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Old 09-08-2012, 06:29 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 6,200,613 times
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OK...I know I have asked similar questions before on these boards, but I don't think I will find my peace until I find out what exactly is going on with this child.
Now, with the new piece of official information (which we were aware of before, but there was nothing official)...I wonder if I can get some more enlightening answers.

Our son, soon to be 7, first grade, was officialy dx-ed with ADHD this past week (didn't understand exactly if it was ADD or ADHD but she will soon send the report and it will be clarified). The school has said in the past that whatever neurological differences he might have, he is very unlikely to qualify for any services because his academics are very strong.

They are obviously not taking into account the possibility that his academics are very strong because he consistently gets very solid one-on-one tutoring from me at home, not without lots of sweat on my part (and I know a thing or two about education since I am in the business).
When I asked them how they think his academics might have been had I NOT been such a directly involved-in-his-education parent (homeschooling style), the teacher kind of shrugged and she said "well, we'll never know".

That aspect aside, I continue to be tortured by one question, and now I wonder if this may have to do with his ADD condition.

This kid is by far the best in his class in reading. The teacher said it. They have several reading ability groups, he is not only in the top group, but she said he is at the top of the top group; and this is a competitive school, with lots of upper-middle class, "pushy" type parents.

OK. Nice news for the parent, let's congratulate ourselves.

Or not. What I see at home is a child who can read very well but he won't CHOOSE to read. A child who wants me to read to him in the evening but who will not CHOOSE to pick a book himself and immerse himself in the story. It must be assigned - and he kind of goes for a little while, then he's ready to be done. He can't seem to ever get sufficiently excited about anything to just sit there with the book and die to see "what comes next". Yes, I have brought him at home every possible book on every possible topic that he is excited about, including dinosaurs ...which has been almost an obsession for him for years and had attracted suspicions of Aspergers in the past. (The dr. disconfirmed it and said ADD instead).
I brought him books on tornados and all sorts of science (he loves science), on adventures and volcanos, on animals, what have you. I am sick of looking for topics that he is "really interested" in - because I covered them all.

A dearth of books with topics he is "REALLY interested" in is not the problem.

Something else is going on here.

I have noticed he often listens without asking the meaning of words and he has said that he doesn't read because he doesn't understand some words and he gets stuck. I have checked on his comprehension when I read to him and when he reads himself, he appears to be fine.

He is the kind of child that moves and fidgets a lot (not in an athletic way, but rather in an uncoordinated, fidgeting way) and he just can't stay still for too long.

At the end of the day, reading - no matter how exciting - involves sitting physically still; and that's clearly not his line of work.

Could the ADD have to do with this disinclination from picking a book and staying with it long enough to derive pleasure from reading?

This drives me up the wall. Literally.

We are currently debating whether to go the medication route or not. My husband leans towards yes because he's worn out from this boy, I incline towards no...not because I am not even more worn out than he is, but because I feel as if I would be sentencing him to a life of being hooked on meds from such an early age. Pretty terrible thought to have in one's head.

Yet in moments like this, when I see that some things just don't add up, I wonder if the medication would actually bring some visible, significant change - including the desire to be more focused, studious and still. After all, what's the point of being so advanced in reading level if you don't...well...read!!

Any input welcome, I want to hear it all, from all directions. Thank you.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:01 PM
 
13,169 posts, read 20,791,547 times
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I would not even consider medicating unless it was indicated by classroom behavior, which you don't indicate is the case. Why is it so important that he read independently at home? Why can't he have the pleasure of a parent reading to him at night?

The only thing I might suggest is to push up his bedtime by 15-30 minutes, with the understanding that his light can remain on, as long as he chooses to read in bed. Otherwise, back off.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:17 PM
 
5,684 posts, read 8,129,663 times
Reputation: 5949
Maybe he just doesn't like the books he has to chose from? Take him to the store, and let him pick his own books. My son likes to read lego magazines, Diary of a wimpy kid (above his grade level according to the school), pok'emon books.... yet if I give him a book he's not interested in he won't touch it. My advice is take his lead, and let him pick his own books.

One of his favorite books is NatGeo's Angry Birds Space
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:55 PM
 
16,019 posts, read 19,683,915 times
Reputation: 26200
I would be happy that he is being successful in class and reading well during his group and in class time. Some kids just don't read for pleasure.

