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Posted by GAYLE BECKER on April 03, 2000 at 01:02:31:

In Reply to: NO WHERE TO TURN, SON WITH ADHD posted by Debra on March 24, 2000 at 13:54:12:

: To make a long story short, my son was diagnosed with ADHD 3 years ago, he is now 12. To date nothing is working for him. The problems began when he was in preschool. The teachers said he was unruly, his relatives always bought him back home early because he did something wrong. I was in denial for quite some time, I blamed everyone else for treating him unfairly and not really understanding his actions. The catholic Schools saw him as a problem child and suggested medication. I removed him from the Catholic School System, and placed him in public school. The Public Schools saw the same problems but tolerated his behavior a little more (getting out of his seat, bothering the other children, and not doing his class work). With the poor grades I had him tested to see if he needed Special Ed. I was told no, he is general Ed, and with additional resource help (English and Math through an IEP) he would be fine. This did not help, While still in Public School I sought help form his doctor. He now sees a psycologist every two weeks, and a psychiatrist once a month for his meds ( he takes 20mg Ritalin twice a day, he was just increased from 10mg, he started at 5mg.). He sees his Pediatrician only when basic checkups are necessary. I am constantly at his school running interference between my son, the teachers, and his classmates. With all these measures in place he is still exhibiting behavioral and academic problems( he will probably have to repeat the 6th grade). I am lost as to what to do, I have thought about sending him to Military school (where discipline and academics are stressed). The meds don't seem to be working, maybe he does'nt have ADHD after all) However, I'm not sure that Military School is the best place for him, he could be placed in an environment where he cannot follow the stringent rules of the Military and matters may get worst. I think the best case scenerio for my son is a school that deals specifically with ADHD children. Not a school that babies him but takes his illness into consideration, has a trained staff to deal with it andand teaches him how to deal effectively with his studies and mainstream America. ANY SUGGESTIONS RE: ADHD SCHOOLS IN THE NEW YORK CITY SURROUNDING AREA WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

HI DEBRA, MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU. I KNOW THE HELPLESSNESS/HOPELESSNESS OF WANTING TO JUST GIVE UP BECAUSE YOU JUST DON'T HAVE ANY FIGHT LEFT. I WON'T GO INTO A LOT OF DETAIL BUT I'LL JUST SAY THIS; I HAVE A SON WHO HAS ADD. HAVING TO DEAL NOT ONLY WITH HIS TEACHERS BUT WITH HIM SOMETIMES MADE ME WANT TO WALK RIGHT OUT OF THE PICTURE. OF COURSE I DIDN'T. HE IS NOW 21 YEARS OLD AND IS HOLDING DOWN A JOB FOR THE FIRST TIME . HE HAS HAD JOBS BUT LOST THEM FOR SOME REASON OR ANOTHER. HIS SLEEP PATTERNS WERE CRAZY, TO SAY THE LEAST. SOMETIMES HE'D BE AWAKE FOR 2 DAYS AT A TIME ONLY TO SLEEP FOR 24 HOURS AFTER THAT. IT WAS HELL GETTING HIM UP FOR SCHOOL!!! I DID MORE CRYING AT SCHOOL CONFRENCES THAN I DID WHEN HE GOT HIS SHOTS. WE HAD HIM ON RETALIN FOR AWHILE THEN ADERAL, NEITHER OF WHICH SEEMED TO HELP THAT MUCH. WHEN HE TURNED 16, THE DOCTOR PUT HIM ON PAXIL, BECAUSE ADD IS MANAFESTED AS DEPRESSION IN ADULTS. THE PAXIL WORKED FOR AWHILE, AND I FEEL IT WOULD HAVE CONTINUED TO WORK HAD HE TAKEN IT RIGHT. HE RESENTED IT WHEN I REMINDED HIM ABOUT HIS MEDICATION AND OUT OF SPITE, OR , JUST PLAIN HOLDING BACK AND THEN GENUINELY FORGETTING IT NEVER GOT TAKEN. UP UNTIL 3 MONTHS AGO, MY SON SPENT HIS DAYS SLUMPED ON THE COUCH IN FRONT OF THE TV. HE WAS NOT A PLEASENT PERSON TO BE AROUND, HE WAS SOOOOOOOOO DOWN ALL THE TIME. BUT TODAY, MY SON IS A DELIGHT TO BE AROUND. HE IS LIVELY, HUMOROUS, BRIGHT, HELPFUL, THOUGHTFUL, ENERGETIC, CO-OPERITIVE, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FUTURE AS A PLUMPER, HIS OWN CHOICE OF CAREERS, AND OF HIS OWN DOING !!! I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED MY SON VERY DEEPLY, BUT TO BE HONEST, I DIDN'T ALWAYS LIKE HIM. WHAT HELPED MY SON GET AHOLD OF HIS LIFE WON'T NECESSAIRLY WORK FOR YOURS. I SINCERELY HOPE IT DOES. MY SON USED TO HATE TAKING ANYTHING THAT WAS RELATED TO HIS ADD/DEPRESSION. NOW, HE IS TAKING THE RESPONCIBLITY ON HIMSELF. IT HAS MADE SUCH A PROFOUND CHANGE IN HIS LIFE THAT HE WILLINGLY SEES TO HIS OWN DOSES. IT'S VERY SIMPLE AND VERY INEXPENSIVE: IT'S ST. JOHNS WORT. 2 CAPSULES A DAY AND HE IS A NEW PERSON. I'LL BE HONEST, WHEN HE GETS UP IN THE AM, I STEER CLEAR OF HIM AND TRY NOT TO DO OR SAY ANYTHING UNTIL 30 MINUTES AFTER HE TAKES HIS ST. JOHNS WORT. IT IS EASY TO KNOW WHEN IT'S TAKEN EFFECT......HE'S SMILING!!!!!! ANOTHER POSSIBILITY IS THAT YOUR SON COULD ALSO BE BIPOLAR. THIS CONDITION IS OFTEN SEEN WITH ADD/ADHD. BIPOLARISM IS A RELITIVELY NEW FIELD IN CHILDRENS MENTAL HEALTH, BUT THERE IS ONE BOOK JUST RECENTLY OUT CALLED " THE BIPOLAR CHILD " BY DEMETRI F. AND JANIS PAPOLOS. I WENT TO CHECK IT OUT AT THE LIBRARY BUT NOT ONLY WAS THE LOCAL BOOK OUT, ALL OF THE BOOKS IN THE COUNTY WERE OUT !! I WENT HOME AND ORDERED MY OWN COPY THROUGH AMAZON. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO READING IT AS I HAVE HEARD RAVE REVIEWS ABOUT IT. JUST FOR THE RECORD, I AM AN ASSISTENT TEACHER AND HEALTH AIDE AT CHAMPION MINE PRESCHOOL FOR HANDICAPPED CHILDREN. MY AREA OF SPECIALITY IS BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. I ALSO WORK WITH A SEVERLY AUTISTIC 6 YR OLD BOY TWO AFTERNOONS A WEEK. I'M NO EXPERT BUT IT IS WORTH LOOKING INTO. GOD BE WITH YOU. GAYLE BECKER

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