried to get me to leave. Lots of energy and thought went into the best way to ‘eliminate’ me. When I didn’t leave, those thoughts and fantasies went to a more violent nature. I needed to be gone. In her mind, there was nothing wrong with this. She’d been so mistreated by the world, and life was so unfair, that it was all right for her to be so extreme. Killing me would solve a lot of problems.

I know what some of you are thinking. She wasn’t raised ‘right.’ She wasn’t raised with enough God, or enough church, or enough scripture in her. And you’d be wrong. She can probably quote circles around you, and yet it didn’t matter. Kim got her school to believe WE were the problem. She’s really good at that, as are a lot of attachment disordered kids.

We’ve prayed. We’ve done counseling with lots of professionals of who didn’t have a clue what was wrong. And a few did. And it didn’t matter. There’s a spiritual side to what is going on with her, a side that must be approached from a spiritual perspective. And then there’s the psychological, and emotional sides that can be approached from professionals who know how to do that best. (that last part is a quote from my pastor – nicely put, huh?)

There isn’t a whole lot that can be done – spiritually or otherwise – as long as HER attitude is ‘i’m fine this way and you’re wrong for asking me to change.’ She very much believes she is entitled to lie, to steal, to kill, to do whatever to whomever as long as it suits her. She is ‘above’ rules and laws.

We placed her in residential treatment six months ago. The staff there are wonderful people who specialize in this particular disorder. They are the best at what they do, and I am forever grateful to these professionals for even understanding my child, and for caring about her anyway. For understanding me, and the utter hell that was our family life before she went away. Their experience and training lends them an ability to see our family for how it is – and not how she pretends it is. I’m most grateful for them, for they are truly God-sent.

It’s an 18 month program. No progress.

All of this to say that ours is an extreme case. Total Transformation wasn’t going to ‘work’ for us, and for this one child. I still believe in it wholly, though. Dr Lehman shows you how and why your kids misbehave. He tells you quite specifically why it works on you, and how your kid uses different methods with you and with your spouse. The program is the Parenting Instruction Manual that all parents should get when they leave the hospital with their newborn. Yes. Really. It helped us understand Kim’s manipulations greatly, and see them more clearly. It was eye opening. It will be invaluable as we parent our three other children. You should buy it. One drawback: It takes time and commitment to do the workbook, watch the dvds, and listen to the cds. Quite a bit of time, really. Don’t buy it if you aren’t willing to put in the time.

It will NOT touch the big issues – if any – beneath the behavior. You can treat the symptoms of your kid with this program VERY effectively. However, if your kid has deep problems that are the root of the problems, have those addressed by someone else AND try the program. Does your kid have ADHD, ODD, or other stuff? Give it a try.

I’m talking about this now, because it’s apparently not a shortlived phase one of our kids is going through. It’s a huge part of our life. And this is my blog, and I talk about my life. We go visit her once a month, stay a few days or a week and have big, stressful therapy. We spent a week there for Thanksgiving, and will again for Christmas.

Life is better now. My mom has noticed that Ethan-6yr is much calmer than he’s ever been. He isn’t constantly wondering where his sister is, what she’s doing, and how to behave accordingly. Neither am I. We’re learning how to be safe in our home, and all that that means. How to have fun, be spontaneous, and relate to each other without all of the unhealthy undercurrents.

We’re trying to be a normal family, and enjoying it.

If you’re one of the parents who found this blog by searching for information, i hope you’ll bookmark and stay awhile. (I’m normally much more fun. Swear.) It can be rare to find people who understand what it’s like to have your family and home terrorized by a child who appears perfect to the rest of the world. If you’re one of those, I’m especially glad of your perspective on this and other posts, so feel free to comment. No – not one of those blogs where everyone has to ‘agree’ or be super nice in the comments section.

(Merry Christmas. Sorry so… um. not merry.)


