ADD? ADHD?

Diane - posted on 01/21/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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Anyone, someone.. help.

I have a 6 year old boy who for the most part behaves at home. he is an only child. his teacher is struggling with him. he wont listen to her, he wont do his home work for her and he wont sit still. his dr doesnt think he is ADD but the school counsler does. i have told them that i think he sees school as social hour and i know he doesnt really care for his teacher.

ps i have changed his diet, no processed food, very little red meat, mostly fish and shrimp, veggies and fruits.



how can i help him? any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

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Diane - posted on 01/22/2009

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Kristi, I love your post and I completly agree with you; I and have said this more than once.  So I called the dr office to discuss opitons and they want to see if he is dyslexic.  Then i bumped in one of his kindergarten teachers and i explained to her what was going on and she was surprised to hear that they think he is ADD. She even said she never remembered him being hyper.  Then she asked me how long the first grade teacher has been teaching.  From her bio she has been teaching for 4 years.  she has expierence with the public (she worked in a musuem, kinder care)  I sent an email to his teacher asking her if a new teacher would be an considered.  I havent heard back form her.

















Kristi - posted on 01/21/2009

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My 2 cents. For the love of God, he is a boy!!! Instead of questioning the doctor, question the teacher. I would agree with the other mom and suggest that he is bored!! He is prob fine at home because he is getting good attention. Maybe that teacher either needs to retire or go back to school and learn how to stimulate her class (not just the nice quiet girls).

Jennifer - posted on 01/21/2009

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How long has it been since you changed his diet? I only ask becuase it can take weeks to show a difference. Did you also remove artifical food colors since they can be a huge issue with kids with ADD/ADHD.



If he doesn't sit in the front row maybe his teacher can move him so he doens't have as many distractions. Talk to his teacher and maybe see if you can come up with some sort of system. Maybe she can send daily notes on his behavior like blue note for good and red for not so good and at home his behavior can be rewarded with how many blue notes he gets. Might modivate him to listen more.



How are his grades? Maybe he's at a higher level and is bored. The teacher may be able to give him more advanced work to keep him busy if he finsihed his work early.



Some teachers are quick to judge and label because they don't want to be bothered. You can always have him tested by a behavioral specialist. Doesn't hurt to have him tested and then at least you'll know for sure.

Sandra - posted on 01/21/2009

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So, have read books on ADD & ADHD. I really really hate the one that is always said to do , is place children on medication. I have seen & read enough bad effects to the person in the long run. Some Dr.'s don't even mention them. No foods or drink with red dye. I made sure my kids drinks were ones with natural sugars. I taught my daughter what to look for when picking things up while shopping, SUGARS,Sucrose,Fructose ,Glucose. My son had the same problems in school. I had my kids tested thru the school and found out they were learning at a slower level and needed to be in smaller class. It will take a bit of time while changes are made. I hope he is not a big ketchup lover. GOOD LUCK!!!!

Renae - posted on 01/21/2009

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My 10 year old has ADHD and Aspergers. We took him to a child psychologist outside of the school system to have him tested. They can do a wide variety of tests to help determine what your child is dealing with. My son meets with his psychologist monthly now that testing is finished. We as parents meet with his psychologist as well to update him on any problems we are having and get ideas how to best deal with things that come up. My son has begun to trust his psychologist and will sometimes tell him if he is having trouble that we may not be aware of. My son also has a great pediatrician that specializes in working with children with ADHD, autism disorders etc. She has been a great resource as well. My son is on Strattera and it is helping him focus better and complete school work better. Strattera is not a stimulant, so it doesn't give you highs and lows. Kids with ADHD are very susceptible to depression if they don't get some kind of help. I have a friend who's son is in high school, has ADHD and is very depressed and doesn't want to take medication because his dad told him he doesn't need it that he doesn't have ADHD. He is not doing well in school. Help your son be successful while he is young and willing to listen to you. Good luck to you!

