I am so upset because my seven year old sons school is telling me he has signs of ADHD. He is a bright and smart child,but day dreams and does not finish his classroom work. When he has home work he never has any problems completing it nor does he day dream at home. When he is at school he is so different and it is causing him to be labeled as a troubled child. Last night I had a meeting with his teacher,principal and they told me I should take him to a Doctor to get help. They also told me they would send jouranls of what they see with him. I am hurt by the fact that instead of looking at other options of what may be wrong they want to me take him to see a doctor. As his mom I don't see anything wrong but being a normal little boy.
This brings back memories. My daughter is almost 11 and is in 5th grade. She had a hard time in kindergarden. She always wanted to play in school and yes, she was very "hyper". We moved and she had to start a new school in the 1st grade. Teachers sent home notes, blah, blah, blah. I pretty much ignored them and just talked to my daughter about the importance of school, no horse playing, and got her in extra after school functions. Then second grade came and all hell broke loose. Her test scores were very low, getting in trouble in class, and was in the office almost everyday. I was called in for a meeting with the teacher, principal, social worker and a "special reading" teacher. They said "we feel she has ADHD". And told me to take her to her doctor and fill out all these forms. Her doctor agreed that it was ADHD, and gave her a low dose of ritalin. I did this because I believe it was the right thing to do. I had the doctor, teachers, social workers all telling me that this is what my daughter needed. My daughter took one pill every morning. The next thing I know, the teacher is sending home more notes saying that "she is hyper and not focusing after lunch, maybe she needs another dose then" crap. So we went back to the doctor and she put my daughter on a "LA" which is time released. Sure enough my daughter was throwing up and was a zombie. Plus it didn't help her grades. I was sick of it and took her off the pills at the end of the school year. By this time more studies came out about these types of meds. Heart attacks, stroke, turning to other street drugs in teen years, so on and so on. Then in 4th grade, right away, the teacher was saying she "had focus" problems. The state test showed she was way behind, a 2nd grader. They wanted to put her back in 3rd grade. I threw a fit. I said, NO MEDS, and your not placing her back in 3rd grade. I felt like I was being shoved in a corner, again. I got so sick of this school telling me this all the time!! Yes, my daughter was way behind in her studies, she couldn't grasp the information, but I also found out she was being bullied, which I know played a big part in this. Anyways, I did some research and found Sylvan, (a tutor school) Told them about her low selfesteem, her acting out in school and the push for meds. They tested her and found she was indeed at 2nd grade level and lower in reading and math. We enrolled her, 4 hrs week, and changed homework habits at home. It was the best thing I did. Each marking peroid her grades came up. And the end of the school year she got B's and C's on her report card, her self esteem rose up so much my daughter actually smiled all the time!! The Sylvan center re-test at the end and she was at the 4th grade level. She jumped two grades of knowledge in 9 months! She is having a hard time in 5th grade so we will be putting her back in Sylvan. She is in counceling. We are dealing with the bully problem as well. Seems she has outgrown the "hyperness" but does struggle with focusing. I have great tips for that here at home, fun things to do.
Im no doctor. Every parent has to make their own decisions. I chose to put my child on meds but then I decided it wasn't best for her. One thing that I did learn in this mess is every child is different, they all learn in their own ways. Plus other issues maybe causing problems too. At that time I got remarried, new home, step son, we moved, and she was being picked on in school too. I think it all played a part. Good luck to you. I know it's hard. Do your research, talk to your child.
what are the tips you have to keep your child focused at home? I have an 8 year old who gets good grades and is not behind, but it takes him so long to accomplish just about anything because he gets so distracted. He can do anything he put his mind to and of course if it is his priority he will do it quickly, but my frustrations level is so high. Any tips are appreciated.
Yes, I was told some great tips from our tutor center. First really think about what your child enjoys. Then put a twist to it, that would require focus skills and patience. Somethings can be done at home or out and about.