54 Comments on “Total Transformation Program, By Request”

December 21st, 2006
11:20 pm


I lived for a number of years in an unsafe environment with a sibling. You are brave; I will pray for your family. hugs, Chrissy

Rocks In My Dryer
December 21st, 2006
11:43 pm

Kelsey, I’ve told you privately, but I’ll say it again here–your courage to speak up and tell your family’s story will be SUCH a blessing to so many families.

Chin up, my friend–there are many of us praying for Kim, and for all of you…

December 22nd, 2006
12:08 am

Hugs, sweetie! Have a blessed, peaceful Christmas.

Mary, mom to many

December 22nd, 2006
12:24 am

I’ve told you before and will again confirm it… my prayers continue. I can relate to not feeling safe in your very own home. Thank you for sharing your story and the openness and honesty you bring with it!

My prayer is that other’s currently in similar situations see they are not alone… and there is hope.


julie carobini
December 22nd, 2006
1:11 am

Hi Kelsey, I’m sad that the conditions haven’t changed for you all, but you know what? I can tell that you’ve changed. I didn’t go back and read your old post, but I recall all the pain, guilt and frustration. You sound stronger somehow, and I’m so glad for you. Thanks for reminding us about this situation again, so that we can remember to pray–and also to pray for the so many who are seeking you out because of their own experiences. I’m praying ‘extra hard’ for your family as you visit your daughter this Christmas. Hugs!

December 22nd, 2006
7:35 am

Prayers for strength for your family.

May I ask…what happens at the end of 18 months if she’s not healing? It sounds like it would be foolish to have her home again if she might injure or kill you or the other children.

I totally believe your situation. A good friend of mine (adopted) had a brother (adopted as well), both raised as Christian as could be. The second brother had AD and would kill animals, steal, lie, etc. He burned down the church that the family went to. He took the altar candles and lit the curtains on fire, then left. Yet everyone thought he was just so CHARMING.

Many prayers…

December 22nd, 2006
7:38 am

Hi girl~
I too noticed a big change…. in you. You may not “see” any change in Kim yet…. but thankfully we walk by faith not by sight.
I never thought about others finding you reguarding this… I will be in prayer not only for you and yours now, but all whom search and find “someone who understands”. You are such a wonderful woman, I am glad that other parents have found you. :-) HE is gonna use this blog in a mighty way girl!

Big Mama
December 22nd, 2006
8:18 am

Kelsey, you’re openness and honesty is incredible. Thanks for sharing your story. I’ll be keeping your family in my prayers.

December 22nd, 2006
8:19 am

It just irritates me when people see a troubled child/person and automatically assume the parents were heathen, godless abusers. Your story is a reminder not to judge a book by its cover. Not to judge at all.

My prayers are with you, I’m praying for a spiritual cleansing in Kim, a healing beyond measure.

Thanks for sharing your story. You are a remarkable family serving a remarkable God.

December 22nd, 2006
8:33 am


I echo the comments already posted….thank you for sharing this journey. Yours is a shining example of giving God your burden and trusting Him for the answer….and the opportunity to minister to many others who are silently walking in your shoes. While my own families journey does not include attachment disorder… is a constant struggle to keep our heads above water. What I, and other hurting parents, find here is HOPE: hope for our children’s well-being and success, hope for their future, and hope that we, as parents will have the strength and courage to endure.

Please know that you are covered in prayers–we long for the day that Kim will break through her damaged emotions and find peace….we look to the day when God will restore the spiritual, emotional, and psychological pieces of her heart….and each of our hurting lives.

Your willingness to share this with others is admirable and I pray that God will bless you today as He blesses those of us who come here and feel energized by your story. Yes, “misery loves company” but it is so much more than that. Knowing that someone else is willing to take the mask of perfection off…..and share the reality of their life is so much more valuable than a good laugh: this type of authenticity is, in fact, life sustaining for many parents.

God Bless you as you gift many with the HOPE of Christmas.

