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Old 01-22-2018, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Austin
6,912 posts, read 16,168,096 times
Reputation: 8994

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
My experience has been that the school/teachers will not recommend testing (except maybe in the most extreme cases), you have to ask for it; They will test, but not diagnose.
I live in a very good school district. The district pushed for the tests, not me. They did diagnose, as the person testing is a licensed psychologist/psychiatrist for the district. Diagnosed ODD, not a made-up disorder, but a frustrating way of life...
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:07 PM
 
Location: here
24,020 posts, read 27,536,058 times
Reputation: 29533
Quote:
Originally Posted by FalconheadWest View Post
I live in a very good school district. The district pushed for the tests, not me. They did diagnose, as the person testing is a licensed psychologist/psychiatrist for the district. Diagnosed ODD, not a made-up disorder, but a frustrating way of life...
Could just be my district.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:15 PM
 
567 posts, read 994,250 times
Reputation: 1206
The standard test for ADHD is the Cooper Scale. Typically pediatricians are reluctant to diagnose, they will usually refer you to a neurologist or psychiatrist. LOTS of helpful information at additudemag.com and understood.org.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:17 PM
 
27,108 posts, read 18,547,244 times
Reputation: 16027
Quote:
Originally Posted by enTERPRising View Post
I am concerned my child is suffering from this. I've done some research online but still, many questions remain. More, I'd like to share what I'm seeing in my child and learn more about ADD. Please excuse any verbiage I use, as I am writing my observations (it is not my intent to offend anyone).

I used to chalk up a lot of stuff to just "being a boy", as other parents termed it. But, it was suggested by my friend that ADD could be a possibility.

I think what I see most is that my son will ask a question and I'll answer him. Then, a little bit later, he'll ask the same question.
Also, if we give a short list (2-3 tasks he should do in succession), not all get addressed.
The one part I do not understand is that he is laser focused when he wants to: watching TV, playing video games, assembling Legos. That's why it kinda seems like a behavioral judgement call, to me. In other words, doctors can't take a blood sample or swab and test it definitively against anything.

Also, I'm wondering if I had it all along. I was great at playing; but, not working (during my school years). I think the Bugs Bunny/Warner Bros. cartoon, of the boy who constantly daydreamed really resonated with me. But, here is where I don't know where the line is drawn between boredom vs. your mind constantly thinking. As I grew, this presented more with me waking up, immediately coming up with a problem to solve or planning a list of productive things I could do - thus, not going back to sleep [easily]. I try to use my "experience" to talk to him and share my own ideas, suggestions. But, it has not been met with success.

I'm waiting to hear his teacher's feedback.
Then, I'll take him to his pediatrician for a consult.

But, if you are willing to share your experiences and plan of action, I would very much appreciate it. Thank you in advance!
I can't say whether your son has ADD/ADHD or not but I can give you some personal experience as my son was diagnosed with this when he was in kindergarten.

I wouldn't call my son hyper. I'd say he is fidgety. His body, even when he is sitting, reading a book, is constantly moving (tapping his feet, playing with his fingers, humming, etc). His inattention is notorious to all that know him. You literally have to get in his face (not aggressively) to get his attention. He also can not follow more than a two step directive. (Go upstairs and get your shoes) I used to get very angry with him thinking he was being disrespectful. He wasn't. His executive functioning skills are also severely lacking. (In addition to the focus issues, he is terrible at organization and planning. Whatever emotion he is feeling, he is FEELING and EXPRESSING. He struggles keeping an even keel. His processing speed is slow. Usually about 7-10 seconds or so.)

He is now in middle school and he has improved quite a bit but it has been a struggle. You will hear that ADD/ADHD isn't real. That it comes from bad or permissive parenting. That its just an excuse to get your kid on meds. None of this is true. Brain scans show a definitive difference in the way those with ADD/ADHD function from their neurotypical (NT) counterparts.

I would definitely ask your pediatrician for referrals to mental health providers. They are best suited to this type of evaluation. If and when your son receives a diagnosis, educate yourself on it. I can't stress this enough. Once we are educated on why our children are doing something, we can properly help our kids deal with it.

My husband and I resisted putting our son on medicine for four years after his diagnosis. We tried everything out there. Finally, we had exhausted every other option so we tried Concerta. It has been a game changer for our son. The thing that changed my mind was the day he came home crying from school saying, "My brain is SO NOISY. I can't shut it off." Once he went on the medicine, he marveled at his ability to pay attention in school. I'm only sorry I didn't do it sooner. If the kid needed glasses or an antibiotic, I would never hesitate but I gave into the false narratives ignorant people have surrounding ADD/ADHD medications.

Please let me know if I can answer any specific questions you may have. I'm more than happy to help.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:19 PM
 
27,108 posts, read 18,547,244 times
Reputation: 16027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonmam View Post
How old is he?

Honestly, from what you have posted, it doesn't sound like ADHD. It's more like he's just choosing to tune out when he is asked to take care of a few things he doesn't want to do. How is he at staying on task with just one thing?
To me, it sounds like he very well may have it.