My daughter loves to cook/bake. Here is what I do...All kids love brownies. I get the box out of the pantry and ask her if she would like to bake them, all by herself! This gets her moviated and I have never seen a kid turn their noses up to brownies! This is where the brain gets exercise, we dont realize this but it is exercise. She has to read the box, figure out the size of the pan all the ingredients. Then she has to get everything out. I sit back and watch. I don't like her to handle anything hot or the oven part. She measures, stirs, cracks the eggs, set the timer..Everything...This does work. She is quiet, makes her focus on a task, gets her reading, and even doing math...Then when the brownies are done, they are the reward!! In the summer my husband washes his mortorcycle in the driveway. I have taken advantage of this too. She has to focus on the little parts of the motorcycle that need to get washed, rinsed and dried...My husband then asks her if she wants to go for a ride, that would be the reward in itself but she is too afraid..lol...She enjoyed it so much, she washes her bike the same way with such detail...We have "mall day" too..I take her into the stores, to the clearance rack and we figure out what 50% off is...After we do the math, then decide if it's a good deal, sometimes we buy it, sometimes we don't.. I let her decide if its a good buy...These are things most girls would like. Now if you have a boy..If he likes legos? Most boys do...Buy some that has pictures on the box or brochue inside that shows the great things that could be built. Something that would challenge them, but not too tuff. Sit down with them, help alittle to get them going then sit back...When done the finished project is the reward, put it out where everyone could see it...Take anything and turn it into a "focus" project. Its so easy to do...Not only are you spending quality time with them, they are working the brain to focus, read and working math problems. Christmas is coming and they sell the gingerbread houses..Now this is a fun project..A little messy and time consuming..But the kids love it..
In order for this to work, you have to let the kids do it...You can help but can't do it for them..And no project will be perfect..Never point out their flaws...We had to eat lumpy brownies, but I never said anything bad to her about it..Cleaning their room, chores don't work...They are not fun..Im at the point now I ask my daughter questions while she is doing one of these task..This teaches her brain to "multi-task"..No video games, computers either...But if you want to take apart your computer while your child is watching, then have him/her put it back togeather, that would work!..LOL..This will help with focusing and memory skills...
Good luck to ya..Need ideas or help, let me know...
Catgirl, your story is just one example of why alot of people such as myself feel ADD and ADHD are not biological diseases but rather differences/difficulties that need to be addressed but no necessarily that drugs are what is best. And with all the risks drugs have, alternatives should be first line and drugs last if all fails IMHO.
This view is not going to provide massive profits for psychiatrists or drug co's, that's why we are always being told it is a neurological or brain problem when in fact there is still no conclusive evidence of this. This doesn't mean the drugs don't work because drugs do impart certain effects on most people(tranqs calm, stimulants sharpen, etc.).
In fact, I read somewhere that many psychiatric disorders that have physical causes should not be treated as such aka thyroid can cause psychiatric symptoms but is endocrine disorder and should be treated in that realm, not by a psychiatrist. However, psychiatry is pushing into everything because of the potential of profits.
I'm so glad to here of a mother who stood up to the mainstream and tried an alternative and that it worked. BRAVO!
Mamaof3boys, don't feel pressured to do anything you don't want to. Last time I checked, we live in a democracy and there is no law that demands you give your son anything that might be unhealthy for him. There is tons of literature on the ill-health effects of stimulants and the fact ADD and ADHD is still only theory in the biological sense gives you every right to explore alternatives like Catgirl did. Stand up and make no bones about this issue, they can't force this, threaten to sue or go to school board with evidence of dangers of stimulants and the unproven chemical imbalance theory, lack of approved and definative diagnostic biological tests for ADD if they try anything funny.
The Sylvan idea Catgirl came up with is excellent....my nephew had the same thing happen and the tutoring really did make a difference.
