Looking for Suggestions - Pearland,TX

Updated on July 27, 2007
C. asks from Pearland, TX
16 answers

I have a daughter going to 1st grade. She is very active and they are telling me that she is ADD. She does not show any violence but is discouraged/not very interested when we try to read/study. I am against putting her on meds; however if it will help her in school I would be for that. Wanting to know if anyone has suggestions/ways to research ADD so that I may make an informed/better choice for her.

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So What Happened?

We have tested her eyes, her Kinder teacher and I have filled out a questionaire that was given by her pediatrician. Doctor suggested Adderall XR 10 mg. She took it for the last month and a half of school and her teacher says that she noticed a difference in her learning/concentrating but recommended summer school. She is not taking them this summer and I'm trying to decide whether to put her back on before school starts in the Fall. I worry about long-term side effects. Thank everyone for your ideas/opinions they are greatly appreciated.

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T.S.

answers from Longview on

I have dealt with true ADHD and ADD kids. There is a huge difference between the two. The violence you are thinking of is what becomes prevalent in ADHD kids as they struggle to express their frustration with a world that moves at a difference pace than they do.

ADD is a much overused term. Having boys that were both on that edge I can tell you it is very common to have some first graders that are not 'into' school work.

My first suggestion is to learn your child's learning style.
I have an auditory learner. He only needs to hear it, thus he would play with anything on hand (paper, paperclips, rubber bands, pencils, etc.) while the teacher was instructing. But he could still repeat concepts, pass tests, etc. To keep him on track we (he is now in 10th gr) try to work with his teachers and tell them in the beginning that he is an auditory leaner. He needs only verbal instructions. making him do 100 word problems rather than let him help someone else that is struggling, let him do a fun project, or let him work ahead in the book is much better. He can get as far as 4-6 chapters ahead of the class and still do well.

My other son is a doer. He needs to hear, but then also be able to move and do it with his hands. Work sheets are fine for him, but he cannot be expected to sit at a desk for 7 hours at school without a lot of release for that energy. He is not ADHD however because he can truly hold his attention, if he can just stay focused and have a goal. We kept him in soccer and other activities. The teachers learned to let him run errands or move around.

Another child I had was ADHD, she needed full time supervision. She did get angry. She would absolutely pace at times. She could not focus. She was on medication just to get through a school day. She could stay at her desk, but she just could not focus on anything at home, school, church, for more than 2 minutes. She was truly in need of meds and is the only one that was medicated.

I suggest you work to learn how your child functions best and then find the academic situation to help her. All my kids have been at different schools to help them succeed. A good teacher wants to help all students succeed and will find a way to make that happen if at all possible. She will also communicate a lot with parents and not make the child feel like a failure because they are different. If a teacher can't do that, then you may need to find a different teacher, school, or consider options.

But meds should always be a last resort in my opinion.

Good luck,
ts

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S.

answers from Houston on

Go to ADD.com and you can read more about it.
Also your saying she is very active that does not have anything to do with ADD, ADD is somebody who cannot pay attention or focus on 1 thing at a time. You might want to get another opionion!

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D.B.

answers from Houston on

this is a very interesting web site. it has a questionnaire which helps to break down the possible type of add, as well as alternative treatments. http://www.amenclinic.com/ac/tests/subtype_test1.php

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K.M.

answers from Beaumont on

C.,

My son was diagnosed with ADD as well. He was in school...never violent....just not wanting to focus on his work. He was more interested in what everyone else was doing. Having ADD doesn't mean you are violent. If you talk to the school psycologist and ask them to have a your childs teacher evaluate them with a special question sheet and you do the same thing. You then schedule an appointment with your pediatrician and discuss the results of the questionaire. Your childs doctor will then determine if she needs to be on meds or if it is something that can be controlled by the food she eats. Best of luck to you and hope everything works out for the best.

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L.D.

answers from Houston on

I have been at this for some time. My son was 5 1/2 when we became foster parents. ADD does not mean anger. ADHD but if she is add try to change things like amounts of caffeine, sugar, and you can experiment since she is so young. Who is telling you she is add.
If school sends her to get psychological then that means that her doctor will put on meds if needed. But meantime there are sights on computer that are fun to get her ready to learn. There is funbrain.com it is a clean site and full of fun things to do. They are excited by the colors and I have found that it is easier to learn this way. I am 59 and add. My son is now 18 and bi-polar and add. I started him on a computer I bought at goodwill 50 and a program $1 at garage sale.
I have taught christian school with ages ranging from 2yrs to 5th grade. I can tell you from my experience kids are excited to learn if they think they are not learning. My son is lower IQ but he has lots of abilities such as drawing pipe and electrical.

