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Old 08-05-2007, 07:52 AM   #1
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This is Our Story...

It depresses me terribly to go back and rehash all of this. But recent posts have alluded to the cause of my son's difficulties being either poor parenting, abandonment to daycare, a history of chemical abuse, and discord in the house. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see that. Here is our story:

Joseph had a horrible delivery. I'll spare you the details but the end result was a pediatrician telling me that we'd "just have to wait and see how much damage was done" and my OB doc calling me at home to ask if Joseph was having seizures ("they often do, you know, when their oxygen level is that low"). Do you have any idea how that feels when you are a new mother???

In the nursery, he lay there like a limp noodle with roving eye movements (you may not be familiar with the term but it's often seen in cases of brain damage) and the nurses said "he's so good; he never cries". I got mildly hysterical: "He NEVER cries! Has no-one heard this baby cry? No-one has heard this baby cry (they hadn't), he has roving eye movements and you're calling him 'good'." That was when the pediatrician broke it to me that yes, they were, in fact, worried too and that we'd just "have to wait and see".

As another poster said, there are probably thousands of things that cause what is diagnosed today as "ADHD". Oxygen deprivation is one of them. At one time, what my son has would have been called "minimal brain damage". Personally, I prefer telling him what he has is called ADD.

But I know this: it's only by the grace of God that I'm on this board being told that his disorder isn't a disorder and is really a result of my bad parenting. I'm one of the lucky ones. I could just as easily be reading the Cerebral Palsy board instead. There, but for the grace of God, goeth I.

Turns out that I have mild inattentive ADD and that my mother-in-law is severely ADHD so it appears that my son got a "double whammy" - genetics and birth injury.

That's how our story started. What treatments we've tried for him will follow.

 
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:01 AM   #2
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Re: This is Our Story...

Index,

The more I think about it ...

I was a "blue baby." Isn't "blue" the color of a drowning victim?

I don't know if I can but I am half tempted to see if I can't retrieve my birth records. It would be interesting if nothing else.

Bob

 
Old 08-05-2007, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: This is Our Story...

When Joseph was a newborn, I read "How to Raise Your Child's IQ" and followed their suggestions. I made black and white "flashcards" for him (babies see black and white better, you know). Bought black and white toys, played nursery rhymes and classical music. Did sensory integration exercises, played with him, started reading to him at 7 months. Yes, I know neglectful parent, right?

At 18 months, he was having trouble keeping up with the milestones, so we began working with Head Start. By age 4, my reading had progressed to "Your Difficult Child". He coped fairly well with private preschool and kindergarten. He's always been a "good" kid, he's never been oppositional. But he couldn't sit still.

The increased demands of first grade were too much for him. He fell apart. There was no way he could sit still for that long or concentrate for as long as was required of him. ADD? No, oh no. I was one of the enlightened ones who didn't believe in ADD. I tried stricter and stricter parenting and his self-esteem suffered because of it. We also started private tutors at that point which we have continued until this day (He begins 12th grade this month), saw behavior mod specialists, did food elimination diets and had allergy testing. Still a bad parent who can't be bothered with her kid?

By 3rd grade something had to be done. We're not talking "less than satisfactory" grades. We're talking about a child with a prefectly respectable IQ who is failing 3rd grade. He was taken for a complete neuro and psychological exam. His hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, Tourettes Syndrome, and other "soft" neurological signs are "all compatible with anoxia (absence of oxygen) at birth". The name given to this disorder is "ADHD". The joke's on me.

"Okay, okay, ADD may be real, but we refuse to medicate!", said my husband and I. In addition to the above, we worked with an educational specialist. In 4th grade, his self-esteem took a nose-dive, so we began working with a counselor as well. In 5th grade, things were so bad that not only would none of the kids have anything to do with Joseph (they never had), but my younger child began crying that none of HIS friends would come over either because "HE is so weird". Joseph began saying that he'd be "better off dead".

At this point, we decided to give medication a try.

Last edited by index.html; 08-05-2007 at 09:55 AM.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 08:50 AM   #4
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Re: This is Our Story...

Quote:
Originally Posted by addprogrammer View Post
Index,The more I think about it ...
I was a "blue baby." Isn't "blue"....Bob
I don't doubt it for a minute, Bob.

Years ago there was a thread about difficult deliveries and ADD. You'd be shocked by the number who responded that "well, yes, now that I think about it, I did have more trouble when I delivered my ADD child".

When I get cynical and want to entertain a conspirarcy theory, it's not that the pharmaceutical companies are in cahoots about all this. It's that the American College of Obstetricians are. Why do you think the term "minimal brain damage" went out of vogue? If you were cynical, you could say that it implies fault. Fault encourages lawsuits. We can't have that. Let's call it Attention Deficit Disorder instead. Less blame implied.

