I Need Advice, About My Child Might Be Having a Problem with ADD

Updated on May 23, 2008
K.R. asks from Walls, MS
51 answers

My daughter is in the fifth grade, but at a third grade level. She has a learning disability. About two years ago her teacher had her tested for ADD . She told me she had a small problem with it. Shes not hyperactive, shes not like she cant sit still, bouncing off the walls . She has problems focusing. Its like, its very hard for her to focus on what shes suppose to be doing....Home work ohh my gosh!! We will be at the table doing homework, one min shes there , and the next min shes lost. Its hard for me to explain. Shes so easily distracted. Her teacher has been with her for awhile, and we been talking about medications that might help her out. Im so worried about her, shes getting older and yet shes so far behind. Im so scared! Shes my baby! Im going to take her to our family doctor and see what he thinks. Maybe she might need a LOW dose of some kind of medication. Please give me some advice,

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So What Happened?

WOW Thank you all for the info and the support. I really do appreciate your time. Im on it now! Im gonna read, read read! Im taking her to our family doctor in the morning, and see if he can refer me to some specialist. Trust me, I wont stop at one Doctors opinion. If it takes 3 or 4 ,then thats what I will do till I can figure out whats going on and do whats best for my baby. Thanks again, I feel a lil better now. I will update later

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A.M.

answers from Knoxville on

Well my son to was diagnosed with Add. He to has problems focusing and paying attention. He forgets things,simple things but he is not hyper at all. He was diagnosed when he was in kindergarten and at the time I did not know what I was going to do with him. He just kept getting in trouble all the time at school was getting notes sent home ,teachers calling me everything. So I decided as my last resort to get him some medication. He was put on Focalin XR and it did help focus more and he got in trouble less. But at the same time his entire personality changed .when he took them he acted all dazed and totally loss his personality .He cried over nothing at all. Could not sleep at night,loss of appetite,depression, you name it. So really Add meds may work for some kids but from what I have seen they seem focus on is the hyper-impulsive side. There is not really a add med that I have yet found to help with concentration. A lot of time schools tend to push these on kids because some kids get board setting in a classroom all day and they "daydream" instead of doing work. Honestly I would consider another alternative first before trying them.

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K.D.

answers from Raleigh on

You got lots of great advice from everyone else! You might also want to look for a yahoo group for moms of ADD kids for some extra support.

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J.H.

answers from Nashville on

just so you know central audio prossing dysfunction (CAPD) and dyslexia is often miss diagnosed as add and adhd. my son was miss dx and then properly dx and it made all the difference in the world!!!

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J.L.

answers from Charlotte on

K., she may have Sensory Processing Disorder. My daughter has this. That means she has trouble sometimes getting organized, focus, etc. The way she takes in information is alittle different. Her strong sense is verbal, so that means that if instruction contains a lot of visual or tactile or the class is noisy and she loeses her verbal, things are more difficult. A lot of children w/SPD are originally diagnosed as ADD because of focus, but they don't have ADD. My daughter like yours can sit still and does not bounce off the walls, but school is challenging because she needs help using all her senses to get all information. The good news is Occupational Therapy really really helps. My daughter is 5 and has been in therapy for only 2 months (2 x a week) and her teachers tell me she is a different child just in that short time. Look up on internet to get more information and see is you see some of the same symptoms in your daughter. If so have your ped refer you to a good OT who can do a full evaluation. I would do this first before medication.

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D.B.

answers from Charlotte on

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M.M.

answers from Louisville on

I would read our story and see if you can relate. Our son was diagnosed thru a private clinical psychologist and then a public school psychologist. By the way legally your teacher has no business discussing medication with you.

By chance, we met, a local pediatric neuro-opthamologist. At her direction, we had his urine tested and found that his neurotransmitter levels were low almost across the board. In particular, his taurine was dangerously low and his seratonin levels, among others, were suboptimal. The doctor, who incidentally did her fellowship at Johns Hopkins, prescribed for him a series of amino acids and nutrients, and made some key suggestions, particularly daily liquid fish oil and a probiotic. Within a few weeks, we saw some remarkable changes in him. He was suddenly very articulate, was eating better, slept through the night and was present when he was with us. His whole demeanor improved and he seemed to enjoy life again. Drug therapy is not your only Potentially dangerous option. Biomedical doctors have a safer more scientific approach. I think giving any child, who cannot verbalize drug's effects or negative side effects is too big a risk, I wouldn't take. Nutritionally, you have many options. Most doctors know nothing or next to nothing on this critical key to development. READ.READ,READ!

We as a family have gone almost completely organic. This experience has opened up a whole new way to look at medicine, food and wellness for us. The thing that we cannot understand is how doctors prescribe medicine for these kids, saying "Well, let's try this and see how he does." Trying to correct a chemical imbalance with a pharmaceutical without even attempting to identify the nature of the imbalance seems crazy to us. Not one doctor, or professional, even addressed his diet with us. How has it become that medicine is now practiced with so little regard for science? Or even biology? So much emphasis is placed now on pharmaceutical intervention, we're led to believe that there's somewhere a magic pill that cure any condition. Or at least one on the horizon. And meanwhile these kids are on speed for years.

Moreover, we are regarded with skepticism by many for going outside the mainstream to look for answers, even though the results immediately became apparent. The public school psychologist in particular gave us the fisheye during our IEP meeting and made it a point to tell us that our son's doctor was practicing outside of her field. And yet my son's doctor and her staff are the only professionals who made it a point to try and help our son by balancing his biochemistry, rather than just masking his symptoms.

"That’s why the American Heart Association wrote a statement writing group recommends adding an ECG to pre-treatment evaluations for children with ADHD. An ECG measures the heart’s electrical activity and can often identify heart rhythm abnormalities such as those that can lead to sudden cardiac death.

“After ADHD is diagnosed, but before therapy with a stimulant or other medication is begun, we suggest that an ECG be added to the pre-treatment evaluation to increase the likelihood of identifying cardiac conditions that may place the child at risk for sudden death,” said Victoria L. Vetter, M.D., head of the statement writing committee and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Vetter also said doctors should evaluate children and adolescents already taking these medications if they were not evaluated when they started the treatment.

