Mom Seeking Advise on ADD or ADHD School Is Claiming Child Has Symptoms

Updated on March 27, 2008
P.C. asks from East Moline, IL
73 answers

My child is a 6 year old boy in 1st grade, the youngest of two. We have a older daughter as well. We have all done for the youngest and not really made him do alot on his own. We received a letter from school requesting a meeting to discuss keeping him more on tasks. I know he is very busy but seems to have no problems in the areas of Math / reading / spelling. However, he does not like to write or write sentences. He has trouble sitting in class and not bothering the students around him. The weather has been so very cold the children are not aloud outside for recess, etc. So there is little time to relief his desire to run wild. At home he does not seem to have troubles. What are the systems of ADD or ADHD? Has anyone had similar experiences? IS there a natural way of dealing with these issues? The Councelor at the school immediately says he needs to be on medication. However, I thought if a child had ADD or ADHD they just couldn't learn? I would welcome any thoughts.

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So What Happened?

When I wrote yesterday about my son; I was hoping for response for it was my first time using this service. I am delighted with all the helpful advise. Thank you all. I did call my family physician and he ask "Did the counselor give you documentation that states why they think he is ADD?" I said no, just gave me a talk. He had me call them and request the document, the counselor said "oh, huh I don't have anything put together but will gather some information and send home" Isn't that funny how they can diagonsis without a evaluation of some type. ????? Anyway, I am going to take him to the family doctor just to check it out. However, I did sit at home with him last night and we went over his spelling words and gave him a quiz; he passed with 100%. Then I had him do his math homework - I check it and he did it 100%. I asked him to write me a sentence about his sand box. He wrote " I love my sandbox because I can build a big race track". When I went to school -- that was a sentence. ???????? Thanks again for your comments. I will keep you posted after we go to the doctor.

P.

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S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Omega-3 fatty acids can help. Most kids that have or show symptoms of ADD are actually low in this very important supplement. Carlson makes an excellent cod liver oil (lemon flavor) that my kids love.

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K.H.

answers from Grand Forks on

Hi P....I have a 9 year old boy and since he was in k-grade his teachers have told me that he is always restless and not focused. Or they would say that he completes the work and then he is bored so therefore he would start to distrub the other children. He is a very smart boy and has a imagination like you would not believe. I always thought is was maybe because he one of the younger ones in his class...he has one of those summer birthdays...until he got in the 3rd grade. Within a couple of weeks of starting both of his teachers contacted me with the same issues as the other teachers and suggested that I have him "tested" for ADD. So I took him to his pedi. and he agreed with the teachers. I was very torn with the decision to put him on meds...I honestly felt like I had done something wrong as a mother. After more research I began to feel better about it. He takes Concerta every morning before he goes to school and it makes a big differnce. I feel comfortable with my decision to put him on the meds.
I hope this helps.
K.

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N.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

I heard a nutritionist say that an omega-3 deficiency can cause ADD/ADHD symptoms (along with a lot of other problems). I just starting giving my daughters (5 and almost 3) supplements.

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C.F.

answers from Sioux City on

P., We need to realize that God made boys and girls different. Boys were created to run and play, roughhouse, and climb. Many boys are not ready to sit and learn to read until they are 9 years old! Many boys are not physically ready to use the fine motor skills of writing letters, especially cursive writing in Kindergarten or even 1st grade. If you say he doesn't have these problems at home, it's probably because he doesn't have a problem! If he is really having a problem with hyperactivity, I would check his diet. Does he have food allergies? Does he eat a lot of junk food? Is he drinking a lot of pop or eating a lot of sugar? Even eating a lot of dairy will cause hyperactivity in a child. This is due to there being a major imbalance of calcium to phosphorous in his system when he drinks pop or consumes dairy. The fizz in pop is phosphoric acid, and is nasty on the human body. Dairy cows are fed grains that are fertilized with phosphorous, so they are receiving an imbalance in calcium/ phosphorous, as well. If you don't think any of the above is a potential problem, then your child probably is a regular, active child that isn't ready to sit in school all day!
By the way, I am a home school mom who has a teenage son that was not ready for school at 5 years old. He was not ready to read until he was 9 years old, so I gave him all the tools needed like phonics, and when he was ready, he soared with reading! He is now almost 16 years old, and he LOVES to read novels. I am also a holistic nutritionist, and have found my advice through the school of hard knocks with my own children!

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D.H.

answers from Janesville-Beloit on

At 6 years old he may just be-- being a little boy. But I would go the nutrition route before going medication. I have read up on the side affects of these drugs and I personally couldn't net handle the side effects or would want to be responsible for the actions of the side effects.

What we did was go to a natural path and work on my kids nutrition. The other thing that we did was buy this program. The Total Transformation Program. You can check it out at www.thetotaltransformation.com --- Your child is young and if you put these things into pratice now it will be easier for you. My kids were 12, 13, 15 when we started it. The program is working but my kids behavior has been in grained much longer. The program seems expensive but I would pay twice the price for the information and the help they give you. I will say a prayer for you.

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L.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

Be very careful of the school AND the doctor. Schools get paid by the government for every child they have on medication for ADD/ADHD. Doctors get paid by pharmaceutical companies for every child...etc.etc. I lean very heavily towards the natural way of doing things. If you'd like to do a little research on your own, check out www.mercola.com or www.naturalnews.com. Type in ADD, ADHD or something similar and see what you learn. By the way, doctors don't mean any harm. The sad part is that they aren't always trained in all the options, especially natural ones. Their opinions will be just as biased one way as my opinion is biased in the other way. So, the best advice I can give is to educate yourself and then stand up for what you believe. No one knows your children better than YOU. All the best.

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J.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

As a past K-1 teacher, and having homeschooled for many years, I would recommend keeping away from medication until you have exercised all other options. Children need lots of outside time, which our cold winters don't always afford. Sitting at a desk is counter to a first grader's developmental stage, so it's already a stretch. And for boys it can be torture. Kids are physical, so keeping your hands to yourself has to be consciously trained (see "What the Bible Say About Child Training" by Fugate). The biggest issue I see with kids and school is the lack of opportunity to flex their muscles (and sometimes their mouths) the way they were created to - thus this pent up energy comes out negatively. The desk and lecture format was not designed with kids in mind. Most kids in first grade are not ready for serious reading and writing, physically or mentally, regardless of what the schools may tell you. (My parents were career teachers, and you would be amazed what educational "theories" have come and gone, leaving thousands of dazzed children in their wake.) Kids need to develop at their own pace, not one arbitrarily set by people who don't know them. Medication is a desperate attempt by some overworked teachers, to pacify kids into fitting in. In a few cases it may be medically necessary, but most (in my experience) need a lot more time to move and express themselves, which a classroom of 30:1 cannot provide. I'd love to talk more with anyone intersted, as this is a subject near and dear to my heart.

SAHM of seven, 23 yrs - 16 mos, all progressing nicely in their schooling

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T.R.

answers from Milwaukee on

P., It is my opinion that there are a number of teachers & school administrators who like to play 'doctor' & insist on medication, because it is the easiest solution for them. You hit on an important issue - there has not been adequate release of energy due to the weather.
It would not be remiss on your part to have your son examined by a professional, but I certainly wouldn't go in there saying 'the school says he needs it, what do you think?'. Make sure you give them the entire picture of how your son behaves at home, the areas of interest he has in school, what he is excelling at as well as what he is struggling with.
If you are given the advice that your son has an issue that needs to be dealt with, explore with them the options of behavioral modification therapy, natural therapies & drug therapy, to see what is going to work best for your son. Because he is the most important factor in this equation, not the teacher, counselor or anyone else who feels like telling you what to do, against your instincts. Best of luck to you & your family!! T. =-)

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M.C.

answers from Iowa City on

Many children with ADD or ADHD are very intelligent. Most have no issues in learning. Symptoms include: off task, not completing assignments, not organized, trouble sitting still, easily distracted, work avoidance. These are a few but not all of them.
Let me tell you a little about me, I worked in ICCSD for 6 years with children that have ADHD. Some were on meds, some not.
Also next week I'm taking my 7yr old, 2nd grader, in to be evaluated. He is not focused and a wanderer in class. His grades are fine, he can get his work done but it takes 3-4 times as long for him as the other kids.

