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Old 02-06-2004, 03:55 PM   #1
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Benefits of diagnosis?

My ds is in kindergarten and his teacher is sending home information on ADD and would like to have him evaluated by the state special education board. Here are all of the facts and my questions...

FACTS
1. DS is "daydreaming" in class. However, she is quick to point out that he ALWAYS knows what's going on and is excelling in his schoolwork. She stresses how bright he is and that he does his work well.

She also mentioned that the state is quick to diagnose ADD a lot of times.

2. He is THE youngest in his class and perhaps in the entire kindergarten. He was actually 4 for the first week of school since the deadline is Sept. 1 his birthday is Aug. 28.

3. His teacher reminds him to "pay attention" and has him sit close to her. He rarely disrupts class and gets high marks for class courtesy and participation.

4. He is VERY creative, outgoing, has tons of friends and his preschool teacher actually made the comment that she thought his self-esteem was a bit too high. (yep, she actually said that! when most schools are trying to boost self-esteem, she's concerned that he's over confident UGH!)



QUESTIONS
1. If he is doing well in class and his teacher has already made modifications to help him, why should he be diagnosed at this point? From what I've heard, it's difficult to get an IEP with only an ADD diagnosis. (We've asked her if we should be concerned about other LD problems and she's said No)

So...what's the point? Give him a label?

2. Is he too young? Again, he's the youngest in his class. Shouldn't this be a wait and see scenario? I don't mean wait til college but 1st or 2nd grade?

3. Also, I feel like some of the teachers are trying to make all of the kids fit a mold. It's very Stepford Wives to me. I feel like some of his quirky qualities -- his creative mind, ideas, etc. -- are a part of his character.


Ahhhhh, thanks for letting me vent a bit. I'm not sure what we plan to do. We have a p/t conference next week. Wish me and my sharp tongue luck.

Skatrmom

 
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Old 02-06-2004, 05:22 PM   #2
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?

Doctors are VERY QUICK to diagnose ADD. I think it would be wise for you not to have your son tested/diagnosed. You mentioned he daydreams but always knows whats going on. This is not ADD, with ADD the child misses out on whats going on while daydreaming and this is what causes problems.

As for him needing reminders to be on task and pay attention, well what do you expect? Hes a little kid remember. This is perfectly normal! Plus he is younger than the other kids in his class so it should be expected that he will be a bit more imature than they are.

To me it doesnt sound like he even has ADD, even if he does it is way too early to be diagnosing.
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Old 02-06-2004, 07:05 PM   #3
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?

Thanks so much for your quick input. Since she's brought it to our attention we are trying to look for the any sign/symptom -- I tend to be a bit of an alarmist when it comes to the kids/health and will quickly run to the doctor is it is even remotely warranted.


Thanks again,

Skatrmom

 
Old 02-06-2004, 08:05 PM   #4
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?

I'm still wondering why you think he has ADD? From what youve said he sounds like a normal healthy happy little boy. The only thing you mentioned was "daydreaming" but then you said he is always aware of what is going on, in which case, like I said before, this would not be ADD. Some children have different learning styles, he may stare into space, and appear to be daydreaming, but he as long as he is absorbing what is said this should not be a problem.
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Last edited by * Free ~ Spirit *; 02-06-2004 at 08:09 PM.

 
Old 02-07-2004, 07:02 AM   #5
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?

I REALLY don't think so but his teacher keeps pushing us to get him tested. I am caught between wanting to prove her wrong and simply dismissing her requests (politely of course as my son still has several months of school left).

Over the past couple of weeks she has sent home an ADD diagnostic sheet for us to fill out, requested that I come in to observe (which I did) and yesterday sent home a consent form for us to sign so he can be tested by the state.

Before that - Sept until now - she had only sent home two notes saying he she needed to remind him to pay attention that day. "...today he needed to be reminded to pay attention during reading..." And, at the last pt conference she raved about how well he's doing and that yes, he's a little immature but it gets better as time goes on.