If heart problems are suspected after the evaluation, children should be referred to a pediatric cardiologist. Once stimulant treatment begins, children should have their heart health monitored periodically, with a blood pressure check within one to three months, then again at routine follow-ups every six to 12 months."

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-04/aha-cwa041...

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V.R.

answers from Lexington on

Hi K.,
There are some very good web sites that you should investigate. One is www.childrensvision.com
On this site you need to click on "Vision and Learning" and then go to the drop down box and look at the information under "vision and reading" and "vision and ADD".

There is some super helpful stuff on this website but to have your daughter evaluated you will have to find an optometrist who is certified in this area. Be sure and look for the initials FCOVD after the optometrist's name. This web site also has a "locate a dr. section" that might be helpful it is under the "Additional Resources" tab.

Another area to invistigate is Sensory Processing Disorder.
There are some super resources on the web for SPD (sometimes called Sensory Integration Disorder)too. Here are two: www.spdnetwork.org www.sinetwork.org

I am a teacher and have been able to start the initial process of diagnosis for many, many children over the course of my 26 years in the classroom. No teacher can diagnose on her own, Dawn is right. But a teacher who really KNOWS her students can tell when a student is struggling due to trouble focusing/attending.

I am both a teacher and a mother of a child with SPD, ADD, Central Auditory Processing Disorder and Visual Processing Disorder. There is nothing worse than watching a bright child struggle with academics. Not because of the academic issues, but because of the self esteem issues. There are lots of routes for you to explore.

The only mistake you can make is to do nothing. Read, Read, REad---and network...talk to professionals, contact support groups and see if there are parents out there who can recommend people who specialize in the areas of evaluation that you feel your child needs and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Please write to me if I can help explain any of the material you see at the websites I have given you...or if you just need to vent! Good luck on your journey... and remember you are not alone!!!
V.

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R.H.

answers from Raleigh on

Before you medicate, do some research on diets. Kids with ADD almost always benefit from foods without additives, protein, and high doses of Omega 3 rich foods and supplements. We use medication sparingly, only for test days or when she gets too wound up (verbally or physically). We reduced sugar intake, too, since that seemed to make her more scatty. If you see no discernable differences after a couple of weeks, find a psychologist/specialist in ADD/ADHD to check her out.

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T.G.

answers from Charlotte on

Hello K.,
My son had the same issues. He did not have trouble with hyperactivity, but he had no ability to focus. He was very disorganized and became completely overwhelmed by more than 1 or 2 tasks. He received his ADD idagnosis in the 3rd grade.

I definitely think your daughter should be evaluated and you and your husband should attend counseling, too. The counseling for us, as parents, helped as much as anything. It helped us to better understand what our son was dealing with and how to respond. ADD will present it's challenges, but you will make it. Good luck and God bless!

In God's Love,
T.

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P.K.

answers from Louisville on

I have a 10 year old boy who was diagnosed with ADHD three years ago. I was terrified to give him medication, but I trusted my pediatrician. He has been a very successful candidate for Conerta. He has always been a strong student, but even more so now that he can focus in class. He can even tell when he has not taken his medicine. I make sure he has his medicine every day, not just on school days. We as parents have to realize that it can be just as frustrating for the child when he/she cannot concentrate and focus. He has always been fully aware of why he takes his medicine and he has not felt "different" because of it.

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T.S.

answers from Fayetteville on

K.,

Have you thought about homeschooling her for a few years to get her caught up. I have a friend who pulled her first grader out because he was at a kindergarten level academically and she homeschooled him for a year. When she put him back in school the next year he was testing at a third grade level. God bless
T.

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K.S.

answers from Hickory on

Go to a child psychiatrist. Do not be afraid of medicine for ADHD, which is basically an immature brain. Be afraid of what will happen to your daughter if you don't get her the right kind of help. I repeat: Don't be afraid to get your daughter the right kind of help---medicine plus behavior modification (like making sure she has a quiet, comfortable place to study without TV or music for distractions, and rewards for doing better). Run, don't walk. And don't go to your regular family doctor or pediatrician. You need a child psychiatrist. Your kid isn't crazy, but ADHD is a brain problem. Take the right medicine for the problem or expect to stay sick.

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S.J.

answers from Knoxville on

My daughter has ADHD, not ADD, but my daughter has found a way to help her focus, on her own. IT WORKS for her, maybe it will work for your daughter! My daughter will chew a piece of gum, and we will also go where its quiet, no TV's, music or anything. It does work for her and I hope maybe something new will come of this. I took my daughter off the meds, I don't care for them...so we try new and different things, and offer her rewards for doing so well. I wish you and your daughter find what works for her, but please be cautious of the meds....take her to a naturpath even, they can give you ways to help her naturally instead of with chemicals. My prayers are for you both!!!

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G.G.

answers from Charlotte on

I have a son that is ADHD and we tried everything possible (from homeopathic remedies to milk/egg free diets to no dyes in foods to gluten-free foods) before we tried medication. We took him to behavioral specialists to help him with social skills and a psychologist to make sure there were no underlying issues (we looked at ourselves- am I a bad Mom because he sits at his homework and cries for an hour?) We spoke to school counselors and changed his desk location, had "buddies" at school to help him stay on task and created several social strategies to help him with his peers (he's too talkative and impulsive.) We finally decided to try medication in second grade- after two years of alternatives- and the school called me less than two weeks later to say my son had "turned a corner" and that they really didn't think he even needed any intervention. I hadn't told them we were medicating. He got down to business with his homework a lot better and we noticed he didn't have as much an "act first, think later" mentality. He has ALWAYS been a good kid and we didn't medicate him to change his personality- and the medication doesn't! Although doing homework and completing class assignments has never been easy, he was labelled as "gifted" in third grade. Gifted? A boy that gets average grades and despises any written homework assignment?

