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Old 10-29-2005, 11:20 AM
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ADHD

Hi, my name is Becky and I haven't been around in a long time! I'm a sahm of two boys, 9 and 6 yrs old. My youngest is having a hard time in 1st grade and I get the impression his teacher wants me to have him tested for adhd. Does anyone here have this problem with their kids? I found some old posts but they were mainly concerning bipolar and adhd. My son has always been a free spirit (another word for adhd???) He has trouble being still. He's always listening but just not while being still. His pre-school teachers and kindergarten teachers always said he was really smart but just likes to do his own thing-all the while he was listening though. I knew 1st grade was going to be when it would catch up with us! He is stubborn, likes to do thngs his own way and has trouble listening to reason when he thinks he's right. If something interests him, he'll be right there paying attention. If not, don't count on it! He's the baby and I know I've babied him and I think he's really immature for his age. I keep telling myself it's his immaturity and not adhd. He's very energetic, very sweet and loving so he's probably gotten away with a lot. It doesn't help that he thinks he's a comedian and tries to make people laugh. If it's really not his fault and he can't control himself without medicine then I'm going to feel really guilty. We have to tell him stuff over and over again and I admit we end up fussing at him a lot. But if it's just immaturity, then we don't want to have him tested. We tolf his teacher we were going to wait a while but I feel guilty about that too-I would hate to think he's distracting his class constantly. I having been praying and praying for God's guidance. It's just so frustrating. I've been reading about diets and although most things said it doesn't help much, I ordered two books today on adhd kids and diet. Has anyone been through this and have any advice?? Sorry this post is so long-I feel like I'm venting!!! Bear with me please!
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:00 PM
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Hi Becky,

When's your sons bd?? My oldest dd's is in July and when she started 1st grad they had wanted to keep her in Kindergarten because they felt she was immature. I wouldn't agree to it because the way I feel about it kids are supposed to be immature at 6yrs old. They're not supposed to act like little adults, they're kids. I would not have tolerated her being disruptive in class, but she was a social butterfly-she would finish her work and try to help some of the other kids. My dd#2 was basically the same-but her bd's in Oct. so she wasn't 6 until after she started first grade. I had put her in a private kindergarten and then enrolled her in the public school for 1st grade. They wanted to hold her back because of her age, but I had them test her and after the 1st two weeks of school they moved her into the 1st grade. She had the same teacher dd#1 had and I was warned-by the teacher-that dd#2 may have problems keeping up with her older classmates; well no problems there, she finished her work and helped the other kids, just like her sister had-her main problem though was that she liked to talk all the time.

Now, my understanding is that boys are a bit more immature than girls and they really have a problem sitting still for long periods of time; more trouble than girls of the same age. Boys are really taught from birth to be on the go more than girls, even in this day and age. You could have him tested to rule out ADHD, but I can almost guarantee that they will say he has it. The only other option might be considering holding him back a grade if he hasn't learned to concentrate and sit still for longer periods of time. I've never liked the idea of kids on medication unless they really can't function without it, and it's so hard to find medicine that won't just knock a kid out when they diagnose ADHD. Stick to your guns if you think he's just being immature and talk to your son about his behavior and try to get him to understand that he needs to sit still and pay more attention. But if he's getting his work done and getting good/decent grades I wouldn't worry to much about it.

Take care, hope everything works out for him.
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:20 PM
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i also think that he might just be bored. teacher should find hims something to do that interests him. you dont have to madicate your son to make teachers life easier. if this problem does not change in few years you should consider changing teachers or school. some kids just are more active than others. if the grades are fine and he is smart then there is no problem.
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:29 AM
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Becky, you have gotten some good advice so far.

I'm a teacher (I'm "semi-retired" now that I have my kids) and I've seen a lot of teachers pushing for ADHD testing because they don't feel like dealing with active little kids. That said, I know that there are kids out there who absolutely cannot function without medicine. But there are PLENTY who can. There are behavioral techniques that can be learned by the student, parent and teacher to help the student pay better attention and stay on task. It is not easy but it can be done. Medications have side effects and if your child absolutely doesn't NEED them you may wish to avoid that route.

From what you say, your son may be ADHD but he very well may be GIFTED also. A smart, bored child can get into a LOT of trouble at school (and drive a teacher up the wall!) Do work with your son's teacher to make sure he is challenged!
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:45 AM
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My DD1 sounds a lot like your son Becky had a hard time sitting still would fidgit, talked at inapropiate times, if it didn't interest her she wouldn't finish the work on time. She loved school cried because pre-school was only 3 half days, cried because kindergarden was only half days. She is one of the youngest in her class is was 5 yr 4 months when she started kindergarten tested well but considering most of her class was 6 already she was immature.