Merry Christmas!


December 22nd, 2006
8:35 am

Still praying for you. Love you.

December 22nd, 2006
8:57 am


I grew up in an abusive enviroment. My step-dad was NOT a nice person. The blessing was I was never abused physically but carried the burden of watching my mom struggle to survive. God protected us-it could of been worse-his first wife he almost killed. I don’t often tell people this part of my life because it takes you to the core of me and i like to keep somethings to myself. But I tell you and your readers this because I have been there-where people tell you you are not spiritual enough that you should just pray more and everything all will work out. People in our church community did not believe my mom-b/c my stepdad was such a charmer and a “godly” man. But behind closed doors-it was a totally different enviroment. I learned to listen to their “church talk” without getting too offended. Plus anyone who reads my journals during that time would see pages and pages of prayers and scripture and I was only a freshman in high school. Anyways…

I just wanted to let you know how proud I am that you are doing the best you can. Sometimes God only calls us to do so much and then for us to allow His strength to carry us further. Many women would of walked out with no regrets. I am proud of you for sticking it through. I am proud of you for not giving up. I pray for Kim but more than that I pray for your other boys who are deeply affected by Kim’s behavoir. From someone who has been sitting on the sidelines-I know that one day their pain will come to the surface and when that does they too will need prayer.

You are a great wife and mother. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently. Keep taking it one day at a time since tomorrow has enough trouble of its own.

God bless your journey!

December 22nd, 2006
9:25 am

You and your family will be in my prayers. Thank you for sharing this – transparency is important. Satan very often wins by isolating us and then we think we’re the only one with problems. It takes brave people like yourself for us all to realize that everyone has their “stuff”. Yours might be different from mine, but the truth is we’re all in the same boat because we’re all living in an imperfect world with imperfect people (including ourselves)! All I can say is thank the Lord that He is good and his mercies are new every morning.

December 22nd, 2006
10:39 am

Thank you for sharing. Your courage in sharing such an intimate part of your life is inspiring. You and your family are in my prayers. Merry Christmas.

December 22nd, 2006
11:09 am

Thank you for sharing all of this with us. Through reading your story, I’ve developed a deeper understanding for what my aunt and uncle have gone through with their 17 yo adopted daughter. She has AD and from the sounds of it was (is?) behaving very similar to Kim. My prayers are with you and all families who are experiencing such trying issues.

And I agree with other who have mentioned that you’ve changed over the past few months. Stronger, more sure of yourself… can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’m glad that things have looked up a bit for you and yours.

Merry and blessed Christmas to you.

December 22nd, 2006
11:57 am

Thank you for sharing your struggles. You are choosing to walk a hard road. I pray that God will always be near to you, reminding you how much He loves you, your husband, and ALL your children.

Blessings on this difficult holiday season!

Heather Ivester
December 22nd, 2006
12:39 pm

Thanks for sharing your story here, Kelsey. God is using you to reach the many people who will search the internet in desperation and come to your story.

I agree with others who sense new strength in you that comes through your writing.

May God bless you with PEACE in Him this Christmas.

December 22nd, 2006
1:16 pm

As we are lighting the eighth candle on our channukah menorah, this came to mind and I’ll share it.
umbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you shalom.”

In times like these, the scriptures resonate with renewed vigor. Clearly the issue of shalom – peace, harmony within is on our hearts, minds and national agendas. Shalom – the blessing of God, will of God for our children – is our desire too. May shalom may come to and through us in the New Year.

GP in Montana

December 22nd, 2006
6:22 pm

There is so much more built into a child than how they are raised. There is so much more in the spirit realm, emotional mental than we can ever imagine. I am thankful that there is help available when we are stretched beyond what we are capable of.

I appreciate your honesty.

Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse)
December 22nd, 2006
8:16 pm

God bless you and your family. Thank you for your honesty. I’m certain that your story will be a blessing to other families dealing with similar issues. You have a lot of courage.

