Any Tips on Children with ADD?

Updated on September 25, 2006
M.C. asks from Pekin, IL
14 answers

My 7 year old is in 2nd grade and her teacher has "carefully suggested" a trip to the doctors office because she might have ADD. Is there any tips, special questions to discusss to the doctor?

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So What Happened?

Well currently my daughter has been on Adderall for about a week and I have seen progress in school (especially math)and in different situations thru out the week. She has had some troubles sleeping since on the medication but I think we have gotten thru it now that her body is adjusting.I am very grateful for all the tips and advise I have received for this, it has givin me alot to think about. Thanks, ~Mel~

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C.O.

answers from Clarksville on

I just recommend seeing someone who specializes in ADD and especially assessment. Many children are misdiagnosed because so many other things will look like ADD.

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K.R.

answers from Springfield on

I wouldn't go because that label will stigmatize her for life as having a "disorder". It is likely that she is a regular healthy child with interests and an active learning mind.

My first suggestion if she displays ADHD-type behavior at home (inability to control herself, concentrate on things that are only of minor interest to her, or bursts of "reasonless" anger) That you look to her diet first. The majority of children diagnosed with ADHD are bored with school (it doesn't challenge them), have food allergies, or both.

The most common behavior-altering foods are blue#1, red #40 (food colorings), and the chemicals used to process sandwich meats (especially non-kosher hot dogs and balogna). Some children are also sensitive to yellow #5, and large amounts of processed (white) sugar.

I would suggest you test her at home (as well as the other children and yourself) by removing all of the possible allergens from the diet for two weeks, then add one at a time back into a meal and check for reactions (both physical and behavioral). Only reintroduce one item at a time, then wait a day (of "clean" diet) between testings to assure a definitive test.

My children were both severe ADHD and one was drugged heavily before I checked their diet. We now eat (as a family) none of the most common allergens. We don't feel deprived, and we feel a lot better. They are now completly self-controlled and in charge of their behaviors.

For even more help (that won't drug your daughter into a stupor) You might want to try "M. Supreme for Children" by Gaias Herbs brand herbal suppliments. It is a liquid herbal suppliment that helps promote better self-control in those who are having trouble doing it alone, and is non habit forming. (don't use it when you are running allergy tests, for the sake of accuracy) I use this with my girls sometimes when they are having a bit of trouble. Usually they notice the problem themselves and ask for the drops. *smile*

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L.C.

answers from Springfield on

Don't take your daughter to a medical doctor to diagnose a mental disorder. You need to go to a Psychologist for this. I know it's a common misconception, but you want an accurate diagnosis, and a Psychologist will be able to give you that. I don't know this from experience, my husband is persuing his doctrate in psychology.

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K.Z.

answers from Peoria on

It's your choice but once a child is diagnosed with ADD, they are labeled as such for life. Many intelligent, willfull children meet the basic criteria for ADD. Almost all genius children meet the criteria, so maybe she should be checked for more than ADD.

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B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

If you have your child tested, I would do it out side of the school system. They wanted to do the same with DD in 2nd grade. Well we did not. Now in 4th grade and the matter has been dropped, she and the teacher just did not hit it off, my daughter likes to be in chargae and the teacher did not know how to handle her.

But now all is great, oh and she has made all A's & B's in 2, 3 & 4th

B.

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N.C.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I would make sure that you look up information on ADD such as symptoms, medications, and etc. I would also make sure that the doctor is very specific on WHY he thinks she has ADD and needs treatment. And if you don't feel 100% certain that she has it-don't do it. The common ADD medications are generally safe but it's a prescription medicine that your 7 yr old would be on for quite some time. So I would suggest looking into the pros and cons of the medications also. Hope this helps!

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S.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Here is a link to the CDC website's checklist for ADHD. Currently, there is no difference between an ADD and an ADHD diagnosis, but that may change when a new diagnostic manual is issued. Go over the list, and YOU decide if you think it's a possibility. Then you need to go a psychiatrist that deals with children to rule out any other disorder.

I would rather have my child "labeled for life" with ADD than with the label "dummy" or "trouble maker" - which is how many ADHD kids were thought of in the past.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/symptom.htm

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J.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi M.! I really sympathize with you. We see alot of kids with ADD/ADHD in our office. I encourage you to check out this website:
http://www.icpa4kids.org/research/chiropractic/adhd.htm
There is help available....alternative care that gets fantastic results.
Yours in health,
J.