I don't feel meds are always the answer!!! There are ways of coping. The teachers started talking to me about my son last year. I said no to them. HE is very young for his class and needed time to mature. He is the age of most of the first graders. But now towards the end of 2nd grade he's matured and there are still questions. He'll go to the eval. but I already told the teachers that does not mean I'll put him on meds. I am not a believer in meds. Although I have seen them help in some cases.
If you do have him evaluated, and decide to try meds. Do NOT tell the school. I know that sounds bad, but after working in the schools, I know what is said and how the kids on meds are treated. Tell you child it's a vitamin and get an extended release pill.
But my real advise would be to wait. Teachers are always looking for the easy answer and ADHD is always the first thing they go to. (not meaning to bad mouth teachers! I worked with a bunch of wonderful ones) In first grade the kids are still figuring out school and how their system to learn and deal with things. Talk to your child about what is expected in the classroom. Go in and observe if you can. Sometimes taking a stress ball or something small not distracting to other kids in, can help keep him settled. Ask for a sensory wedge. It's a rubber wedge that the kids can sit on and wiggle on that for many give the same satisfaction as walking around. There are ways to help him without meds. Try a reward system - if you can stay in your seat for X amount of time then you can go take a walk to the office and back.
I repeat don't let the school back you into a corner and meds.
Hope this helped. Contact me if you need more ideas. I'm full of them after working with special ed. kids.

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K.F.

answers from Appleton on

I think teachers and schools (and unfortunately some parents) are quick to label and medicate children when they don't know what to do. Try talking to the teacher about the methods you use at home when working on school stuff with your son. Teachers are taught many different ways to teach, but they don't always know what works best for each individual child. Your knowlege of your child should be a big help.

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S.P.

answers from Lincoln on

DO NOT JUMP THE GUN. Many schools are reacting to this diagnosis. Your son sounds normal to me. My own 2nd grader has had problems with the exact same thing this year. We work on encouraging her to do her work and getting it done. There are devices called visual timers that could be used to let your son know how long he has to work on something. If his grades do not reflect it then the school needs to be teaching him differently. All of us learn in different ways and many teachers get into a rutt. If the school is serious take him to a child psychologist for evaluation. Make sure this person is no affiliated with the school.

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A.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

I know you have been inundated with advice and suggestions, but for what it may be worth, here's my take. My brother was "diagnosed" in a similar way as your child. My mom refused to have him tested and medicated for strong beliefs and opinions of her own. Most of all, she knew his "disability" was something he was going to have to overcome on a day to day basis for the rest of his life. And he did struggle through middle and high school, but he made it through. He is now 23 years old and attending college. He has taken numerous semesters off throughout his post high school career. But with awareness of the hurdles he has to overcome, he has never been so focused in his life. He took his education at his pace. And he is and will be a much better person for it. He is a success without any medication, just by learning how to deal with and adjust to how he learns and concentrates.

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N.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

the school should not be suggesting or diagnosing health issues.

more than likely your child is bored with certain subjects and could use a challenge...probably why he is antsy...he would show the signs at home as well...

something I have always thought teachers should or could do better at recognizing, rather than telling a parent their child is ADHD or something...would be to individualize more, not all students learn at the same level and when they don't then start to get into 'trouble' the blame game begins...

ADD and ADHD are severly OVER diagnosed

before you talk with the school, talk with your child and find out from them, what they feel, if they are bored, what could work better for them...

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S.S.

answers from Appleton on

First off, boys are more active and with some teachers,they will not accept this. I have 2 stories for you.
1-Last year my nephew was in 1st grade and did wonderful and this year he's following along the same path. His teachers say that he's advanced for his age. But, when he was in Kindergarden he almost failed.
2- My youngest almost failed 1st grade, he's now a Junior in HS. Both of these issues were due to the teacher and student not blending. This does happen even though the schools will tell you not. Our middle son did have ADD but he also has major learning disablilitis and CP. He was on Ritalin but went off of it when he got to be 13ish.
My suggestions to you. 1- Make a few visits to school to see whats going on. Do not tell your son and see if you can surprise the teacher. This way they will be in their usual routines. 2- if you really think he has a problem, make an appointment with a physcologist. They will evaluate him and see if he really needs something.
It seems as though active little boys are getting branded with ADD more often and you have to wonder if it's just because they are just active and the teachers do not have the patients to deal with them. Just a thought and good luck!

My suggestions to

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B.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi P.-
My name is B. Jarmoluk- mom of 6yo twin girls, med prof and wellness coach.
Sounds like he might just be bored if not showing symptoms at home- is he able to sit at home and focus for 20 min on one thing?? And doesn't like reading- not unusual for boys. Meds- their first line of defense. I work with a the largest wellness co and we have something called liftoff- safe for kids- and it helps people focus- prof. beach volleyball assoc. uses it- AVP. I have a couple people who used it with their kids- days they took it the teachers didn't complain, days they didn't, they said son couldn't focus- worth holding on to this in case they force the issue. You can see it at http://www.mydietshop.org I'd talk to your pediatrician and get some medical insight before you just let them label your child at school- might be a classroom situation not your child.
Good luck and if you want more info from me down the road, just email [email protected]____.com
B.

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C.M.

answers from Duluth on

Hi P.,
I just read your request earlier today and this evening I ran across an article that mentioned ADHA. I thought it might be helpful to you. If you want to check it out, you can go to
www.theADHDparentsmovie.com. I hope you find some help there.
Sincerely,
C. M

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A.H.

answers from Waterloo on

Pick up a book on ADHD and learn more about it. It has nothing to do with the child not being able to learn. That is a common misconception. Their brain is just wired a little differently. This can be present without hyperactivity as well. The reality is that they are not able to filter information. It's like sitting in a restaurant and being able to hear 5 conversations at once and not be able to concentrate on the person sitting across from you. Good luck.

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C.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sorry this is late, but here goes.

As an adult with ADD I can say from experience, that ADD DOES interfere with my ability to learn. If I cannot concentrate, then I have difficulty learning. I am currently taking an accounting course (math is horrible for me to grasp) and it is difficult for me. I must sit at the front of the class to reduce distractions. I have learned to cope with it. I have never been medicated for it. But let me say again. IT DOES interfere with learning. I, from personal experience (myself & my daughter) can safely say, it IS a learning disability.

In my un-expert opinion, if your son seems to be grasping all facets of first grade, doesn't struggle with math or spelling, and isn't telling you he hates school, he probably doesn't have ADD/ADHD. He's no doubt an active boy, very intelligent, and needs more hands-on activities. But, with the way schools are set up, dealing with budget shortfalls and such, he -- as well as all students (with or without learning disabilites) will suffer.

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S.B.

answers from Davenport on

Anne-
What a wonderful well thought out response. I too am a teacher and could not have said it better myself! P. I am thrilled to see you are following up with your doctor.

K.C.

answers from Davenport on

My son, who is now 16, was diagnosed with ADHD several years ago. His father and I choose NOT to medicate and found many alternate ways of helping him deal. First off, I went to the school and worked closely with his teachers, the Principal, and the counselor. After speaking to his teachers (he was in Jr. High by this time) we were able to target the times of day in which he had the worst problems....late morning, and end of the day. Makes sense, he'd been sitting all morning and afternoon and was getting a build up of energy that had to go somewhere.