I couldn’t help but think about a book I’m in the middle of called “Come Back” by Claire and Mia Fontaine. It’s powerful. About a mothers heart wrenching journey to save her daughter, from herself. And she does. Only another mother can know that kind of pain. A pain that I’m sure you’re feeling.

I’ll be praying for you and your family.

December 22nd, 2006
11:27 pm

Thank You!

December 22nd, 2006
11:40 pm

I grew up with a mentally ill mom, and the daily stress of it all was really tough. I feel for you and your family, and pray that the therapy and treatment start making life easier for all.

Frannie Farmer
December 23rd, 2006
12:44 am

I didn’t start reading your blog because of that post, but I kept coming back because of it.
Our situations are vastly different and yet very much the same in some ways.
You are a strong person. A role model for this old mom … and a blessing to many, many parents.
Don’t change a thing! Please.

December 23rd, 2006
1:19 pm

I can’t really add anymore to what has already been said, except thank you for sharing. Your blog is a shining light on the internet. You are a brave and wonderful soul.

Frannie Farmer
December 23rd, 2006
11:28 pm

PS – Merry Christmas friend.. hope you have a great holiday!

December 24th, 2006
10:50 pm

kelsey – the fact that you will talk about your RAD issues helps so many more people than you can ever know.

Merry Christmas

December 25th, 2006
8:10 pm

Ever since you told me your story, I have kept you and your family in my prayers. Every holiday, I think of you and what you must be going through in your visits to Kim. And I pray and pray.

God bless you, my friend…

May you have a peaceful Christmas.

December 26th, 2006
9:53 am

Thank you for speaking out and sharing this with us. It’s so hard to feel scared in your own home. I know God has a plan for Kim and that’s what I’m praying for! I will continue to pray for all of you as you go through this tough time. You are a very strong woman and that shines through in this post!!

At A Hen's Pace
December 26th, 2006
10:22 pm

Praying for you, your daughter and your whole family…

God works all things together for good, for them who love him and are called according to his purposes!

Hope your Christmas together is a blessed one.


December 27th, 2006
9:45 am

Love you much. Praying for you always.

December 28th, 2006
12:28 pm

Thank you for your honesty. I am new to your blog and love it. I can see you’ve been a blessing to many!
I just posted a link to your blog from mine.

December 28th, 2006
8:59 pm

Kelsey, Prayers to you, your family, but especially Kim. I, like Sarah (its a small world!), recognized the RAD from friends of mine who adopted a little girl at age 5 (now 17). She was also went to school with my daughter. 5 years ago, this difference was never heard of… I will continue to pray… and BTW, enjoy your blog!

December 28th, 2006
9:06 pm

I keep thinking, “Time to move Kelsey from the weekly prayer to the monthly prayer list.” Then you blog or email me about Kim. And I move you back to the daily list for a while.

Courage. You got it.

December 29th, 2006
6:47 pm

I love ya all the time friend. You are awesome…an awesome friend

December 29th, 2006
6:50 pm

I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.

Jeremiah 33 : 6 |

Today is December 29th and this was the scripture for this day…interesting considering the article I just read!

December 30th, 2006
9:05 am

I’m a little disconnected from blogging at the moment, but wanted to stop by and let you know that I have not stopped praying for you and K. I am praying that your time with her over Christmas is not too draining and can still be enjoyed. I can’t add much more to all the comments here from all the sweet ladies, except to say again that I am praying and am so proud of you sharing this with the world. You really are blessing others. Lots of Love – Happy New Year to you – Kate :)

Sarah's in the midst of it
December 30th, 2006
9:39 pm

I don’t know if you remember, but we met at AM’s house during the Dallas blogging get together. (I had the tiny baby girl with me.) Anyway, I read your original post about Kim a long time ago and didn’t make the connection–that was before your blog had a face:)

I’ve thought about you and your daughter several times since then and wondered how you were doing. Thank you for the update–and especially the honesty–and I’ll continue to pray for your whole family.

