ODD/ ADHD?

Sami - posted on 11/03/2009 ( 287 moms have responded )

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My six year old is showing definete signs of ADHD and/or ODD. There is so much info out there, but I was was wondering if any of you moms out there have a child with one of these two? I am making an apt with the dr and all, I just want to hear personal experiences and stories, if that makes since. How did your children act- how did you know it was time to evaluate? Was there a trigger that you can think of? How are you handling the situations at home? etc. Anything you can tell me would help. I know I am not alone, but I think I need to hear from people who are in similar boats... thanks

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[deleted account]

Thank you for telling your story. I am living it with my 14 year old son. Since 5th grade he's been angry at only me. I do my best to keep everything on track so he doesn't have a reason to get upset, but life happens. I appreciate your advice and will take it to heart.

[deleted account]

Thank you for telling your story. I am living it with my 14 year old son. Since 5th grade he's been angry at only me. I do my best to keep everything on track so he doesn't have a reason to get upset, but life happens. I appreciate your advice and will take it to heart.

LeAnne - posted on 11/07/2009

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My youngest is now 12 and will start high school next year so that will have its own dilemmas. he has ADD, we do have him on medication he finds it better but the draw back is that it effects his appetite. we tried everything diet, food allergies, tutoring etc etc. the things that i find have helped are, organisation for him and us, break it down into small bits. get a tutor that can really encourage them so that you can be the secondary person. find what they are good at and persevere with that. For ours it is baseball, it builds their confidence. the main thing to remember is that there are so many successful adults out there who were just not diagnosed in the first place kwim.

Heather - posted on 11/06/2009

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Reading all of these comments has been overwhelming. At times, it has made me angry, sad, defensive,hopeful and empathetic. If you get to actually read mine, I hope it helps. My son Michael is 9 years old. He was a challenge since he was a baby. I know what you mean about feeling like you are only saying negative things, when your child is a wonderful funny smart little person. It's just all so overwhelming at times. Michael was diagnosed after about 7 months of counseling and testing, including the Connors test. He has combined add/ ADHD and odd. He was also diagnosed with depression that manifests in aggression. Every morning ( morning were the worst) I would end up in tears. His personal relationships were failing, our family was at it's breaking point. It was a difficult decision for ME to put him on medication, and one I waited a long time before committing to. I figured we would try it, and we could always stop if it didn't work or "changed" Michael's personality. He started taking concerta, and it has changed his life. He is so much happier now, he can function in school, he is able to just be, and not struggle with every second of his day. It stays in his system for 12 hours. It does keep him up later at bedtime, but that's something we have always dealt with with him. Our school district is great, and they are working with him. We can't get an "I.E.P." for him because it isn't considered a learning disability, but the faculty at his school is very devoted to taking care of every child's needs. ADHD is not a behavior problem. It is not a parenting problem. It is not an allergy. It is nuerological. Prepare a journal of your childs triggers, behaviors, friendship patterns, schoolwork, everything you can think of. Have your child diagnosed by a good psychiatrist, and try medications along with behavior modifactions to see what works for your child. Please keep reaching out, it helps other parents like me to not feel alone, at the same time as it helps you:) good luck!

Jessica - posted on 11/06/2009

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My son was actually diagnosed with both in 1st grade. He started showing the rebellion that i figured was normal when he was 3. I finally took him in to the Dr. when he got suspended for behavior 3 days into the school year. He's on his meds (which help) and does counceling (which I don't believe actually helps) twice a week. The only thing I can do with him at home is let him run off all his energy and steam after i "trick" him into doing his homework. It's the choices he's given on whether I can actually get him to do it or not though. "If you really want to do this then you need to do this first" type thing. Doesn't always work but more often than not it does. I wish you all the best of luck.

Terry - posted on 11/06/2009

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Hello, my son Henry was severely ADHD as a child and is now and ADHD adult. As a child he would get up at two a.m. simply because he could not sleep any longer. He liked to get into things. He was very intelligent and constantly on the go. He had no control over impulse behaviour and would only consider consequences after he got into trouble. He would not listen to attempts at discipine, and he had no fear of acting out in public either! One of the things that would help was a consistent schedule every day. Also before I could take him anywhere I'd give him a half cup of cooled down coffee. The Caffeine would settle him down.

Stephanie - posted on 11/06/2009

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my words excatly you just said for me thank you. what kind of meds is your son on. The stimulant is really hard on him trying strattera it's a roller coaster to get the right one

Stephanie - posted on 11/06/2009

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Quoting Catherine:

My 8 year old son has ADHD and has had it since well before 5 years old (in my opinion). The doctor's diagnosed him while he was in Kindergarten for the 2nd time. The first year, the teacher pushed and pushed me to put him on meds but I was against it for silly reasons. I was worried that he would become a zombie and I didn't want to medicate him just to make his teacher's day easier for her. (All children are different and therefore teachers need to learn how to teach different types of learners). My son ended up repeating Kindergarten not because he was dumb, but because he was mentally not ready for independent learning on a 1st grade level. I had a really rough time with his school. He was constantly getting in trouble and suspended. Finally I took him to a behavioral specialist. Not just a regular pediatrician but someone who really knew about childhood behaviors. He helped me understand what was going on in my son's brain. That medication won't make him a zombie and if it does, his dose is too high. He explained that there are so many things going on in his brain at once and medication would help calm these extra things out. He explained that my son would probably be greatful and glad to finally be able to focus on one thing. It's not that he's a bad kid which was how his school made me feel. He knows right from wrong and he really really wants to be a good kid but he is just not able to think about the consequences before he acts. He's impulsive. The medication helps block out the extra "static" in his brain and helps him focus on making the right decisions. We have moved him to a new school and have had nothing but great experiences with his new surroundings. I also requesting a meeting with the principal of the school and made him aware of my son's issues and requested he be placed with a more strict teacher who would make sure to stay on top of him instead of him feeling like he could get away with anything. While my son still has some day to day issues, he is actually excited to go to school and is happy now that he is doing so well. His academics have soared and he is at the top of his class. I am very happy with my decision to put him on medication. It really does benefit the child and helps them concentrate on what is important. Constant praising works really well and my sons teacher and principal will give him random notes some days letting him know how well his day went. We hang them on the refridgerator as a reminder to him. He really does want to do well.


