15 answers

Son with ADD

Hello,

I need some advice from parents with kids that have been diagnosed with ADD. Our son is 7. He is a very smart boy and loves to talk. His problem is he can't focus for very long and it gets worse when there is to much going on around him like in his classroom. When he gets tested one on one he usually gets very good grades. If he has to take the test in his classroom he might as well not take it. His teacher is great and gives him alot of extra help but she has 25 other kids. We are considering putting him in private school. I wanted to get some input from parents that have kids with ADD and what they did that helped them. We tried medication but that was the scariest thing we ever did, so that is not an option. He does have an IEP but he still has to take tests in the classroom.

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The scariest thing I can conceive of is making my kids go through the same thing I did as a child. Low self-esteem from being constantly told to try harder, getting to the point where it wasn't if you would fail but when you would fail. That is the life of an unmedicated child with ADHD.

I am sorry but I am on meds, my kids are on meds, the oldest being 23 and none of us have suffered because of the meds. No, suffering was my childhood and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

I was 38 when I first went on Adderall. I was scared it would change my personality. It changed nothing except my ability to focus on the mundane.

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The scariest thing I can conceive of is making my kids go through the same thing I did as a child. Low self-esteem from being constantly told to try harder, getting to the point where it wasn't if you would fail but when you would fail. That is the life of an unmedicated child with ADHD.

I am sorry but I am on meds, my kids are on meds, the oldest being 23 and none of us have suffered because of the meds. No, suffering was my childhood and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

I was 38 when I first went on Adderall. I was scared it would change my personality. It changed nothing except my ability to focus on the mundane.

6 moms found this helpful

The students I have in public school often have it listed as part of their IEP that they need to take their tests and quizzes in a different setting with fewer students in the room. I send them to a designated room that has qualified teachers there who administer and monitor students during tests and quizzes. Students with IEPs can also go there to get one on one help during class if they are overwhelmed by a large group setting. Your son's school should be working with you on this.

I have also taught in a Catholic school. It was wonderful, and classes were small, but they didn't have the resources to send students to work with students one on one. The particular school where I taught was geared more toward high-achieving students who did not need IEPs. This school did not work well with students who needed additional support. **I do realize students with IEPs can be very high-achieving. I have quite a few students in my classes right now who are doing very well. :)

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I hate to sound like I'm pushing medication, but how many did you try? It really can take some trial and error to find the right one. I just urge you not to rule that out because of one bad experience, if that's all it has been. Medication can make a tremendous difference when you find the right match.

That said, we're also in early stages of getting our son treated with neurofeedback. ADDitude magazine did an article recently about it if you want to track down more info. It's about a 50/50 shot of working and is expensive, but if it works, the results can be dramatic. We're hoping to decrease our son's medication by trying this treatment (he's too extreme to ever go off medication).

I do recommend sticking it out at public school. They're better equipped to deal with kids with special needs. Our son was at a private preschool and when his ADHD symptoms became apparent, they just kicked him out. A parent complained about him and that was that. Private schools can drop your child in a second, leaving you scrambling for alternatives. Public schools can't do that.

I also agree with others about pursuing an IEP or 504 plan. Just contact the district psychologist's office and request the formal evaluation. They're required to do this under law if you request it. It can make things much easier for your son with test-taking and other situations for which he may need help.

Good luck!

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Hello,

All schools are responsible for providing an IEP (Individualized Education Program) to assist students that face challenges ranging from

-learning disabilities
•attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
•emotional disorders
•cognitive challenges
•autism
•hearing impairment
•visual impairment
•speech or language impairment
•developmental delay

check out the link....there is support from our schools that your son can receive to help him be successful in his current school environment. You just get to be the awesome advocate for him!

http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/learning/iep.html#

S.

3 moms found this helpful

My daughter who is 8 has ADD as well. Was diagnosed with it when she was 5. We fought the medication route for a long time but after doing a lot of research we gave it a shot. Let me tell you that for us, it was the right thing to do. I'll share something that the doctor had explained to me. (not just by one but by two) There was a study done on 3 groups of kids that were all diagnosed with ADD. They were divided into three groups, one that did just behavior modification, another did just meds and the third did both. After several months, I think like a year, they reevaluated the groups to see which had the most improvement. The result showed that the group that did both improved the most. If you think about it, it makes sense because in order for the behavior modification to work, you have to be consistent with it and everyone in your childs life has to be on the same page at all times. Doing on medication can only help so much, it's not a cure all. Now with any other thing, trying meds is a trial and error type of thing. Sometimes you have to try several different ones until you find the right one. They work different for each child. Not trying to push meds on you, just explaining what we did. For us, we saw a huge improvement. She went from a level reading 1 to a level 4 within a month after being on the meds. Her grades improved dramatically. She still has issues but she is able to focus so much better. She isn't as easily distracted as she once was. We try to be as consistent in everything with her as much as possible. Redirect her when needed, try not to overload her with things and give her plenty of time and directions as needed. We got lucky in the fact that she is in an excellent school, a public school in fact. It's a small school district but they are well equipped with all the resources required. If the school your son is in isn't helping as they should or are unable to do that, then give your son a chance in a smaller school where they might be able to offer more one on one. Again, the only advice I can give outside of medicine is just to provide stability, consistency with him, maybe try counseling as an outlet for him. Good luck!!

Added - I just wanted to back up what everyone else has said about an IEP. My daughter has one as well and that is why she has soo many resources available to her. It helps create a plan of action for the whole team of teachers, counselors, etc to work on with the child. It's a huge help. So I would definitely check that out. Please check what the private school has to offer a child with ADD and compare that with what the public school has. You may find out as others have said, that they may not have the resources available.

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You have been given some top-notch advice already.

Can you please elaborate on what was so scary (the scariest thing) about trying medications? Kids who truly have ADD usually see major improvements at school, even with very light dosing.

2 moms found this helpful

We actually had to move my daughter who is ADD from private school to public because they were not helping her. I don't believe they are as structured by the state or county as the public schools. Anyway, she ended up getting straight A's the last quarter after she moved. She has an IEP in place and that helps. She has some work modified, gets extra time taking tests and if needed, can be removed to a quieter room to take tests. Your son may or may not qualify for an IEP, but can maybe get a 504 Plan in place and some modification can be made with that. So check with the schol and see what they have in place for kids like this. My daughter leaves her class and goes for special help in math, its more one on one. My 9 yo son is ADHD and meds have worked WONDERS for him, but we've honestly had to try about 5 different ones with different mg's to finally find one that works. So don't give up on the meds. We tried my daughter on it and she didn't do well but I'm having her retested on Thursday and will try meds again hoping she can focus better at school and home. Good luck!!!!

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I speak from two different viewpoints: one, my son was diagnosed with ADD too late and suffered through many years being told he was lazy, looked out the window, too much, etc. etc. Had I realized he was able to be helped and someone identified a way to help him it would have been great. He is now twentyone, not only ADD but bipolar and medicated making his way through college! And doing pretty well.
Next I work with children with ADD. Oh my goodness what I wouldn't do to help them. I try and try and wait and wait. There are students who are so unable to focus or concentrate because their parents are afraid of medication, that they hate what they are doing and (some of it is fun! like art and music for instance). So they roll around, or run around, or bounce or or...well, the point is I can't do much other than go home with a stomach ache because I try and try and they are frustrated beyond belief. Perhaps you had a bad experience or information about medication. Believe me he might be grateful to have a chance now in life instead of when he is twenty one and despite being very intelligent, my own son is learning some things for the very first time.

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