He has grown like a weed and, in fourth grade, he started having some issues again at school (not finishing his work or staying on task mostly or non-stop talking.) His school actually tested him for learning disabilities. Before they did, my son's doctor told us his mediaction was quite low for his weight and we decided to up it after a few days of thinking it over (and a call from his teacher to express concern.) Boom! Another turnaround. Testing happened a few weeks after this increase in medication. Although he was tested to see if he had a learning disorder for writing, he received a 136 overall IQ (140 for thinking ability) and his lowest score, in writing was an 89% (100 is average IQ and 140 is MENSA level, low-genius.) There is NO way he would have been able to concentrate or sit still for the test, let alone do so well on it, without his medication. (Concerta in our case worked best- we tried Aderall and I hated the side effects... he'd "crash" in the evenings and become like a depressed, suicidal teenager. His doctor at the time advised us to increase the dose, so instead I got another doctor and we changed meds! Doctors do not know everything and there was no way I was going to up a dose of a med I despised!)

In short, there IS a place for medication! I am very happy we did everything we could to avoid it, but I also can't stand when parents so loudly assert that parents of kids on ADD meds are just trying to make an unruly child behave instead of being a good parent! If they don't have the problem, they will never know! Nobody can tell me I haven't done my research and I have three other kids without any issues! ADD is like having all the pieces of a puzzle before they are assembled... the medication helps those pieces fit together to function better!

On the few days I have forgotten to give my son his medication (he got his ADHD from me!), I've gotten a call home asking "Is something going on at home? Your son is just so distracted and we wondered if there was something we should know." Also, at 11, he sometimes can't get to the bathroom in time (when not on meds.) We talked to his doctor and were told that was also a symptom of ADHD... they don't even pay attention to physical cues!

Here is a link that might be helpful (it is from the company that makes Aderall, the med I hated, but it contains good info to FAQs of parents of kids with ADD.)
http://www.adhdsupport.com/showcategory.asp?categoryid=24

God bless and good luck!!!!

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B.F.

answers from Hickory on

i have a son that is add to and he was falling behind in school to and making really bad grades i had him put on some medicain and he is doing so much better he is now making a and b from were he was making d the meds really do help

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A.H.

answers from Pine Bluff on

I love the recommendation to be your child's detective! I'd like to recommend one additional resource that might help with that. It's a book entitled "Discover Your Child's Learning Style" by Mariaemma Willis and Victoria Hodson. As with any program, you have to sort through it to see what works for you and what doesn't. But, this book discusses the realization that, in truth, a minority percentage of learning styles do well in the classroom learning setting, and even fewer flourish. This might give you ideas about how to work with your daughter at home (the book points out that YOU are your child's primary teacher, not her school teacher! Wow!). It also gives suggestions about how ways to incorporate her teacher into the whole program, but it points out that even in situations where the teachers won't do any of the suggestions the student begins to change and thrive just because of the work done at home. And, it has allowed some kids who have been diagnosed with ADD and ADHD to stay off medication! Hope this - and the other suggestions - help you find a solution and ease your mind!

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L.M.

answers from Raleigh on

This MOST likely will seem completely far-fetched to you, but I will offer my advice anyway, mainly because I have personally struggled with ADD my entire life. I was just like you describe, not hyperactive, quite well-mannered actually. I was called a daydreamer over and over again. I mostly struggled with reading, and at first most people assumed I was really smart, just because I was so quiet and did as I was told. I am a mom of a four year old, and am keeping my eye on him like a hawk, for any of these struggles as I had, but so far, he can pay attention to stories, and likes me to read him books. Completely opposite as me as a child, as I refused to get anywhere near a book unless it was a picture book. Hopefully, he has my husband's brain. Anyway, I say all that to tell you that I have been researching my whole life, the cause, and have tried Dexedrine and Adderall, and felt they worked for a while, but then stopped working and I always felt a little uneasy about taking the equivalent of "speed" as a street drug. I always felt there was a deeper underlying issue and strongly feel that recently I have finally found it. I found it because I have over the years developed Crohn's disease and now Lyme disease, and was researching the best treatment options for those. I stumbled across an FDA approved open study online for the treatment of all autoimmune diseases. It's called the Marshall Protocol (www.marshallprotocol.com). After looking into the cause of all this, I realized that all these people have also struggled with neurological issues, such as ADD, anxiety, and depression, and are all making a complete 180 with the MP. They are getting rid of their diseases, and gaining complete renewal in brain function. Most describe it as a fog being lifted. In a nutshell, it all boils down to the immune system. The website can do a much better job of explaining, but basically, the immune system is compromised, and is working so hard trying to kill off bacteria in the white cells (immune cells) that is it unable to keep up with the toxins from bacteria, and gets overwhelmed with other toxins, causing the mental fog, memory loss, etc. The protocol is quite difficult, but allows complete recovery and allows the immune system to function properly again...forever. I will be starting the protocol in the fall and will be blogging my progress on utube. I struggled all through school, and dropped out of college in utter frustration, and wish I had taken the time off in my childhood to restore my brain. It will be much harder now as I am a mommy and a wife and have many responsibilities, but I feel that in the long run, it will be the best gift I could ever give them.

L.

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B.D.

answers from Greensboro on

Seek professional help as posted. Teachers are not professionals in diagnosing ADD - professional testing should take 2-3 days (this will include INPUT from teachers and peditrician).

Before putting your child on med's, please please look at side effects (short term and long term). Some med's are better than others.

My son is 17 years old with ADD and mild Autism. We are drug free due to the long term effects of the meds. Although he may not be the greatest student of all times, he has "bridged" the gap through diet (and exercise), counseling and alternative learning.

This is what works for my son and our family and with others it is a combination of med's, counseling and alternative learning through the school (an IEP or 504). I would keep an open mind and "try" what works best for you and your child.