 

Stephanie - posted on 11/06/2009

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It took me a 2 years before I put my son on adhd med's but it was the best thing to do. His school brought it to my attention, but I knew it already it just one of those things as a parent you know. we are struggling with the meds now trying to get the right one, it's kind of like a roller coaster., but his grades came up to a's and b's. lots of luck I would consider the meds.

Robbin - posted on 11/06/2009

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I wonder how many of us mom's of ADD/ADHD child saw their child in this poem? When we start to compare our notes they are remarkably the same. This is a poem I would like to pass on to my friends at school. NO BODY can understand our child like us. Thank you for making this available to us.

Miki - posted on 11/06/2009

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My daughters 1st grade teacher was the first to recommend we get her tested for ADHD. So we took her recommendation & between school & our pediatrician we did all the testing we could possiblly do. I am not a parent that will just put my child on medication because someone tells me they have ADHD. Our pediatrician put her on a month's trial of medication one of the pills was a sugar pill...we wanted to make sure she actually needed medication before we went forward with it. After doing all the testing & trial of medication the results were that she did have ADHD & did benefit from the medication. She is now 16 yrs old & still takes 40 mg of Ritalin a day. She does on line schooling because our public school doesn't educate their staff to deal with kids who have ADHD they are to quick to label these kids as problem children. The real frustrating part is 9 times out of 10 these kids are extremely intelligent.



Let me tell you its not easy being a parent of a child with ADHD. Alot of people don't understand what is actually going on with the child. Every day is a struggle/challenge. Giving constant positive reinforcement really helps...also redirectly inappropriate behavior immediately is another good habit to get into. Staying calm is difficult but extremely important...I try to keep in mind the struggles that my daughter is dealing with.



I wish you the best of luck. I am very thankful to have discovered Circle of Mom's & that this can be used as a way of a support group.

Katie - posted on 11/06/2009

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I have a 6 year old with ADHD among a few other things but I can tell you this. Following a routine definitely helps if at all possible do as much of the same things at the same times as you can. This will help.

Catherine - posted on 11/06/2009

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An ADHD child is not a "bad" child. Spanking will not help with anything. Have you ever just sat with the T.V on really loud, a radio next to you really loud, a video game playing right next to you, a clock ticking really loud in your ear, a buzzer going off while you are trying to read a book and actually comprehend it? You would have an anxiety attack in no time. This is what's going on in a child's brain who has ADHD. A hundred things going on at once while they are trying to learn. Who wouldn't act out?! Thank god for parents, teachers, and doctors with patience and for medication that helps to calm these noises!!

Catherine - posted on 11/06/2009

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My 8 year old son has ADHD and has had it since well before 5 years old (in my opinion). The doctor's diagnosed him while he was in Kindergarten for the 2nd time. The first year, the teacher pushed and pushed me to put him on meds but I was against it for silly reasons. I was worried that he would become a zombie and I didn't want to medicate him just to make his teacher's day easier for her. (All children are different and therefore teachers need to learn how to teach different types of learners). My son ended up repeating Kindergarten not because he was dumb, but because he was mentally not ready for independent learning on a 1st grade level. I had a really rough time with his school. He was constantly getting in trouble and suspended. Finally I took him to a behavioral specialist. Not just a regular pediatrician but someone who really knew about childhood behaviors. He helped me understand what was going on in my son's brain. That medication won't make him a zombie and if it does, his dose is too high. He explained that there are so many things going on in his brain at once and medication would help calm these extra things out. He explained that my son would probably be greatful and glad to finally be able to focus on one thing. It's not that he's a bad kid which was how his school made me feel. He knows right from wrong and he really really wants to be a good kid but he is just not able to think about the consequences before he acts. He's impulsive. The medication helps block out the extra "static" in his brain and helps him focus on making the right decisions. We have moved him to a new school and have had nothing but great experiences with his new surroundings. I also requesting a meeting with the principal of the school and made him aware of my son's issues and requested he be placed with a more strict teacher who would make sure to stay on top of him instead of him feeling like he could get away with anything. While my son still has some day to day issues, he is actually excited to go to school and is happy now that he is doing so well. His academics have soared and he is at the top of his class. I am very happy with my decision to put him on medication. It really does benefit the child and helps them concentrate on what is important. Constant praising works really well and my sons teacher and principal will give him random notes some days letting him know how well his day went. We hang them on the refridgerator as a reminder to him. He really does want to do well.

Clara - posted on 11/06/2009

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Hon ,

I understand what you are saying i have a son thaqt is 11 years old and has ADHD and we got him tested when he was in school and then found it he is on meds it does help but there are a lot of days that it does not work and he is very hyper but it is wha i have learned patince with him and you have to learn that very earlyer with ADHD kids my husband is also ADHD so i have a double dose and school will have to work with him if he has ADHD on a different level as well and my son is on concart and clondine top help him ......

Thank You ,

Clara

Sally - posted on 11/06/2009

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I'm a teacher, and when studying my Masters in Special Education, we were told that medicating children with ADD and ADHD (and yes, they are two different conditions) should be a temporary step. When the medication kicks in, and the child is calmer, this is the time to work with them and teach them strategies to manage their own behaviour when they start feeling out of control. Many children with ADHD begin to feel physically sick when they start to lose control - this is the time for them to take themselves to a "safe place", or to ask for help etc. I'm currently working with a number of children with autism and ADHD and teaching them to ask for help when they begin feeling out of control is really working. We then have strategies that work for each individual child to help them regain self-control. If the medication numbs them to the point of being zombie-like, then it's the wrong medication for that child.



Once the child has learnt these strategies, and the people around them know how to help them, it's time to come off the meds. Apparently Ritalin was never intended to be used for more than 3 years - we learnt that 3 months-3years is the period of time it should be used, depending on the individual child.