Together we were able to work out a plan in which he went to the school weight room and worked out on weights for 15 minutes (leaving one class early and entering the next late). If there wasn't someone available to keep watch in the weight room, he would go to the nurses office and work with therabands. The workouts were stimulating enough that it took that edge off and he was able to sit in the last morning and afternoon class with little trouble. The teachers were happy, he was happy, and I was happy because we were able to find a non-medicated solution together.

Now that my son is older, he has learned how to manage on his own and does so by running. He runs to school, runs at lunch time, and occasionally slips down to the gym to run or the weight room to work out when he needs to let off some excess energy. The high school is wonderful in working with us to help meet his needs and keep him off meds, and his grades have improved! I can't begin to tell you how many times I had to go meet with the teachers and talk to them until we found a working solution and I still meet with them twice a year...at the begining of each semester so that any new teachers that he may have will know what is going on, how the plan helps, what to expect, and how to contact me should they note that changes need to be made. Once the school is aware that you will be working closely with them, you shouldn't have any problem in getting them to work with you.

The biggest plus to all of this is that we were able to keep my son off the medications and the bonus is that my son has learned how to manage himself and his needs on his own. A life long skill that will serve him well!

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M.O.

answers from Appleton on

HI P.. There is nothing wrong with your son. My feeling is the teachers are overwhelmed and they want to make these kids like robots. Mothers know whats best for their children. Thats why they call it Mothers instinct! Boys need to get outside and run around etc. Does he like any type of sports? Please don't put him on any medications. Our children are way overmedicated, adding insult to injury is the vaccinations. I think if he is able to get outside and play, or devote sometime to play, sport afterschool, he will be just fine. Make sure he has ample fruits, vegetables etc. Sleep deprivation is very common in children as well. I see it in the classrooms, I help out in my daughters class. Cut out completely the high fructose corn syrup, which is in everything. Give him a good multi vitamin, water etc. Cut back on the processed foods, give him fish oil. Carlsons has a lemon oil, that my daughter takes, she is 6 years old. I also have information on the mangosteen juice that is also helping with ADD and ADHD if you are interested. About myself. I was divorced and raised 3 active boys on my own for 10 years! They were very involved in sports. I am remarried and now have a 6 year old girl. I hope this info helps. Boys are all grown up and doing great. No medications for them. please e-mail if you want more info at [email protected]____.com. Prayer helps too!

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D.B.

answers from Sioux Falls on

Hi P.,
ADD or ADHD does not mean a child has trouble learning. It means that a child has a hard time concentrating on what is happening in the classroom. They are easily distracted by whatever is happening around them.
Have a Dr. trained in dealing with ADD or ADHD work with you and your child. A Dr. is the only one that can give a prescription, but it is totally up to you if you want your child on this medication. It has some side effects, so you want to know as much as possible about the medication before you put your child on this medication.
Check with your pharmacist about the side effects of medications. Alternative methods for ADD or ADHD are available, and should be discussed with your Dr.
Children with ADD or ADHD can be difficult to handle during a busy classroom. Children with ADD or ADHD are hyperactive, sometimes extremely so. They can be disruptive, making a teachers job more difficult. Children who are bored, can seem to be ADD or ADHD. It requires a Dr. to diagnose a child with ADD or ADHD.

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N.G.

answers from Bismarck on

Hello P., my name is N. and I do not really know the signs for ADD or ADHD (off hand) but I saw that you were looking for a natural way to deal with it. I know that chiropractic helps with a lot of different things and has help some kids with ADD or ADHD. A good chiropractor in town is Brad Rashau and the number is ###-###-####. His very good with kids. I take my 10 month old son to him and he adjusts me as well. I know that if he can not help your son he will tell you on the first visit. I myself am a chiropractor but am not licensed in this state yet. Have a great day and good luck with your son.
N. G

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J.B.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Sounds like he is a typical healthy active boy. I think the teacher needs to get the children doing more hands-on active learning to engage his energy level. I home school my daughter and I know that she is able to sit for a long period of time (up to 30 mins if really interested in what she is learning). But this just wouldn't be realistic to the typical boy. My daughter is in a virtual public school so that I can cater to my daughters learning style and speed. I would talk to the teacher and see what kinds of activities they are doing during the day, other then learning by sitting and listening and working at their desk. Have they tested him academically? Maybe he learns quickly and is board in class.

Single mother of 2 girls, 5yrs (1st/2nd grade) and 17 months.

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L.W.

answers from La Crosse on

P. -
First, make sure a certified doctor diagnoses ADD or ADHD. Secondly, medication is not the first answer! ADD and ADHD is hard to diagnose in BOYS this age since most of them have problems sitting still and have short attention spans simply because they are BOYS. Boys do mature at a slower rate than girls do. Without having seen your son personally, I would have to agree with you that little outdoor activity and the time of year is probably a contributing factor. Unfortunately, a lot of schools and teachers just don't want to deal with children who are not "perfect" and feel that children should be medicated. Don't jump on the band wagon. Take your child to your pediatrician and ask them for advice.

I am a former teacher who has taught children with ADD and ADHD both on and off medication. I believe that only extreme cases should be medicated and only under your doctor's direction - NEVER use the "school recommended" physician!

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K.P.

answers from St. Cloud on

he is a 6 year old boy! people with ADD or ADHD are usually above avarage in intelligence. The educational system was not developed for this very evolved personality type. medicating your son into submission is probably not in best interest.
Talk to your family doctor. Advocate for your son.

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D.L.

answers from Rapid City on

Hey P.,
I'm a secretary in the Special Education Department. Get your son tested - it won't hurt to have him tested and then you'll know for sure.
If he doesn't have ADD/ADHD, then it could be a simple change in his diet might do the trick. Often times too much sugar in the diet will make a child (young or old) restless, ansy and figity. A lot of prepackaged foods are loaded with sugars, especially box juices, fruit roll-ups etc etc. Even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can be loaded with sugars.
By the way, ADD/ADHD has nothing to do with the ability to learn and it does NOT mean that they have any "mental" problems. I have a grandson who is ADHD, a mild case of it and he's on the Dean's List in Jr. High School AND very active playing on the football and baseball teams. He is not on medication. Don't be afraid of the possible diagnosis - it's definitely not the end of the world.
Best wishes,
D.

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S.H.

answers from Green Bay on

Yes, P. there are natural ways to deal with ADD/ADHD. Don't let the school pressure you into medicating him. Also is it possible for him to do some morning exercises before school just to run off some energy? Feel free to contact me if you want to hear about natural alternatives to medications.
Blessings,
S.
http://www.YesToSuccess.net/S.
helping families with health and wealth for over 11 years.

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A.

answers from Madison on

After reading the responses to your original question, I am sickened by how many people chose to bash the teachers. As a teacher, I am highly offended by those who think that teachers immediately jump to the ADD/ADHD diagnosis, or assume that we do that happily and without a considerable amount of thought. Chances are, the teacher has experience working with ADD/ADHD children, and has seen some of the symptoms in your child. This is where you as a parent get to jump in, and have your son evaluated by his pediatrician and psychologist. No teacher takes this lightly. Also, most of us have had many opportunities to witness how well children who are medicated do, and how much of a RELIEF they seem to feel after beginning meds because being a student and not having impulse control and getting the negative feedback from peers and adults is really hard to live with. I have a student in my class now who is classic ADHD and because of his parent is not medicated. This student is MISERABLE and not living up to his potential academically or socially. Please get your child evaluated professionally, and please don't jump to conclusions about your son's teachers. They only have his best interests at heart. If your son needs to be medicated, it is not the end of the world. Good Luck!