How I handle HW time with my 17 year old: Same time, same place every night. 15 minutes on and then a break (short one for him to get up), back to work on HW. I limit HW to 1 hour (if he truly is working) and 1 1/2 hrs (if he is messing around) - anything beyond that gets a daily communication with the school (that he was unable to finish in the above time frame). Since your child is in 5th grade the time should be much shorter. I have to attend meetings one or twice a month during the evening for my job and those nights I communicate with the school ahead of time so that they either limit or elimanate HW those nights.

Please remember that Learning Disabled children are working "harder" than the average student, although their grades may be lower. My daughter (a freshman)is an exceptional student with straight A's (exception Latin with a 92 or "B") who takes maybe 15 minutes (at the most) to finish her HW.

God blesses each child differently and what works for one family, may not work for another. Talk to as many people as you can to continue "trying" different avenues until you find the one that fits best for your child and your family.

Good luck and god bless!

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J.A.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi,

i just read your email. I am a grown women who has what your daughter is experiencing. I did not know what add was till my own daughter was in the 7th grade. I had gone up to school to see about what we could do help her do better. The teacher mentioned add and i said, well explain what that is....

It hit me that what she was telling me might be true.. So i went home on the computer and for a week looked up everything about add...

Well i learned alot about myself.....and my daughter..

I then know why i always felt different. Why some things that seemed so easy for some people was so hard for me.

It was unbelievable that it would take a book to explain it all....

I look at add as a gift...

You may not understand right now but what happens is that your mind can go many places at once..

Half the world is add and most of the time it is the most talented people you know..

Add is a creative mind that needs to be stimulated,...

Someone who doesnt have it cannot really understand how it works....

I can tell you that helping your daughter stay organized is a hard thing to manage.

My mom was tough when i was growing up. I had to learn to stay organized and what worked for me ...but i was sad alot

because i was very sensitive and always felt different.
As for your daughter im sure if its something she is very interested in she will stay more attentive...

The whole trick is learning to make your add work.. If she learns visually than

use color to help her study....

Problem is most add children are the brightest.....

The smartest business people i know have add

and its so important to keep her self esteem up no matter what..

Dont hide what she has but explain how it can work for her..

I am a mom and can run circles around most of the women i know.. I am involved in lots of things i love to do....

And sometimes when i think i cannot do it all. It turns out that i have done so much more....

Im hard on myself but when i understood how i see the world the whole thing makes sence...

Please encourage your child to get through school and not punish if she cannot focus.. One on one help is usually better for her to learn...large classes are distracting

putting my daughter in private school in 7th and 8th grade helped alot.....at the time..

Now in 9th grade she struggles but when all is said and done has more common sense than most adults...so talented in the arts..of coarse im working on that focusing always.....

Medication is not the answer.....

Teachers are frustrated when they have kids that cannot keep up. My daughter has had a few teachers in her life that have changed that.. Some ofthose teachers were amazing. My daughter would come home with 100 grade because th etecher had a gift of making the class so interesting that she was so in love with learning..

I get very emotional when i think about how some teachers were so mean and made my daughter feel stupid.

Although im not totally against it i feel that learning to live with how she thinks is a better option.....

I hope this has helped

please encourage what ever she has interest in....

I have lived a life of creativity and have made a great living for myself....

Grades in school should not reflect on who you are as a person....

Being happy in life is the key.. So when you find something you love the rest will come........

Good luck

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T.M.

answers from Raleigh on

K. - My son, who is 6 and in the first grade, had a hard time focusing in class and was forever in trouble for not paying attention. Fortunately, this did not affect his grades, but was very disruptive to other students in his class....because when he lost focus, he would try to start up conversations or other acitivities with kids. After being in trouble for basically all of kindergarten and the first few months of first grade, I DECIDED to discuss ADD testing with his physician. I stress that I decided, b/c I was surprised that the school had not made the suggestion first....as so many are so quick to point the blame to ADD and ADHD whenever there are behavior problems with kids. Homework was such a chore....Writing would bring tears....to my son AND to me. He has to write sentences with his spelling words ech week and it would take us an hour to write 5 sentences...and I basically had to come up with the sentences FOR him. So - I had him tested, which resulted in a positive diagnosis for ADD. After much consideration, we decided to try a medication....if it helped, GREAT...if not, we would take him off of it. I debated so hard about putting him on him insulin.....if he had cancer, I would give him Chemo. We decided it was something we had to try....How could we, and our fear, contribute to his low self-esteem, frustration with school, etc. without trying something that could help. If we did not like it or how it affected him, we are in control of whether it is something we continue. Let me tell ya, we tried the medication...he is on the smallest dosage available and it has made all the difference. He makes great grades, now has the most beautiful writing b/c he can take the time to do it neatly, and he is writing creative sentences and short stories. It is still hard knowing that we are dependent on medication right now.....but so long as I do not seeing it hurting him physically with growth issues or personality issues, we will continue....what he gets in return is so worth it, especially at his young age where children are first developing student habits and work ethic.

Hoope this info helps. Sorry it was long-winded...but I would rather share all my thoughts. I remember who scared and worried I was when we started discussing ADD, medications, etc.

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L.B.

answers from Clarksville on

I have three children that have adhd and they are all totally different. my youngest is the worst and has taken several different meds in past 4 years, he is on vyvanse now and it works wonderful, he is very hyper and we have same problem with homework, had to get him a 504 plan at school to help. middle daughter is add, not hyper, but hard time focusing in class. she is on strattera. oldest daughter is on adderall xr. she was on strattera for 4 years, but she started having indigestion and upset stomach both work great on her, but I think adderall has been best. they are also in counciling. two youngest see a psychiatrist for their meds, but also other reasons. oldests meds are prescribed by pediatrician. there are many wonderful books on add and adhd, highly reccomend you study up on add. I was afraid to put mine on meds at first, but I am glad I did now. For their sake and my sanity. I know it can be very frightening to have a child diagnosed with add or adhd, but if dr suggests meds, then you should try them, but you will need to give them several weeks to see full benefits. Good luck to you and your child.