Wendy Limbert
January 4th, 2007
10:23 am

Dear HM,
Yeah I was searching for info on misbehavior of my 11 year old son and found your website. I have never blogged in my life. I am 49. Love the computer and all the info. I am a web-surfer girl. You are the only one that i know(and I don’t know you) that lives a similar life to the one I have. It started with my daughter, who is now 23 and is continuing with my son. I am spiritually and emotionally exhausted. So is my hubby. We are so burned out that “time together” consists of laying in bed, looking at the ceiling and trying to figure out what we did wrong. We always thought we lived right but how did we end up with this kids!!!! I am trying to avoid sel-pity here but there is something very liberating about spilling your guts to a stranger that may just understand. Sooo… We have been thru alot also. Serious death threats from our daughter ,drug rehab,PRAYER, counseling and more counseling, madication, throwing her in jail. Also the torment of guilt for self-preservation. I have learned that trying to seperate yourself from your own flesh and blood,someone you have given life too is impossible. They are always your kid. Yep, God keeps standing us up and knows what we need when we need it most,but I gotta tell you, sometimes I wonder where He is. I would like to say more but I do not blogging ettiquet(spelling) so I will end here. Thanks for allowing me to vent. I will be back to read your othe stuff.

January 5th, 2007
9:51 am

I saw the blurb on blogher about this post and had to run right over. I also have a child with a mental disorder who was in residential care for more than a year. It is VERY hard, but I understand all of the conflicting feelings so well. If you ever want to ‘talk’ I’m on your blogroll.

Julie B.
January 8th, 2007
11:55 am

Hi, I just came across your blog and was deeply touched. Though my situation isn’t exactly like yours, I can certainly relate to not feeling safe in my own home regarding one of my children, I have 3. I also become concerned with the safety of my other 2 kids. We have a very strong religious home. My kids go only to religious private school, and we pray several times a day. I don’t know what to do other than continuing going for professional help and praying. Thank you for your blog because now I don’t feel like the only one. Take care and best of luck to you and your family. Blessings

Julie B.
January 8th, 2007
11:56 am

Hi, I just came across your blog and was deeply touched. Though my situation isn’t exactly like yours, I can certainly relate to not feeling safe in my own home regarding one of my children, I have 3. I also become concerned with the safety of my other 2 kids. We have a very strong religious home. My kids go only to religious private school, and we pray several times a day. I don’t know what to do other than continuing going for professional help and praying. Thank you for your blog because now I don’t feel like the only one. Take care and best of luck to you and your family. Blessings

January 21st, 2007
10:13 am

I did find your blog searching for Total Transformation, because I am desperately seeking any alternative to placing my attachment-disordered child in residential treatment. I hope that your daughter can heal and that the rest of your family can as well.

January 21st, 2007
3:06 pm

Have you taken your daughter to a good psychiatrist? Seeing that her behavior is so extreme and behavioral therapy hasn’t helped, she almost assuredly has a serious mental illness like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Because of this, she probably has no more control of her behavior than you do. Put your faith in psychology.

February 2nd, 2007
4:20 pm

Your story touched my heart. I would greatly recommend seeking out Naomi Aldort, Jan Hunt, or Thomas Gordan. These people are not ex-criminals with degrees, rather empathetic scholars who specialize, and have specialized for decades, in parent-infant attachment disorders and ways to mend them.In the meantime, here is Jan Hunt’s website, and a whole log of articles compassionately dealing with attachment:

Our children try to communicate with us in the only ways that they know how. We must always remember that people do the best the can, given the circumstances, and the tools with which they have at their immediate disposal. Hang in there!:-)

February 17th, 2007
11:42 am

I feel so PEGGED. I WAS looking for a second opinion, and I am very glad I found your site. Thank you for sharing your story.