But that's only when I'm feeling cynical. Otherwise, there really does seem to be a strong genetic link. Maybe it's just when both occur in one individual that the effect is so devastating.

Enough about *you*, let's go back to ***MY*** story. Ha Ha.

Last edited by index.html; 08-05-2007 at 08:57 AM.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 09:09 AM   #5
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Re: This is Our Story...

Because I refused to have any part of "legal speed", the first med we tried for Joseph was Strattera. It took a couple of months to have much effect and there were annoying side effects. But eventually, Strattera calmed my son down enough that other kids could tolerate him. He still was considered "weird", but for the first time in his life, he wasn't sitting alone at the lunch table. For the first time in his life, he was able to introduce someone as "my friend". He even - occasionally - got invited to birthday parties at this point. He no longer talked about wishing he were dead.

About 7th grade, when Joseph was continuing to fail classes despite his IQ and the services of the Special Ed department, I finally abandoned my fear of stimulants. We added Metadate to his regime. It helped. It wasn't a cure but it helped. There weren't so many complaints from teachers that he couldn't even follow simple sequential directions. You know, "put away your book, get out your workbook, and turn to page 20". Unmedicated, he still can't do that at the age of 17. His brain just misfires.

Unfortunately, in 9th grade, he started complaining of a rapid heart beat, especially when exerting himself. News started coming out about heart attacks in stimulant users. Joeseph started refusing to take "retard drugs". We decided it's not worth it. If he flunks out of school (still a definite possibility), we'll figure something out. But, for us, it's not worth his health.

Where are we now? Starting 12th grade. If we were in the States, he'd be on the 5 year plan, but here - IF he doesn't fail anything else - he will have enough credits to graduate. I'm still going to teacher conferences and hearing "He SHOULD be able to concentrate better. He SHOULDN"T have to reminded to stay on task. He just isn't trying." Joseph still says he's a "retard" and that he's "weird", but he doesn't say he'd be better off dead. He has friends.

What can I say? Medication got us over a rough spot. Maybe I'm a bad mother because of it but I'll be darned if I can figure out what I could have done differently. Can you?

Last edited by index.html; 08-05-2007 at 09:52 AM.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 09:32 AM   #6
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Re: This is Our Story...

just for the record, not all people with ADHD had difficulties at birth. it's a nice thought, making it a conspiracy, and i really don't doubt it for a lot of things wrong with the world, but i think it might be a stretch for ADHD. not impossible, though, maybe for some people, but definitely not all. i have to agree though that it's probably got more to do with genetics.

my mom, my older brother, my little brother, and myself all have ADHD. only my little brother had difficulties at birth and through his first 6 months. only my little brother does NOT take medicine for his ADHD because he hated the side effects, and he is very successful in his career and family. my own daughter had low oxygen levels at birth.... she had the cord wrapped twice around her neck, and a couple of times around her body too! she got stuck in the birth canal, her heart rate dropped scary low, and she had to be vacuum suctioned out! she's 3 years old now, and she does exhibit a lot of signs of an ADHD child.... but then so do most 3 year olds, so who knows? i'm not going to worry about it just yet!

index, i don't know what to say. i hope i wasn't one of those implying that ADD is a result of "bad parenting" when i wrote from a teacher's perspective? if it came across that way, i apologize a million times over! i was only saying that a lot of kids are wrongly diagnosed as having ADD when in reality they just don't get disciplined at home. as a teacher, it's can get hard to tell who actually has it and who's parents just like the excuse. i have ADD, i'm certainly not going to blame my parents for it (except for the genetics factor!). again, if it came across that way, i do apologize sincerely!

so how is your son now? you mentioned evilly choosing the chemical babysitter (couldn't tell if that was sarcasm or not?)? did the medicine work for him? the only time i find giving ADHD medication to a child WRONG, is when it is used to control a child who does not have ADHD (as in those kids whose parents won't discipline them). anyway, that's a whole other thread.

Last edited by mcr285; 08-05-2007 at 09:33 AM.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 09:48 AM   #7
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Re: This is Our Story...

Quote:
so how is your son now? you mentioned evilly choosing the chemical babysitter (couldn't tell if that was sarcasm or not?)
Sorry, I was being sarcastic and shouldn't have been. I've reworded that now. I've also written "the rest of the story". If there's anything else in there that is offensive, please let me know. Sometimes, I forget that I'm not allowed to be emotional about all this and my frustration comes out. Apologies.

Goodness, no, I didn't take your comments as being an implication that ADD is a result of bad parenting. There are those who have come right out and said it. And, the moderator is right. They are entitled to their opinon just like I'm entitled to my opinion that my son's ADD is NOT a result of bad parenting.