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H.M.

answers from Raleigh on

K.,
I'm an elementary school teacher who has taught many students with ADD over the years. First of all, only a medical doctor can diagnose ADD. I have a student this year whose parents really resisted for years the idea of medication. They tried diet changes, exercise, and read every book they could find. Finally, when their daughter kept coming home crying day after day saying that she was dumb and how much further ahead others were. When the parents realized what a negative effect her in ability to focus was having on her self esteem they decided to try medication. Within a very short period of time the child was able to complete most of her assignments, she was able to focus long enough to listen to a full 15 minute lesson, so she was learning at a faster rate, and she was having many more positive social interactions with her peers. There were a few hiccups in the road. It took a few months to find the right meds and the right dosage. In the mean time her emotions were volital and her appetite was seriously decressed. She was already a skinny child and became even more so during this adjustment period. Now that she has been on the same medication and dosage for several months though she is doing much better with both of those things. She is almost on grade level in all subjects and most importantly her self esteem is much better. She likes school and hates to miss a day. I'd say she is quite a success story. The things that made it successful were her parent's love and caring. Their constant communication with me to see how things were going at school. Calling the doctor with their questions and concerns during the regulation stage. And listening and observing their daughter. Good luck with your daughter. You obviously love her and want the best for her, so I'm sure everything will work out well in the end.

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R.W.

answers from Lexington on

K., if she has this, then medicine will help. My mother has taught many ADD/ADHD children over the years. and the medicine really helps. You may also want to check into teaching specifically for learning disabilities. Some private schools cater to LD/ADD/ADHD children. You really want to check out something called the NILD (National Instuite for Learning Disabilities) and enroll her with a Discovery therapist. This is NOT to further label her or anything to rip out self esteem. It just helps her use her own wiring to help her learn better, I've seen it in action and it works! There are sections scattered across the county. I've taught these children before. This doesn't mean they are necessarily incapable, just do things differently than the norm. And with the right help, she will succeed! Take care of this BEFORE she hits middle school.

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C.D.

answers from Chattanooga on

I have taught many ADD and ADHD students, so your daughter is definitely not alone if this does end up being her diagnosis. While I'm sure your daughter's teacher is very familiar with the signs, you still need a professional opinion. She very well could simply have ADD (something she'll likely grow out of one day) and just needs a little something to help her focus.

My husband is brilliant, literally, but when he was around this age he was FINALLY diagnosed with ADD after having struggled is way through elementary school. He was pretty far behind as well and says he simply hated going to school every day. After he was put on his medication it was smooth sailing. By high school, he was in honors classes and doing quite well. Today he's a college graduate with a great job in the Information Technology field. So, there's so much hope out there for your baby; she's still very young and has plenty of time to turn it around.

God bless!!

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T.H.

answers from Louisville on

I just wanted to give you support with this. I am also having the same situation with my daughter. She is in 2nd grade and has had problems since kindergarten. The thing with her is she makes good grades. So it's kinda frustrating. I have talked to several people. The counselor at our school says if you don't want to medicate, there is also the alternative diet that sometimes helps. He says there is information online. I haven't looked into that yet. This information was just given to me recently. So it may be worth looking into before you go the medication route... Hope all goes well. Good Luck T.

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V.G.

answers from Clarksville on

It sounds a lot like ADD. My daughter has ADD without the hyperactivity too and it can be a challenge to work with. The most important thing to do is to have a schedule that is the same all the time. Consistancy is key in helping them to maintain focus. It takes time and effort but does help. Each child responds differently to medicines and behavoiral modifications, so it is best to work with her school, doctors, and other adults that may work with her so that you are all on the same page as to your daughters specific needs.

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M.P.

answers from Asheville on

Dear K.,
Have you ever tried supplementing her diet with a good liquid mineral supplement? Minerals are not in the foods at all and haven't been since 1936, see U.S. Senate Document 264. Minerals are also the "spark plugs" of the brain. The neurotransmitters cannot fire properly without minerals in there so it's like taking out a couple of spark plugs in your car and wondering why it's running rough! I am a WAHM and take a supplement called Vemma. Vemma is an acronymn for Vitamins, Essential Minerals, Mangosteen and Aloe Vera. There's Green Tea in there too but they didn't call it VemmaGT for some reason. ;-) Anyway, my daughter has the same problem and when she misses taking her Vemma in the morning before school, she usually doesn't have a good day. I bet your daughter is a very creative person too. Creative people have a hard time paying attention in class because their minds are creating things in there! I wouldn't put my child on anything I didn't have to simply because they are finding out that these drugs weren't tested on children and now we are seeing strange things happening when kids are put on psychotrophic drugs early in life, or period! We do not have a Ritalin deficiency! God created our bodies to work in a wonderful manner, we just need to put the right stuff in there, and chemicals aren't on the list! I would also keep sugar and food colorings out of her diet as well. If you want to contact me, you can get my email address from the website at www.havewellnessnow.com. I will send you even more information and a sound file of Dr. John Edwards talking about results with an autistic teenager who was helped by taking Vemma! I know so many people this has helped and I do understand your dilemma...God Bless you and Happy Mother's Day!

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M.B.

answers from Raleigh on

PLEASE read 'Ritalin Free Kids' by Robert Ullman
found here: http://www.amazon.com/Ritalin-Free-Kids-Effective-Homeopa...
before using prescription meds -
my son displays the same signs and after reading this, I am seeking a Naturopathic Dr. for him -
We have begun giving him Omega 3's from Nordic Naturals - there is also a homeopathic remedy called 'Calm Child' - I even take this to calm myself, as ADD /ADHD can come down through the genes - although my husband and I have not been diagnosed (neither have my son or daughter as there is not test to show anyone has ADD / ADHD - there are only symptoms) and it has significantly helped him with concentration / staying focused.
Also take out all preservative ridden foods as well as the artificial additives and especially the colors - RED YELLOW BLUE with the #'s following them in the ingredients listing - teach your kids to read the labels and explain that these things are no good for them to eat !!!! We are an organic eating family - but occasionally allowed certain candies / juices, etc to our chagrin as these things in food cause behavioral problems in children.
Gluten is another big factor in behavior issues with kids diagnosed with ADD / ADHD
Diet is a huge part of it - watch what you put into your kids bodies - after all, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

