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my son is being tested
October 17, 2005
12:47 pm
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lita
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i need some help in dealing with the fact my son, my baby is being tested tomorrow for ADD. it breaks my heart. in my eyes he is perfect. but i know he has behavioral problems. he is smart has a whip. its just he is easily distracted he cant focus. he is also hyper active. i thought he would grow out of it. but the school has asked me to have him tested. i just really have mixed feelings about it. i dont know if anyone have any feeling on the matter it would be greatly needed advise.

October 17, 2005
1:10 pm
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Anonymous
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Lita,

my daughter was tested and treated for add inattentive type.

I was at wits end cuz she is so bright but could not focus to save her life - but knowing the issues have helped get a better grasp on how to fix it.

you don't have to do anything about it if you don't want to - the school can't force medication.

but have a thorough evaluation done by a qualified doctor. this will include surveys from ALL of his primary caregivers - school, you, his dad, his grandparents, his babysitters, his daycare, anyone who has contact with him really. I had everyone I knew fill out my survey for a wide assesment and good answers.

I know my daughter has issues - and they found that wellbutrin was the best med for her - which is NOT an add med, but the rest weren't working cuz she wasn't hyper, just unfocused.

also - I found other things to be helpful - which have DRAMATICALLY changed her lately.

1) exercise and sunshine. we moved from a second floor city apartment to a townhouse apartment in the country - she has friends in the neighborhood and my parents live next door with their puppy. since we moved, the change is dramatic because she is outside in ALL weather, she is getting down and dirty like a kid should and she is on her bike riding. I can't stress enough how much the exercise will help.

2) food - I have read many articles that point to a higher protein, complex carb diet and getting away from processed foods and snacks. you don't need to have them on a diet, but have whole foods as their primary food source and lots of water to drink...avoiding juices and sports drinks.

3) DHA supplement - really helped my daughter and I found one in the health food store with JUST a high dose of DHA, and it's a small gel cap like vitamin E but smaller and they flavor it with strawberry essence so they don't get fishy burps (take it with a meal for less problems too)...the health food store says that DHA is reall defficient in a child's diet and has alot to do with focus - she said the FDA was trying to find a way to get it put into milk and other common childhood foods since it is so necessary and so lacking in today's food.

hope this helps.

remember, there are plenty of options - you don't need to medicate if you don't want to - but know that there isn't any shame in it and that if it helps him be a better student, he will thrive by having it - remember - if he was diabetic, would you withhold insulin?...explore all your options and make sure you have a good doc to evaluate him.

October 17, 2005
2:35 pm
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overcome
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Lita,

I am sorry that this is weighing on you. But I would like to offer some advice. The first step in treating anything is to identify the problem. Once we are aware of the problem, we can then determine the best course of action to treat it.

ADD is very common today. I know sooo many people that wish they would have identified this problem when most of us were young. Don't be afraid to find out. Instead, go for it and if you find out that is the case, research alternatives, speak to the school counselors, doctors and perhaps other parents that have dealt with this.

ADD is a very treatable condition. You and your son will be fine-he is lucky to have a great mom! I was not on here for a while, but I am back if you need to talk.

October 17, 2005
8:46 pm
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mamabear
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Alicat's adivice is really good. I don't know about the DHA supplement, this is the first I have heard of it and will do some checking on it myself.

I have two boys, one 6 1/2 yo and one 3 1/2 yo. The oldest was diagnosed with ADHD by age 3, and the second is going through the process of being evaluated right now. They both have many of the symptoms, but they are exhibited differently, I was unsure if the second one had it since he is so different from the first. Also, I didn't want to be too quick to label him thinking that I might be biased due to the brother, what if it is just behavior learned from the first one I thought. But now that he is in the process of evaluation, I have come to learn what a broad spectrum this disorder can have.