Megan - posted on 11/06/2009

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hi i have a 11 year old with ADD at first i just thought thats whats kids were like but about the time he went to school it became obviouse that he was different so i went thru the doctor & mental health clinic they were all very good & helpfull as they actually need to make the diagnoses & put it on paper before they can do any thing.i decided to go natural as i didnt believe in the pills & i tried every thing avalible but they did work for him but thats not to say they wont work for others.at home i just learned to fight the big battles & leave the little things alone as the drama wasnt worth it.at scholl he was doing ok but falling behind so put him into kip mcgrafts that helped heaps.but as homones are getting to him now its time for the last resort & am reluctanly trying the pills so will see how that goes as i dont want his schooling suffering.i hope that all helps u & if u want to no any thing else im happy to help as some days it does feel like u are all alone in this

[deleted account]

Quoting Tanya:

Hi,
My son has ADHD. He was diagnosed in Kindergarten.( although I had a feelling earlier on that he had it) it took his teachers asking me to get him evaluated for me to admit it. I had to fill out a questionair that was a few pages long, the dr. then evaluated it and then he had me bring my son to his office where he evaluated him face to face without me in the room, then with me in the room. As a mom you hate to hear the words your son has adhd. But he is 11yrs old now and we have learned to look at the positive. I used to run an ADHD support group in our town in conjuction with CHADD. ( if you haven't gone to their website yet I strongly recommend it. Its FULL of helpful info. I also went out and bought a ton of books to learn all about adhd. Some symptoms my son had were he was VERY hyper, couldn't focus for very long on things, had a short attention span, disorganization ect. But he is the nicest little boy to everyone, always willing to help, hes a leader, and SO smart. The standardized tests he takes at school the scores are always above his peers. Now that he is 11, I can tell the hyperness has mostly gone away (there are some days he is but not everyday) He does take medication everyday. We had to do trial and error to find the right one for him. In 2nd grade we worked with his school to have him put on an IEP plan. That was one of the best things we did for him. It makes the school recognize his disability and they by law have to meet with you throughout the year to make sure he is getting what he needs to be successful in school. For instance, for my son his IEP states that he can type papers instead of hand writing them if they are long ones. Shorter ones he still hand writes. He has use of a "T" stool in case he gets squirmy, so he isn't rocking in his chair. There is a special ed teacher that checks in with him a few times everyday, she doesn't single him out at all, she sort of helps out whoever needs it in the class, but she is there to make sure he is not falling behind, stays focused. ect. I also bought my son books for himself to read about adhd so that he knows what it is. His teachers say they are so impressed with how knowlagable he is about it. The read a book in class one time and the main charactor has adhd, my son raised his hand and said he has it to and went on to explain it to the class and answer questions. He even bragged about the good things about it, like having more energy to do things, and what a great memory he has. I will say as he gets older its getting easier for him to deal with on a day to day. I do have to remind him of alot of things at home, like, brush your teeth, put on deoderant, turn off your light. But he is such a special boy, one of a kind. I have a poem I got of an adhd message board I will give you to, if ever we are having a really trying day I read it and it makes me smile and I remember not to get so frusterated with him. It discribes my son to a T. I will put it at the end of this letter. Here is an example of my sons classic adhd ( getting off task and losing focus) One night I told him to go brush his teeth, and he was in there for like 15 min, so I went in there to see what he was doing, well he was getting his toothbrush wet and flicking it at the mirror to create a design. I said arn't you supposed to be brushing your teeth and he said oh ya. LOL. CLASSIC!! I just made him clean up his mess then. Good luck with your son, and if you ever have a really rough day and need someone to talk to who is in your shoes please email me. I am always willing to share stories and vent with other ADHD moms. Here is the poem, it makes me cry and smile everytime- I have it posted on my fridge:

My ADHD Child
By Tracy Nicolaus

He bounces off walls, a super ball gone insane,
He runs through your world like a off-rail freight train,
Interuptions are constant, tantrums galore,
When it's time to do homework, hes gone, out the door. The dram is constant, oh his foot fell asleep,
He moans and he wails, the theatrics run deep,
School is a nightmare, the teachers are lost,
If they only could see, he is worth the cost. He is brighter than most, as most kids are,
And with patience and love, I know he'll go far,
But what I must take from well meaning friends,
Don't let him do that. Oh these rules that he bends. you're not a good parent. your child's really rude.
His temper's outrageous, he has hands in his food,
He hears this and wonders, just what's wrong with me?
I tell him, You're special, you have ADHD. Now ADHD is a gift from above,
It teaches us grown-ups how to strengthen our love.
It helps to teach your teachers, no two kids are the same.
You have awesome energy that could bring you great fame. You don't need much sleep, you never wear down.
You're silly and funny, when you act like a clown.
You've felt lots of pain from what people have said,
But you pray for those people when you go to bed. So you try every day to make a fresh start,
For God gifted you with an extra big heart.
As I look at my child, he sees through my soul,
My heart feels like busting, as I realize my goal. I know this boy like no one else could,
he's a blessing to me, he's strong and he's good.
So I'll love him and guide him through the worst of the worst,
And he'll make a great man (if I don't kill him first). I'm kidding of course 'cause I know what's to be,
When I look in his eyes and see a reflection of me.

Hope you enjoyed that. Remember, if you need someone to compare notes to email me.
Tanya Heyroth


I love that poem!  I'm definitely passing it on!!!  (It made me cry, too - especially the last line!)

Belinda - posted on 11/06/2009

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My son has ADHD and I have found the best thing I can do is keep him busy doing things he likes to do and also watch his diet. If a child with ADHD has cordial I have been told to try and keep them away from lemon and/or red cordial as they have more preservatives than the rest. I also watch his diet and give him herbal tablets such as Kalm Kids and Childvite 1 (which can be purchased from any pharmacy). I was also told for some children it is hard to properly diagnose them until they are 7. Good Luck

Julie - posted on 11/06/2009

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I just finished reading all of the responses to your initial post and then I finished with your final response. After reading your more thorough story of what is going on with your child, I can't help but remember all we have been through with our son. So many similarities! I knew early on that we had a difficult child, then when he was about 3 or 4 I decided to start researching. A friend with an Aspberger's child gave me 2 books. One was Raising a Spirited Child which was kind of helpful and the 2nd book was The Explosive Child which was the most helpful. I then moved onto mood. I found out more and more about pediatric bipolar and brought my observations to a Christian counselor who validated my thoughts. We then moved onto nutritional help which was time consuming, expensive and all-in-all not extremely effective. It was time to go to the medical doctors. When our son was in 1st grade we started him on Trileptal which is a mood stabilizer, then we ended up adding Risperdal (don't try this med unless you absolutely have to!), then we took him off of that and added Ritalin for ADHD. In 3rd or 4th grade we changed from Trileptal to Abilify. Throughout those times we also had him on Clonidine for sleep issues and we now use Melatonin which is much better. He is now in 6th grade and is on Trileptal, Abilify, Straterra and Melatonin.