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H.F.

answers from Pocatello on

It sounds to me like medication is definetly NOT the answer. Your son is smart he just has lots of enery, which is NORMAL! So many adults think that chilren should have the same energy level as a 30 year old, which is ignorant and impossible to achieve. Try enrolling your son is a sport, an indorr one in the winter like tumbling or rock wall climbing and a spring/summer sport like tee-ball or soccer. And take him to the park and indorr playgrounds as much as possible. And try practicing writing at home so it will be easier for him at school. Also practice sitting still and quiet by reading to him from a chapter book that he is interested in. And always reward and reinforce good behavior rather than just punishing bad behavior, if you (and his teacher) only seem to notice him when he is acting up then that is how he will seek attention. Good luck, and don't medicate!

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S.S.

answers from Milwaukee on

First of all,I would not take a counselor's advice re: medications. Second, I'd take him for an evaluation to a child psychiatrist apart from the school. the school has their own agenda, and they need so many kids in their special needs caseload to keep specialists employed full time, with full time benefits. so, i'd take it upon myself to ask the child's personal physician for a referral to a dr to differentiate these behavioral dilemmas. you don't know if they're behavioral, or emotional, or learnig disabilities, or psychiatric, or neurological. i don't know how the school counselour would nknow that, either. so, no way would i go on what the school counselour says. good luck.

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T.E.

answers from Fargo on

Hello I totally understand your situation. I have 3 kids and all of them have been diagnosed with a disability. My oldest son is 18 and has been diagnosed with ADHD since he was 3!! He is now ADHD/Manic bipolar, my 15yr girl is ADHD/ODD (oppisitional defiance disorder), and the 13yr son is ODD/bipolar. A good website to go to find out more about these disorders is http://www.nmha.org/. under information click on the disorders & treatments, then AD/HD, AD/HD and kids then you find a fact sheet to help you better understand your situation. What to expect and what treatments are best.

GOOD LUCK
T.
[email protected]____.com

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D.L.

answers from Milwaukee on

My husband uses to need to fiddle with something while he was listening. Could your son use a string under his desk with some quiet fiddle toys strung on it to keep his hands busy so he can sit a little more still?? They also have these rubber bumpy things kids can sit on and the added texture allows them to sit longer.....
just some other ideas as well....
good luck :)

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J.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Kids who have ADHD are usually extremely intelligent, they tend to pick things up quickly and have high IQ's. They just have a hard time sitting still, focusing, concentrating and completing tasks. My child also has ADHD and was diagnosed when he was in 1st grade as well. He is now 17, top of his class and getting ready for college. First get a diagnosis, make an appointment with a psychiatrist, they will be able to tell you if he has ADHD and you will be eligible for accommodations from the school. He might need medication but here are two things that might help and are natural. We give my son fish oil tabs, it lubricates the neuropathways and helps him to process things better. Also if the school will allow (if he is diagnosed and gets accommodations they should), get him a cd player or ipod that has natural sounds on it. Like sounds of running water or the ocean. Have him listen to it in class when he is supposed to be focusing and concentrating. The sounds cause the brain to focus on two things at once, it will help him slow down and he will process things better. Do not get anything with words or it will then become a distraction. If the school will not allow it then just use it when he is doing homework. My son has gone through numerous test programs here in the Minneapolis area and these were the things that we found most helpful.

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M.S.

answers from Green Bay on

To me it sounds like he is just sick of being stuck inside. I have a 6 year old that is the same way. She has been getting better and controlling herself, but still have her moments. If he is really good in all the areas except for writting I can't imagine that it would be ADD or ADHD. Maybe it is his self confidence or doesn't like the way his letter look. Also, he maybe bored in class. See if you can challange him more at home. Really see what he is capable of. I wouldn't rush right out and put him on the meds. I would make sure to try other things first. Just keep encouraging him and support him. Good luck

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K.B.

answers from Bismarck on

I have not tried this, but have talked with two families that swear by it. Vitamin B Complex. It increases energy, but is also a stress reliever. They said they took their sons off the ADHD meds because this worked so well. Again, I haven't tried it, but that I'd pass it along as a natural alternative to medication.

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N.O.

answers from Janesville-Beloit on

It is my understanding that ADD is primarily the inability to remain focused (for longer that a few minutes) and ADHD is the same thing only with larger amounts of energy attached. That is simplifying it quite a bit, but I just wanted to try and summarize it. Also, I just read your addition to your email and wanted you to know that being ADD or ADHD has nothing to do with how smart you are. In fact many ADD or ADHD kids are very intelligent.

(If your child is doing so well, you might want to askyour child's teacher if his work is already complete when he is misbehaving or unattentive. If she/he doesn't know ask them to keep an eye out for it and you will check back with them later in the week. It could also be a matter of finished-with-my-work-and-need-a-prompt-or-reminder-of-what-else-I-can-do from the teacher.)

The school would mention this if your child demonstrated these symptoms, especially if it was a distraction to other students. In my state (WI), the school does not have any legal authority to state that your child is ADD or ADHD. They can just recommend that he be tested by his physician because he demonstrated these symptoms. There are ways that you can attempt to deal with this. First, I would mention to the school that you appreciate their informing you, and that you intend to deal with it. Then, you have some choices.

If you feel comfortable with your child's practitioner or medical clinic, then discuss it with them. If you are concerned that the end result would be that they will simply put your child on a medication, then begin your research.

My beginning recommendations would be to reduce the amount of sugar in your child's diet. Sugar is snuck into the majority of the food's our society eats now days.

Then, I would skim through a few of the books I will mention. (You can get two of them through your library or through interlibrary loans. Gut and Psychology Syndrome is relatively new and probably not in libraries yet, but is written my a UK doctor who has cured her own child of autism and has researched how improved diet and stomach conditions can improve or eliminate various other issues: ADD, dyslexia, autoimmune issues, asbergers, autism, etc.)

Allergies and sensitivies to foods can cause hyperactivity and brain fog, so it could be a matter of finding out what your child's trigger foods are. This doesn't necessarily mean allergy testing with all of the needles. You could test your child for free at home by using an Elimination Diet. These can be found in books or on the internet. Basically, they restrict your diet to fruits (not citrus), vegetables, and meats for one week. Then, the next week each day you introduce a new food and see how your body reacts.

The book "Is This My Child?" by Dorothy Rapp is excellent for telling you what sorts of symptoms you should be looking for that show you what allergy your child might be demonstrating. (I just skimmed through it enough to get the info. I needed.) If your child has an allergy, than you try to eliminate it from their diet or environment. There are many websites with recipes, etc. for those who need to modify their diets.

Candida (yeast) overgrowth can occur in both males and females and that could also cause symptoms of hyperactivity and numerous others. Candida overgrowth can lead to major health problems in your child's future. Dorothy Rapp explains some of the causes, symptoms, etc. I have discovered that my children both have yeast overgrowth issues and I am dealing with it. I have already noticed major changes for the better in them. Juice, snack crackers, bread foods, sugars: all of these feed the bad yeast in our bodies and cause them to grow and reak havoc.

Good books that explain how the foods we eat affect our bodies and how to fix them: Gut and Psychology Syndrome and The Body Ecology Diet. There are support groups out there for all of these things. I hope this helped some. Let me know if you have more questions. Best of Luck!

N.

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S.G.

answers from Sioux City on

I would tell you to hang in there, many times in schools the quick solution is to have your child put on medication because that is what they have seen work in the past. I think six is awfully young to go that route. I would suggest some sort of behavior chart or reward system to be implimented prior to going the route of medication.

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M.P.

answers from Duluth on

P.:

You did not mention if your son has been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. If not you should consider making an appointment with your school psychologist and having your son diagnosed. That would be the first thing.

