"Add" - Menifee,CA

Updated on January 14, 2010
R.B. asks from Menifee, CA
10 answers

my middle son is 8 years old, he has just started third grade and already i have already revieved the call that "we think he has ADD" actually the school counselor told HIM he had ADD!!!! now, i understand that he can be harder to deal with than most kids, he does have a hard time focusing, ect... i do get frustrated with him sometimes, trust me i am not someone who thinks my kids can do no wrong. i just think that the term ADD is way over used.
another big part of the story..... i am not his biological mom, she left him when he was 8 months old. the reason i say this is because at one point she told me that when she was pregnant her doctor told her to smoke pot because she was too skinny. now i am sure that is'nt true but it tells me she smoked pot when she was pregnant. i am sure now my son is paying the price. i have been searching all over looking for effects of smoking during pregnancy but have had little luck, even less on what i can do do help him. he has a dr. apt. in a few weeks, but i need help now, i feel like he is struggling and i'm just waiting around. any help would be a god send!!!!!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Let me start with saying that I think kids are overprescribed ADD medication....
With that said, please don't assume the counselor is wrong. As an adult with ADD, I only found out 1 1/2 years ago. I had a VERY hard time in school. I'm highly intelligent, but could not concentrate. Teachers gave me a really hard time. I wish I had the medications then that kids (and I)have now. It would have made my school years much better for me.
I would see a Psychiatrist. (they can prescribe the meds if needed) One that specializes in ADD. A pcp isn't going to know.
ADD isn't a bad word. I embrace it. People with ADD are creative, and empathetic, and performers, and go getters! Most of my friends are ADD and it's funny now. Just help him make it through the not so patient school system!
Good Luck!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Would you consider Chiropractics? My Chiropractor treats many things beyond the back. He has helped my husband with short term memory problems, my neighbor with weight loss, and me with migraines. He has brochure that talks about ADD and ADHD being treated by correcting the way the blood flows and releasing “interruptions” the nervous system so that the signals don’t get “crossed” before the child finishes the thought.

On a side note~ ADD and ADHD are symptoms of “High Intellect”. It is the result of one’s subconscious processing information faster than conscious mind can follow. So, although ADD seems to be treated as a bad thing, take pride in the fact that your child is SO smart he literally can’t handle his own knowledge. Even Einstein is suspected to have had, at least by what current definitions provide. Seizures are also being linked to “High Intellect Capacity”. Who knew being smart could be so hard?! :O) ~J.



answers from Greensboro on

I do not know if your child is inattentive or Hyperactive/Impulsive but I have a blog of information on the inattentive subtype of ADHD. For the primarily inattentive type sometimes behavioral and diet interventions work as well or better than stimulants. I have written about the diet interventions that scientist have proven help ADD and ADHD. The URL is http://primarilyinattentiveadd.blogspot.com.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,

When did school counclers take it upon themselves to make an off the cuff diagnosis like that???

Having some experience in that I know that it requires a lot of testing... by a licenced theripist. Instead of throwing that term out (and yes, it is so over used) she could have made the suggestion to have him tested for a learning disability.

A learning disability is easily corrected with the right kind of assistance. Better now then later like high-school, I've noticed kids who have the right tools succeed and feel much more confident in themselves and their work at school.

I don't think trying to figure out how and why is as important as getting him some testing done (outside of the school facility). There are so many possibilites of why kids having learning disabilites and there's no way to really pin point it anyway.

I wasn't diagnosed with a LD until I was in college, as a kid I knew I couldn't focus and learn like the others and I also didn't do well in school. I really struggled, I wish someone had noticed it then. I know it would have made a big differance in my life.

Good luck with that, your son is lucky to have you as a mother.



answers from Los Angeles on

HI R.,
I am outraged at that school counselor and agree with you that ADD/ADHD is WAY over diagnosed right now. There are many many other things that look like ADD and aren't. That said, ADD isn't a curse and the ADD/ADHD brain is special. Handled well, ADD/ADHD kids can be very cool (as someone else said, they are often very intelligent, but their brains just function differently).

Have you sat down with the teacher and asked about specific problems/behaviors that he or she is noticing? I would then talk to your son about them and ask him what he thinks would help. Kids often have great insights into their own problems but as adults, we often forget to ask them. If the teacher does not seem sympathetic or willing to work with you, find out if there's another third grade teacher, or what other resources the school has. If they have a good school psychologist who is willing to help teachers work with kids in the way that helps them learn best, that's a huge asset. Often teachers are overwhelmed and don't know how to work with kids with behaviors that take a little extra effort on their part. I would also recommend an appointment with a child psychologist/psychiatrist asap.