In summary, our son had anger and frustration issues. His moods swung all day long. He'd be laughing hysterically one second and then get angry with you the next. We also had the routine experiences that you mentioned with bathing and teeth brushing. EVERYTHING seemed to be an issue. He made it through elementary school, but 5th grade totally fell apart and I am now homeschooling him. Life became so much better when we pulled him from public school. We now wonder if he is also dealing with PDD-NOS. We try to keep our home very stress-free, his learning times are very brief and very creative. We had to really think outside the box and not worry about convention. Our school is our school and if it works for us, then it's the right way for us.



You are on the right track. Stay strong and research, research, research! A very helpful book which covers most of the disorders is called Kids in the Syndrome Mix. It gives a brief, yet thorough, synopsis of the different disorders and the things you and teachers can do to help. My heart goes out to you in ways you cannot know. There is hope on the horizon. Love your child. Accept your child. Listen to your child. Many times the children have the answers we are looking for. I will pray for you and all of the other moms who are doing the work of warriors. God bless....

Iris - posted on 11/06/2009

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I have a son who is older now.. he is 20 year old .. But he does have ADHD.. And he use to do the same things and he also use to tear apart his bed and his dressers. He destroyed them.. We got him tested when he was six years old.. He was on medication to help him concentrate in school and at home. We had to watch his food though.. He could not have any artificial colors or flavors. That would set him off. Plus he could not have certain fruits either.. When u give him something to eat, and if his attitude changes then u know not to give it to him.. We had to make a list of things he could not have..He had to have real fruit juice and milk and plain ice cream and plain chips and so on..The problems with ADHD children, is if they don't take their meds, they won't learn.. They also don't think of the conquences before they do something wrong.. Good luck with ur child..!!!

Tanya - posted on 11/06/2009

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Hi,

My son has ADHD. He was diagnosed in Kindergarten.( although I had a feelling earlier on that he had it) it took his teachers asking me to get him evaluated for me to admit it. I had to fill out a questionair that was a few pages long, the dr. then evaluated it and then he had me bring my son to his office where he evaluated him face to face without me in the room, then with me in the room. As a mom you hate to hear the words your son has adhd. But he is 11yrs old now and we have learned to look at the positive. I used to run an ADHD support group in our town in conjuction with CHADD. ( if you haven't gone to their website yet I strongly recommend it. Its FULL of helpful info. I also went out and bought a ton of books to learn all about adhd. Some symptoms my son had were he was VERY hyper, couldn't focus for very long on things, had a short attention span, disorganization ect. But he is the nicest little boy to everyone, always willing to help, hes a leader, and SO smart. The standardized tests he takes at school the scores are always above his peers. Now that he is 11, I can tell the hyperness has mostly gone away (there are some days he is but not everyday) He does take medication everyday. We had to do trial and error to find the right one for him. In 2nd grade we worked with his school to have him put on an IEP plan. That was one of the best things we did for him. It makes the school recognize his disability and they by law have to meet with you throughout the year to make sure he is getting what he needs to be successful in school. For instance, for my son his IEP states that he can type papers instead of hand writing them if they are long ones. Shorter ones he still hand writes. He has use of a "T" stool in case he gets squirmy, so he isn't rocking in his chair. There is a special ed teacher that checks in with him a few times everyday, she doesn't single him out at all, she sort of helps out whoever needs it in the class, but she is there to make sure he is not falling behind, stays focused. ect. I also bought my son books for himself to read about adhd so that he knows what it is. His teachers say they are so impressed with how knowlagable he is about it. The read a book in class one time and the main charactor has adhd, my son raised his hand and said he has it to and went on to explain it to the class and answer questions. He even bragged about the good things about it, like having more energy to do things, and what a great memory he has. I will say as he gets older its getting easier for him to deal with on a day to day. I do have to remind him of alot of things at home, like, brush your teeth, put on deoderant, turn off your light. But he is such a special boy, one of a kind. I have a poem I got of an adhd message board I will give you to, if ever we are having a really trying day I read it and it makes me smile and I remember not to get so frusterated with him. It discribes my son to a T. I will put it at the end of this letter. Here is an example of my sons classic adhd ( getting off task and losing focus) One night I told him to go brush his teeth, and he was in there for like 15 min, so I went in there to see what he was doing, well he was getting his toothbrush wet and flicking it at the mirror to create a design. I said arn't you supposed to be brushing your teeth and he said oh ya. LOL. CLASSIC!! I just made him clean up his mess then. Good luck with your son, and if you ever have a really rough day and need someone to talk to who is in your shoes please email me. I am always willing to share stories and vent with other ADHD moms. Here is the poem, it makes me cry and smile everytime- I have it posted on my fridge:



My ADHD Child

By Tracy Nicolaus



He bounces off walls, a super ball gone insane,

He runs through your world like a off-rail freight train,

Interuptions are constant, tantrums galore,

When it's time to do homework, hes gone, out the door. The dram is constant, oh his foot fell asleep,

He moans and he wails, the theatrics run deep,

School is a nightmare, the teachers are lost,

If they only could see, he is worth the cost. He is brighter than most, as most kids are,

And with patience and love, I know he'll go far,

But what I must take from well meaning friends,

Don't let him do that. Oh these rules that he bends. you're not a good parent. your child's really rude.

His temper's outrageous, he has hands in his food,

He hears this and wonders, just what's wrong with me?

I tell him, You're special, you have ADHD. Now ADHD is a gift from above,

It teaches us grown-ups how to strengthen our love.

It helps to teach your teachers, no two kids are the same.

You have awesome energy that could bring you great fame. You don't need much sleep, you never wear down.

You're silly and funny, when you act like a clown.

You've felt lots of pain from what people have said,

But you pray for those people when you go to bed. So you try every day to make a fresh start,

For God gifted you with an extra big heart.