I am a former Special Education Teacher. My wife saw your note and asked that I respond. It sounds like your son needs to have things broken down for him in class, that would benefit him more. If diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, he would be put on a Individual Education Plan. The school would have a meeting with you at least once a year, and it would be a contract. They would need to abide in what services they felt you and they thought your son should be given. It is also your perogative to reconvene the IEP team as often as you see fit, if your son dies not receive the services that he deserves or needs. The plan can be tweaked as you go along.

It sounds like your son could use some extra assistance with his writing of sentences and possibly this can be done on a computer as well. He could also possibly receive an aide to work with him parttime in areas he struggles with.

Best of luck.

M. P.

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A.B.

answers from Bismarck on

My son has the same issues our Doctor said not to test them until second grade because you could get a false positive. My son is in the top of his class academically the problem is he is too "busy" to stop and do all the little work like writing. one of the things we tried was to have him at home have him write one sentence before getting his play time and working up to either all the spelling words or sentences they have to write. it takes time and patience and the best thing you can do is make him do more small chores this helps him learn the "joy" of finishing a task. ADHD has many degree's from mild to major Attention deficit or mild to major hyperactivity and the scale on each is seperate my son is mild attention and major hyperactive. one other thing you could try is to give him a very small amout of caffine before school just to see if that helps and if it does then that is an easy temp fix. just make sure to talk to your Dr on your next visit.

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A.T.

answers from Wausau on

One of the first things to do is have your childs vision checked by an opthamologist. School vision screens only check for distance, not the hundreds of other things that go on with a child's sight. Not many parents believe or know this, but another avenue to check is to have his functional vision tested as well. It measures how well the brain and eyes are functioning as a team. If a child cannot trust the messages it's eyes are receiving they will start to become anxious, avoid reading, writing, spelling, and (sometimes)sports. Vision delays can also present as ADD/ADHD symptoms especially in elementary age children. If your child is tilting his head at funny angles, laying his head on his desk alot, or holding books in odd positions, and/or has reversals when he writes it is worth examining his vision before/in addition to exploring the ADD.

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B.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

The biggest sign I notice right away at home with kids/adults with ADD/ADHD is lack to sit and do something like watch tv, or play a board game etc... I'm not talking watch cartoons like a serious movie or board game can your child sit through an entire movie quiet, patient and tell you about it at the end? I know several people with it and they cannot sit still long enough to finish a movie or project. That's my number 1 sign I watch for.

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M.S.

answers from Milwaukee on

I don't have any experience dealing with this as a parent, but when I was little, my mom was told the same thing about me...and that was back when they didn't just automatically jump to ADD/ADHD as a diagnosis. She put me on an natural food diet with very little processed sugars and it totally worked. I was especially sensitive to red food coloring, so I know there can be a diet connection. She used a cookbook "Feed Me I'm Yours" to make some healthy stuff for me (I really liked the peanut butter bread) It might not work, but I'm really glad my mom tried changing my diet before putting me on medication. Also, I had less trouble when I got a little older and the classes became more challenging. Maybe your son is just bored. Good luck!
M.

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B.S.

answers from Sioux Falls on

P., You have been given some brilliant advice (especially from Brenda J). My oldest daughter was actually diagnosed at a very young age (4) with ADHD (she is 14 now and off medication). We tried going without medication for a time, but when the situation came to the point where she was putting her baby sister at risk with her behavior we decided to medicate her. She was evaluated by a pyschologist and was getting therapy prior to medication as well.

As far as the school goes, how dare they automatically assume that your child has ADA or ADHD. Quite honestly, it sounds like he is bored more than anything. Especially since the behavior doesn't occur at home. I read several responses where it is said that many teachers don't want to "deal" with kids who aren't perfect angels. Part of being a teacher is not only teaching various subjects (math etc) but also teaching children how to act and behave with other kids as well as in a school environment. Granted, behavior needs to be part of the parent's teaching responsibility, but teachers need to do this as well. Many teachers and school officials forgot this part of education. There are things that go on at school that teachers need to address to the students as to what is acceptable and not acceptable behavior. Sorry I am ranting, didn't sleep well last night.

Anyway, kudos to you for not giving in to the school system. And your son sounds like a very bright child. It seems to me that they are the ones with the problems, not your son. Would they rather every student be zombies in their classrooms? I'm sure after evaluation from your doctor that your son will test negative for ADD and ADHD. If I thought it would do any good, I'd have ya tell them at school to stick it where the sun don't shine.

B.

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M.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi, P.!

Like you, the school my daughter was attending told me that they thought she might be ADHD - she was disruptive in class, couldn't get along with other children, couldn't sit still. I wasn't buying it, and took her to a whole slew of doctors to rule out other things (hearing/vision problems, autism, ADHD, ADD, etc.). After about a year of observations by the school district, we determined that she has a sensory processing disorder. It turns out that a LOT of children who have SPDs get mis-diagnosed as ADD/ADHD. She's now getting occupational therapy (play therapy), and she's learning to manage this so well that she may be able to stop with therapy after only a year!

This is a great website to read through - the link is actually to the page with the signs of SPD. http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-proces...

The reason I bring this up is not because your child necessarily has an SPD, but because you should be aware that this is a possibility, and you should know that you may have to work with the Early Childhood Development folks in the school district to get it diagnosed - it usually has to be done through a series of questionnaires and observations.

Good luck!
--M

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C.D.

answers from La Crosse on

Yeah, unless the counselor at the school is a doctor they cannot be diagnosing your child with ADD or ADHD. I would suggest you have him evaluated by a clinical psychologist who treats children for ADD & ADHD before you let the school consult you on anything further in regards to your child. In addition, if your child is diagnosed with either of these there is non-invasive therapy called "neurofeedback" available for people who wish not to medicate their children. How I understand it is that neurofeedback helps the child train their brain (which as we all know is still developing at that age) to work differently so they may concentrate better. Than again I'm not a doctor so it is best to get the scoop from one of those. Good luck, I hope you can find a clincal psychologist who will work with you...it shouldn't be that difficult to find one. Just ask around. I don't think that school counselor is doing right by your kid.

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S.B.

answers from La Crosse on

Hey P.,

Do not panic, help is on the way. I am 44 with 5 children and two of which are diagnosed addhd and one with addhd/odd.
My oldest is 18 and did eventually grow out of needing to be on medicine. He was on Ridlyn since he was in kindergarten. He was actually kicked out of preschool for not being able to leave the other kids alone and being nice to the other kids. By age 13 he done with the meds but very active in sports, I think that really helped him. My other child is 13 almost 14 and she has been on Rydlyn and is now on Adderal. She takes 20 mg/and it is a time released capsule. She has addhd with oppositional defiant disorder and wow what a handful. She has been cycling (menstruating) since she was in the fourth grade and without meds she is a handful to say the least. She has a tendency to be very disrespectful to teachers and others. When she runs out of meds or I forget to get the prescription her teaches call me. I really am not firm believer in all meds. Her teachers really cannot handle her nor can I without medicine.

Your boy not liking to write or write sentences is maybe from the fact that it takes too much time and when he does write it is hard to read. I know it is cold but if you dress them warm they should be able to go outside for a short time
My children had way too much energy to be cooped up for much time. You can have your son tested and go from there with the results. I am sure the counselor had good intentions but they have no right to tell you that he needs medicine. We only as parents have that right to after being diagnosed from a expert whether our children take medicine or not. Best of luck to you always remember be patient and ask that the teachers do the same.
S. B Iowa

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L.L.

answers from Lincoln on

P.,

I am a mental health counselor. I would suggest if you think he has ADHD to get a formal assessment done by a psychologist. Even if he has ADHD, you can use some behavioral modification before going straight for the medication. Since there are no problems at home, I doubt it is ADHD. It may be that he is bored with school and wants to do something else. It could be the teacher or his classmates. I would investigate further before even considering meds.

L. :)

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J.G.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi P.,

There are alternatives to medicate ADD children. Get the chemicals out of the schools!

