ADHD and school-age kids

Karen - posted on 01/07/2016 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Please reply and help me figure out how best to help my almost 6 year old son, who very likely has ADHD.

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Karen - posted on 01/07/2016

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Thank you Jodi for your reply, you sound very well informed on this subject! I know what you mean about diet. From when he was about 3/12, for about 6 months we completely avoided dyes, tried to limit processed foods etc. this made no impact on his behavior. We also use organic milk, eggs, produce. We are also very strict about his diet in general. He is a great eater and loves veggies and sushi, sometimes he will just eat veggies for lunch (when at home). He does love sweets and candy, but is of normal weight. We typically just throw all the Halloween/Christmas candy away and save a few pieces. Basically what I'm trying to say is that we keep things in moderation for him.

Scheduling wise I believe is fine too, although I have seen lots of tips on keeping kids on track (calendars/stickers etc). He goes to bed no later than 7:30 pm after bath and book, most times he is out like a light and a very deep sleeper. He behavior is 100x worse if he is missing any sleep what-so-ever. He is up at the crack of dawn no matter how much sleep he has gotten however.

As far as exercise, we also know that he needs it and he gets about an hour a day, sometimes more, hardly ever less. We learned long ago with Jack that releasing some of his pent-up energy is helpful.

Most of the strategies u mentioned we have tried to institute already since we recognized these issues in him from a very young age. I guess we were hoping that he would "grow out of it" or he was just a rough n tuff kid, but I am just scared for him in the long run!!

Should I wait longer to start meds and see if this improves? How long should I wait?!? I don't see him chilling out any time soon.....

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2016

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Ok, having read your second post, I would go through the processes to have him appropriately diagnosed. However, that doesn't discount looking at his diet, schedule and boundaries/consequences. ADHD shouldn't be used as an excuse, it is simply a diagnosis that may assist with finding different strategies.

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2016

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Well, he isn't diagnosed ADHD, so that would be your first step. If this is only behaviour that is a problem at school, and it has only come up now (when he is 6) it is unlikely to be ADHD. It isn't unusual for MOST boys this age to show "ADHD type behaviour" because boys don't sit still, and short attention spans are common. You didn't describe any symptoms, so perhaps you shouldn't label him until you've had a professional diagnosis?

In the meantime, look at his diet. This can make a difference. Also look at the amount of physical activity he is getting. The problem these days is people expect these kids to sit in a classroom for hours on end but don't have the kids in any extra curricular activities or are not taking them out to get the exercise, are feeding them crap and wondering why they can't behave. Not suggesting you are one of those people, but given you didn't give much information other than your own "uninformed diagnosis", these are just things you should consider.

Karen - posted on 01/07/2016

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We have suspected he has ADHD for quite sometime, since he was about 4. Heck, even when he was 3 I felt concerned. Now that he has started kindergarten all these issues can no longer be ignored. He is constantly on the move, can't focus or pay attention in class. Today after a special meeting with his kinder teacher she believes he has ADHD and urged me to discuss with his pediatrician. She says it's a rare moment of the day when she has his attention for even a nano-second. Needless to say he is WAY far behind and might have to repeat kinder. He constantly has to be doing something, especially with his hands he is very tactile. He is doing somersaults when others are sitting quietly. He needs immense follow through for the simplest of tasks, has frequent meltdowns and temper tantrums, and is occasionally violent. That's just the tip of the iceberg. We have delayed doing anything because we didn't want him to have the "stigma" of this diagnosis and all that comes with it. I have handled it terribly as a parent, my patience is so thin anyways (I struggle with anxiety and depression), and with my son he really needs more patience and I am trying so hard! Day by day. My husband dies better with him usually when I get to my wits end.

It's so hard to know what to do! I just want him to be happy and healthy! I have read many many posts with other moms' info on meds, therapy, home remedies etc. I am also nervous to breach this to our pediatrician - like he won't believe us for some reason. Even though clinically he displays EVERY SINGLE symptom on cdc.gov, webmd, etc and we have the support of the school. It's just nerve racking.

Any advice from others beginning this journey? Or from seasoned vets? Help us!!

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