As I look at my child, he sees through my soul,

My heart feels like busting, as I realize my goal. I know this boy like no one else could,

he's a blessing to me, he's strong and he's good.

So I'll love him and guide him through the worst of the worst,

And he'll make a great man (if I don't kill him first). I'm kidding of course 'cause I know what's to be,

When I look in his eyes and see a reflection of me.



Hope you enjoyed that. Remember, if you need someone to compare notes to email me.

Tanya Heyroth

[deleted account]

I just wanted to make a comment about the drug Concerta, which someone else was recommending. I found out that I had ADHD just a few years ago, as an adult! I have been on Adderall since then, with just a few trials of some others (not including Ritalin). I've stayed with Adderall, having HAD no negative side effects that I know of - in fact, for the first time in my LIFE, after having taken it, I'm able to exist without thinking about food ALL THE TIME!!! The only one of my kids that has been diagnosed with ADHD takes Adderall also, and it has helped him immensely with his concentration and organization in high school and now in college.



I also suffer from Depression, and have been on Zoloft for years. While they were trying to find a balance of the right medications, they tried Concerta for me. I also have mild OCD - in my case, I unconsciously scratch anything on my body that's not smooth! Right after taking the first dose of Concerta, I could NOTstop myself from scratching my head! It was like a cartoon, or a bad movie! I actually took my other hand, and tried to pull it away, but it would go right back to the scratching! I remember that it was a Sunday, but I called my doctor and got them to let me talk to him, because I felt like I was going completely "over the edge!!!" He, of course, told me not to take it any more, so once the awful side effects were gone, I was okay! Even though I am taking 2 very powerful drugs myself right now, I am doing my best to find a natural solution. If one drug can do something like that to an adult, so quickly, what are some of the others doing, not only to us, but to our children??!!!

Monica - posted on 11/06/2009

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My 10 yr old grandson was just diagnosed ADD & possible ODD. He has always been a handful! Especially with his mom, arguing, defiant & temper tantrums! But what I have read about ODD is that it can be reversed & is caused by the childs environment. My daughter got divorced about 4 yrs ago & she has had several boyfriends!! She was drinking & going out alot. Her other 2 children live with their Dad. The 10 yr olds Dad was in prison in PA & he has never met his dad. So right there is alot of his problems. He hears bad things about his dad all the time! He is on Adderall when she remembers to give it to him! & when he went back for a check up she told the dr it wasn't working so the dr upped the dose! I could go on & on, but just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. Let your dr decide whats best for the child. Just be very open & honest!

Madelaine - posted on 11/06/2009

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hi sami , my son is 15 and has adhd and aspergers syndrome and i have to say things have improved as he got older, so i dont worry as much as i used to , He is in normal school and has done his Junior Cert this year and did very well

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My son is now 8. We definitely knew in pre-school that he had some problems. He had difficulty doing the in class work without someone redirecting him back to work when he got distracted. In Kindergarten his teacher recommended testing. Basically it was a behavior questionnaire for the teacher and parents to fill out separately. Then the school counselor tabulated the results. He was diagnosed ADHD at that time. However, some of his behaviors didn't fit under the ADHD umbrella. He had a rough time in large groups. If someone even bumped into him accidentally, he had a major meltdown. He couldn't look at a person who was talking to him. In first grade we took him to a child psychologist for additional testing. He was then diagnosed as also having mild Aspbergers. We tried various medications. It took about a year to find the right medication, and dosage for him. He only takes it on school days. It helps him focus on his work without being distracted. Any time off school is a time off of the medication. That works for us, because he doesn't have a lot of behavior problems at home. I hope that eventually he will have learned enough coping skills to go off the medication entirely. Until then, we monitor his behavior closely with his teacher. Every child is individual, so just hang in there. It is challenging, but worth it, especially if he is diagnosed early. Kids with ADHD (and Aspergers) not only have problems with school work, but also social problems. The earlier you figure it out, the easier it is to deal with the problem.

Robbin - posted on 11/06/2009

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there is a website that is very helpful www.chadd.org and another is www.help4adhd.org(I have not personally gone to this site yet) It was recommended by an elementary school principal that is a friend of mine. My son, soon to be 30, was diagnosed at age 3,and my grandson is 4 and well on his way to a diagnsis, this was not a common thing back in the early 80's. I had to fight hard for him but his medication (dexedrine) at first then changed to cylert in later years. If he missed his meds he made "F's" on meds "A's and B's" Kids with ADD/ADHD need a lot of structure, and understanding teachers. As a former school nurse I explained to parents who were hesitant to put their children on meds that if that same child had diabetes there would be no question on weather to give that child insulin. Read everything you can and be the advocate for your child, no one will love your child the way you will. Good luck it is a lifetime challange for your child and you.Hope this helps, Robbin

Rabecca - posted on 11/06/2009

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Quoting Stephanie:

I'm sorry but I have to speak out on this. I have an 8 year old brother and as soon as he started school, he was diagnosed with ADHD. WHAT 5-8 YEAR OLD CHILD DOESN'T HAVE THAT MUCH ENERGY??? Teachers just aren't allowed to use paddles anymore. That's what needs to happen. If teachers were allowed to discipline the way they used to, today's generation would be so well behaved. Even parents for that matter can't discipline the way they used to.



   That has to be one of the most uneducated things people say about ADHD and ODD .The thing that people dont understand if they havent really lived with a ADHD child you think it's parents not disapling the child I can tell you I disapline I spent hours a day disaplining redirecting instucting my child is well disaplined and he knows the rules he can tell them to you till he's blue in the face and he's a good kid but once he gets in a situation that makes him uncomfortable if he's scared, mad to excited he just couldnt put into play the rules he gets extreme behavior he will hit , push run away anything to get away from tence situations because his mind just basically misfires and impluse takes over .he went to behavioral therapy but still could not put into play what he would learn and he desperatly wanted to these are no tbad kids and they know they are not acting like there peers it was hard to see him so upset because he acted out and felt humilated infront of his classmates by his own actions then he woul dspend days berating himself because he just didnt know why he didnt do what he learned in therepy his classmated would laugh at him and coment on him being the bad kid his self asteem was as low as could be it was hard to waltch .I knew always how very smart he was but he could not project that to others because of his inattentivness and impluse control he would be spending more time out of the classroom then in .