We had our son on the ritalin and then tried the adderal. He went into depression so they wanted to try Wellbutrin. That when my hubby said "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!" We were going on with physcotherapists, phycologists.

My friend introduced me to a company called Melaleca 7 years ago. There is a Provex line that not only helped his ADD but also cleared up his acne! It was a little pricey but it worked! If you would like to learn more please visit our webiste: http://yourchoice.healthyhometour.com. We also took all the chemicals out of our home. We noticed a difference in his behavior with 1 week! He also had asthma. This is a child that had a heppa filter in his room, mattress encasements, pillow encasements. Sometimes we felt he was the child in the plastic bubble.

It will get better.

J.
or e-mail me when the best time to call you is. I can share more with you then. [email protected]____.com

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S.N.

answers from Davenport on

P.,

I just recently adopted my granddaughter and she was diagnosed with ADHD, we do have her on meds now. I would suggest getting your tested, especialy if he has problems sitting and bothering other kids in the class. This was her main issue as well, she does very good in school now. She does not fidget or disturn the other kids in her class like she did. Do not let anyone tell you what they think, only the doctor can tell you for sure.

There is a series of questions on a questionaire that you would need to answer, your school can provide them for you. Once you have these questions answered and return them to your school or doctor, you will truly know he is adhd.

They told me my middle daighter was adhd, but she was jsut a little social butterfly and wanted to talk to everyone all the time. So she bothered people at school.

Do not let anyone tell you though that this is his problem until you taken the questionaire. I think sometimes this is just a way out for the teachers to not have to deal with a social butterlfy or someone who just wants to make friends and play.

If your son has failing grades in all his classes then I would really consider it because he has a short attention span and cannot cope with anything for a long period of time. The kids that have add or adhd do not have the greatest grades in school.

Get the questionaire and investigate this first before you put him on meds.

Also check out www.webmd.com and they have a alot great answers there also.

Hope I helped a little

S.

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B.T.

answers from Sioux City on

ADD or ADHD doesn't have to impact academics, however, it sometimes does. Depending on whether your son is the hyperactive type or the daydreamer type, ADD impacts their impulse control. Children with ADD or ADHD tend to do and/or say things without really thinking it through, have difficulty focusing, and can have difficulty socially with peers as a result. You can visit with the people who work with your son at school and request that they write up some of the things they observe that leads them to think he may have an issue. Take that information to your family physician or pediatrician and discuss it with them. Then, your family doctor can give you information regarding exploring ADD/ADHD or other related disorders. You want to make sure that you share the school's information as well as what you see, though, because often times, the demands at school make the symptoms more apparent as there are higher expectations at school than at home.

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P.S.

answers from Milwaukee on

The school cannot diagnose your son with ADD or ADHD. He may just be a busy child, or he may not be used to the whole school thing. Ask his pediatrician to check him over and tell the Dr. what the school thinks. Even if your child does have ADD or ADHD you have the choice of whether or not to medicate him. We have always known our son was hyperactive, but he didn't have a lot of trouble until all day kindergarten. Since he was in a special needs kindergarten for speech and occupational therapy needs due to prematurity, we talked about alternate methods to help him sit still. There is a special chair called a rifton chair. (do not let them use it with a seatbelt) it has a tall back and armrests and some have a foot rest. It helps remind the child to sit still. We also tried a weighted vest. It is worn for short periods of time, say a half an hour or so, and the small weights in the pockets provide a small amount of pressure on the child's shoulders-also a reminder to sit still. We also tried putting velcro under his section of the table. This helped him keep his hands busy, while still sitting still. The teacher changed the texture every so often to keep him interested. The teacher also placed masking tape around the section of the table that was his. This reminds him where is boundaries are and helps him to keep his stuff out of the other childrens area. At my son's school, when there is indoor recess, they sometimes let the kids run around in the gym. maybe even have the teacher stop and let all the kids stretch for a few minutes before they move on to the next subject.

Children with ADD or ADHD can learn. They just get distracted easily, and or have touble sitting still.

Good luck!!!

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G.

answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with Kim. The school people are not the one who should be saying what his dx is. They said my son had ADHD and he did not. I had him in counseling for a year. He could have underlying characteristics but not be adhd.
I would check it out. Good luck

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N.P.

answers from Lincoln on

I study natural healing and nutrition so I tend to try everything natural before anything else. Food is your best medicine! Alot of kids are deficient in vitamins or nutrients or have allergies such as to dairy or wheat. Try changing the diet and keep a journal,taking a way on thing at a time for about a week. Its really a myth that milk is the best source of calcium,its very mucas forming and our bodies are not meant to digest cows milk. we are the only species that continues to drink milk after being weaned off it. Any ways he also might be advanced and getting bored. Alot of people just have spring fever right now. I would be very careful about labeling a child,this just gives them and excuse and telling them they have a problem and it actually makes things worse. Every child learns differently,find what works for him and try to give whole food vitamins if he doesnt eat his veggies.

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L.C.

answers from Madison on

Hey - my brother has ADD and actually I think kids are diagnosed with it way more commonly than actually have it. It is possible your child has ADD, but get him checked out. If a child takes the medication that doesn't actually have ADD, it will make them more hyperactive whereas if the kid has ADD, it helps them calm down. I was reading a study recently that additives and chemicals and added coloring, etc... (fake stuff) in food causes an increase in hyperactivity with kids. That'd be a natural way to help - give him unprocessed foods mostly.

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M.S.

answers from Sioux City on

Hello P.,
I would say if he is fine at home then I would think ADD or ADHD is not the issue. I had this same issue with my son last year (age 7 at the time) and the school did complain. He never had an issue before that. I would go in and check out the classroom. Is it organized? Is the teacher in control? Does your child get blamed for things he is not doing cuz he was labled the trouble maker? Talk to other students and ask what he is like in school. you may be surprised!
Ours started last school year. We had moved a couple of times and he started a new school. He loved the fact he went to school with my little sister whom was in 5th grade and he was in 2nd grade. About 2 weeks in his teacher started the complaining. Said he was always in trouble, not doing work, etc. I asked him on the school work and he had it in his backpack with a big fat F on it. I was shocked. It was not incorrect... It was NOT DONE! I asked why it was not done and he explained that he did not understand it. I replied that he needs to ask his teacher for help. He said he did ask and she said figure it out on your own. I felt so bad cuz I didn't believe him when he told me this. Well, I was at the school one day for my daughter whom I had to pick up for an appt. and my son came to the office right after I walked in. He was accused of playing in the sinks in the boys bathroom and flodding the floor, getting walls soaked, mirrors wet, and even on the celing. He is screaming that he just walked in and it was like that. Gues what ladies..... he was BONE DRY!!!! Another kids was telling the teachers that my son did not do it. I knew something was up!
Well, they told him to go back to class. When I returned with my daughter from the appt. I snuck up to his class and stayed next to the door so noone would see me. The room was a disaster! My daughter's kindergarten class was cleaner much cleaner! He was sitting there doing some work and another kid threw a paper airplane from the back of the room and it hit the marker board. BOOM, my son got blamed! Then I'm still there and my son asked for some help on a paper and his teacher replies to him that he needs to figure it out on his own cuz in 3rd grade he wont get any help! He says he don't understand it and she yells at him that he just lost a recess! I HEARD ENOUGH, I went in! I asked why she don't help, why she blames him for things he don't do, and why she takes recess from kids all due to not understanding a lesson??? She just says we can talk about it at confrences! So, what did I do?? I complained to the principal and it stopped!!!!
Another thing... My son did not look at her as an athourity figure so yes he did screw around every now and then... I won't lie. He wasn't completely innocent!
We had him check for ADHD ADD and had survery to fill out. This was before I visited the school. The teacher sent her's back 2 weeks later and she changed at least half her answers. 3 or so of them she circled never, corssed it out, circled to rarely, crossed it out, circled sometimes, crossed it out, circled often, crossed it out, then circled always! She wasn't even sure of his behavior and guess what... the Dr. refused to accept it like that!
Long story, I know.
Well, here he is in 3rd grade. New school too. I asked for the strictist teacher so he would see her as an athority figure. Right now he is holding 3 A's, 1 B+, and 1 D. The D is in Science and he is missing 15-20 min of class 2-3 times per week for speach theropy. We just had confrences and I asked thenm to move his speach to another time cuz he needs to focus on Science more. They were happy to comply and the teacher had planned to ask about it herself. He is a GREAT student! The only complaint all year was that he and a few other boys would get rough at times, but that is it.
BTW, his A in Social Studies is an 100%. His math was that way last quarter.
WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY IS...
Check out the classroom. If it is disorganized or out of control then he will be disorganized and out of control. If you feel it is then ask to have him moved to another classroom or switch schools. Sometime it is your child, sometimes it is the other students, and sometimes it is the teacher. You child HAS to see the teacher not as a good friend but as a strong athority figure.