It is amazing when we open our minds to what they can do. Today he put a pump in our pond connected across our yard and cleaning our pond water.

If you would like to contact me I would help in any way I can. my email is [email protected]____.com You are welcome to contact me.

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V.B.

answers from Houston on

I agree with the previous post. I think ADD has become a much overused label for any active kid and that's a shame. I would get a medical opinion (not the school's) and do some research to see if you can get advice on techniques to use to help with focus vs. medication if possible. Also, you mention that she loses interest when reading. Maybe have her eyes checked? She may not like reading if she can't see well. It seems young, but I have seen children that age with glasses and if that's the issue, it's an easy fix. Good luck. I am like you and would avoid meds if at all possible. It sounds to me like she just needs reading to be more fun and that she is a normal, active kid.

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A.J.

answers from College Station on

you need to speak with a family doctor who can refer you to a GOOD specialist. I don't believe in taking all the meds. out there. i have taken all sort of things, i know what i am talking about. read what doctor phil says about ADD, you also need to stop giving her sugar. anything with more that 5grams of sugar will really put her into a spin, plus start buying whole grain breads. limit fruit intake to small portions once a day and no sugar juices. i think that you really need to be informed before you start giving her meds. exhaust your resources first!
~A

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C.A.

answers from Houston on

Have you gotten a full independent evaluation (FIE) on her? The school cannot diagnose ADD/ADHD without completing this process. You should also obtain an outside individual educational evaluation (IEE) to compare the results. I don't know where you live but if you live in Houston, I can suggest some professionals that can do an IEE. You should be able to manage most symptoms of ADD/ADHD without medication in the majority of circumstances with the right interventions. If you would like to talk privately about this just send me a private message. Do not let the school talk you into medicating your child just so they will have an easier time during the day. This approach could come back to bite you in the bum if it is not right for her.

Good luck,
C.

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S.P.

answers from Houston on

I have an eight year old son who is ADHD. I too was not into giving him meds. at first. But my husband I spent 2 years with a child phsycolgist and a doctor that is specialized with behavior disorders and decided together to go with the meds. He has been on the same med. for 3 years, it time released and only last about 10 hours. He has had major improvement in school and at home, and has learned the behavior from his meds. and is caring them out even after the med is out of his system. He has also been told from the start that taking the med is no excuse for his action. If you are interested in the name of the doctors office just let me know. Good luck.

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A.M.

answers from Tyler on

Who is saying that she is ADD/HD? I have two out of three children one with ADD and one with ADHD but my husband is ADHD. My daughter was on a low dose extended release med through this past school year and her grades improved and she was in trouble less but she hates to take the medicine so this summer we have really worked on her "problem" areas like respecting other people's personal space and not interrupting, etc. She has done very well but she is older than your daughter and can understand that she controls her behavior medicine doesn't. My son on the other hand likes to take his medicine because he sees that people respond more positively to him because he CANNOT be still AT ALL, in fact he stood up his entire kindergarten year because he couldn't sit down without fidgeting but thankfully we had a teacher that worked with him and understood that all kids aren't the same. This past year we weren't quite as lucky and it was a struggle just to get through the year! I also make sure my kids understand that there is nothing wrong with them at all and the meds are not an excuse for not behaving. They are given to them to help them focus and that's it! It's a very hard decision to make and as long as you get the right information from people (DR.'s who are very open to your input) and make the decision out of love for your child and not just because one teacher says your child is hyper then you will make the right choice. If your child truly is ADD/HD there are plenty of good medicine's and other ways to deal with it,it doesn't have to be a bad thing! :) Good luck!

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C.H.

answers from Houston on

I am an ex-teacher and from my experience, meds are the way to go. There are SO many distractions in the classroom and it is nearly impossible to give each child your undivided attention. Children with ADD not only are easily distracted, but they also can be a distraction for other children. It is not their fault, but in my experience there is no reason to not put them on meds. Many of my parents did not want to put their children on medications, but after much research and experience realized that it really is best for everyone. You would not believe the difference the medicine can do. It really helps them to be better focused, thus leading to them becoming more confident. I have dealt with kids that their parents refuse to put them on meds and the results are a lot of work and effort on everyone’s part for little to no results academically, and behaviorally. Do your research on the medicine. Unfortuantlly you will probably have to change it a lot, discovering what dosage and so forth. Hopefully your child’s teacher and you can dialogue frequently about what is working. Best Wishes...