Our oldest daughter, from my wife’s first marriage, demonstarated all the characteristics of your precious one. And she IS precious. Our daughter was 6 when my wife and I met, and I adopted her at 8. she was raised in a Christian household with love and involvement.

You know the rest of the story.

Our daughter got pregnant at 17 (I found the receipt for the pregnancy test on the floor outside our room, left there accidentally, purposely) She was married to the father of her child 2 months later. After two years, she is still married and doing much better. However, her grasp of right and wrong is still very off.

All this to say, I love all three of our children, including the oldest, and our grandson, of course.

The two remaining children are doing much better, though, without the oldest in the house. I want the Total Transformation to help with our two youngest while they are still young!


Always lover her, always pray for her, always treat her with respect as your child, but do what you must. She has made her choice, and you must make yours.

Thank you, again, for your kindness to all of us.


March 21st, 2007
7:55 am

I just found this and COMPLETELY relate. My son is 10 with ADD, ODD, anxiety and Narcasistic rage disorder. I was told that we were lucky to be so aware of the issues and get diagnosis so early. The parents usually try to work it out or hope it goes away before they admit it is beyond them. Our neurologist said usually, kids are brought in after killing a family pet, burning down the house or forced to from court.

All of you are right in that it taked more mental and physical energy than any job I have ever had. And if we didn’t love them so much we may not put so much into it.

Take hope that you are not alone. As much as she may see your “sending her away” as another strike against you. Outside help is the key. Having someone else tell her that her view of the world revolving around her is not reality is best. It was explained to me that forcing them to see the world for what it is and not what they want it to be in their head is similar to changing their whole belief system.

Not being very religious, my guess is that she has learned the bible and it’s teachings like a class but does not “feel or trust” it like you do. If she did It would shatter her solution for a perfect world… killing you. Thou shall not kill is a strong message. And she obviously did has not internalized it. Most likely the narcasistic rage portion. I believe it goes with the attachment issues.

Good luck on turning her to a better outlook. Be diligent with the other children, I find that the impact on them form this stress in the house can be just as problematic.


May 30th, 2007
9:31 am

I suddenly feel that someone has a camera in my life. I just ordered the Total Transformation and found your blog, and although my 15yr son has not yet hit rock bottom he is on the fast spiral there. I’m a single mom and at a loss on how to get my two boys to behave after they have been at their dads aka “pleasure island”(no rules, no consequences, etc..)I hate to be the bad guy all the time but I refuse to raise a couple of thugs. Me and my younger son, much like you, have been reduced to a life of fear of physical and verbal attacks. And much the like I did with their dad I have decided that enough is enough, and it’s time to put a stop to it. I only hope it’s not too late.

Sally Schafer
July 9th, 2007
1:31 pm

Please, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, do a Google search on “Parents of Psychopathic children”. You are describing a psychopathic tendency in this child.

July 27th, 2007
1:20 pm

God bless you! I am almost in the same situation. My husband had an affair and bought the baby home to me when she was 6 mos.old.I could not have children and this child is my life,need I say she knows it and uses it. She has very little contact with her biological mother.She has told me she hates her and her dad too. Her father loves her more than his own life. She is 15 now and has used me to lie for her so she can go out with her friends. She has 1 friend that is pregnant and 1 who ran away last week.I am so afraid that she will tell her father what I have been doing for her.I really need this program and have decided to use it. Thanks for the advice! She starts high school this year and we really need to get a grip on this situation, beacause my life is so tense right now and I have no peace other than when I pray. Janet

August 29th, 2007
7:11 am

I was looking for the Total Transformation program and found your site. My son is driving me crazy. He is 10 and ADHD. He is disrespectful, talks ugly to me, and hits me. I don’t know how to deal with him. His dad and I split up last year. He minded his dad perfectly but when it is just the two of us he is awful to me. I feel that he is in control not me. I can’t wait to put him on the bus each day. Going to bed is dificult and getting up is even worse. He takes forever to do his homework even with medication. I am at my wits end with him. I need help with him. Thanks,

September 8th, 2007
5:12 pm

I have just this week started reading about this program, by Dr. Lehman, Total Transformation. To be honest, my husband and I have exhausted our savings and other means of financing, taking our 13 yr old daughter to doctors, clinics, treatment centers, etc., since she was six years old.

