Moms of ADD and ADHD Children

Updated on October 05, 2011
V.L. asks from Olympia, WA
9 answers

Ok so my oldest son who is ADHD has an IEP with the school. Because of his IEP he has been put in Special Ed classes and I never have noticed that his regular teachers have given him the extra help his IEP required because they just labeled him as a problem child. My second son who is ADD I never got an IEP established, even the school he was at when diagnoised said it wasnt necessary and agreed he didn't need the social stigma that goes along with an IEP. Now he is in 7th grade and is getting in trouble a lot at school for not doing his school work. Like I explained to the counsler I cant force his pen to the paper. I refuse also to put my children back on medications that have all sorts of side affects. Now the school keeps calling and asking me if he is depressed. I have to keep reminding him that he is ADD and he is in his own world. They think because he stares at them with a blank look when he is in trouble he must be depressed. What is it with our school systems. I know I am not alone in this frustration of our schools not allowing our children to be who they are and expect them to fit in this little box. Would love to here other parents who are having the same issues with there schools and how they handle it.

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answers from Augusta on

As a parent of and ADHD-c kid and am an ADHD-I adult I can tell you exactly why they want him to fit into the student mold. Because it's disruptive to the other students in the class and not fair to them.
I medicate my child. it's the only thing that has worked, with discipline, self control problems , inattention, depression and anger. Nothing else worked for us.
Depression is indeed a symptom of ADHD. many people with ADHD also suffer with depression.
Choose to medicate or don't , that is your choice. The medication helps our family. We've had no side effects to speak of.
You can choose to homeschool so he doesn't have to fit into that box.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

My husband is a special ed teacher and it's really difficult for a teacher to do something in the time they have with a child who has special needs if things aren't also being done at home...not saying you're not b/c I don't know your complete situation. What I would suggest is you meet with his teacher(s) to come up with a plan at school AND at home. Children with ADD or ADHD (or any other disability for that matter) need structure...actually all kids need it. He/ she can't be held accountable at school and then allowed to do whatever at home...consistency is key. Please watch the depression; it can be a side effect to ADD and is completely treatable. I know you don't want to do medications and I completely understand that, but have you thought about changing his diet? Counseling? These are avenues that may also help. Don't give up and please know that the schools really are there to help, but they need you to work with them. They wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't truly love working with kids...especially those teachers who work with children who have special needs. Hang in there!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I agree with Beth. There really is only so much the school can do for an untreated child with this condition. Have you tapped out every ADHD medication? If not, seriously consider asking the doctor about the options. There are so many on the market, one should fit, whether it's a stimulant or non-stimulant. It can take trial and error to find the right one, but it's well worth it. Our son is able to thrive at school and doesn't even need an IEP or 504 plan. He just fits in with the other kids.

Also, what do your children's therapists have to recommend? Our behavioral therapist is a great source for advice on how to help our son both at home and at school.

Depression is definitely a common co-morbid condition. Our son also has it, although it's managed fine now with Celexa.

Again, I would urge you to reconsider on the medication. It really can transform everything.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I have two sons. My oldest who is 17 is add, my youngest is 11, is adHHHd. Oldest is and never been medicated, he is just disorganized and loves to talk. He was pretty bad in middle school with this. I didn't have an iep for him till then. There are accomodations you can get like homework extensions, access to teacher and peers notes, doing work verbally instead of writing. Placing him in front of teacher so he has no distractions, and access to a quiet place to do work by himself. An iep would probably help your son. Plus the sped counselors in middle and high school have really been a great help with my son in getting him to be more independent and responsible for himself. He has gotten better through the years.
My youngest will be going into middle school next year and has had iep's since preschool really. He is in a special classroom for behavior, and takes meds. He can't function in a normal setting and the meds have helped him. I have his iep set up for next year and learned what to put on it from experience with oldest son. I have always not let my kids add and adhd not be an excuse to not do they're work. It is a battle sometimes, but there are consequences for them if they do not do it.
I have gone to a parenting forum for adhd parents and kids for years. It is at adhd news and it has helped me with cope and get ideas on what to do. I have learned a positive approach is better than a negative approach, Award them for doing what they are suppose to be doing.
Also, it important to know what is in your kid's iep, and to make sure the school and teacher's are following it. Many will not, and it is illegal for them to ignore it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Understand completely. Great job with no meds.! All of these psychiatric diseases and labels aren't real. It's just energy being misused. There are ways to manage it using reiki therapy. My son is 8 and has been doing it since age 3. I give him grounding techniques and teach him ways to move the energy so his thought process is clearer. We have a 504 plan which gives him all of the help he requires without being in a special Ed setting. Once the child gets that false label, it's hard to remove it. It's also the schools that need to change their ways, not drugging our babies so they can teach easier! I may be home schooling next year too, better energy and concentration. Let me know if you need more help :)