Tara - posted on 01/21/2009

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I have a few pieces of info to add. First i have to say, you have to be your childs advocate, noone else is going to do that for you! Secondly, I would recommend having him tested anywhere else but school. Schools tend to jump to ADD of ADHD and recommend medication. That piece of advise was actually passed on to me by my sons 2nd grade teacher. When my son was diagnosed at age 7 1/2 our psychologist recommended an awesome book called "Healing ADD" by Daniel G. Amen MD. If I ever questioned whether or not his diagnosis was correct this book helped me understand! There are may types of ADD and many symptoms, this book breaks it all down. I also want to add that I did NOT want to medicate my child. I even refused for 2 years to have him tested. And then, I tried for 9 months after his diagnosis to do special diets, natural herbs/supplements etc. They helped, but only a little. Finally at my wits end I decided to try medication and laid down the law, low dose and if I don't like it or my son doesn't like it, I won't keep him on it. To my surprise, he had a very good result with a fairly low dose of the first med we tried(adderall) and as much as I hated to admit it, it was a turning point for my son. It allows him to concentrate and helps him control his own behavior. It was the right thing for us. Good luck, but my best piece of advise is to educate yourself and form your own opinion and don't ever be afraid to voice it to the doctors or teachers. If they react badly to it, then its time to find a new doctor or to talk with someone else at the school!

Tara - posted on 01/21/2009

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My son was diagnosed with ADHD and a mood disorder at age four. I have been working with a pediatrician and a behavioral specialist who has helped a great deal. My son is on medication, but I also feel that massage has helped as well. Do some research. You will find that massage is very benifical to children with these types of behavioral problems, It has helped my son.

Mindy - posted on 01/21/2009

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I have a son who could be defiant at school but he was also like this at home at times.  His teacher thought he had ADD also but when we had him tested he actually had ODD which is oppitional defiant disorder.   The treatment is more behavior management than meds.  He does see counselor periodically and this has helped alot he also has gotten better the older he has gotten.  He is now 11 years old and very rarely have issues at school anymore.    The current counselor has recommend the magic 123 book which helps kids with ODD.  

Paula - posted on 01/21/2009

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I too am having such a hard time with this.  My 9 year old daughter is having so much trouble in school.  She is not hyper or fidgety but she can't seem to concentrate on her school work long enough to even get one 6 problem worksheet done without badgering her to do it.



Her's also started out as what we thought was anxiety when she was little,  and I mean as young as 9 months old.  When she was a baby not even dad could hold her without her crying unconsolably.  Than as she got older it turned into people or group anxiety attacks.  She wouldn't even stay at her best friends house for a play-date unless I or her dad would stay, and that's when she was as old as 6 years old.  We even pulled her out of kindergarten after 2 weeks when she was 5 because she would totally shut down and refused to interact on any level so the teacher suggested we wait one more year.  The next year she was still anxious about going but that teacher had a special ed teacher in her class so we pushed the issue knowing there was an extra adult to deal with her when necessary.  



By 1st grade all seemed to be going great, she'd completely come out of her shell.  But then it was academic problems.  Way behind in reading.  Every teacher kept saying she's a great student, I'm sure she'll snap out of it and it will just click one day.  Don't worry.



Well now we're in the 3rd grade and we battle everyday.  Her teachers still say she's a great student in their class, but academically she's drowning.  And it all seems to stem from her inability to concentrate on any one task long enough to do it, or if she finishes its because she rushed choosing to not read any words on the page just guessing as she goes.



And on top of it all she seems to be having trouble controlling her emotions.  Today I got an email from the teacher saying she began crying hysterically while the class read a story about a little girl who got teased.  And she did the same thing to me on Sunday at church when she listened to a sermon that had a sad part in the middle.  But she was just so unconsolable. 



My husband is dead set on not having her see a behavior specialist because he's worried about all the bad press on ADD meds.  And he does not want her put on anything.  He's convinced this is just another stage we're going to have to get through and she'll grow out of it.  But I'm so afraid she's drowning in the mean time.



If anyone has any advise I'd love to hear from you.  



But mostly I thank you all for just listening to me vent.  It's so hard to deal with this sometimes. And I really feel like I have no one to talk to sometimes.  Worse yet I have 5 other children, and I feel like I'm letting them down some days because I have to spend so much time dealing with their sister's issues.