With a child that has disabilities like his you have to remember to pick your battlegrounds. Anything can be an issue....prioritize.
Put him on the computer instead of making hime read at home, get him onto some children's focused websites, zoo's, discovery chanel, there are so many...where it may be more interactive and there will be video's etc.
Don't focus on his wanting to read for leisure, if he is doing it when required. And if your reading to him is something he loves, do it....spend the time because everything helps and it will be worth it later. You also need to make sure his needs are being met at school...so if they don't have him in special programs, make sure it is because he doesn't need them....He is entitled as a child w/ a disability to many programs. Here is a link...Remember section 504 ADA
Section 504, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Education Reform, prepared by the PEER Project - Wrightslaw

He is entitled to have an IEP...Individual Education Plan....make sure they are doing the right things. If you are in the business, you may already be aware, but sensing your not understanding about the reading, I encourage you to be proactively advocating as needed. Educate yourself, and continue to do so...it is critical for your child...you will always be his best advocate, and teach him how to advocate for himself...as he will do as he gets older.

RE his diagnosis...I am guessing it will be ADHD....because what you're describing about his not being able to sit still is hyperactivity....Also, many children that have ADD/ADHD are also very prone to food, and/or environmental allergies. Make sure he doesn't have tourettes...or food/environmental allergies.

As far as medications...sad to say whether you want your child to take them or not schools push for them...My son had side effects, stomach aches, headaches etc...finally in his early teens he flat out refused...He also argued intelligently, citing having found info about side effects and long term damage from Ritalin...they do have more choices now.
I wish you well...Please continue to do all the things that have worked to date...These children benefit greatly from a steady dependable routine...their little lives can feel so chaotic. They do not outgrow this disability, they may learn to cope. And, the biggest issues for my child was getting picked on...bullied. Thank goodness there is more awareness now...wish it had been there for my son...another story another time. Good luck....find stress relief for yourself...this will be a condition that affects you as a family for many, many years.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,043 posts, read 17,354,477 times
Reputation: 41407
First, reading for pleasure isn't a priority for some children. Or they may read a lot and then choose another focus for a few months or a year (maps, stamps, Lego bricks, crafts) then go back to reading as a major leisure activity for a while.

Second, some children try to avoid doing things when they feel pressure to preform so he may become more interested if you back off for a while.

Last, be sure to model the behavior that you want your children to demonstrate. At our house we would have a quiet reading hour every evening. The TV, radio, computers and phones were turned off and everyone in the house would find something to read. The adults would read the newspaper, magazines or books and the children would read and do their homework or read for pleasure. Many days it would be so nice and peaceful that everyone would continue reading long after the hour was over.

If you are concerned that he is confused by unfamiliar words and isn't interested in lesrning what they are perhaps you can go out of your way to model that behavior. We keep several dictionaries in handy places around the house and always look up new words that we find during our reading. It is enjoyable to share the pronounciation and definition of those words. My husband and I did this long before we had children so it was clear to them that it wasn't "an act" but a typical activity that well educated adults did while reading. It was interesting that sometimes we would go a week or two without needing to look anything up and then may find several unfamiliar words in the same short magazine article. It sounds a little dorky when I write it but it was really pretty natural at our house. When the children were younger we also had a variety of picture dictionaries and elementary level dictionaries around for them to use.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:03 AM
 
4,044 posts, read 6,200,613 times
Reputation: 3835
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazkat9696 View Post
Maybe he just doesn't like the books he has to chose from? Take him to the store, and let him pick his own books. My son likes to read lego magazines, Diary of a wimpy kid (above his grade level according to the school), pok'emon books.... yet if I give him a book he's not interested in he won't touch it. My advice is take his lead, and let him pick his own books.

One of his favorite books is NatGeo's Angry Birds Space
Again, the problem doesn't reside here. He has picked his own books many, many times only to end up having only luke-warm interest in them and having to be "gently proded" to read them and finish them.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:05 AM
 
4,044 posts, read 6,200,613 times
Reputation: 3835
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
I would not even consider medicating unless it was indicated by classroom behavior, which you don't indicate is the case.
Yes, classroom behavior can be a problem too. He is not disruptive to other children, but he is to himself. The teacher reports he needs constant reminders to stay on task, he dazes off, he blurts out answers but he fails to raise the hand when he should often because he dazes off, he has a very disorganized desk, etc.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:09 AM
 
4,044 posts, read 6,200,613 times
Reputation: 3835
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanND View Post
I would be happy that he is being successful in class and reading well during his group and in class time. Some kids just don't read for pleasure.