answers from Seattle on

I also have a 7th grade boy who is not doing school work at all, and I mean "at all". The school asked me if is has ADD. I have never been asked that or been through any testing but it seems that the school is trying to label him and throw him in a support class. He is not any trouble but is just not motivated to do any school work. We are in the beginning stages of this process and I am scared they are going to let him fall through the cracks. They are not asking for IEP because they say he does not qualify. We are meeting with Pediatrician for consultation. Not sure where this is going? So confusing and scary right now...


answers from New York on

My son has ADD, My daughter has ADHD. My daughter also has dyslexia so she is in special ed for that reason, she loves school, so even with the ADHD she tends to get right to her homework, she is hyper responsible. Normal for girls with ADHD.

On the other hand, my son has ADD, he is in 7th grade (just started middle school) I fought and fought with his elementary school to get him modifications to accommodate his ADD. They don't seem to get it, because he is not a trouble maker but is completely disorganized. This year, 7th grade did not start off well because he was not doing his homework, he has a poor working memory and forgets things, forgets books, his agenda, what he has to do etc.... He is very quiet and that sometimes causes ADD to be missed in boys. I ended up hiring an advocate through our states Learning Disability Association, my son now gets all kinds of help with organizational strategies, memory strategies and the school bends over backwards to meet his needs. It is unfortunate but sometimes the only way to get your child's needs met is to hire an advocate. I know that some advocates work on a sliding scale and may even advocate for free in certain situations.

Medication did not work for us, my kids experienced too many side effects. I have to add, it is the schools responsibility to provide your son with an individualized educational plan and he should not be punished because he is different.

The other thing I would like to mention, I have taught my kids that they are special and that ADD and ADHD is a part of who they are and there is nothing wrong with it, in fact ADD and ADHD has given my kids many special gifts that mainstream, "normal" kids don't have. So, as frustrated as I may get with my kids, I am thrilled that they are who they are and think about all the wonderful things they will do one day. We never have a boring day, something always new and entertaining. Both my kids have great sense of humour and a lot of passsion for things they care about.

PM me if you are interested in sharing more about parenting a child with ADD.




answers from Honolulu on

I know what you mean. my nephew was having the same problem. So, my sister sent him to a special day school ( that caters to your kid's special needs. They have different plans for each student and they are trained to handle the kids when problems arises.



answers from Seattle on

My 16-year-old son is ADHD.

Middle school is a rough time for all kids, but especially for those with any condition like ADD/ADHD. In 6th grade my son had a horrible start to the year. The last half went well. In 7th grade the first half went well and the last half truly sucked, I was in tears frequently. In 8th grade, the perserverance started to pay off and he had a decent year.

We did use medication from 5th grade through 7th grade. It took a few tries to find what worked.

When he started high school (9th grade) he was in the marching band and on the football team. That first quarter was the best part of his school years. Between all the exercise and the demands on his time, he stayed motivated. Once football season ended, he started to slide. We noticed then, if he exercised hard for an hour a day, it helped with his attention.

Now he's in the 11th grade and he's doing okay. He still gets loud once in a while and gets sent into the hall, but most of his teachers like him. One hates him, I mean really hates him. But, I've explained to my son, that he needs to learn how to cope. When he gets a job, he isn't going to like all of his coworkers, so he has to figure out how to deal so as not to get fired.

See where he gets it from? LOL, I'm rambling. We started relying on ourselves and not the school. When he graduates, he will need to know how to take care of himself. I can't battle his boss for accommodations at work, so I have to teach my son to find what works for him. We don't give special accommodations on punishments, if he gets in trougble he gets a Love and Logic-type punishment. He broke his cell phone, so he had to save and buy another one, we didn't buy him one and let him pay it off, he also had to pay the extra $10 a month for his line until he got a new phone.

Start teaching your child to find ways to cope, make him responsible for his actions. That is what will help him most in life. It's rough going, but when you see your son handle a sticky situation or pass a class with a C from a teacher who sends him in the hall at the bat of an eye, you know he's learning.

And for those few teachers who really try...acknowledge them well. Write a letter to the school district, send them a letter knowing what a difference they've made, let everyone you meet know what a great teacher they are. Those teachers are few (I'm not blaming any teacher, but those that work that hard deserve to be recognized) and need that encouragement.

I hope I've made some sense. Hang in there.

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