You can request an IEP from the school (Individualized Education Plan). Write them a letter and I believe they have to accommodate your request within 60 days. In the meantime, there are organizations that help parents with IEP meetings - it can be very intimidating. I know Family Focus Empowerment Center at CSUN is one that will help for free and there are others - some you have to pay for.

There are lots of great resources out there if you have the time to do some research and you're already doing the most important thing - taking an active interest in what's happening to your son. He will know you love him and care about what happens to him, which is so important for his self-esteem. Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

hello R.,
first let me say that I do understand that there is a big concern about how people or doctors may want to push some pill down people's throats. So, before you even have to think about anything to that nature let me say that you would have to see a pedi doctor. Talk to them about your child's behavior at home and out at home (don't forget to tell them about any medical condition like you said about the weed while the mother was carring him). Then your pedi doctor will have you and your son's teacher(s),depending how many he or she wants to fill out the paper, fill out an questionare sheet. If the doctor feels the same way then hold off on any meds. Because you will need to get him checked out with a nuro peds doctor just to make sure his brain is fine and anything else nuro wise. Once that is done. Do a physiological testing done on him. the physiclogist would want the nuro doctor or ur peds doctor to request it. They check to see if his brain is working the way a child his age is suppose to be. It will be in a child inviting environment. He will see if there is any kinds of road blockers for him (if any). Because if he is ok, just needs more guidence, then you can get or make a plan with your phys doctor. especially if you don't want to put him on any meds if he does not truely need it. you can also get him tested for a learning disablity done on him. It will have to be done by the school. And if you have a good school, they will do it. But I had to pull teeth to get them to do it. It is your right as a parent to ask for it to be done. And the school has to do it no matter what. This will see if he or she has any kind of learning disablity when it comes to learning. If your child processes things differently, the testing will show that and then you can determine what kind of learning enivornment he or she will need to help them keep up with other children their age. If you ever feel that your peds doctor is not working with you or any other doctor you are dealing with, you can alway change them. You are not stuck with the same doctor. Believe me, I have went through that. I always was getting them push off and that made me very upset because I am trying to benefit my child. So it does happen alot!! And you may want to find more about ADD and ADHD because if you are trying to see if your child IS ADD or not you may also hear about ADHD. They are different in some ways. Plus you may find out all he needs is just more help with school work or maybe he or she may do will in a differnt learning settings like home schooling. But to truely find out if he or she does have it, those are the routs you would have to take or can take. I have found out that most parents who have children with ADD or ADHD that they had to do the same thing. I also talked to a child phys (who is a friend of mine) and he suggested that route to. I do wish you luck. I hope this information (even though it can be overwelming) helps you somehow!!



answers from Honolulu on

Oh gosh, you deserve a big hug for what you are dealing with. Lots of concerns to ponder through. Your doctor, should be your point of reference, if you are not satisfied with it, get a second opinion, with an ADD expert. The counselor was not wise in how he handled it. If you cannot wait, perhaps insist that you need an appointment sooner. They should try to accomodate you. Do your homework, as you are already, and go to your appointment armed with questions and knowledge. I know it's hard, but keep faith, and support your child. You are your child's advocate and mother... use all the wisdom and researched knowledge you can. You seem to be doing your best, good for you! Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

That counselor should be fired! It takes lots of testing and expert analysis from experienced professionals to come up with such a diagnosis. He may well have it, but I wouldn't take the word of a school counselor. Get him to a real doctor and get the ball rolling with some tests. Although I firmly believe ADD is a crutch in many cases - giving the kid an excuse for their bad behavior or bad grades, but it is also quite legitimate when diagnosed properly. Get that little angel tested - it can only help. My step daughter was recently diagnosed w/it and put on some medicine. Her grades actually improved, but her irresponsibility and lack of attention in her home life has not improved much. Good luck.
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answers from Los Angeles on

You could try to get him assessed to see if he qualifies for help due to a "developmental delay". You may be able to get him a behavioral aid to supervise him closely at school-- or afterschool for doing homework (whatever he needs more). Contact your local regional center and tell them your concerns. Or at the very least, his school should give him an IEP (Individual Education Plan) so that he can benefit from extra help (like being allowed more time for tests, etc.) My 5 year old son was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 and a half. I thought the doctors were nuts. My kid could talk just fine, didn't bang his head or spin around like children with severe autism... then I saw how the speech therapy and occupational therapy made a huge difference in a matter of weeks!



answers from Los Angeles on

HI R.,

As a Child Development professional, I also think that ADD is over-diagnosed nowadays. Also, I have heard from a nurse that the effects of smoking pot during pregnancy are similar to that of smoking cigarettes, so if you can't find any info on pot, you could probably start with info on cigarettes.

C. : )

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