    I had a therapist come into our home and waltch me interact with hm for most of a day because honestly if it was me doing something I wouldgive anything to make things better for him but got nothing but great input on my parenting skills and was even told that if most parents with ADHD children work as much with there kids in such an upbeat manner alot of these kids wouldnt stuggle as much as they do . I give my son unconditional love but he knows our rules and he knows even if he has ADHD that just means he has to work harder than some kids to do the right thing but he can overcome his condition .



   I am not saying that I dont thinksome kids are over DX'D because come on of course there are parents who dont really nuture and are not devoted tot there kds becomming productive adults and it happens . But there aresome markers as well that really show themselves like not understanding socail cues like for instance most kids you wouldtap mon the shoulder if they started acting up and they wouldbe like oops better stop moms warning me a ADHD child would not get thats a cue to stop or I cant just give him the look you know the look you get from your mom or dad to say I mean stop now my son if like mom why is your face looking like that its just not that his behavior seems off to him hes just intertaining himself or thinking of something and the outside world just fades away and its hard to get out of his mind and the things thast hes thinking to notice whats going on around him . He also has a really hard time sleeping because basically he catnt turn his mind off long enough to actaully fall asleep



 If hes playing with other kids he is having so much fun that he wont realize timmy is screaming to be let go . My son also has fine motor skill issues which is common sign of ADHD  my sons intellegence also was tested way above his grade level .Children with ADHD can suffer from depression low self asteem and if they cant learn to overcome and . I can tellhim something I need done and five later he asked me if I was talking to him when of course I would think was plenty of time to get done what I needed from him.



  There are lots of things to help these kids medication behavioral therpy but you just can think automatically that these kids arent disaplined because thats justwrong or that there aprents are not good loving devoted parents thats just stuipd thinking it does happen but not ALWAYS the case I love my son and I want him to grow up self assured and confident and in control of himself just like anyother parent or are you saying you think it would be okay for a school offical to actually hit your young sibling into submission that sounds like toture to me I for one would never think it was okay for my son to be beat by a teacher or principle I can remember when that was th ecase and a teacher of my brothers got carried away and actaully threw himup against the wall and split my brothers head open things happen you just cant be sure kids would be beat or really hurt if you give people the righ tto hiot yopur kids these are no tpeople that love your kids that wont take it too far and I for one am not willing to take that chance

Suellen - posted on 11/06/2009

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PLEASE don't put your sweetheart on meds for this! See a homeopathic doctor! A conventional doctor gets paid from pharmaceutical reps. for writing your child a prescription! Your child really needs you right now.

Kristineh Esmailian - posted on 11/06/2009

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We went through it with my son and let me tell you... I would never ever put him on any sort of mood altering medication again. He was like a zombie...lost that sparkle in his eye and it killed me to see him that way. I hate to say it but that's the nature of a boy, some are more active then others. My son is now 14 and grew out of it...thank God! :-) He is totally mellow now. One thing I would say is set a routine for him, it will help him keep focus. My son loved that he knew exactly what he was going to do the following day including the exact time he would go to sleep. Never failed.

Susan - posted on 11/06/2009

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Thanks that info is good to know I cetainly do not need him being aggressive if that happens with the reciptal. I will observe closely. Thanks and hope we contiue to chat.

Susan - posted on 11/06/2009

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Is your son highly distactable and has trouble foccussing on things? Are you haveing to remind him to stay on task? Do you find that if his schedule is changed a bit he is highly affected? How are his sleep habbits? Lot of these things are a problem if your son has adhd. Medication can really help if he is put on the right one but it is a lot of tral and error!!!!! You are not alone though!!!!

Mary - posted on 11/06/2009

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Susan, I agree with you on nice to know you aren't the only on going through this. It is very hard at time. You feel alone and you want to just fix your child and take it all away. My son is also on Buspar for Anxiety, these two together work great. He was on risperdal and that made him VERY aggressive. So we took him off it and things have been better. Thats when we started the Buspar. Good Luck to you. This site is a wonderful site for parents needing to talk to others with the samethings in their homes going on.

Susan - posted on 11/06/2009

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I just had my foster son put on concerta a couple of wees ago and had to go to the doctors again as we have noticed some side affects from it such as more aggitation and excessive talking. The doctor is going to try another drug with the concerta which I am hoping will help. Not sure of the name but it is something like recipital or something like that. I believe it is really important to continue to observe behaviours to see what drugs work best. Thanks for your imput!!! It is nice to know that I am not alone in these issues.

Mary - posted on 11/06/2009

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Yes Concerta is Awesome, my son is Aspergurs and ADHD, OCD, and he has been on concerta for 3 years now and believe me it is night and day if they miss a dose. You will have to work very closely with you childs school. I have a great relationship with my sons school. He also goes to counceling every week and they work with him on social skills among other things. We also have a calander that we write out what will be going on that month or that week, structure is a high priority in our house hold. They need that. Hope this helps some.

Donnette - posted on 11/06/2009

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My oldest has ADD. I refer to hom as my "unique child". He is 17 now. It hasn't been easy.
I knew when he was real small that he wasn't like other kids. Going places unfamiliar set off a tantrum. He was a loner type child. He would interact with other kids for only a few minutes. I remember him in pre-school, drawing bats, getting more upset as he drew one after the other. He wouldn't stop. When asked what was wrong, he said they weren't perfect. We learned that he liked the same routine day in day out. He is smart
but disorganized. He has never been able write well. He can tell you but writing gets caught in his elbow. We had him tested the summer before 8th grade. Outside of the school. It confirmed a lot of my fears, that I was told he would grow out of. He hasn't.
I have been a tough mom because I had to. He responded to structure. Yeah, I was lucky that it was only ADD but it is still hard. He did medicines for awhile which seemed to help. They help but he needed to still do the rest. Around 14 he refused to take them anymore. Our life hasn't been a whirlwind of activity because of this. Watch for the triggers and try to avoid them. I know we did things which some for think mean but
it was the only way for him. Our other 2 kids have been raised the same way but they
do not have ADD. I gave myself the BAD MOTHER AWARD everyday. Don't give up.
Remember this- It could be worse, it could be better. This has helped me through alot
with a smile on my face. Find the humor in the days. It is possible.