It's no doubt costly but between doctor visits and prescriptions, you still pay going the drug route.
can I just say that I have a hard time swallowing teaching professionals diagnosing our children. Yes, I am sure they get frustrated and think they have seen it all, but in the end they are not dr's. Too many of our children are getting treated based on what the teachers are telling us.
There has got to be an alternative way to re-direct thinking and have behavior modification.
Just another piece of advice that I have learned...
There is a fine line between ADHD and being a genius..Some kids act out in school, don't finish work, etc, because they are bored...That is something else to think about...
Now, I know my daughter has ADHD, and as I said in other post, I sought out different treatment..Like any other parent, Im learning as I go...My daughter has a hard time with school work (book work) but I tell you one thing, she can trouble shoot and fix my computer..Not software, hardware..How she can do this, I dunno...Started when she was three years old...
Her father, and a few others on his side of the family have ADD/ADHD. They all tested at genius level..Went on to college and got Masters in Chemical/Mechincal Engineering. I know this condition doesn't mean anything...She will still excell in life!! Don't let the teachers get to you, they don't have a Ph.D in medicine...
Thanks Jennita, sounds like we are on the same page with this topic...
Last edited by CatGirl1975; 10-23-2007 at 05:12 PM.
For what it is worth, my son was MIS-DIAGNOSED with ADD. To make a really long story short, we delt with issues from pre-school. My son, has the ability to be very smart, and has done very well in school - WHEN HE COULD GET HIS WORK DONE. It is confusing to say the least. But we went thru doctors, and testing and everything except Kenedy Krieger Institute. There are a host of learning disorders out there. My son has executive disfunction with performance anxiety. The way he processes information is very different, he has trouble transitioning, multi tasking, focusing ect.... and was just freezing up in public school when the anxiety kicked in. Again - long story short, we are fighting the public school system, 504 program, IEP denied - I could go on, we put him in a private school for kids with learning differences. WOW - all the difference in the world. In short, the public school ( at least in MD ) will actually lie about Special Ed abilities, they will tell you they can teach your child when in fact they cannot. My son has a very high IQ, and the ability to do well, in public school - they were passing him ok, but he would almost never fininsh his work, and home work - frustration beyond belief. I strongly recommend total IQ - education tests outside the school, and having a certified learning differences specialist test outside the school. I also believe - because we did this when he was mis-diagnosed, to treating the add with medication, carefully monitored. My sons conditiion did not improve so we looked farther. We did a lot, to get where we are. <removed> This is a serious topic with life changing consequences. Good Luck.
Last edited by mod-anon; 10-23-2007 at 09:56 PM.
Reason: peer sharing only
is it possible he is just really bored? maybe he is too smart for his classes? is his teacher one who loves to give out busy work all day? or is he getting enough sleep at night? are you sure? what is his diet like? perhaps he doesn't have ADD, but is allergic to something he is eating (my daughter can not tolerate certain sugary foods... they turn her into a space cadet!).
there are tons of possibilities as to why he's not doing well in school. it wouldn't hurt to talk to a doctor. explain your concerns and the schools concerns (have his teacher write a letter to the doctor explaining the concerns they have with your son), and work WITH your doctor to help your son. don't make any decisions without thoroughly researching it all first, and don't let the doctor bully you into anything either. and if you have to, stand directly in front of the door to the exam room so that the doctor will have to stay in the room and listen to your concerns, instead of rushing off to his next triple-booked appointment! good luck with it all.... let us know what happens!
Remember, having add or some other learning difference is not necessarily a bad thing. Most children with a learning difference are gifted academically or in some other way. Once you have your child properly diagnosed you can begin to take the appropriate steps to teach them, even if medication is necessary. There are many types of learning differences, don't let anyone other than a qualified Doctor and professionals in the field of learning differences make those decisions. From what I have found, the public school system is the last place to turn for answers. Our frustraition and years of difficulty dramatically decreased with the proper diagnosis and when we changed my sons school. <removed>
Last edited by mod-anon; 10-24-2007 at 12:52 PM.