She is now in 4th grade but at the end of 1st grade we did agree to have the school psycologist test her for ADHD with the knowledge going in that we refuse to medicate her. Her 1st grade teacher has a son with ADHD and had medicated for a year and then took him off the medication because they "lost" their happy funny son. I was/am very involved with her school behavior and school work to help her succeed. The 1st grade teacher had a couple of desk blinders that she would use for a couple of the kids to help them during test taking so they wouldn't be distracted by the other kids. She also would give the kids having trouble settling in a sticker for each subject lession that they sat still, were quiet, etc. then when they filled their sticker page they were able to pick a reward from her box. If they were well behaved all week they would have enough stickers weekly but it normally took my daughter 2 weeks or more to fill the page. The other kids had things they could do as well to be able to pick a reward.

The second grade teacher had difficulting adjusting to teach the class as she was transfered from having taught fifth grade.

I feel she is finally settling into her own skin so to speak she is able to control herself in most situations. The teacher makes a big difference as I was use to getting notes home weekly in 1st & 2nd grade about her behavior so I could reward her at home for getting next number of good weekly reports home, etc.
Now the 3rd grade teacher handled everything in the classroom saying she was a joy to have in the class and would just remind her to settle down. The 3rd grade teacher also used classroom pier pressure to help the kids settle down as they earned checkbook money personally for having homework done on time, doing their classroom chores, etc. as well as having a class checkbook where they could save up enough money to have a "movie" afternoon as reward.

DD1 still has an organization problem but has learned to handle most of the ADHD issues.

Roberta
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:49 AM
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Hello,

You have been given some good things to look into and do. I have been down this road 3 times with my dh and 2 kids. Do work with the teacher to make sure bordom is not the cause. The teachers do push to have kids tested at a high rate and then medicate them. This is not always needed. Gifted children have a high rate of getting into trouble, because of bordom.

My family has all three diagnosed with ADHD plus other disorders to go with the mix. My dh was classic ADHD. Both kids were diagnosed at a young age, therapy, behavior modifications, accommodations, diet, and yes, medication. None of them are OVERMEDICATED to the state of being zoned out or inactive. I am constantly working to decrease the medications and increase the coping/behaviors skills to function in the "normal" world. If they were all medicated to suppress their personalities/energy levels, I would go crazy!

Also, if medication is needed, remember that a child with diabetes would get what they needed to function/live. It is the same with these children and adults.

I could write a book on what I have been through and are still going through as my family grows. There are several good yahoo/msn groups to join for support and advice(that you can take or leave). Total years since first diagnosis was made is 12 years.

If you want to chat or talk or cry or vent, feel free to do so. I am on line everyday, have yahoo and msn messenger.
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Last edited by asp123us; 11-04-2005 at 03:53 AM.
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:27 AM
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Adhd

Hi Becky,

I'm new on these boards, but I've been around online for many years. You've been given lots of good advice already so I'll cut straight to the chase because your mind must be buzzing ;-)

I have ADD, so does my daughter, so does my youngest son. You're going through what I went through several years ago with my own youngest. Here's what you NEED to remember. If your son does NOT have ADD, he will eventually mature, and with good parenting and good teaching, he will achieve his potential in life and his self-esteem, barring other problems, will remain healthy.

The effects of ADD are both broad and deep. If he DOES have ADD, and it is not properly managed, he WILL suffer in one or more ways. He probably will not achieve his potential, and his self-esteem could suffer badly. All of this is well-documented and I'd offer examples from my own family but this is a public forum.

If your son's teacher is suggesting you have your son evaluated, find a qualified pediatrician or child psychiatrist and have him evaluated. Remember, your son's teacher has a basis for comparison. She has taught hundreds of kids of similar ages and maturity levels and certain behaviour patterns DO tend to stand out. If the results are negative, no harm done. Now you know.

If the results are positive, you may choose (and you have that right) not to give medication to your son. If you take that route, be prepared to work very, very hard to help your son, and for a very long time, probably into young adulthood. (You'll have to do that to a significant degree even with medication.)

If you decide to try medication, remember that each dose, even of the longest-acting ones, lasts no longer than 12 hours! It wears off! If your child becomes zoned out or suffers any other negative effect, he's on the wrong dose, the wrong medication (there are many options) or he was misdiagnosed.

If he has ADD and takes the right medication, his personality will BLOSSOM! Having ADD with hyperactivity (my son and I) is like being permanently buzzed on caffeine. It's HORRIBLE!! The medication takes the jittery edge off, calms down your racing thoughts and motor mouth and helps you get control of your impulsive actions. My son, now an articulate, high achieving 13 year old, calls them his "magic pills." (I had him evaluated at the age of 8. He'd gotten into trouble several times that day, as was usual, but this time he came home sobbing. He sobbed in my lap for half an hour, asking over and over why he was so bad all the time, and saying he hated himself and wished he were dead. 8 years old...wishing he was dead. God help me, my heart broke into a million tiny pieces.)

There has been much talk about side-effects of medication for ADD. There are very, very few, in fact. And if you experience side-effects on one type, you simply try another.

The potential side-effects, on his self-esteem, school, work and family life, and his metal health, of unmanaged ADD are infinitely more serious. Ignore them, not at your peril, but at your son's.