Sorry to rant and rave some more. I really feel blindsided and a bit bullied right now. And all I want is what is best for my little boy.

skatrmom

 
Old 02-07-2004, 05:12 PM   #6
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?

It seems to me that DS is very intelligent and may be daydreaming because he is bored. Ask him, perhaps he may have an opinion on why he doesn't pay attention. From what you have said, I see no reason to believe that he has ADD.

Is he impulsive?
Is he hyperactive or restless or fidgety or 'driven'?
Is he absentminded or forgetful?
Does he have trouble following instructions?
Does he get dsitracted easily?

ADD has a number of symptoms that overlap with those of other conditions. It may be helpful to talk to the teacher and discuss this with her. The teacher may be your best ally, it may be good to sit down with her and discuss the problem thoroughly with her. After all, it is in everyone's best interests to find out exactly what the true situation is (i.e. no problem, boredom, ADD, or something else) and then to deal with it appropriately. 'Misdiagnosing' a condition or missing a diagnosis may make things worse for the teacher, for you, and for DS. Observing him in class may be helpful, don't discount or dismiss that out of hand.

Good luck,
mandevu

 
Old 02-07-2004, 10:06 PM   #7
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?

Your son is young so is bound to show some of the symptoms Mandevu mentioned even if he is not ADD.

Also, ADD is not something that just effects school. It must be present and disabling in at least 2 major life areas. (school/home school/work home/work etc etc)

I suggest that you throw away the questionare (your son is so young so filling this out may create a false positive for ADD)

Most people who are tested for ADD get diagnosed with it, expecially young children, and most don't really have it. So please try to disregaurd what your childs teacher is saying.

Like I said before, your son seems to be a very healthy happy little boy.
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Old 02-08-2004, 01:23 PM   #8
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?

Thanks for the advice. We are headed to conferences with the teacher this week with a lot of questions in hand.

Thanks again....

 
Old 02-08-2004, 05:50 PM   #9
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?

undefinedundefined
Quote:
Originally Posted by skatrmom
I REALLY don't think so but his teacher keeps pushing us to get him tested. I am caught between wanting to prove her wrong and simply dismissing her requests (politely of course as my son still has several months of school left).

Over the past couple of weeks she has sent home an ADD diagnostic sheet for us to fill out, requested that I come in to observe (which I did) and yesterday sent home a consent form for us to sign so he can be tested by the state.

Before that - Sept until now - she had only sent home two notes saying he she needed to remind him to pay attention that day. "...today he needed to be reminded to pay attention during reading..." And, at the last pt conference she raved about how well he's doing and that yes, he's a little immature but it gets better as time goes on.

Sorry to rant and rave some more. I really feel blindsided and a bit bullied right now. And all I want is what is best for my little boy.

skatrmom

 
Old 02-08-2004, 06:19 PM   #10
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?

Dear Skatrmom,

I too was told early on that both of my boys were probably Add. I ignored my oldest son's teachers until he started having sleeping problems and some anxiety when he was around 14. He began having terrible problems with his friends and by the time I finally acknowledged he could possible have ADD, his self esteem was destroyed. It was only because I was required to take some specialized Foster Parenting classes that I learned more about ADD and realized how many symptoms he actually had. By the way, he was a straight A student all through elementary, Jr. High and High School. He was able to compensate but at a higher cost! My son just turned 24, and though we knew somewhat of his difficulties, it wasn't until just recently that he really opened up and described how lonely he was and how traumatic growing up was and now has some behavior that needs to be replaced with more appropriate behavior. My advice would be to talk in depth with your pediatrician. My pediatrician actually suspected real early that we were dealing with ADD. I would want to know so that some of the typical ADD behavior could be treated saving you the grief that comes with a child who is rejected socially and who is lonely. I don't think you have to label your child with any names just yet. But you could really start educating yourself on ADD and help with issues now that could be really difficult as he gets older. I wouldn't even necessarily discuss your findings with the teacher just yet, but be available to be in his classroom often to observe and to help when needed. I wish you the best of luck!

 
Old 02-09-2004, 08:42 AM   #11
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?