With the first, I was trying everything I could to let him "grow out of it" but to no avail. I even was naive enough to think that the school didn't need to know. That was a big mistake. You cannot keep the school from finding out. I had such fears of him having a label his whole life. I also was so scared of the medication and what side effects it would have on his growing and developing brain. I did not put him on medication until the end of kindergarten for these reasons. I wish I had now, he is so much improved. It is a drastic change for us. Last year, his teacher didn't have much good to say about him. Every conference was "he's obviously a smart child, he has an amazing vocabulary, but he is disrupting the class. He cannot sit still, he does not participate in the group activities very well." She added that she had called on him several times thinking that he was not paying attention when in fact he was listening and learning, he was just fidgeting. He would sharpen his pencil too many times a day, get a drink, get a kleenex, ect. Doodle all over his papers, chew every thing in sight. They had to tell me that he had chewed a pencil down to about a one inch nub and were afraid that it would damage his insides. I had him in play therapy at that time, and was doing a workwbook of brain based excersises with him to no avail. I tried different discipline techniques, but nothing. He could not write at all, that is very hard for an ADD or ADHD kid to learn, it requires great deal of concentration. Finally I talked to the doctor and we decided that we could take him off the meds if they were not for him. I was so scared that he would turn into a zombie or lose his vivaciousness, curiosity, and sweet personality.

Happily, his meds have helped tremendously without hindering his personality at all. He is himself only a little toned down. He is doing great in school, not one bad word from his teacher. He is writing and even learning to read! I am so glad that we did put him on the meds. He still has a lot of energy, but he is able to participate in school and group activities, and that is what I had hoped for.

Hope this helps even if a little.
Mamabear

October 17, 2005
9:06 pm
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human drama
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Lita,

My son has dyslexia.
I had to fight with the school to recognize the fact that he needed to be in special education classes.
I received a note home in his book bag - not even a personal call.
It read how he wasn't learning and had blank stares on his face.

I took him to Sylvan Learning Center,
Had his vision checked, complete physical, hearing checked, and finally to a neurologist.
We also did the test where they hook up little circles to his head - to rule out seizure disorder.

This was all paid for by us, out of pocket. When the neurologist informed me he expected Dyslexia and the school would do further testing, I sat there speechless. Not knowing what to think.

The school did in fact do every test available including speech.
With this I figured he would be placed in the Special Education program. They failed him.
Of course I fought it. If you were unable to teach him why hold him back twice? What about the emotional and social aspects involved in the equation? So they agreed to place him into the special education program where his following year he obtained 6 months of progress!

I have had to fight for him every step of the way. He is now getting ready to graduate and doing great!

The teachers make all the differance!
Every other year he would end up with a phenominal teacher. ( just how the cards fell)

Allow the testing. It is accurate.
Also Dr. Phil may have info on his website as I have seen this often on his programs.

There is medicine available for this which enhances the focus, as I know quite a few kids with ADD, ADHD - ect.

I would have welcomed a prescription for our son. There is nothing you can do for dyslexia other then find a differant approach of teaching.
No pill, No operation, just accepting and using another approach!

HD

October 17, 2005
9:43 pm
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lita
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thank you all you have given me alot to think about. i dont think iam going to get any sleep tonight. my first son i worked very hard to get him into special classes, and also speech. and counseling. its just that my baby , well i call him that because he is my youngest. he is so smart strait a,s. he has always been the more hyper out of the two, at school he can not focus. he does his work. but when it comes to staying in his seat. he will get up and kick someone and go back to his chair. like nothing happened. he has done that at home to his brother just for no reason stop what he is doing pick on his brother then go back to doing whatever he was doing. he gets mad easy and to quick over things like losing a video game. i guess it is hard for me because a very long time ago. my son was about 2years old. and he was acting up so much at my grandmas house i remember her telling me you need to put him on medication. i was upset , because i thought she was being mean. i guess i just choose to believe he would grow out of it. now i feel guilty. maybe i should of done something a long time ago. thank you all for listening to me. you have given me food for thought . iam so afraid of losing the son i know, he might be a handful but he is my handful. i just dont want my son to turn into a zombie. because his heart is beatiful. i love him so much.

October 17, 2005
9:52 pm
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mamabear
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My doc said that kids that are "zombies" are generally overmedicated. That was one of my main concerns too. I was so happy when we found a medication that helped. (it took only two tries)

Also, I read a book called Dare to Discipline by James Dobson and it helped me come up with some creative solotions for discipline that have helped too.

Don't feel guilty. If there is one thing I have learned (am still learning) it is this: don't be so hard on yourself...you are only human and you are bound to make mistakes. Just try to find a way to learn and grow from your mistakes, and realize that everything happens for a reason. You are trying to do what is best for your son, and that is what matters.