My advice would be to wait a couple more years and watch closely. Pay attention to what other teachers say and COMPARE his behaviour to that of other kids his age. (My son was markedly different.) If his behaviour is still drawing comments from teachers (and it may also draw comments from other parents) then have him evaluated. If his behaviour draws negative attention from other KIDS, have him evaluated right away. There is nothing more vulnerable than the self-esteem of the elementary school kid who's "different."

Good luck, and hang in there :-) It's more worth it than you could possibly imagine right now.

KarenM
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:54 AM
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Hi, Becky. My ds (now a second grader) was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of... get this... four. He was absolutely relentless. His pediatrician put him on Concerta. There was a huge difference. He could actually be still for five minutes and focus. However, it didn't feel right from the start and the more I thought about a four year old being drugged the angrier I started to get with our pediatrician. He wasn't on it very long, I quit giving him the medication. I feel so guilty still for risking his long-term health for having agreed with the pediatrician. These drugs are basically new still and there just hasn't been enough time passed to see the long term effects. I've had several daycare people and teachers make comments that I knew were heading in the direction of "maybe you ought to have him tested...". I easily cut them off with the firm statement of "My child is a normal child and I will not medicate him. If it is a problem for you, I will remove my child from your care/class." Because often (mind you I am not stating EVERY case) it is the other person's problem due to thinking every child should behave equally.

I have been told somewhere along the way that there is some sort of training or... I'm not sure what to call it. But you can teach your ADHD child (or any child that needs to practice being more still) small repetitive movements (like gentle toe tapping or finger drumming) that they can do while seated in class. There is a name for it, just don't recall anymore. A teacher had told me about it when met with my resistance to medicating my child.
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Old 11-04-2005, 07:02 AM
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ADHD son

Hi Becky,

WOW! I feel for you as 2 of my 4 children are ADHD and a whole lot more. I think of them as my "alphabet soup kids". LOL!. As the one post suggests, and I agree, get this child to a psychologist for testing. Information is power. Know what you are dealing with. They may not be able to get you all you need to know immediately because he is so young; but it will give you a starting point. I do not agree with wait & see.

I also agree with the posting about how bad these kids will start to feel themselves. My 11 year old wanted to commit suicide at 6!!! I immediately pulled her out of that school and gave her a 2 week time off while I researched other schools in our area. My now 33 year old is so disfunctional that she can hardly take care of herself. I listened to the school, that time, unfortunately.

My 11 year old did quite well, after a couple school changes, until she reached intermediate school (5-6). All measures that I took,---Starting in May BEFORE she started 5th grade: attempted conferences: counselor never returned calls until mid August, then REFUSED to meet with us, principals didn't return phone calls, teachers kept leaving the scheduled meeting to do "something else" since they didn't want to do anything, after a forced meeting with several people, we made a "plan of action" that the teachers did not impliment or follow. It wasn't until January(!!) of the following year that a plan was implimented. But, nothing was really done. I now homeschool and are having great success.

My point is this:

1. Know what your dealing with. Ignorance is not bliss.

2. Ask the teacher to do an ADHD evaluation for the class room. They can get the information they need from the diagnostician at the School administration office. You can take this to a psychologist when you have testing done.

3. In the meantime, Talk with teacher, counselors, etc. See if you need to move him to a different class, maybe with a more experienced, patient, or "whatever" teacher.

4. Document everything, get copies of all testing: who, what where, when, etc. & make copies of test results. Keep originals of everything. NEVER go to a meeting with the original. Take a copy and have them make necessary copies from that. Be sure to ask the psychologist what tests that they would recommend as the child gets older; some tests require more maturity.

5. Keep a sheet that has to whom you gave information to. I would suggest that you even have them sign the sheet stating that you gave them the information. I've had teachers & administraters, etc. come back and say they "didn't know anything".

6. Know what your child's rights are. DO NOT assume that the school will advise you what CAN do. (check the state laws of your state regarding special educational needs) and be sure to let them know that: ANY school that receives Federal funds is legally responsible to educated your child, you will file with the state attorney general, get the ACLU involved (right of child being violated and their not following the federal law), etc. (trust me on this-they DO NOT want to deal with the ACLU Attorneys).

7. There is a Federal law implimented- "no child left behind". Every school that gets federal funds must to do what is necessary to see that a child is educated, no matter what!

8. Almost all plans of action will require behavior modification for the child and the parent. This will probably require counseling. How you react to your child's behavior and how he reacts to YOUR reactions needs to be dealt with. Most people who were the class clowns, were insecure...better to be laughed at than disliked because of behavior.

Sorry that this is so long. But, I do feel passionate about this.

Good luck!

Barbara
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Old 11-04-2005, 10:11 AM
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My granddaught is 12 her mother tried all of the meds for this. She finally settled with Strattera. It works wonders. She is so hyper without it. She couldn't concentrate in school. She was horrible at home. Really she was just bouncing off the walls. She reminded me of Tigger. She now acts normal.
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