She was diagnosed with ADHD before age six and it only took a short while for us to discover that she could not benefit from the normal class of drugs for this illness. Instead of slowing down her brain, those medications just speed the brain. She has tried non-stimulants, such as Strattera, with no success. She has tried numerous other drugs, off label, because the normal treatments do not work, but with no success.

We took her to Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, to be examined by doctors who are well known, in this field. They confirmed her diagnosis, but did not come up with a treatment, other than the medications she had already tried. Several thousand dollars later, we were quite disenchanted with their psychiatry department for children.

We took her to the Amen Clinic, in Virginia, where she had the brain scans and psychological testing. Knowing the history of medications with which she had been treated, they merely suggested using the stimulants, only in a much smaller mg. dosage. If those scans are accurate, we were told she has what is typed as the “ring of fire”, otherwise, she is extremely ADHD. Several thousand dollars later, they just stopped communicating with us, since we live in another state and would not consent to going back to their clinic for a few thousand dollars more of testing.

She has been with the same doctor since she was seven. He was head of a large children’s hospital, for pyschiatry and works for the largest hospital, in our area. He has tried every combination of drugs known to man. The biggest change we see is in her weight gain-which is considered a side effect, with these types of medications.

I guess the reason I am writing this is because I am just hoping against hope that some other parent out there will read this and recognize the same pattern with their child and can recommend some treatment or medication.
We have exhausted every medical opportunity, in our area and still have not been able to find a support group for her. My heart breaks for her now that is is a teen. Because of her constant, non-stop, fast talking, she has few friends. Once on a subject, she cannot let it go until she completes whatever thoughts are in her brain, at that moment.

I made the decision to leave a well paying position, in the film industry, when she began third grade, to stay home and home school her. Like the majority of these kids, she is extremely bright and quick, but even in a small private school, the teacher had no patience. On good days, she would whiz through her subjects, on others, she could not focus and would not complete her work. The principal decided that we should spank her and that she would learn to finish her work. Needless to say, that is when we began home school. Staying in another school, was not an option, she would have been a failure. Though it is very difficult, at times, she has done well studying at home and is at least a year ahead of her schoolmates. In order to ensure she is socialized, I take I have taken on the leadership of various groups, 4 H, Girl Scouts, teaching at our local co op and she has many opportunities to be with kids of her age. Unfortunately, as her ADHD has worsened, she has fewer and fewer friends.

Can anyone relate to my child’s problems and tell us how they have dealt with them. Can anyone tell us whether or not this Total Tranformation Program will work for my daughter. Whatever the costs, we are willing to try, if there is a possibility that she can succeed.

Elisabeth Wilkins
November 14th, 2007
5:47 pm

Hi everyone. I wanted to introduce myself to your readers: I am the editor of, the (free) newsletter published by Legacy Parenting. Empowering Parents is a magazine for people who parent. Legacy Parenting is also the creator of the Total Transformation that you are talking about. (I’m also a mom of a 5 year old, and I use the Total Transformation Program on a daily basis with my son and love it! )

Holy Mama, thanks for sharing about your daughter. It seems she’s been at the treatment center for about a year now…I hope she’s making progress, and that your family is finding some peace.

I also wanted to mention to the parents of kids with ADHD…the Total Focus Program (also by Legacy Parenting) deals specifically with that issue, and works for both boys and girls. I haven’t used it myself, but you can go onto the site and see what you think: It’s a program created by Dr. Bob Myers, the father of a boy with ADHD. Many parents have told me that it truly works. Good luck, and God speed to all of you.

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