Does Anyone Have a Child with ADD/ADHD

Updated on September 03, 2008
A.S. asks from Star Junction, PA
15 answers

My 6 year old (7 in two months) has had issues about staying seated and paying attention in Kindergarten. This is the first week of first grade and she has been sent home 2 letters for her not paying attention in class and her behavior.
I have looked up the symptoms of ADHD/ADD and she has quite a few....can't set still, does not finish tasks because she is eaily distracted, can not pay attention when someone is talking to her or when she is doing her work, has a hard time sleeping...etc. She is going to see a counselor and is going to be tested.

I don't think her behvior has to do with adjustment to first grade, nor do I feel that she is just misbehaving. This type of behavior has gone on too long for that. She goes to bed at 8:00 so there is not an issue with getting enough sleep. She eats breakfast so there is not an issue with that and I really feel she wants to pay attention, but she is truly unable to.
Does anyone else have a child with ADD/ADHD? How is it handled in school?
My daughter will not sit still and has trouble paying attention for me. When you talk to her she does not pay attention to you and yes she has been redirected. No, she does not get away with it. I have tried giving her insentives to pay attention.

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So What Happened?

My daughter does have ADHD. She is now in therapy once a week to teach her how to deal and help her out. Thanks to everyone for your answers.

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answers from Erie on

Hi A.,

I am a mother of 3 children and my oldest and youngest both have ADHD. They are both on medication and as much as I was against the medication, I had no other choice. And yes it does work. My youngest, which is a boy, is the worst. But as long as he takes his medication he is fine. He stays focused in school and does not get into trouble. It really helps him stay on task. He takes Concerta in the morning and then Ritalin as a booster in the afternoon when he gets home from school.
Now my oldest, which is a girl is totally different because she not only has ADD but also is bipolar. The medication helped her as well but right now we are trying to find the right medication to help with all of her symptoms.
Believe me, it is very had dealing with a child with ADHD but as long as you have the support from everyone it goes a lot smoother.
I wish you the best of luck. Please keep us posted.


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answers from Pittsburgh on

My son qualifies for an ADD w/out hyperactivity diagnosis. He is in 1st grade. We have an IEP for him. I would seek a doctor's opinion but would be very leary of meds. Really research the meds because there are tons of side effects and they don't really cure the underlying problem. I would really look at which is an organization that helps you take artificial colors/additives, etc out of the diet. The medical community is finally coming around and admitting that these additives (which comes from petroleum) do cause hyperactivity in children (even children without ADHD) and that this should be tried before doing meds. Red dye is especially known to cause hyperactivity. I believe the food today causes so many problems. Another good website on natural health is I do tons of research and don't always agree with my doctors. You have to be your child's advocate - no one else will!!! Good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Hi A.,
I have a daughter with ADHD. She was diagosed at the end of a long first grade year. I went to a pyshcologist and then to a neurologist who put her on meds. It is difficult to deal with the phone calls from the teachers. I know you are getting lots of advise on meds and no meds. I am one who has her child on meds and I find it was the best thing for her. She has gotten better school grades, she has made friends. I always am more concerned for her social skills more than her academics. You can be as smart as can be but if you can't get along with people you have problems. Our house atmosphere is so much better. It is ultimately up to you about meds. Weigh the positives and negatives. Which there are some negatives don't get me wrong she is the smallest in her class. She has a decreased appetite, but if you make sure she is getting the proper nutrition when she is eating and a good vitamin there really is no concern with that.

The turning point for me is when her first grade teacher on the last day of school told me that because of her behaviors in class, getting out of her seat, not being able to pay attention, always calling out, etc. that she did not learn as much as she could have. The last day of school I was told this. I felt so guilty for not being able to help her. That is what you are there for to look out for her. Think of how her actions are effecting her relationships with others, family and friends. I am big on self esteem. If she is being rejected or not being really included how is that making her feel about herself. My daughter had friends but no close relationships, which hurt me to see her struggle with that.I have struggled now for 5 years. It is a struggle and not easy to have a child with this disorder. The more you read about it helps.

Discipline is the answer but sometimes you need a little more. That is great you are really staying on top of them but think about it this way. How is that making them feel if they constantly have you on top of them. Could they feel like they can do nothing right? Again, that is a self esteem issue.
Good Luck in your decisions.



answers from Philadelphia on

OK my good friends son has the SAME issues your daughter has! He was idagnosed with ADD, NOT ADHD!!! And your last resort should be meds!! My friend refuses to put him on meds, she just works extremely hard with him and it is constant. When his homework is to read a book well she reads it first, than he reads it, then she reads it again! But he also is easily distracted for example he will start readin and then out of the blue say hey look at that bird, or start acting like he doesn't know how to read or doesn't know a word and if the word is need, he will say go!! But anyway she has him in tutoring once a week, many after school activities including piano (which most kids with ADD love music), and just keeps him busy! My suggestion is to have him tested and then just take one step at a time, but whatever you do make giving her meds your last resort, they all don't need them, with some extra help and hard work she should be able to learn how to control herself. Most docs will push the meds but just stand your ground no matter what they say, try everything you can first. Sorry i keep repeating my self but meds isn't always the answer ecspecially at the age of 7! good luck



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi A.!