Good luck in your journey.

October 17, 2005
9:52 pm
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human drama
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There are many options for the meds.
You may give it only during school days and off on weekends.
I know some meds work like 12 hours.
Find out your options - there is probally many that you have yet to discover!
HD

October 17, 2005
11:44 pm
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on my way
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It may not be so bad. My oldest son, was tested in elementary school, no one knew why he could not learn. He learned to read only in 4th grad, so it put him behined in Math etc. We took him to a testing center in SF for a few days, all came back normal. But he was in special ed classes for a couple of years. He is 24 and brilliant, we still do not know what was the problem, but it only helped, it didn't hinder. And I also stayed very close to his teachers, and in communication with school staff, and his teachers. I was not always very nice, but sometimes intervention was called for, but otherwise I look back and it was positive for him. And now? He's fine.

It is so hard, maybe more difficult for parents than the children themselves. I gues I advise to just stay on top of everything they want to do as best you can, and trust them at the same time. Hope this helps.

October 18, 2005
9:30 am
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lita,

the kicking part is what concerns me.

it's one thing for a hyper kid to get up and walk around - and some teachers even allow for it - recognizing it and being respectful of parents who don't want to medicate, so they place the kid in the back of the room where he has room to get up, circle an area and return to his desk without disrupting the class.

his behaviour tho - is something else entirely.

so the question is - what is making him frustrated - medicine will only stop the behaviour, but won't stop the reason behind it...talk therapy may be in order.

something is causing him to want to kick, hurt, or generally be destructive. ADHD kids don't usually get aggressive unless there is something else involved.

Your son is probably too SMART to really connect with what is irritating him - he has all this incredible knowledge in his head but nowhere to apply it, no way to articulate it.

here is a perfect example - my best friend has a son - edward - and edward was kicked out of five day cares because of his aggression and his "mouth". He was a smart kid and he was VERY VERY articulate - he could outwit a grown, educated adult. He was a sponge - he soaked up all knowledge. If he asked "why" to something, a simple answer was not enough - he wanted a lengthy discussion into the hows and whys and workings. God bless his mom, cuz I know I couldn't answer many of his questions, nor did I have the patience. And that was the problem - nobody had the patience to stop and TALK WITH this kid - not talk TO him - but talk WITH him. One example of his behaviours was kicking. But if you said kicking someone was not allowed - he would kick until he was MILLIMETERS from hitting you - then tell you he wasn't kicking you cuz he wasn't making contact.

Problems continued into kindergarten and first and second grade - and he was put in a class where other kids like him could function and have stricter disciplines than the other kids. It was more one on one and there was reward and punishments for every action - it was highly regimented. In second grade, they recognized that he was damn smart, just fidgety and frustrated. So they started giving him harder work. In third grade they tested his IQ and he had a spoken verbal vocabulary of a college educated adult and a 10th grade math aptitude. His fine motor skills and social skills where that of a five year old however. So his frustration came from his inability to get along with other kids (because of his intelligence) and his clumsy nature and inability to have the same motor skills - he couldn't zip or tie or button for MANY years. He was so smart, that he was defiant, cuz other kids couldn't be as smart as him - he was all high and mighty.

soooooooo, they took him out of third grade and put him in fourth - in the middle of the year.

and he excelled.

so then in the middle of fourth, they bumped him to fifth....

and he excelled.

and now he is being challenged at his level - he is in all advanced placement classes.

he was smaller than all kids his age. his social skills STILL lacked - but his thirst for knowledge was being satisfied and that in turn made HIM satisfied - which reduced the behaviours.

They had him pegged as a kid who was going to be institutionalized, with oppositional defiant disorder. He had no respect for authority. Truth is, he didn't - not if he felt he was smarter than them - he is better about it now. they also had him on ritalin for a while, and mom only gave him half a dose and only during school days - not on days off or summer - she was okay with his behaviours, knew his triggers and knew how to control him.

find out why he is acting up - what his triggers are - get him into therapy FIRST - so they can test him for all kinds of things.

it may NOT be ADHD - of course, it could be - but something is causing him to act up - I TRULY believe in finding root causes for behaviours, not just medicating it and wanting it to go away.

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