Is he a typical 9 year old boy or does he have ADD?

Rita - posted on 03/10/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )

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He turns 9 in a week. He is a GT student. Very calm and laid back kid, uses his manners, helps out without being asked. So when his teacher called and said that we needed to discuss his behavior and grades I was a little shocked. He has slipped in his daily work grades because of his inability to focus and pay attention, he would rather lay his head down on the desk or he will disrupt the classroom. After several attempts of redirecting him, she had him call me from the classroom to chat and correct the behavior. That worked that day, but since then she is adamant about him needing to be tested for ADD. While I can see her view point on some things, I don't agree with her on others. Yes, he gets frustrated and gives up quickly, yes he rushes through his work to be done with it, yes if he doesn't like a certain task he has a hard time following through. But is that enough to say that he should be tested for ADD? Could he just be bored or not challenged enough? Could he require more one on one time. Another thought is that the teacher has recently found out she is expecting and a new student teacher has been added to the class. So when his teacher is out (I've learned its at least once a week) he has a very inexperienced Student Teacher and an untrained Substitute Teacher. So is the lack of normal routine and authority having an affect on him? I just find it hard to believe that a kid who sets his own alarm and wake up, hits his knees and prays, reads his devotional book then showers gets dressed and is ready for school in under 30 minutes with no instruction or redirection is ADD (at school only).

I want to do what is best for my son, naturally, but I do not want to fall into the "Blame it on my ADD" sector either. So many kids are misdiagnosed which can lead to a mountain of other life long battles, but there are those too, who are able to succeed solely on the fact that they were diagnosed and treated correctly.

His dad, who is present but not living with us, nor are we involved, is dead set against even having him tested based on the single fact that he will not be able to have an affordable life insurance policy with that diagnosis. And he doesn't need another label over his head as he is already diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

What is doing the best for my kid if I can't even decide what's best?!?

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Sarah - posted on 03/10/2014

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I believe children with ADD are unable to hold their concentration for more than about 20 min even if they are involved in an activity that they love. Bored children however when engaged in something they love doing can remain focused on that activity for a longer period ( often much longer 1-3 hrs). You could try placing your son in a situation with other children of all ages who are interested in the same things he is and see if he engages with them for a sustained period.
If you need an official assessment make sure it is done by a psychologist who has experience with and is specialised in dealing with gifted children.
If he has had an initial assessment for G&T you could approach the person who carried out that assessment and ask for a written report specific to your child's areas of strength in terms of his style of learning ( eg. visual spatial or auditory) kinaesthetic learning and other things that may affect his learning focus in the classroom. Some psychologists also liaise directly with a specific teacher or school to advocate in these areas.
It may also help to start a conversation with your son about how he feels about school at the moment and whether he is enjoying it or if there are things he doesn't like or is finding difficult. This may give you an idea of where he's at from his perspective.

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Sarah - posted on 03/12/2014

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Not what your post is about but wondering if it may be relevant and of help to you. Apparently there is some evidence to suggest an increased incidence of food intolerances in G&T individuals. There is also research indicating that a certain percentage of people with Crohn's Disease are intolerant to gluten. There is anecdotal evidence that a diet free of food intolerances may reduce the symptoms of Rheumatiod Arthritis. ( Food Intolerance Network)

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