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K.G.

answers from Charlotte on

Hello K. and Happy Mother's Day!
I will try and give you my perspective on this and then of course you need to consult with the doctor, school and make your own decisions. My son is 10 and has gone to public school since KG. He also has a brain that is wired to learn in a creative way and he is blessed with many gifts that schools cannot accomodate. In other words he as ADD, we just don't call it that. He takes medication during school since I have REALLY tried not to give it to him and I KNOW it helps him to focus a little better. He is behind in everything, and the gap is growing. Starting next year, he will be homeschooled by me because of his attention problems among other things. I believe that he will not need as much med or maybe even any next year since the distractions, anxiety, etc. will be cut down to practically none. ADHD is presented in either hyperactivity, or extreme inattentivness (which is the case with my son) Sometimes it's a little (or alot) of both. Mainly, my opinion is that public school is made for students that learn in a linear sequential way and not every one can learn that way. In fact it is my belief, based on research, that it's most likely that 30% of students learn better in a visual spacial way. That is seeing and doing instead of step by step verbal instructions. Your daughter being labeled "LD" has probably provided her with an IEP but I have to point out to you that, it is in fact just a piece of paper, and it's effectiveness is monitored by the very people that set the annual goals. Even as a member of the IEP team, you aren't there everyday, so it is hard to have any academic input. It is also just a jumping off point as most of the content is decided upon by tests that in no possible way could accurately determine your daughter's true potential or even provide an accurate snapshot of her ability. Life and learning is a full color motion picture and not a black and white snapshot! Schools want you to think that this IEP plan is the perfect individually created saving grace for your child, but what it turns out to be is, as long as the school is in compliance, is their protection from ever appearing that they have not done what was mutually agreed upon by the team- therefore no legal problems. They also are not known for revealing ALL the options to educate your child, that is up to you to discover on your own, then fight for and IF you get what you want, it will not be implemented 100% of the time. Let's be generous and say maybe for like 50%-75%. The amount of paperwork that school systems put these poor special ed teachers through is ridiculous and it takes away their ability to spend time doing what needs to be done. Let's face it, techers don't choose this profession to get rich! I have run across some really great ones and that's why he's still there. Even still the great ones are forced to do what the system is paying them to say and do and their hands are tied. BUT now that he is getting older and I am very concerned for his own self worth, pride, and the life long side-effects of being graded inferior, I personally cannot give another year of his life over to them. He is learning but not like I think he could. If you are afraid of medication- don't be. Of ourse there are some horror stories, but we have not had bad side effects at all. He eats well, sleeps well, is growing (and growing and growing) Because the attention problems are so severe in him I asked our Neurologist if we should try a different medicine. He has taken Metadate CD for 4 years. She said it might be time t see if there is something better for him.. I think that this is a normal way to see what works and what doesn't- is just to try it. It was called Vyvanse and I hated it. It made him pull at the hair on the back of his head, and it was suppose to last longer, and it did, and we didn't like it at all. So back to metadate. He hasn't had any side effects from it at all. I wish that I didn't have to give it to him at all, but as I said before I always can tell (school wise) if his pill was forgotten. Poor little guy just cannot pay attention! I hope you gained something from this extemely long post. Obviously I have been through it too and I have no problmes sharing my opinions! Some websites that I like are- allkindsof minds.org and visualspatial.org I've got tons, so if you need more just ask. Good Luck.

K.

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J.L.

answers from Clarksville on

Hi K.,

I second all that Dawn has shared with you. Be your daughter's detective and push for the testing. I'm curious to know what you mean when you say the teacher had her tested for ADD and your daughter has a small problem with it. A teacher, although exposed to children with ADD on a regular basis isn't a qualified professional to "diagnose ADD" ever. Their feedback is very valuable in the determination of a diagnosis and if she feels the suspicion of ADD is effecting your daughter's learning and has told you your daughter has ADD well then this teacher has opened a whole bag of worms. She should have never told you she thought she had add. In saying this she has opened the school up to paying for the evaluations for this. If its true you could also have them pay for any meds- MAJOR NO NO for teachers to tell parents this!!!!

Have you tried changing her diet? Here is a diet that most ADD/ADHD parents see results. http://www.feingold.org/

I agree with the sensory piece too. If your child exhibits some of the sensory behaviors that Dawn has mentioned then have her further evaluated by and OT. Most often sensory issues are often mistaken for ADD/ADHD and children are wrongly diagnosed because they don't see the right professionals. I would get second and third opinions on all.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is Asperger's. Kids with aspergers dont have social skills, they lack emotional sensitivity with others, avoid eye contact, seem off task, and inattentive, to name a few. If your daughter exhibits any of these plus other Asperger's characteristics I would request an evaluation for that as well. This link is for OASIS(Online Asperger's Syndrome Information and Support)http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/

I have personal experience with this as well. My son doesn't have ADD but he has sensory issues and we're in the process of having him evaluated for Asperger's. He received OT weekly and his OT has shared stories with me of how children are often misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD and put on medication only to discover(years later) that they had sensory & Aspergers and never needed the meds. Exhaust all avenues and do your research.

It's a long road and the information can be overwhelming but know that you are doing the best for your daughter.

Hugs,
J.

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A.V.

answers from Charlotte on

I think you are doing the right thing in taking your daughter to the doctor. It might also be helpful if you could have her vision checked, especially to determine if her eyes focus together or not. (I have recently learned that this is a commonly undiagnosed problem. As you can imagine, a child who is seeing double will have trouble concentrating!) Also, check with your school to see if they have testing beyond what the teacher can do. They should be working with you to help develop a program that works for your daughter. (They are supposed to do this, but they tend not to volunteer it if you don't ask for it...). You sound like a very caring Mom, so trust your instincts about your daughter. If you think she is capable of more given the right circumstances and help, you are probably right. Best wishes to you.