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S.S.

answers from Wichita on

MY 11 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER HAS ADD AND WAS DIAGNOSED IN THE 1ST GRADE, MY FIRST ADVICE IS TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST, IF THERE IS ONE IN YOUR AREA, I DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE AT BUT IF YOU ARE IN WICHITA LET ME KNOW AND I CAN GIVE YOU THE NAME OF A GOOD ONE. MY DAUGHTER TAKES STRATERRA AND IT HAS WORKS GREAT FOR HER, BUT EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT MAKE SURE TO STUDY THE SIDE EFFECTS OF ALL THE MEDICATION THAT THEY DECIDE BEFORE YOU SUGGEST IT. SOME PEOPLE DISAGREE WITH MEDICATING CHILDREN AND TO BE HONEST WITH YOU I DID TOO UNTIL THIS DEVELOPED WITH MY DAUGHTER, SHE COULD NOT CONCENTRATE IN SCHOOL AND WAS NOT EVEN LEARNING ANYTHING BECAUSE OF IT. IT WAS A HUGE IMPROVEMENT ONCE WE GOT HER ON THE RIGHT MEDICATION. IT HAS BEEN A GOD SEND BUT SINCE I PUT IT OFF FOR SO LONG, SHE GOT BEHIND AND IS STILL SOMEWHAT CATCHING UP. SHE MISSED OUT ON THE BASICS, SHE TOOK KDG TWICE SO I DID NOT WANT TO HOLD HER BACK AGAIN.

WHEN YOU GO TO THE DR. HAVE HER TEACHER (S), ANY DAY CARE PROVIDOR ETC. THAT SHE SPENDS TIME WITH AND YOU WRITE UP THE THINGS THAT SHE DOES THAT MAKE YOU THINK THAT THIS IS WHAT SHE HAS. THAT IS EXTREMELY HELPFUL.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT ME ANYMORE PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DO SO, [email protected]____.com I WOULD BE HAPPY TO GIVE YOU ANY TIPS AND INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ON ADD AND HAVING A CHILD WITH IT.

I DO KNOW THAT IT IS SURELY NOT THE END OF THE WORLD LIKE I THOUGHT, THE MORE YOU MEET PEOPLE AND TALK ABOUT IT THE MORE YOU WILL FIND DIAGNOSED WITH ADD, OR ONCE YOU KNOW ALL OF THE SYMPTOMS YOU WILL START TO SEE PEOPLE THAT ARE WHETHER THEY HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED OR NOT. IT IS SUCH A COMMON THING.

HANG IN THERE, S.

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S.K.

answers from Oklahoma City on

My 8-year-old has ADHD. I firmly feel society accepts the "problem" more now then they did 10 years ago. I read a comment someone left stating "they're labeled" for the rest of their life, but like I said, I feel it's more socially acceptable. I know when I was in school, children that had ADD/ADHD were sort of an outcast. Now in my son's school, more and more children are being diagnosed. I feel this has come from intensive research and growing knowledge about the "problem".

My son before ADHD help-phone calls every day, always getting notes sent home, poor grades, not accepted by peers because he was too hyper, almost to the point he was uncontrollable.

My son after ADHD diagnosis and medicine-grades do not fall below an "A", accepted more by friends, able to play organized sports (i.e. football, baseball), able to complete tasks.

I could go on about pros and cons of getting help, but it's your child and you have to do what you feel is right to benefit your child for today and tomorrow.

Good luck to you!!!

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J.P.

answers from Kansas City on

It won't hurt anything to go and have her checked out by a therapist. You could even google adhd and look at the symptoms to see if she fits most of them. It's a tough decision to medicate a child, but if it will improve their life, it's worth it. My son was first diagnosed with ADHD and was put on focalin. It did not drug him into a stupor, it gave him the ability to control himself. His teachers were amazed at the difference it made. If I took it, I would be bouncing off the walls. When someone with ADHD takes it, it has the opposite effect. That's how I knew that he needed it. I'm not telling you to medicate her, I'm just telling you what made me feel better when I had to. He went from F's to A's. He was still himself, with the exception of the spastic behavior! Good luck and do what you think is best. You know her better than anyone. =)
J.

I just read Susan's below me and I agree that it is better to have a label than not being able to pay attention and learn. Austyn's father never learned to read very well because he went untreated. He would have been better off labeled than be what he is today.

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C.P.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Hello,
My step son who is 12 years old has ADHD. We tried all the natural herbs and changing his diet but nothing helped. We finally gave in after 2 years and put him on meds as the last resort after several teachers requested it. It made all the difference in the world. They put him on the lowest dose of meds and he went from making D's to making A's and B's in school. We regret not starting him earlier.

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T.V.

answers from Peoria on

hi,
I have an 8 yr old son Alex who had ADHD and Autism , he was on adderall xr and lost 10 lbs in 1 month ,then they put him on concerta and he still doesnt eat , so i just tried some all natural herbal medication from native remidies known as focus and bright spark and it has made a big change with him ,you might want to try that before you get medication from the Dr ,side effects are deadly to kids thats why i took Alex of the medication so i dont mess up his liver physicians love drug companies they get incentives for the number of scripts they write .so i suggest that you try something natural before you take that risk of future health problems.

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H.W.

answers from Rockford on

It seems like alot of teachers turn to the "ADD" lable when a child seems bored or distracted in class. I would talk to Becca's teacher first of all and find out exactly why she thinks your daughter may have ADD. There are so many kids that are on drugs for this its sick. Seems to me that teachers are getting lazy and rather than finding ways to challenge smart children who get bored in class they decide to suggest medication. If her reasons make sense then maybe think about going to a shrink or doctor? (sorry i dont know how to exactly spell psychologist) A doctor is the 2nd person i would go to. They only perscribe the medication. I dont know if a doctor can determine a child's concentration.

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