 

Diane - posted on 01/21/2009

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Lori, its funny u said your son was bored.  i have asked my son why he can't behave in school months ago and he simply stated to me, I'm bored.  I have talked and asked around.  My sister had the same problem with her son when he was in first grade. she enrolled him in more after school things and he is now in 3rd grade and is doing fine.  My cousin's wife had is having the same problem now with her son and he is 8.  in all cases the teachers were quick to say add and stated that the child needed meds.  my cousin's son is on meds and at a cook out the poor kid kept saying he was tired and sleepy.  he meds turned him into this  tired, withdrawn child who just wanted to sit in his room.  i am avoiding drugs at all cost... thanks

Lori - posted on 01/21/2009

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I just wanted to add a few thoughts from my experience.  No one knows your child as you do.  You have to believe in your own intuition.  Listen to your gut.  It will tell you what is right for you and your child.



Not all "professionals," whether that be school counselors, pediatricians, behavioral psychologists, or child psychiatrists, know what they are talking about.  You have to work hard to find the doctors and therapists that will work for you AND your child.  Talk to people around you--get referrals--listen to their experiences.  Don't be afraid to tell a doctor that you don't agree with him/her.



There are many psychological issues that mirror the same types of behaviors.  Educators are quick to jump to ADHD.  This is where it is important to listen to your gut.



Have him tested at the school!  I have a son (NOT the behaviorally challenged child) who was having a hard time in 1st grade.  The teacher was adamant that he had behavioral challenges.  I was adamant that he did not and demanded that they test him.  Turns out he has a 99th percentile processing speed (that means that he can process information in his brain faster than 99% of the children his age), and he was bored to death!



Educate yourself!  And be your son's advocate.  No one else will.

Lori - posted on 01/21/2009

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I just wanted to add a few thoughts from my experience.  No one knows your child as you do.  You have to believe in your own intuition.  Listen to your gut.  It will tell you what is right for you and your child.



Not all "professionals," whether that be school counselors, pediatricians, behavioral psychologists, or child psychiatrists, know what they are talking about.  You have to work hard to find the doctors and therapists that will work for you AND your child.  Talk to people around you--get referrals--listen to their experiences.  Don't be afraid to tell a doctor that you don't agree with him/her.



There are many psychological issues that mirror the same types of behaviors.  Educators are quick to jump to ADHD.  This is where it is important to listen to your gut.



Have him tested at the school!  I have a son (NOT the behaviorally challenged child) who was having a hard time in 1st grade.  The teacher was adamant that he had behavioral challenges.  I was adamant that he did not and demanded that they test him.  Turns out he has a 99th percentile processing speed (that means that he can process information in his brain faster than 99% of the children his age), and he was bored to death!



Educate yourself!  And be your son's advocate.  No one else will.

Nancy - posted on 01/21/2009

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Quoting Diane:

ADD? ADHD?

Anyone, someone.. help.
I have a 6 year old boy who for the most part behaves at home. he is an only child. his teacher is struggling with him. he wont listen to her, he wont do his home work for her and he wont sit still. his dr doesnt think he is ADD but the school counsler does. i have told them that i think he sees school as social hour and i know he doesnt really care for his teacher.
ps i have changed his diet, no processed food, very little red meat, mostly fish and shrimp, veggies and fruits.

how can i help him? any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.



Ask the teacher if she will please start a behavior chart.  Ask her to write down everything that he does along with what caused the bahavior, the time of day it took place, how she as the teacher handled it and his response to it.  For example...The Antecedent could be "there is another child that continued to yell"  the behavior (from your son) could have been "he immediatley started squirming or jittering in his seat" and the consequence could be "his teacher said, please sit still".  If this chart is continued for several days, this will  help determine a pattern.  This could help determine if there is an issue with too much stimulation for him.  After you determine this, you could maybe see your Pediatrician again show him/her this information and maybe they will give you a referral to an occupational therapist.  The therapist should be able to determine if it is a sensory issue(over stimulation) or something else such as ADD or ADHD.  It could simply be just how his little brain is trying to adjust to certain stimuli.   