Reason: do not instruct members to do outside searches
Wow, catgirl, that's fantastic what your daughter can do! My own children have always been like that too, I'm not sure if I'd even have a computer working if it wasn't for either, although my son is the computer whiz of the two. He is studying computer programming, he built me the computer I have now(better and faster than most on the market and for a bit less than 400 dollars! I have high speed, dvd burner, the works. He has his computer programming certificate but wants to teach it, so he's currently catching up with the drival of general ed.
My daughter is will be working on a masters in mathmatics next fall as she is getting her BA this spring. Both these kids of mine did have some problems in school, ironic, yes, but you already know this firsthand!
So school problems are not such a huge deal but they make it into one I suspect just to get these bright kids on drugs!
That is wonderful about your children!! You must be so proud...That is a great success story...
I have been saying this for years...I don't want my daughter "labeled" with ADHD her whole life...I do talk about it on this tread, but I don't talk to her about it..I don't use this as an excuse..If she gets in trouble in school, home or her report card is not up to par, I don't tell her or the teachers, "it's her ADHD"..No I got her into a tutoring center (which you know..lol) Her self esteem is low, I don't say "ohh it's just the ADHD" I get her involved in things that would boost that up!!!
Kids have enough time growing up...She is at that age where girls are forming "clicks", she is turning into a young woman, she is finding herself and school work is getting harder..I know when she was on her meds word got around school..Kids were shunning her because they thought she was "different" because she had to take pills..I didn't want her casted out that way...
Both my kids had school problems, but I forgot to add my son was the one who especially had problems in school in fact he would most definately, according to the criteria for ADHD, would have been diagnosed with it if it wasn't for the fact he was in grade school during the 1980's, before the "decade of the brain" 1990's.
I got used to the "intelligent but doesn't work to abilities" or "disruptive in class" or the won't sit still type notes on the report cards and during teacher conferences.
I really had to talk to him about how hard the teacher had it to take care of so many kids at once and that he was making it harder and that was very mean of him. He never was a mean kid so I guess that got him to at least try to behave a bit better but still he was a handful. And his grades barely got him through high school; although I always encourged good grades, I never pressured, only telling him school was key to a good life, a good future so do the best he can, even if that meant barely passing so be it.
Of course, that behavior was outgrown eventually but I guarentee if it had been the '90's or present day, we would have been pressured to put him on drugs. He didn't end up a drug addict or in jail, BTW, which is one of the scare tactics used by psychiatry today of unmedicated ADHD.
He is still behind compared to his sister who is younger. But, to use an example from that simple children's tale, the tortoise got there, so will he.
As far as your daughters self esteem, I guess the ugly truth is that no matter what we do, how good we feel about ourselves, there will always be some <idiot> who will make us feel bad about ourselves. We just have to learn not to take others opinions as fact or judgement but do our best and be proud no matter what.
It's been wonderful to talk to you Catgirl, good future wishes to your daughter from me, ok?
Last edited by mod-anon; 10-28-2007 at 12:25 AM.
Reason: watch your language on the Boards.
It's hard for me to give my child a med for ADHD..Well I should say ADD, she has outgrown the hyperness. Which I don't know of any toddler or young child that doesn't have sooooo much energy..Now if she had some major health issue that could be seen or felt, I would be the first one in line getting her the meds to cure or to ease the pain...When we started her ADD meds, her doctor drew blood and had us and her teacher fill out a form..That was it...And normal blood work will not tell you if it's ADD, thats impossible..So all we had to go on was a stupid piece of paper that myself and her young teacher filled out..Im sorry, that is not enough evidence for me...
May I also add that when this was going on, that teacher offered extra help before school...I paid her $20/hr to tutor on school grounds...Later I found out that was illegal..Boy, I was stupid then, but I have come a long way! I was so stressed out...I was doing everything I was told by the school, but I didn't stop and think first...