With a child that has disabilities like his you have to remember to pick your battlegrounds. Anything can be an issue....prioritize.
Put him on the computer instead of making hime read at home, get him onto some children's focused websites, zoo's, discovery chanel, there are so many...where it may be more interactive and there will be video's etc.
Don't focus on his wanting to read for leisure, if he is doing it when required. And if your reading to him is something he loves, do it....spend the time because everything helps and it will be worth it later. You also need to make sure his needs are being met at school...so if they don't have him in special programs, make sure it is because he doesn't need them....He is entitled as a child w/ a disability to many programs. Here is a link...Remember section 504 ADA
Section 504, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Education Reform, prepared by the PEER Project - Wrightslaw

He is entitled to have an IEP...Individual Education Plan....make sure they are doing the right things. If you are in the business, you may already be aware, but sensing your not understanding about the reading, I encourage you to be proactively advocating as needed. Educate yourself, and continue to do so...it is critical for your child...you will always be his best advocate, and teach him how to advocate for himself...as he will do as he gets older.

RE his diagnosis...I am guessing it will be ADHD....because what you're describing about his not being able to sit still is hyperactivity....Also, many children that have ADD/ADHD are also very prone to food, and/or environmental allergies. Make sure he doesn't have tourettes...or food/environmental allergies.

As far as medications...sad to say whether you want your child to take them or not schools push for them...My son had side effects, stomach aches, headaches etc...finally in his early teens he flat out refused...He also argued intelligently, citing having found info about side effects and long term damage from Ritalin...they do have more choices now.
I wish you well...Please continue to do all the things that have worked to date...These children benefit greatly from a steady dependable routine...their little lives can feel so chaotic. They do not outgrow this disability, they may learn to cope. And, the biggest issues for my child was getting picked on...bullied. Thank goodness there is more awareness now...wish it had been there for my son...another story another time. Good luck....find stress relief for yourself...this will be a condition that affects you as a family for many, many years.
The dr. prescribed Focalin. We will do the environmental allergy tests do....and the teacher said we will start looking into the 504 plan, as he is unlikely to qualify for an IEP.

So you guys confirm that his disinclination to read independently has to with the ADHD?
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:11 AM
 
4,044 posts, read 6,200,613 times
Reputation: 3835
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
First, reading for pleasure isn't a priority for some children. Or they may read a lot and then choose another focus for a few months or a year (maps, stamps, Lego bricks, crafts) then go back to reading as a major leisure activity for a while.

Second, some children try to avoid doing things when they feel pressure to preform so he may become more interested if you back off for a while.

Last, be sure to model the behavior that you want your children to demonstrate. At our house we would have a quiet reading hour every evening. The TV, radio, computers and phones were turned off and everyone in the house would find something to read. The adults would read the newspaper, magazines or books and the children would read and do their homework or read for pleasure. Many days it would be so nice and peaceful that everyone would continue reading long after the hour was over.

If you are concerned that he is confused by unfamiliar words and isn't interested in lesrning what they are perhaps you can go out of your way to model that behavior. We keep several dictionaries in handy places around the house and always look up new words that we find during our reading. It is enjoyable to share the pronounciation and definition of those words. My husband and I did this long before we had children so it was clear to them that it wasn't "an act" but a typical activity that well educated adults did while reading. It was interesting that sometimes we would go a week or two without needing to look anything up and then may find several unfamiliar words in the same short magazine article. It sounds a little dorky when I write it but it was really pretty natural at our house. When the children were younger we also had a variety of picture dictionaries and elementary level dictionaries around for them to use.

I have often modeled that behavior when I read to him - we would look words up together; but he says he still doesn't know how to use a dictionary.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:16 AM
 
4,044 posts, read 6,200,613 times
Reputation: 3835
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
I would not even consider medicating unless it was indicated by classroom behavior, which you don't indicate is the case. Why is it so important that he read independently at home? Why can't he have the pleasure of a parent reading to him at night?

The only thing I might suggest is to push up his bedtime by 15-30 minutes, with the understanding that his light can remain on, as long as he chooses to read in bed. Otherwise, back off.
Why? Because a parent can only read to you so much. Because a parent nowadays is overwhelmed with so many other responsibilities (well, at least the kind of parents we are...we both have heavy, professional careers)...and because a parent cannot read the world to you.

There is A WORDL to read about out there and in my experience, children who do not become voracious, curious readers, may still end up doing a good job in school and snatch some degrees from various higher ed institutions, but they will NEVER, EVER end up truly educated individuals.

This is why.
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