Diane - posted on 01/21/2009

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thanks so much for the feedback.  the teacher filled out a behavior chart, then i did and the school reviewed and were surprised by the difference.  he is fine at home, he listens and follows directions.  i have a nephew who was on meds for ADD and my son doesnt act out like him at all.  I am calling the dr in the am to see what he wants to do now. i do have one life thing happening.. the guy i was with decided he need a break and moved out.  i think part of the acting out at school is becuase he misses him.  (this is the only man/father he has known)  i get so frustrated becuase my son knows how to read and write and know 1st grade math, but his teacher thinks he is working below his level.  i am afraid she will flunk him. 

[deleted account]

Each and every child is different and matures at a different time, my son was diagnosed with ADHD in 1st grade, he was an only child at the time, and was put on Ritalin after teachers indicated he was having trouble in school. He seemed very much the same as your son, didn't really misbehave at home, and he couldn't stay on task with the teacher. The Ritalin helped somewhat, but my husband and I didn't want him on medication for long. When he was in third grade he asked me if he had to keep taking the meds because when he took them it felt like bugs were crawling around in his head. That's the day I vowed to get him off, we went to a natural chiropractor and had a biomeridian test done. He had a high yeast and sugar overload from being on antibiotics many years of his life. We went through radical elimination diet for over 6 months, and natural meds that stimulate the brain functions like Ritalin, but without the side effects. It was a long road, and he still struggled to stay on task in school...as he grows, we realize his personality is not math and science, but MUSIC, and he has had such success! He is now 19 and in his first year of college, studying music and business.



I don't want to make your situation seem less serious, because when you're going through this, it's a tough decision, you always want what's best for your child, but you need to make decisions based on how YOU know your child, and discuss this with the school counselor. As you communicate your wants to them, they should be able to come up with a plan that will be the best for all of you, maybe there's a way to try a different teacher, I know that really makes a difference too. Each year they mature in many different ways.



I hoped this helped even a little. Even though my son is 19, it seems like yesterday we were dealing with all of this, so I can totally relate still to you. Email me if you have any more questions. Good luck & God Bless.



Lisa Schmitz

[deleted account]

Thank goodness someone brought this up!  I am struggling now with my 8 yr old daughter.  I didn't think she had ADD but now that they explained how it works- I definitely see it and it is getting much worse. 



Hers manifested first as a social anxiety reaction that kept getting worse.  Screaming and crying about going to school, leaving us, crowds, etc... I noticed her grades getting worse and we could never get homework done because she couldn't sit still and she kept forgetting what she was doing and complaining about EVERYTHING.  After talking several times with her school counselors I decided to take her to a therapist.  Which then I found out you actually have to see a psychiatrist for diagnosing and prescribing the therapy.  And she had her pegged in the very first visit.  We started a medication about a month later ( once I felt comfortable and realized it was absolutely necessary).  She hasn't been on it long enough for it to work just yet, but I have high hopes. 



I felt terrible taking her to a "behavioral center" but I now know it was the best move I could've possibly made.  They even helped me to understand and accept how I feel about how she is acting and that it's okay to feel overwhelmed and that you are NOT a bad mom since you can't "fix" your child.   This is very common and no one tells you how to seek help for this type of problem.  I just finally got desperate enough.  And once you get that diagnosis its easier to explain the behavior to the teacher and start working together.       



I wish you the best of luck.  And don't let anyone talk you out of seeking the help that your son needs.  You'd rather him have an ADD label for a couple of years rather than the teachers telling the next grade levels "he's a problem/ bad behavior child, you don't want him!"  Then he has no chance.  He will miss out on so many opportunities and it's not HIS fault or yours. 



I have no friends that understand this.  It just looks like a behavior problem to them and I know its not.  So, please feel free to comment or chat when you would like.  I don't know the first thing about this stuff and moms of these kids need support!!!



 



 



 



 

Demontica - posted on 01/21/2009

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if the school counsler thinks he has ADD but the doctor is saying no, i would take him to another doctor and get a second opinion because clearly he is acting out for some reason it may not be ADD but it's always better safe than sorry because he needs to be able to pay attention in school. this is the age when you learn all the basics....good luck!!

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