Michelle - posted on 11/06/2009

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Quoting Maria:

Hi Sami....When a child's behaviors start affecting their performance in school, then it is time for an evaluation by a board cerfified psychiatrist or psychologist. Many children are misdiagnosed which is why it is important to go to a specialist. One test you can try is giving your child a caffeinated beverage. If a child is truly ADHD, then the stimulant will help him to calm down and focus. If that doesn't work then your child is probably not ADHD. Unfortunately, most of the behavioral diagnosis such as ODD or Conduct Disorder is usually related to parenting styles. In which case, taking parenting classes may help. P.S. I am a child/adolescent RN so I have just about seen it all! Hope it hel


ODD has nothing to do with parenting styles these children see the world in black and white there is no gray area.  Yes you do have to change how you parent but this only helps the child at home you also have to train their teachers, caregivers and activity coordinators how to deal with them.  When my son was diagnosed with ODD I was told what I should be doing to fix my parenting the only problem was that everything they were telling me I was already doing therefore my parenting wasn't the issue.  My son was put on both Risperadal and Adderall and to be honest for the first week he was on them he was so different I didn't like him but his teachers aide convinced me to give it another week and by the end of the second week his fun loving personality was showing through his little body just needed to get used to the chemical change and I needed to get used to a calm child which he never was now he is a joy to be around loves everything to do with performing on stage and is the worlds biggest ham.....so we have had 0 zombie like effects you just have to keep trying medications til you get the right one good luck with your search to help your child

Frances - posted on 11/06/2009

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I have 1 child that has ADD & one that is ADHD. They both started out on Strattera & both are now on Concertta. My middle son, with the ADD, felt stupid in school, cried at school & started cheating. He was the first one to be diagnosed & he was in either 3rd or 4th grade. My husband wouldn't hear any talk about it till a Parent/Teacher conference & the Teacher told us what was going on in school, the crying & the cheating. After the mtg, my husband told me to get an appt with the Dr. My youngest son, with ADHD, was diagnosed in Kindergarten. We did move in the middle of that grade & the next Dr. wanted to change his meds but again, my husband wouldn't hear of it. About 1 1/2 years later at a football physical, the Dr. told me that the previous yr the school was about to put my son is Special Ed due to his ADHD. I called my husband crying & finally he said call the Dr back & change the meds. We have seen improvement in both children with both meds but also, we can tell when the meds where off. At home is not the same every night so unfortunately there is not a book to help. We just remind the kids that the meds wore off so they need to keep it under control. We also keep the boys teachers in the loop. It's different every day so what worked yesterday doesn't mean that it will work today. They do need constant reminders tho & get informed whether its on the website of the meds that your child is on or just google ADHD or ODD. Information is your best weapon. Good luck! If you would like someone to talk to or just to vent, email me.

Pamela - posted on 11/06/2009

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I kinda knew when my 5 year old son started to walk at 8 months old, he's a delight.
It took long to diagnosed, it took a team of us (the parents), teachers, doctors to make sure it was A.D.H.D. I was worried at first about my son not fitting in,& medication. One thing for sure I am NOT putting my son on drugs. Get yourself a book from Thom Hartmann, Study up on Hunters vs. Farmers its really an eye opener, Makes me really proud to have a son with A.D.H.D. Really special these kids are!, they shaped/shaping the world we live in today!.

Ruthie - posted on 11/06/2009

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I would encourage you to look into the research on Omega 3 (fish oil). It is proving to help kids and adults who have struggled with ADHD and other issues. It is over the counter in the vitamin and minerals section. If you ever heard the old tales about grandmothers and mothers forcing their children to take cod liver oil......well now we know why. It can make a huge difference for them. I hope it helps you.

Celina - posted on 11/06/2009

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My son is 9, we are having him tested for ADD, he has always had issues since Kindergarten, we thought he was just being a boy, then he had problems with reading and writing, then it was math, I remember always having to repeat my self over and over again, James stand still when you are talking, James stop running ahead etc, again hes just being a kid. He is now in 4th grade, it has got so bad, he forgets to bring homeworks assignments almost every day and when he does sit down and do it he needs supervision, he will get up start kicking a ball around or find some other thing to do,, 1 more missing homework assignments and the teacher will give him detention, I have talked to her about this problem, she has also filled in the questionaire from the doctor. Everyday tasks are an issue, have you brushed your teeth, which he sent back upstairs to do 3 time before he does it. Everyday is a challange, I have cried and I am so stressed out, I have a 1st grader and a 12month old. He has an appointment on tuesday with the doctor, so hopefully we can get him the help he needs. James is a good kid, he is compassionate, loving and very very smart, he just cannot focus, its heartbreaking to see him like this.

Stephanie - posted on 11/06/2009

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My son was diagnose when he was 6 as well he is now 14. The teacher is the one who brought it to my attention. He was having trouble concentrating and was always fidgety. I thought it was just because he was 6 and then we took him to a doctor that specialized in this and that's when we found out. The doctor started him on Strattera and that work up until this past year and then we had to switch to another kind of meds and he is doing great. The Strattera starting making him have really bad mood swings and we were fighting all the time. He would even call himself stupid and he is an A/B student in school. With this new med he is a totally different child.

Maria - posted on 11/06/2009

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Hi Sami....When a child's behaviors start affecting their performance in school, then it is time for an evaluation by a board cerfified psychiatrist or psychologist. Many children are misdiagnosed which is why it is important to go to a specialist. One test you can try is giving your child a caffeinated beverage. If a child is truly ADHD, then the stimulant will help him to calm down and focus. If that doesn't work then your child is probably not ADHD. Unfortunately, most of the behavioral diagnosis such as ODD or Conduct Disorder is usually related to parenting styles. In which case, taking parenting classes may help. P.S. I am a child/adolescent RN so I have just about seen it all! Hope it helps!

Janice - posted on 11/06/2009

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my son is 17 now he was diagnosed when he was 5 .Back then they would tell me not to give him any food or drink with red color.the teachers at school ask me to take him and have him looked at he would run around the class go under her desk be on top of the tables .just would not sit down for more then 2 min. so good luck if the but him on meds ther are a lot out now that work .