I have to agree with klpurles, if he actually is AD, it would be better to find out early on than in as few years when his self-esteem and social skills may be damaged.
It can be very difficult to diagnose ADD in a young child but I would discuss this with his pediatrician and let him make (or not!) a diagnosis rather than letting the school system do it!
Years after my child was diagnosed at age 12, I had teachers from earlier grades telling me that they had suspected it but they never said anything to me at the time! They could have saved my child alot of grief if they had spoken up!

Something else to think about, your child may be too bright for that class. It sounds like he may be tuning the teacher out when the material is not stimulating enough for him.Maybe you could talk to his teaher about testing him to see where he is academically. Schools now offer great programs for gifted kids either within their regular classrooms or in a separate program altogether.
It sounds to me like this maybe more your sons situation than AD, I speak from the experience of having both the ADHD daughter, and the bright but bored son who was placed in a gifted program in first grade.

 
Old 02-09-2004, 03:11 PM   #12
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?

Skatrmom,

I posted my ideas under "Sometimes It's Necessary", but I should have also seconded what PatriciaB said. Your son DOES sound very bright. It isn't uncommon at all for very bright kids to get bored and daydream. Really, there is nothing else for them to do when they "already get it", but the teacher is continuing to explain it to the other kids.

I think her suggestion to have him tested for the "gifted and talented" program (or whatever it's called at his school) is a very good one! Wish I'd said it myself!

 
Old 02-10-2004, 03:38 AM   #13
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?

If he is exceptionally bright, it is more likely that he is gifted (and thus bored, he doesn't HAVE to pay attention, can AFFORD to daydream). He may just not need to look at the teacher to keep up - just because he's not looking doesn't mean he's not with it

Although of course one can be gifted AND have AD/HD!
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Last edited by Redhead23; 02-10-2004 at 03:39 AM.

 
Old 02-26-2004, 12:01 PM   #14
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?/Update

Thanks to all for your input. So much has happened over the past few weeks. Our p/t conference was...........interesting. During the 45 min. meeting his teacher insisted that my ds should be tested for ADHD because of his poor attention skills. So, I posed the following questions:

Q. How is he doing academically?
A. Great! He's a bright little boy! Extremely creative! (then she showed off some of his creative work)

Q. Well how does he rate compared to the other children in the class?
A. He's top of the class behind another little boy (which she named, strange, too much info for me.).

Q. How is he doing socially?
A. Everyone loves him, he's so outgoing and has a lot of friends.

Q. Does he lack confidence in class?
A. Absolutely not.

All of sudden a light bulb went off and she says "hmmm, I wonder if he's gifted! I am taking a course on gifted students and he has many of the same characteristics!"

What makes me so angry about this is that it's almost like she has a different perception of him now. IF he's gifted it's almost like she's more willing to put up with the inattentiveness than if he was diagnosed ADHD. Again, just bugs.

So she sent home a ton of paperwork on gifted kids - a lot of which ds falls into but then she also had the school psch. evaluate him in class. So, the school psych called and proceeded to tell me that he has a "significant" problem paying attention. When I asked for specifics she said he would look around during reading time and there was a time his teacher asked where they were and he didn't know. When I posed the same questions to her as above, she then changed her "diagnosis" a bit and said she really didn't see anything to worry about at this time. Ugh! Everything is so subjective!

Needless to say, my dh and I are not taking this lightly and have brought our ds to a private doctor to be evaluated. We have our last appt. today. Wish us luck and some answers.

skatrmom

 
Old 02-26-2004, 07:27 PM   #15
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Re: Benefits of diagnosis?/Update

I wish you luck. Please keep in mind that most doctors dont know about the traits of different learning styles/personality types. It is very unlikely that they would even check to see if he is gifted before diagnosing and drugging.

If they see the traits/symptoms they almost always will go directly to medications that are related to cocaine and methamphetamine.

Please keep in mind also, that schools now days may be expecting too much of children. Your son is VERY young!! Looking around the class during reading time should be expected!!!
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