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L.S.

answers from Fargo on

I have a 13yr old son and a 11yr old son both of which were diagnosed w/ADHD and ADD/Bi-Polar. I know the thought of medication is hard but let me tell you just as some advise from being there and getting the similar letters and meetings from the school. Have your son tested as soon as possible, if in fact that is what he has it is the right time to start doing something about it now. Mine were unfortunately diagnosed long after the simple techniques of letters, math, etc were taught and they are now still struggling very hard with school and not being at grade level. What they will do is send you a questionaire to fill out from the doctor office and one the school will fill out and they will be able to tell from that. I had the difficulty of the boys not keeping to themselves, staying focused in school, completing assignments on time and being below grade average. There are many different medications out there other than the famous Ritalin that everybody hates and some of the other harsher ones. But my advise is if the school suspects it doesn't hurt to have the testing done and figure it out early otherwise he will suffer all throughout school as mine are now!

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P.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

P.,
Nothing makes me more irritated than school counselors making a medical diagnosis and then prescribing medication. They are not licensed or trained to make that kind of a diagnosis and it is completely inappropriate for them to do so. You should discuss your son's behaviors with his pediatrician and ask for an evaluation from a trained professional. You could also contact Illinois early education program and ask about the process for having your son evaluated. It could lead to an Individualized Education Plan/Program which dictates what the school has to do. I found this online: "If you have further questions about Early Childhood services in the State of Illinois, please feel free to contact any of us at 217/524-4835".

However, if a professional evaluates your son and determines that he is not add/adhd but just a normal, energetic 6 year old, you are going to have to learn how to advocate strongly for your son. You may even consider changing your son's school. If his teacher follows the "medicate all the kids so my job is easier" philosophy, his teacher should not be teaching anymore. If he is determined to have adhd/add, then you can determine if medication is appropriate at that time. Those drugs are serious drugs. People throw them around like they are vitamins, but they should only be used when clinically necessary.

Good luck. Don't let the school bully you into doing anything you feel uncomfortable with.

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L.B.

answers from Hickory on

My son is 6 and in first grade this year as well. We had that conversation with his teacher at the begining of the year! We wanted to try natural ways (which also happen to be cheaper) and see if his body would naturally regulate back to normal and it worked!!! Here is one exert from my blog (http://wdmmommy.blogspot.com/search?q=adhd) about our situation...

Pine Tree Bark Extract/Vitamin C for ADHD - ADD
LOVE LOVE LOVE Pine Tree Bark Extract in combination with Vitamin C! It has immeasurably made a difference for our family. My son and husband both tell me they feel better, can think more clearly, are less distracted and less easily upset by normal life events. I can see and feel a difference in both of them as well. We first tried the trademarked brand because we couldn't get the real Pine Tree Bark Extract locally. However last week my order of Pine Bark Extract and Vitamin C came from Swansons Superior Herbs. Not only is it cheaper (because it isn't trademarked) the product is what naturally occurs in natural so the human body understands how to process it (the molecular structure has not been changed by man). A big thank you to Mrs. Wirth for suggesting that my son might have ADD or ADHD and to Jacke for telling me about Pine Tree Bark Extract!

Learn more... http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Pycnog...?

Learn more... http://www.discount-vitamins-herbs.net/n-361-adhd-pycnoge...

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C.M.

answers from Lincoln on

i have a 9 yr old boy that was diagnosed at age 6 with ADHD, he is very intelligent and actually learns very quickly if kept on task, which my pediatrician says is common, alot of ADHD kids are intelligent kids. He also does not like to write sentences or stories or do handwriting, his fine motor coordination is fairly poor, so he works with an occupation therapist for this, he qualifies for this service free thru the school system because of the ADHD diagnosis. We use his meds on school days only, give him weekends and holidays without so he can learn to cope with some of his symptoms on his own, and so far this is working for us. Hope this info helps you, i was pretty lost at the start of this whole adventure in learning as well. C.

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L.F.

answers from Rochester on

My child couldn't sit still in class, was disruptive to others in class, and easily distracted (except when it was something he was really interested in). He also was having trouble following simple directions from me, kept saying "I forgot". When his kindergarton teacher suggested I have him tested, I was a little offended at first. Then I started reading up on ADHD on the internet, and observing his behavior. I had him tested, he was diagnoised with ADHD and ODD. He has been on meds for almost a year and it has made a big difference. Our relationship at hime together is better, not as much tension and he smiles like he used to when he was a baby. He is not snowed or over medicated. I am very happy with the decision to put him on Meds. But I asked a lot of questions with the doc. and researched it a lot on the internet and library before I made a decision. There are ideas of changing diet, taking out sugar,ect. i found that none of then worked for us. I tried behavior modification, rewards and all that. But he just couldn't control his behavior, and couldn't at times stay focused. Hope things work out for you. Laura

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J.B.

answers from Madison on

When my daughter was in first grade, we moved and she started going to a new school. At her old school, she was in an advanced learning program and then at her new school she was labelled as a "troubled child". Due to the fact that she did so well at the original school led me to beleive that it wasn't my daughter and possibly it was either the teacher or the classroom. So, I investigated. The new school was not willing to give her any extra work and she was BORED! So, we ended up moving her back to her old school and her grades went back up. She's 17 now and I'll never regret moving her back to her old school. She's been on the honor roll every quarter since the beginning of sixth grade.
Before you put your child on medication, please! by all means, investigate the situation and if possible, try a different teacher and/or school!!

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C.N.

answers from Duluth on

P. , he is just probably tired of staying inside with no relief! it does not sound like he has add or adhd . I have a 17yr old who has had add, adhd combined since she was 5 . the symptoms are 1.- impulsive , 2.- disorganised and hyperactive all the time . . 3.- and forgets alot and can't concentrate on school work etc. and if he were to have add, or adhd you can control it by his diet . I have for many years with my daughter . I found out that the perservitives in food , like momo and diglicerydes is a no no . and colorings like yellow # 5, red # 40 cause the part of the brain to malfunction thus leaving the child or person not to think clearly . also msg.'s , in food are bad .. try to illiminate those things and see what happens . C. N

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K.S.

answers from Bismarck on

Hi P.,

As a mom to a ADHD child I would suggest you seek the help of a mental health professional that can do a complete assessment and diagnosis. Do not let the school talk you into doing anything you are not comfortable with. A psychologist will be able to help decide if medication is the best answer and help you explore more natural approaches. I was really against medication in the beginning but I really see an improvement in his ability to focus now that he takes his meds. However, I still struggle with the school in terms of how to handle his behavior as I also don't have the problems at home as they do. I really think the school needs to take the time to learn how to be more effective with these children.