Michelle - posted on 11/06/2009

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My son was diagnosed with severe odd and adhd at age 4, this cannot be diagnosed by your regular practitioner it needs to be diagnosed by a psychiatrist. Basically by age two he started to show extremely agressive behavior, and did not act like the other children his age. At first we thought he was simply bored as he is extremely smart so they moved into the 4 year old preschool class when he was the age of 3 this helped for a little while but when he started to get bored again he started to wonder away, and since his preschool is located in the same school as his older siblings he would go and visit all the kids he knew in other classes at that point the school asked me to have him tested for an official diagnosis so I did, as I was at my wits end at home he could not do any activity on his own as he would destroy my house he was constantly on the go we used to joke that he would swing from the chandeliers if we had one. He is now medicated for both the odd and the adhd and is thriving in school, we keep him extremely busy with dance, singing and cheerleading as these are his passions and it helps him to have a structured week. Now when he has down time he can actually relax and watch a movie. Before he was diagnosed they were talking about holding him back in school as he was not able to sit still and concentrate long enough to learn any given class now he is a straight A student and only struggles with reading. The biggest thing if your child has odd is everything has to be black and white every action has to have the same consequence every time.......and unless you are actually giving them a choice to do something always use terms like you need to clean your room now, not can you go clean your room as that gives them the option to say no and with odd they tend to lean toward the opposite of all requests given to them....now this is how my son was I am sure you will hear lots of other descriptions as all kids are different I urge you to consult a specialist because unfortunately untreated these children can feel like they are dumb, or the other children don't want to play with them because they are always in trouble, and those are two things a child does not need for a good self esteem

Charity - posted on 11/06/2009

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Dear Sami,
I have a son that is ADHD now 14. I had him tested when he was 7 and in 2nd grade. He atarted having signs in Kindergarten but it was not till 2nd grade that I was sure that something was going on. Complaints from the teachers that he would not stay still in class, not finishing work, concentration was not there. When I asked if he could possibly have ADD or ADHD the school said they did not want to encourage me to look into it. After more issues I went out looking for a second opinion and he was diagnosed with ADHD needless to say alot of time was wasted because I did not follow my gut! The next two years for my son was and is still a blur for him and he missed out on learning those years and he struggles even more because of that. My son is very smart but has his own twist on all that he takes in and puts out. He was so impulsive that he started to become a danger to himself and leaving him alone in a room by himself for more than five minutes was not an option, eventually he was admitted into the behavioral hospital to get him on the right medicine. For the most part he is doing great now only now as he goes through puberty and getting older there are more obstacles. There is struggles everyday and patience wears thin but we as mothers have to do it for them they deserve that. Follow your gut and you and your child will be fine!!!

Amy - posted on 11/06/2009

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Hi Sami,



Our 9 year old daughter, Elizabeth, was just diagnosed with ADHD & ODD Tuesday. The doctor put her on ritalin and she's taken it two days now. We do not trust the school system, but we're going to try to work with them. We are looking for a child psychologist we can get counseling from who's on our insurance.



We decided to have her evaluated b/c after years of dealing with these issues with her, she is now getting F's on her report cards. It's never affected her grades until now.



I would love to be friends on fb and keep in touch and help each other.



Amy

Kathlene - posted on 11/06/2009

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my oldest son was diagnosed at 16 months with add/adhd, and then at 8 he was diagnosed odd/ bipolar, I had put him on meds only for the bipolar, and he gained so much weight now I got scared about his heart and high blood pressure I took him off his med and I do all natural things. watch the food coloring, exspecially the Red #40, his starch in take and sugar in take you might see a difference it you still have any questions please send me a message thanks

Kat

Stephanie - posted on 11/05/2009

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WELCOME wonderful caregivers, mothers, fathers, siblings, teachers. (We all care, don't we?) You all amaze me with your wisdom, your perseverance, empathy, kindness and motivation! I am absolutely stunned after reading all of your stories, at how you are flexible, positive and firm in your belief and support of your families. I wonder how many people out there really understand what it's like to know that the person next to you is brilliant, strong, though often misunderstood.
I hear many of you chronicling your journey through evaluation, trial and error, sometimes even misguided shame, when others don't recognize the signposts of a disorder. It is unbelievably comforting hearing your voices. Knowing you are out there, feeling the same things, struggling, succeeding. We are all succeeding, in that we haven't given up. We know what we want and are determined to give our loved ones what everyone deserves, a peaceful home, an appropriate, even sometimes outstanding education, self confidence, empathy. At all cost.
As I speak, my son is sleepwalking in and out of bed. I'll admit, that's unusual for him, but nothing really surprises me anymore. He is a constant enigma. A changeling. Brilliant, infuriating, endearing.
If I could pass on a few things I have learned they would be: TRUST YOUR GUT. A parent/teacher knows when something is wrong. Keep searching till things start to add up. All children have the right to an individualized education. Not a cookie cut-out. Keep working and searching until the education dignifies its subject. GET AN EXPERT EVALUATION. Only an expert will understand what your child needs, and offer full support. IE: If your child is on the autism spectrum, see and autism specialist. If you can't afford it, see if there are any research studies you can participate in. We just took part in the Simons Project at Vanderbilt University. They actually paid US for our help, and gave us the most conclusive, helpful evaluation I have ever encountered. My son was originally diagnosed Asperger's, but now has been refined to PDD. THE SCHOOLS CAN AND MUST DO THEIR JOB. If your child's teacher can't redirect your child as well as you do, then he/she is unaware of what works. Get the book FROM EMOTIONS TO ADVOCACY by Pam and Pete Wright of the Wrightslaw website. It is the gold standard to follow for navigating your way through the hell of education.
About medicating, I think we are all of one mind on this issue, fundamentally. If diet works, we'll try it. If it doesn't, then we have to keep trying until something works. The disorders we are talking about here shift on a sliding scale to infinity in both directions. For some diet does work. Others need homeopathy, For others, something stronger is necessary. The important thing is that we move ahead. The important thing is that we don't judge each other. We need each other too much.
I am so glad I have found this forum. I'm starting a parent support group in our school, and I'm sure I'll have many juicy bits to share here. You have all touched my heart. Thank you.

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