I wrote out "our story" for a couple of reasons. One so that I can say "this is what I've done, what have I missed?". And two, because I try VERY hard not to think about those early days anymore. It will take me awhile to recover from thinking about it now. I thought if I go ahead and write it out as a new thread, then I can refer to it without having to spell the whole thing out again and again and again.

Thanks for indulging me!

Last edited by index.html; 08-05-2007 at 10:04 AM.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 10:03 AM   #8
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Re: This is Our Story...

shoot.... don't ever apologize for sarcasm! i'm sarcastic all the time... it just doesn't always come across as sarcasm when it's in print... which is probably why i end up offending a lot of people... hadn't thought about that before....

anyway.... i just wasn't sure if you were saying you felt like it was a failing on your part as a parent that you had to resort to medicine, or if you were sarcastically calling it the "chemical babysitter" because so many other people are so against medicating a child with ADHD. the way i see it, you have to do what works for your child, and heck with what anyone else thinks!

Last edited by mcr285; 08-05-2007 at 10:05 AM.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 10:14 AM   #9
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Re: This is Our Story...

mcr285, just for curiosity what were your daughter's APGAR scores? Do you know?

And no, I don't really think that all ADHD is caused by birth trauma. However, it's undoubtably the cause in some cases. And, I do think that when a poor kid gets not only the ADD genes but suffers trauma at birth, watch out!!!

Gosh, I'm being verbose today. I'll try hard to shut up.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 10:21 AM   #10
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Re: This is Our Story...

me again! i was just reading the rest of the story and i'm curious... was the neuro exam in the third grade the last time he saw a neurologist (that's what brain doctors are, right? i get so mixed up these days!)? i'm assuming he did see a neurologist back then.....? it just seems like there's more to it than just ADHD. i mean, ADHD sucks, but what you are describing.... well it just seems like the doctors might have missed something? and you know how much things change overtime, especially in medicine... 10 years ago, they might not have known what to look for? and if he's had the same doctor this whole time, it might be worth seeking another opinion (sometimes doctors will label patients one way, and inspite of other symptoms, they refuse to look past that label!). anyway.... these are just random thoughts that crossed my brain as i was reading your posts.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 10:28 AM   #11
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Re: This is Our Story...

Quote:
Originally Posted by index.html View Post
mcr285, just for curiosity what were your daughter's APGAR scores? Do you know?

And no, I don't really think that all ADHD is caused by birth trauma. However, it's undoubtably the cause in some cases. And, I do think that when a poor kid gets not only the ADD genes but suffers trauma at birth, watch out!!!

Gosh, I'm being verbose today. I'll try hard to shut up.
LOL!!!

hmmmmm....... you know, i have no idea! her birth records are right there in that closet, two feet away.....but my little one is not feeling well and she's asleep on my lap! but now you've got me curious, so i will definitely look it up and let you know!

 
Old 08-05-2007, 12:24 PM   #12
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Re: This is Our Story...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcr285 View Post
was the neuro exam in the third grade the last time he saw a neurologist (that's what brain doctors are, right? i get so mixed up these days!)? i'm assuming he did see a neurologist back then.....?
Yes, that was his last neuro exam. Interestingly, the Tourettes subsided shortly after we started Strattera as did the other "soft" neuro signs. He's also outgrown the "gross motor" hyperactivity. What remains is a kid who fidgets and who cannot, for the life of him, pay attention for long periods of time. So, I'm not sure that ADHD is the wrong diagnosis at this point.

Right now, I will not insist on anything that makes him feel different. He is very sensitive to being made to feel like a "retard". However, he's not far from the age when he should begin advocating for himself. At that point, I'll gladly recommend another neuro exam and happily pay for it.

Personally, I'd love for him to give meds another try. But, I won't insist on that either. Especially when it could be detrimental to his health.

Oh, it occurs to me that I forgot to address a couple of aforementioned factors. When Joseph was born, I cut my hours to 20 per week. I hired an extremely lovely woman to care for him in my absence. When he "fell apart" in first grade, I quit my job. He has never been in a daycare situation.

Chemical influence? Sorry, no. I have never used illegal substances or tobacco. I refrained from any alcohol whatsoever during my pregnancy and didn't take any drugs - prescription or otherwise - while pregnant. I also gave up my beloved Diet Coke while pregnant. It wasn't worth the risk.

mcr285, the last 2 paragraphs have nothing to do with you. They are in response to other theories suggested on the board. I'm not saying they shouldn't be suggested; I'm saying I disagree with them.

Last edited by index.html; 08-05-2007 at 12:40 PM.

 
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