I am a Special Education teacher who has worked with students with ADD/ADHD. I would get your her tested by a psychologist first before your proceed with anything. You can request testing through your school. From there, if she shows evidence of ADHD an IEP may be developed. An IEP is an Individualized Education Plan. This is a plan that includes goals and objectives, accommodations, and a few other areas. The goals address the areas that you and the IEP team which include a Special Education teacher, a general education teacher, and an administrator, feel that your daughter needs to work on. These goals can be behavioral and/or academic. The accommodations are the supports that your daughter may need. Exampoles are frequent breaks, opportunities to get up and take a walk, prompts to remain on task, and any specific strategies that the IEP team sees needed. I don't think this should be a problem, but keep in mind your daughter should stay in the regular classroom. It is called the LRE or Least Restrictive Environment. If your daughter does qualify for an IEP there is so much to learn. Talk with someone about what parts of the IEP contains and ask questions and voice concerns in the IEP meetings. I feel so bad for parents who are going through the process for the first time. It can be quite overwhelming.

If your daughter is found to have ADHD, I would caution about a few things as a parent. While I think medicine is fantastic for certain students, I think if I was facing a child with ADHD I would try other alternatives first. Like was posted earlier look into a sensory diet, also try to create a routine and structure in both home and school. There are many resources in the community. is a great resource for both children and adults with ADD/ADHD. Also remember your daughter is only 6 or 7. She is young and needs to be out and about. More and more in school (at least the schools I have worked in) they expect the students to be still. In some areas they are reducing recess and PE is not given everyday. That really frustrates me as a teacher who worked with students who needed to move.

I hope this helps! Good luck and if you ever have any questions I am more than happy to try to answer them! : )



answers from Pittsburgh on

I have a son who is 5 in kindergarden with autism and ADHD. The best was to determine is not just internet here-say but seek a professional opinion. Kids will be kids, however what may seem like bad behaviour could be a more serious issue. Whith the spike in Austism, ADHD and Sensory Processiond Dissorder teacher/classroom awareness is on the rise.

Medication is usually used, it works when it wants to work. Meds also have side affects..we play the med game alot. Right now we are back on meds due to the fact fact my son isn't sitting and is having a hard time coping in class.

Talk to your childs doctor. Hope this helps



answers from Pittsburgh on


I am the mother of a grown son and 2 grandchildren.

Before jumping to ADD/ADHD suspicions, I wonder does your daughter have problems sitting still and concentrationg for you? Do you expect her to behave or does she get away with not sitting still? I think many kids get that label and then fulfill those negative expectations. Consider having a talk with her and offering her incentives for good behavior in school. At her age it might be that each day without a letter you will read her an extra bedtime story, after a week without a letter from the teacher you could spend some extra time at the park playing, buy her a new book or paint and paper, I strongly suggest staying away from extra TV time unless you really limit it now. To help her, remind her every morning what her goal and reward is for the day. Inform her teacher of your plans and let the teacher know that you expect her to be firm with your daughter.

Good luck and God Bless,



answers from Philadelphia on

HI my son has adhd. How drs and psychologists diagnose add/adhd is with an assessment called a "Connors Rating Scale". It is a fill in the blank assessment done by the teachers and parents- similar tests but different because of the 2 different environments. If you would like the scales, tell your child's teacher that you want her assessed, (in writing preferably), give the school the reasons why- ie. calls for home. the school has 60 days to assess.

oops sorry I just saw you are going to get her assessed. well... there are accomodations for kids with add. Unfortunately, until her academics are impeded by add, the school does NOT have to give her an IEP (educ plan). But you could ask for a 504 plan- a law agreement that makes the school give her accomodations- ie. preferential seating, ability to get up and walk around occasionally, etc.

i have to run, but if i confused you or you have more questions, email me, I am a spec ed teacher and a mom!




answers from Philadelphia on

Your child could very well have ADHD, I suggest finding a child psychologist and an Occupational therapist. However, before you do that, do a some research on "Sensory Integration Disorder". It seems that many kids are diagnosed ADHD, when they actually have sensory issues. Sensory Integration Disorder is now being called the "ADHD Imposter" Medication does not help with Sensory issues, usually Occupational therapy does. Proper diagnoses is a tricky path, I suggest you research, research, research and remember, NOBODY knows your child like you do so above all follow you instincts!! I have a foster child diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, Depressive disorder and I am convinced that NONE of them apply. He is off medication totally and I treat him as if he has Sensory issues. He has been with me for almost 2 years and he is doing great! Not perfect (nobody is) - but a HUGE improvement.