Hyperfocusing on preferred behaviors is a classic sign of the disorder.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:21 PM
 
27,108 posts, read 18,547,244 times
Reputation: 16027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
My experience has been that the school/teachers will not recommend testing (except maybe in the most extreme cases), you have to ask for it; They will test, but not diagnose. I expressed concern to our pediatrician, and wasn't really given any advice at all, let alone a diagnosis. After I finally got private testing done and a diagnosis, I went to the pediatrician for meds. There I was given the questionnaire for parents and for teachers. We've used it when going on and off or switching meds, but not to get a diagnosis.

Maybe I didn't ask the right questions, or maybe I wasn't persistent enough. I don't know. I got the most help from other moms who had already been through it.
From what I understand, and as an ardent supporter of teachers, having kids with diagnosed learning disorders in the classroom is a LOT more work. They have IEPs that MUST be adhered to so there is no logical motivator for a teacher to WANT a kid to have a diagnosis.
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Lake Forest Round Rock, Tx
1,010 posts, read 1,513,976 times
Reputation: 762
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
Laser focusing on certain things is a sign of ADHD. My son does the same thing. He's been like that his whole life. He used to stare at the TV, and I couldn't get his attention. Now it is youtube videos. He has trouble focusing on other things like school work. He can watch a succession of short videos, but can't concentrate on a full length movie. He has trouble following multi-step directions.

If you have the money, you might want to pay for private testing. It will be more comprehensive than what the school district would probably do.
I agree with this. I knew there was something not quite right with my son, but my family and others constantly told me it was a discipline issue. I knew it wasn't. I constantly heard comments like, "If he can focus on video games and cartoons, he should be able to focus in school." I later learned that video games and tv is a stimulation for kids with ADD, enabling them to focus.


It started when my son was about 4 years old in daycare. What I expected to be an easy drop off/pick up type situation turned into "meetings in the principals office" once a week type thing for me. It was so frustrating. Thankfully, my son's daycare teacher and director were sympathetic and worked with me.


Kindergarten became a bigger issue. I received emails several times a week. We somehow managed to make it through first grade before the principal suggested holding him back a year. At the time, I was a young, defensive mom just trying to advocate for my son, so I pulled him out of that school and put him in a charter school. His performance improved a bit, but the problems persisted. I finally decided to have him tested, and his pediatrician diagnosed him with ADD - Inattentive type. I went further and paid to have a neuropsychological test, which yielded the same results. I decided against medication and chose, instead, to focus on his learning. I enrolled him at Huntington Learning Center (chose them over Sylvan because they offered one-on-one teaching). I was hesitant about 504 services, but the director at Huntington had a lot of experience attending ARD meetings and offered to help me advocate, so I decided to go ahead with a 504 plan. He was officially placed in SpEd (Special Education)


Middle school became a challenge, so with my son's input, we decided to try medication. It didn't last long. I didn't feel right medicating him, so I committed to establishing a solid rapport with the SpEd team, and the SpEd teachers always looked out for him. I let them know to call me anytime they needed extra reinforcement, and I would always show up at the school within 15 minutes of getting those calls.


In high school, we decided to try medication again. Amazingly, he was made the A/B honor roll for the first time in 10th grade. I never thought I'd see that day. He never had a repeat semester, however, and I often wonder if the medication created a bit of a "placebo effect." Or maybe after all the years of struggling, he'd become disenchanted with learning. Or maybe it was, indeed, a discipline issue. I'll never know, but he ultimately graduated high school..by the skin of his teeth.


His educational career was an ordeal. He tried college for a semester, but it just wasn't for him. Maybe in a few years, he'll be ready.


After speaking to professionals and all the research I'd done for my son, I realized I, myself, probably suffer from Inattentive Type ADD, but it wasn't very common in the 80's. I often read that many people went undiagnosed and merely learned coping mechanisms to get through life. I definitely feel this was me. I performed very well in school, but it took TREMONDOUS effort on my part.


The most important thing you can do is research as much as you can and advocate for your son. It won't always be easy, but a parent is always the best advocate for their child.


Sorry this was a bit lengthy but just wanted to share my experience.
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:54 PM
 
4,602 posts, read 4,405,171 times
Reputation: 10474
OP, although I agree with some people's comments don't listen to anyone here. Go to your pediatrician and let him/her know your thoughts and concerns. See what they say and consider going to a psychologist for a real consult. Not a psychiatrist. Only go to them if you decide meds are a good choice, which they absolutely can be so don't subscribe to the stigma that meds are bad. Consult with professionals and understand that if meds can help your kid feel better about himself or make his life better by regulating whatever needs regulating then you are doing the right thing for him.

Boys are boys but there is out of the norm behavior that can be a number of things, including nothing but a phase. To us it was evident because things were going on so long and across multiple domains (home, school, etc.). And it was going on since pre school. Tons of trouble and "feedback" from teachers, caretakers, other parents, his peers, etc. He is "that kid".