I hope this is helpful and feel free to send me a message if I can be more help.

K.

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A.A.

answers from Iowa City on

As I'm sure your other responses have told you, ADD and ADHD are problems with paying attention and keeping focused, not learning. Most of the children who I know that were diagnosed with one of these diseases (including my older sister) have absolutaly no problems learning, and in fact are very bright kids. My personal opinion (and I don't have any medical evidence or what not to back this up) is that kids for the most part should not be medicated.

The medications that they use for ADD and ADHD are similar to speed which is why they can suddenly focus while using it, but I question the long term damage being on a medication like that can cause. I know a lot of teenagers that having been diagnosed with it get the pills and share them with their friends, or abuse them by taking more than what they're suppose to in order to get high. Frankly, the ready availablity of these drugs such as Ridalin and Aderol (sp?) kind of frightens me.

On the note of paying attention in school, my teachers always said that I had problems but I never disrupted the class so I guess maybe that's why they never said I had ADD when they said my sister did. I have a hard time grasping why any time a child doesn't sit in their chair and pay attention every minute of every day they want to say the child has ADD. The drugging of our children has become an epidemic and aside from some small percentage of cases where medication is necessary, I think they are just pumping our kids with drugs for no reason. I did mention that this is my opinion, but sometimes I wonder if the drug companies aren't paying of the doctors to prescribe these meds.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any natural ways of dealing with these problems (its been hard for me to find someone that doesn't just follow the doctor's advice and put their kids on meds) and I don't have much advice to give. But do talk to your doctor about it and keep an open mind. Follow your instincts. His education is very important. Sorry I couldn't be of more help but I did want you to know the other side of the ADD story. Hope these other moms have some good advise. Good luck!

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A.M.

answers from Des Moines on

you know I am not a medical dr or have any degree in this area but i say don't medicate yet. wait at least until 2nd grade.. my daughter had add and it was a long a bumpy road on the medicine. it changes all the time for weight issues and some work for awhile and then don't and it was and has been a roller coaster. my final determination was when she came home and said why don't the other kids like me mom.. and then i deided to give medicine a try.. She still struggled. Mood swings eating habits changed and her happiness went away.. she was easily frustrated. so wait if you can . now she is off
meds.. and getting better grades than ever.. there is hope..
unfortunately it's a long road good luck... A.

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L.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi P.,
I am going thru the same thing with my 8 yr old. I do have a 15 yr old with ADHD so I know the symptoms and do not see it in my 8 yr old. I just took him to the Doctor last night for the second time (different Dr.) and they do not see that he has it. We are going to do a full evaluation to see if there is some therapy he will qualify for. The therapy will help him learn to control himself when he gets frustrated and to stay on task. They will also work with him on his writing/reading/speech therapy. Don't give in! Even my Doctor said last night that the kids are not all sheep to be hearded from task to task as much as the teachers would like to see that. Just because you have a little more energetic child is not a bad thing. I would make an appt. with the doctor to see if you can have the same evaluation done. Therapy will be a good thing and help him to improve his skills. GOOD LUCK!!!
L.

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S.K.

answers from Sheboygan on

Number one that counselor was out of line telling you he needs to be on medication. Only a Dr. can do that. We had a child with ADD and the medication made an incredible difference in his ability to stay focused on his school work. Medicaiton isn't for everyone however, and as an educator I've seen kids have bad reactions, however for the most part it would be something for you to look into. at home you can be working with him to try and get his attention span to improve. What is your school doing to give him the chance to apply himself? If he truly is disruptive and he is having problems attending I would make an appointment with your family Dr. who will refer you to a psychologist and it is he/she that will finally make the ADD/ADHD diagnosis. there are wonderful resources "out there" that will help you to understand and help your child. Talk to your counselor or if he/she isn't willing to work with you, your Dr. to access these and learn all you can about ADD/ADHD.

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T.V.

answers from Lincoln on

If he doesn't seem to have the problems at home, then he probably doesn't have it. My nephew has it and he's wound up all the time. the school probably wants to medicate him so they don't have to deal with him. Webmd.com is a really good website to go to that will give you alot of information on ADD/ADHD. Good Luck.

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J.C.

answers from Des Moines on

HI
I have 2 children with add and what I would first of all suggest is that you look up add/adhd and read as much as you can about it. This was the first thing I did was educate myself then honestly think about if any of the symptoms pertain to your child. Its hard as parents to think that our child might have any issues, however it's better to take care of the problem before your child is labelled as "a trouble maker" or "wont listen" when quite honestly they just cannot keep on task. Children with add/adhd can learn and in fact are extremely intelligent. It's just that theres a "connection" that's not working right for their concentration and with adhd they just cannot sit still. It doesnt mean that they are not smart, or that they are bad kids. I see so many people with children with these issues that live in denial that "my child cannot be" and the child suffers. no one knows my children are add but the teacher, I dont broadcast it but Im not ashamed either. It is very common and you are very fortunate that a teacher is recognizing the symptoms early before they are "lost in the cracks". I could write a novel on this but I hope that what I have said has helped you. good luck and let me know if you would like any further information.
J.

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M.G.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi P.,
I am a former teacher now at home with my three girls. There are a lot of simple things that his teacher could try without labeling him. It is also illegal for anyone at a school to recommend medicating a child- that is up to a doctor not a counselor. If she is the one who bought it up first, that is also a violation. Children with ADD can learn, they just have a hard time staying on track. Lots of times they do figit or start to play with things in their desks while a lesson is going on. They also have an extremely hard time staying organized. Often times, they fall behind in their work because they can't keep up (because they are distracted).

I know with some of my kids, I let them stand up when they were working or gave them extra room by leaving the seat next to them empty. (That is only if there was a group of three or more). He can also be seated at the front of the room so he isn't distracted by those behind him. His teacher could put a index card on his desk (one side green one side red) and as he is starting to disrupt she flips it red then flips it back to green when he is back on track. (That way he isn't being constantly singled out in front of everyone). There should also be a huge incentive program for him at school and at home if he has a good day.

IF you would like more suggestions, please feel free to contact me. Good luck! M.

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J.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

I teach kindergarten and these cold winter days are tough on kids! I can literally see the energy in the kids when we can't go outside for recess - some (understandably) have a really hard time containing the excess energy. We have a few kids in K that take activity breaks -- they go with an aide and run up and down a set of steps near their classroom or they jump 100 times on a mini-trampoline.
Is it possible for you to make some visits to school and spend time in your son's classroom? That way you can see first-hand what is going on. ADD and ADHD isn't something where kids only show symptoms at school. You can discuss it with your child's doctor as well. I think it is inappropriate for a counselor from school to tell a child's parents that he "needs medication" - that is each family's (along with their doctor) decision. Having ADD or ADHD may hamper a child's ability to learn because they are unable to focus their attention but it doesn't mean they can't learn - just an obstacle to overcome. Good luck and let us know what happens!

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D.H.

answers from Milwaukee on

P.,

I have had the same issues with my son, and I followed through with the requests of the school up to the point of putting my son on meds. I personally feel like teachers want the kids to sit in class like little robots. It got to the point were the school was calling me at work on an almost daily basis and made me feel like I was worthless as a parent. I finally put my foot down and told them that need to stop telling me how to parent. My son now 11 still has problems with talking too much or distracting others. He is getting all A's & B's in school. I did take him to an outside therapist and he basically told me that, yes he is very active and has a tendency to get into your personal space but he is very smart and he would be more concerned if he was quiet and withdrawn. Yeah he could be on the edge there of ADHD more hyper then anything. I went with my gut, I make sure he eats good, gets a lot of love, participates in sports which he loves and deal with issues as they come up. I get very few notes home from school now days and he seems to have out grown or matured over the years and I do not regret my decision.

a little about me, single working mom of an 11 yr old son.

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