A.

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M.B.

answers from Raleigh on

Please take her to a physician that specializes in the learning problems of young children, not to the family physician. It is too specific a field to risk putting her in the hands of someone who might know only enough to put her prematurely on medication of some kind. A program tailored to her needs should be tried long before medication. You may want to get a referral to somewhere like the pediatric clinic at UNC. Here is their web site:

http://pediatrics.med.unc.edu/dept/default.htm

Good luck. Please do not be scared. There is much that can be done with the right consultation.

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A.B.

answers from Charlotte on

I use to work at a school here in Charlotte that maybe able to help you and your daughter. It's called Manus Academy. Rosanne Manus is the owner and director who created the concept behind our school. I have since left to raise my two kids, but I worked there for several years. We cater to kids who are very similar to your daughter. Our school starts at 4th grade and goes on through high school. You can look them up at www.manusacademy.com to get more information. We have taught all kinds of kids with a variety of abilities. Some just need a "break" and a redirection from the structure of public schools. We teach tools to you as parents and kids to help with how to handle their attentivness. Dana is the business manager who you'll probably talk to on the phone. Jeremy is the principal. If you visit or decide to attend mention that A. Barton referred you. Drugs may need to be adjusted, but they may not be the fix for this situation. Though I don't know all the details to your child situation, I do hope that this helps. Manus is a wonderful school, and hopefully it is close to you.

A.

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J.S.

answers from Nashville on

ADD is not characterized by "bouncing off the walls"-that is ADHD. Your child may very well have an attention problem. Usually your doctor will give you some sort of a questionare to fill out and will ask you to have her teachers do the same in order to help determine if she has ADD. As a teacher, I filled out this form many times. Sometimes medication works wonders-I have seen it help so many children. After you feel more informed, make the best choice for your family.

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L.H.

answers from Charlotte on

Hi K.,
I would say, please DO go through the testing and evaluation for ADD and try a combination of medication and behavior reinforcement...there are lots of tricks you and the teacher can use to help her stay on track. One of my twin daughters, who is extremely smart, also has struggled with ADD since kindergarten. Unfortunately, my husband adamantly opposed any kind of medication and she really struggled and suffered until I finally put my foot down when she was in 9th grade and she started using Adderall. Middle school was especially difficult and that's why if you take care of this problem now I think it will really benefit your child. The good news is my daughter is getting ready to graduate from high school next month, she made the National Honor Society and is about 45th in her class of over 300, and she was accepted at an excellent state university to study engineering. So there IS hope that you can get your child through this successfully, but please don't wait and hope that it will go away by itself. I really kick myself that I didn't make a stand much, much earlier for my daughter...the whole family has suffered for many years, and things aren't perfect now, but they're so much better than they were. Good Luck and God Bless!

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B.T.

answers from Charlotte on

i know how you feel i have too of them with adhd and i didnt want to put them on meds but i had to im a single mom and getting no help from there dad how i found out they had it i took them to the docter and he asked quetions and that is how i found out

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S.B.

answers from Louisville on

My 11- year old son has been on medicine for ADHD and it's no so bad. On one hand I feel bad for medicading him, but on the other hand, it's been most helpfull..his grades are fantastic and we don't battle at homework time (those homework battles can cause serious damage to development and self esteem).

Do what you feel is right. Don't base your decision just on a doctor's advise. They are only there to reccomend the "right" thing to do.

Based on your concern, I'm sure you're a fantastic, dedicated Mom...you'll make the right choice.

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K.W.

answers from Raleigh on

Call a LearningRx Center! There is one in Raleigh on Six Forks Road and their web site is www.learningrx.com/Raleigh/
They can test your child and provide a program to help your child with her specialities. You'll be amazed by how quickly she'll be able to focus on whatever she's doing.

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S.J.

answers from Charlotte on

Please have her eyes checked. It could be the ability of her not being able to focus and refocus when she is doing her school work or reading. It is called Convergence Insufficiency Disorder. The problem is where the eyes drift too much inward or outward in attempting to focus. My optometrist said alot of kids are prematurely diagnosed with ADD. The problem is it was too much of an effort to refocus and they become distracted, frustrated and can't concentrate.My daughter has it. Our options were eye therapy, which retrains your eyes to focus. This process could take months of exercise. The other option was bifocals. I optied for bifocals now. The other can be very costly and you have to plan for appointments to eye therapy over several months. I hope this information will be of some help.This is a new thing for us and we are waiting for her bifocals to come in. You may also opt for progressive lenses. I think it would be worth your time to check into this. Good luck!

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J.W.

answers from Knoxville on

Just wanted to share that you described my daughter to a T. It was not as noticible in many ways, as my son also had the ADHD, and was very hyperactive. Dr.'s told me that girls are rarely hyper with it. We had her tested by a psychologist with some battery of tests and they said she had it mildly. She would study, study, study, for a spelling test, and know it!... but by the next day...taking the test, she would flunk it! She had the homework assignment issue too. She said the medicines they put her on made her nautious and she didn't want to take them. She did ok in shcool, c's... but as a senior, she nearly didn't graduate because she was missing two points (or something ridiculous like that). Finally the teacher let her do some project in order for her to graduate. I would offer it doesn't end there. I believe it effects them in their relationships as well.

My best suggestion is to not only see your doctor, but become your child's best advocate especially in school, with teachers. Find out her style of learning, what will lead her to success, then get her tutoring or whatever will help. This ADD tends to not foster high self esteem either, so, I would offer she needs it built up through courses, encouragement and lots of love...which I'm sure she has because you are reaching out. Don't stop. (There are courses designed to help her with her self esteem through an organization called KAIROS Foundation) you can look them up on line. I'm sure there are others, but I know this one is a good one.

I hope you'll keep us posted.