I feel for the people here with a kid with ODD and ADHD. It's a whole different life and parenting experience - a bad one. Those types kids are hard to enjoy. I have only few nice moments here and there but have been denied a normal parenting experience. The marital relationship is very stressed too and our careers suffer as well. It's a sad circumstance when all you are doing is being a caretaker and a frustrated and angry one at that with frayed nerves. And we have so much to give if he would only accept it. We try and try and try...but nope, he prefers to make us miserable, which is one of the only things that gives him enjoyment and a sense of satisfaction. Once he drives one of us to the edge is when he calms down and feels good for a few minutes. I can't imagine anymore how it would feel to derive consistent enjoyment from a kid. We literally dread waking him up in the morning and take turns as to who has to do it.

We went through getting him help early. I encourage you to seek the advice of professionals and if he does need help, get it as early as possible. We did and it's still really bad. It may be time for us to do another assessment and see what else we can do or need to change.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-22-2018, 03:09 PM
 
4,602 posts, read 4,405,171 times
Reputation: 10474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magritte25 View Post
From what I understand, and as an ardent supporter of teachers, having kids with diagnosed learning disorders in the classroom is a LOT more work. They have IEPs that MUST be adhered to so there is no logical motivator for a teacher to WANT a kid to have a diagnosis.
My experience has been that teachers remain mum. I'd guess it's because they are trained to do that since IEP's require resources. OUr kid gave tons of trouble to a teacher and we had almost daily interactions with the teacher about him, oftentimes more than once a day. She finally broke down (as my kid tends to do to people) and pulled us aside and very privately told us some things we should do that the school would need to respond to. Our kid got a lot of extra help and the teacher liked that. The other students did as well.

So I think you are right, there isn't an evident motivator for a teacher to stop a kid from getting help. But there are reasons that they keep quiet. Parents need to actively ask the right questions and advocate. Most don't even know to ask, much less what to ask for and what to do so that the school must act. There are professional advocates who help parents with this type of thing.

But we're getting away from the OP's post. I think she needs to consult with professionals and other parents who have been or going through something similar and understand how to get services. If her kid can benefit from services, or meds, or therapy, or whatever else.
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Old 01-22-2018, 03:14 PM
 
4,602 posts, read 4,405,171 times
Reputation: 10474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.JT View Post
I agree with this. I knew there was something not quite right with my son, but my family and others constantly told me it was a discipline issue. I knew it wasn't. I constantly heard comments like, "If he can focus on video games and cartoons, he should be able to focus in school." I later learned that video games and tv is a stimulation for kids with ADD, enabling them to focus.


It started when my son was about 4 years old in daycare. What I expected to be an easy drop off/pick up type situation turned into "meetings in the principals office" once a week type thing for me. It was so frustrating. Thankfully, my son's daycare teacher and director were sympathetic and worked with me.


Kindergarten became a bigger issue. I received emails several times a week. We somehow managed to make it through first grade before the principal suggested holding him back a year. At the time, I was a young, defensive mom just trying to advocate for my son, so I pulled him out of that school and put him in a charter school. His performance improved a bit, but the problems persisted. I finally decided to have him tested, and his pediatrician diagnosed him with ADD - Inattentive type. I went further and paid to have a neuropsychological test, which yielded the same results. I decided against medication and chose, instead, to focus on his learning. I enrolled him at Huntington Learning Center (chose them over Sylvan because they offered one-on-one teaching). I was hesitant about 504 services, but the director at Huntington had a lot of experience attending ARD meetings and offered to help me advocate, so I decided to go ahead with a 504 plan. He was officially placed in SpEd (Special Education)


Middle school became a challenge, so with my son's input, we decided to try medication. It didn't last long. I didn't feel right medicating him, so I committed to establishing a solid rapport with the SpEd team, and the SpEd teachers always looked out for him. I let them know to call me anytime they needed extra reinforcement, and I would always show up at the school within 15 minutes of getting those calls.


In high school, we decided to try medication again. Amazingly, he was made the A/B honor roll for the first time in 10th grade. I never thought I'd see that day. He never had a repeat semester, however, and I often wonder if the medication created a bit of a "placebo effect." Or maybe after all the years of struggling, he'd become disenchanted with learning. Or maybe it was, indeed, a discipline issue. I'll never know, but he ultimately graduated high school..by the skin of his teeth.


His educational career was an ordeal. He tried college for a semester, but it just wasn't for him. Maybe in a few years, he'll be ready.


After speaking to professionals and all the research I'd done for my son, I realized I, myself, probably suffer from Inattentive Type ADD, but it wasn't very common in the 80's. I often read that many people went undiagnosed and merely learned coping mechanisms to get through life. I definitely feel this was me. I performed very well in school, but it took TREMONDOUS effort on my part.


The most important thing you can do is research as much as you can and advocate for your son. It won't always be easy, but a parent is always the best advocate for their child.


Sorry this was a bit lengthy but just wanted to share my experience.
Our experiences aren't exactly the same but it's easy to tell that Mrs. T knows what she's talking about. And we got our kid baselined with neuropsych testing too. Good thing to do for the present and expecially the future.

I wish you and your kid the best Mrs. T.
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