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K.G.

answers from Houston on

Hi, I am familar with ADD and ADHD by having friends with both, these are long time friends which I have known for over 25 years with the friendships starting in 5th grade. I can say for the most part that as time has passed both girls wish that they had not been put on medicine. The drugs, in different combinations and different dosages have caused many side effects like weight gain, weight loss, depression, lack of mood, feeling suicidal, seisures, etc. In a few years with one of my friends she did have better concentration, she was on dexadrine (spelling might be incorrect) but it left her unable to sleep right for many years and nervious. I am no Dr. but I do have personal experience and I have a BA in Biology with a minor in Chemistry so I am experienced with the body and how drugs effect it. I feel in most cases that schools, doctors, and parents are too quick to judge a person and/or to label them. I don;t think a minor or even medium case of ADD or ADHD requires drugs. In extreme case where a child's welfare or someone elses is at risk they may be needed but for school? Come on... where has our society gone to think that every kid learns the same and at the same pace, it may just take a different type of teaching approach for your daughter. Public school has a one track mind and route for all kids and it's either join the train or get labelled that something maight be wrong. Overall, as a mother, a friend, a community member I would suggest to work harder with your child and don't subject her to mind altering drugs for a easy way out. The drugs given for ADD and ADHD effect the brain's chemistry, do you really want to change your daughter? Hope this helps.

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M.L.

answers from Houston on

Is it just that she doen't enjoy those tasks because most kids don't. I agree about not wanting to use meds....my son has not been labeled as ADD but he does not like to stay on task and focus. He is a bit older that your daughter, but we have used money to reward him (money is afterall, as adults, what motivates us, why not motivate them the same way).

Our son just completed 2nd grade and doesn't like reading either. We get him to read to by reward him for each book he reads. We pay him a quarter (you can change amount) for every book he reads. We started this during the summer because during the school year his allowance is based on his school work and his conduct report at school. We feel that doing chores in the home is his responsibility as part of the family, so we don't pay him for that. We pay him to do HIS job...be a good student. If there is a difficult task (or just something we want to give him an incentive for) we ask him to do, I have told him that I would double his daily reward for each book he reads for the day (.50).

This will only work if you make him/her pay for his own toys and candy and anything else they may want at the store. Then they will see that reading has a direct effect on the toys and "fun" they get to buy. If you buy eveything for them (like we used to do) then there will be no incentive for them to make money (i.e. read books).

I hope that helps... a friend of mine thought it was a great idea when we told her and I didn't think it was that original. But since she did, I though maybe you had not heard of it or tried it. Good luck in whatever you decide to do!!

M. L.
www.WorkAtHomeUnited.com/mlarkey

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L.M.

answers from Houston on

Has the school tested your daughter for learning disabilities/dyslexia? I would suggest a full evaluation by the school district and then even an outside evaluation by an educational psychologist and your pediatrician before considering medication. My son is 8yr and has ADD without HD and dyslexia. He is less frustrated and better able to cope with the ADD now that he and we know what it is and he is getting specialized reading tutoring. Hope this helps. A great resource in Houston is Neuhaus.org.

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S.C.

answers from Houston on

C.,

I have an AD/HD son that has been on med's for several years. Sure it helped but in the afternoon, he felt so bad due to the medicine leaving his system. He had problems sleeping at night and still stuggled in school.

I decided there had to be a better way. I found a book on Amazon that talked about changing there diet. Yes, it's harder than just giving a pill but he's so much more happy now. For some kids certain foods can make it hard to concentrate. It's the top allergens. Wheat, dairy, soy etc. We watch red and yellow dyes too as they make him super hyper. I think the book is called The AD/HD and Autism cook book. I've loaned it out to my pediatrician right now, as she just is so astounded by the change in both our kids!

Good luck!
S.

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M.C.

answers from Houston on

Hello C.,
Have you ever heard of NAET. It's a wonderful holistic option that will allow your child to get better and not stay on medications. If you go on the website www.naet.com there is a book about ADD that you can purchase that explains it. You can also search for some in your area. I've used them for allergies and more recently, when my 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with severe acid reflux. Within 2 treatments she was better. Good luck. M.

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