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S.M.

answers from Greensboro on

You are doing the right thing by taking her to the doctor to consider medications. Don't feel guilty about it. If she is able to focus, do her work at school, and get her homework completed in a more timely manner, then she is going to feel so much better about herself, and you will feel better for not having to stay on her to get her homework done. My son, who is six, and is also developmentally delayed, has been on Ritalin in the past, and is now on Adderall. The good thing about these medications is that you will notice immediately if they are working, you don't have to wait for them to build up in their system. My son went from not having any success at school, to having a great day, the first day he was on Adderall. He has adjusted to the dosage now, and I have seen some slipping in his progress at school during the afernoons, but at least he is able to focus and get most of his academic work done. Because of some underlying health issues, and the fact that school will be over in a few more weeks, I'm not going to increase his dosage.

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J.V.

answers from Lexington on

K., Have you had testing done within your school district for learning disabilities and does she have an iep. Where are you living currently, I hopefully can offer a bit of insight.

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T.M.

answers from Nashville on

Hi K.! I understand what you are going through. My son was diagnosed last year with adhd. I didnt want to do the whole medication thing but it was either that or he would eventually get suspended from school. We do the daytrana patch and you can get them in different dosages. We like the patch better than the pill because you can regulate it better. Also counseling helps alot because they learn how to control the behavior on their own. I hope this helps!

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J.H.

answers from Knoxville on

K. - I recommend the mangosteen fruit juice for ADD. You can do your own research by going to my website: www.insidemangosteen.com/judy0114.

Please select the topic - ADD and listen to the many testimonials.

Hope your have success in this treatment.

J. H

[email protected]____.com

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L.B.

answers from Greensboro on

Dear K.,

Before you put your daughter on a toxic medication, please take a long look at www.Feingold.org. Feingold is a 30yr old non-profit organization whose purpose is to inform the public about petroleum based artificial ingredients in our foods. These additives can cause ADD, ADHD, OCD and many other neurological disorders. Feingold was a Godsend for our family. It only takes a few weeks of a healthy, all-natural diet to start seeing a difference. Best wishes.

L. B.

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R.H.

answers from Fayetteville on

You might need to have her tested. Try The Learning Links Educational Center ###-###-####. If your doctor diagnoses her with ADD or anything else, just get a referral from your PCP and bring it to the Learning Links. After the testing, you might find it is something else, something that can be fixed with out medication.

Good luck and God bless,

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M.B.

answers from Raleigh on

I just wanted to add on to my first response - my son began acting like a totally different child - and it really hurt my feelings - like others - I was used to getting the notes home, etc - not wanting to pick him up b/c I knew the teacher / parents/ whoever was going to have a note or some story, etc. for me - and I HATED going to pick him up -
It seemed to get better with taking out certain foods and esp. the additives / preservatives / colorings - but it continued to a certain degree.
When I read the book - RITALIN FREE KIDS -
I felt such a relief - like I was not going crazy at all - my son really did fit the profile - and it was nice to know that something really was going on with him - I could check off each thing in that book, like, YES - that is totally what is going on... it made me feel better and like I could help him-
There are several ND's (naturopathic drs) in the triangle area - ND's - as you'll find out if you read the book - help the whole self - or the whole child - it is almost like going to a dr and psychiatrist at once - the ND wants to know everything from how you sleep and what your dreams are about to what you ate that morning - and then give an herbal concoction to help the whole self, not just the ADD / ADHD self -
personally, there are more issues at stake here than just the ADD issues with my son - certain behavioral issues that are hard to deal with - in the past 2 weeks he has begun to take off down the neighborhood without telling me where he is going and such things - things that make parents worry A LOT!
so, ND's can treat the whole person - I would really recommend this book to anyone who is considering putting their kids on prescription drugs - for this issue.
I also lay down with my kids at night and talk to them - I'm not sure if it is that it is dark and they cannot see my reactions or what - but it is those times that I get the truth out of them about what happened with friends, or at school, etc - b/c a lot of behavior problems come from issues with friends or at school - which is part of what my sons problem was those 2 weeks - apparently his best friend is refusing to play with him and calling mean names etc - so underlying the ADD are some issues of other sorts - communication is always great with kids - open the lines now, and hopefully they will remain open thru the teen years.

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D.G.

answers from Nashville on

My daughter started slipping behind in 2nd grade.... she was in 6th when we got help. I saw an episode of Phil Donahue! She had ADD. She was sooooo disconnected.Her teacher didnt want to help so I took her to a Dr myself!
She took a low dose of Ritilin for a few years....shes not on it now at age 25! It helped tremendously. We gave her 5 mlg in the morning and 5 mlg at lunchtime....even in school. She quit taking it when she was about 18.We monitored it Very closely and she had No side effects.
Good luck

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S.R.

answers from Raleigh on

you are on the right track also do your child have a IEP or a 504 plan to help her in school that also can help her teachers out that she might need extre help or motify test even more time to complete her work we all learn in many ways

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K.M.

answers from Jacksonville on

I agree with the other response from Dawn.

My daughter has the ADD that you had spoken about. She's not bouncing off the walls, just looses focus and has some socially inappropiate behaviors.

Please do not let the peds docotor put her on meds though. She should be tested BEFORE any medication is in her system. The test here in North Carolina was a 2 half days of testing. They did a complete evaluation BEFORE they recommeneded any meds. My daughter has been on Concerta for about 4 years. We have only increased her meds 1 time during the 4 years and we are now working on life skills while letting her "Out grow" her medicine dose. That means as she grows in height and weight we are choosing to not increase the dose and it will eventually be a small amount compared to her weight. We are planning ahead on her being off of the meds eventually.

Good luck and God Bless!

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J.M.

answers from Raleigh on

Oh my gosh, did you steal my child. She is almost 10 and in th 4th grade. It takes her all year just to catch up. She is on a mild medication from her dr. She takes it once a day and it last about 12 hours. When I just went back for her checkup the nurse told me they had done a study about ADD kids like ours and it seems that one side of her brain is moving faster than the other all the time. She said that when doing homework, if reading that we should turn on some music (with no lyrics) so it will occupy her mind the fast part of her mind while reading. She said they had done studies on it in some classes and it was working.

Hope this helps.

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