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Posted by Denise on August 28, 2000 at 00:05:18:

In Reply to: New Stepmom - is this common? posted by Karen on August 15, 2000 at 09:08:14:

: Hi everyone - I hope I can get some insight about ADD and common behaviors. Last year I married a man
: with a 13 y/o son (Rob). Rob was diagnosed with ADD when he was about 5 y/o, and when he was 9, was
: taken off Ritilin. He began having severe troubles in school last year (not doing homework, forgetting about
: assignments/tests, singing and talking to himself in school and he has not made any friends) and his
: grades which had been good the year before, began to plummit. The school called and met with us,
: suggested we go to a psychiatrist. We did and he's back on Ritilin. It has worked amazingly with his
: attention and schoolwork. He made the honor roll by the end of the year. My questions lie with his
: behaviors. He talks to himself constantly - he is an only child and I can understand some talking - but
: his talking and singing is constant - even when others are in the room. The other problem is he is
: socially lagging behind his peers. He doesn't understand nonverbal cues, and if another child doesn't
: want to play/interact with him, he will pester that child until they explode at him. He is also very unco-
: ordinated - from dificulty tying his shoes, to running and tripping over his own feet. My husband says
: these are all forms of the condition. I can accept the fact that he talks to himself as a part of the condition,
: but the fact that he is quite uncoordinated seems like it may be something else. Does any of this sound
: familliar to anyone out there? Your input would be appreciated. Thank you.

Just an opinion:

Is it possible the Ritalin is affecting the coordination?

The uncoordinated part may be normal for his growth. Teenage boys experience growth spurts sometimes at high rates. Especially if he is going to be tall. He is at an age where this is common (puberty). One of my brothers is over six feet tall and in his teens seemed to trip over his own feet. His feet were large in proportion to his height in the beginning. He got involved in sports--basketball, baseball, and track--and it helped his coordination. Do you have a piano. This is great for getting the right and left brain working together. Of course, if you feel there may be more to it, definitely check with a health professional.

As for the singing and talking to himself, this may be his way of comforting himself. Some children rock back and forth and some bite fingernails. Everyone has something that they do to help him/her cope with stress. It may be socially unacceptable and annoying but it may be serving as some sort of soother. Try talking with him about it and ask him how singing and talking to himself makes him feel. When I was a child, I rolled beeds, fabric, masking tape, or dowels between my fingers or hands. I was highly nervous. My parents divorced when I was young and this seemed to help me cope with it. I also have ADD. My sister would yell at me for doing it but my mom just ignored it and loved me anyway.

When my little boy gets nervous, he chews on his shirt sleeve or collar. This signals to me that he is under a lot of stress and there could be a potential "melt-down" where he can become out of control for a period. He does this in his martial arts class and I have to take him out and talk with him. Sometimes he just can't handle any more for the day.

If you try to control something that your step son is doing to comfort himself, it could be detrimental unless there is an alternate method introduced that he or she could turn to for comfort. You might could volunteer your listening ear if there is something he would like to talk about.

Have you thought that the singing might be a way of his showing that he is happy? My five-year-old sings songs when she is happy. She sings at times that aren't appropriate but to her she is just letting out her feelings. Her favorite song is one called, "I Am a Child of God." Other times she makes up her own words and music as she goes. Is it possible that your step-son is that happy and he's showing emotion? Maybe he'll be one that puts his thoughts into words one day and writes beautiful music and poetry. Once again, if you don't have a piano, you might find that investing in one would be a great asset. Amadeus Mozart had ADHD tendencies. So did Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein.

Hope this helps.

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