answers from Philadelphia on

My 10 year old has it. He's been on medications, several (in sequence)until we found one that really seemed to help. His school knows this. In all of his doings I found out about IEPs. Does your daughter go to a public school? I don't know if private schools do it, but public schools do and they give you a copy of your rights for Special Education-at least that's what our case was. But in the IEP the teachers and other school professionals who work with your child sit down with you and work out a plan on how to best help your child in school. Maybe it's preferential seating, having a specialist help out in the classroom, whatever....But you could ask about them. It was hard for us to get a real diagnosis of ADHD, I mean it took a while, but I think it was the school psychologist talking with our pediatrician to together decide that he showed enough signs to try him on medications.

All this may or may not help you, but it's what we experienced (and learned about). To me it's been a little mind-boggling/confusing, but if you feel stuck it may be something to look into.



answers from York on

We just went through these issues last year. !st grade for my daughter was difficult. She wouldn't stay seated for the learning centers and constantly interupted the teachers. Very social to where other kids were intimidated by her. So, thru school we tried a couple of things. To keep her seated, velcro under the desk, a cushion, and a weight in her lap were all tried. Without great results, the IST (instuctional support teacher) did numerous observations. So I took it upon myself to have her tested for IQ or learning disabilities. I really thought she was bored in school. They diagnosed her ADHD, which I was suprised at because at home she was fine, no hyperactivity, I mean she is 7yrs old. So now that she just started 2nd grade we have her on meds to see if it helps in school. Granted its only been one of week school and I haven't heard anything from the teacher, yet. So A., I know what you're going through, frustrating and alot of uncertainity of what to do. My husband and I fought the idea of meds and still aren't sure if it is working!! I just want her to suceed. We are still trying to figure this all out. (This all just happened in May.) In one way I feel she is too young to be diagnosed with this. You hear alot of kids being in middle school. Well I hope this gives you some comfort knowing you're not alone- my neighbors son is ADHD, and talking with her makes me feel better and gives me new insight about this whole thing.




answers from Philadelphia on

My oldest is 7 and in the 1st grade again this year probably due to her ADHD. I am hoping to get her an IEP so the teacher will work with her on what she needs to have in place so she can suceed in school. In my area the teacher will not do more unless you have an IEP. She will stay in her classroom since ehr eacher is certified in special ed too.



answers from Harrisburg on

I have two sons with ADD/ADHD. My 21 year old had ADHD. I was in denial for so long that he didn't get tested until he was 7. When he gets tested, be sure it's not just with a regular physician. In order to get a true and accurate diagnosis, you must have him tested by a psychiatrist and these tests can be very lengthy and includes IQ tests and things like that. This will give a full and complete picture of the child and many other things can be ruled out. Too many children get diagnoses with ADD/ADHD while sitting in a regular doctor's office for 10 minutes. Many times they're wrong. It's too easy to label children. With thorough testing you'll know for sure. My oldest had a more severe case with other problems as well, but today he is a US Marine, married and with a child. With the proper guidance and help, these children can grow to live full lives as they learn to cope with their ADD/ADHD. My 13 year old has a mild case of ADD, no hyperactivity. He was thoroughly tested as well for accuracy. He uses mild medication and has seen a counselor now and then as needed as he's grown and changed to help him learn new skills in coping and dealing with his ADD. He's doing well! Take a proactive stance and things will be fine!

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets


answers from Williamsport on

A physician told my friend to never suspect ADD or ADHD until you have had a WHOLE YEAR with your child in which you have made sure their diet is healthy and has no or very little sugar and chemicals, they get plenty of exercise and sleep, their home environment is very calm and orderly and their discipline is very consistent and firmly enforced as far as sitting still, paying attention, behaving etc. If after a year of diligence with all these factors in place, your child is not capable of basic self control, then look into it.

Also, if your child can behave well sometimes and not others, it is probably a discipline/environment issue, whereas a child with a brain disorder often can NEVER function properly even with constant support.

You are right to check out everything you can.
The tricky thing is, not sitting still, not paying attention, not finishing tasks without getting distracted, are not only symptoms of ADD and ADHD, they are symptoms for pretty much any child in the world who hasn't been diligently disciplined.

That's not to say that some kids aren't much more difficult than others, and that some children don't really have a disorder, but BEWARE, especially before medicating. These are extremely overdiagnosed conditions in our culture today.

A doctor will pretty much believe what you tell him and won't assess a whole lifestyle and home history, so be very honest with yourself and keep your child's health first in your heart.

The long term effects of the medications for these disorders are not known, and your child's health is in your hands.
Good Luck, I hope you're child is healthy and well.

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