Seeking Moms of ADD Children

Updated on November 03, 2008
L.D. asks from Owens Cross Roads, AL
35 answers

My son is 11 and has been diagnosed with ADD. He does not take medicine, I am learning about this disorder. Two nights ago he made the comment that he was going to hurt himself b/c he was so angry over not being able to complete his homework. One math problem took us almost 2 HOURS!!!!!!!!!! Anyone have any advice or suggestions.

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So What Happened?

Thank everyone sooooooo much for all of the responses I received!! Today I took my son to the dr. and she prescribed focalin... anyone heard of it? Anyway I will keep in touch with his prgress.Thanks again everyone

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L.E.

answers from Anniston on

I have been there. My son and I used to work his problems on a dry erase board and then he would copy them to his paper. A big dry erase board. That way I could continue to work in the kitchen and could see his work to help him. and it let him be up and moving and creative with the different colors. I sound weird but it helped. If he is not on medication it will be harder for him, but altering his diet may help. I tried that before we started medication. Also, my son has attended Sylvan learning center. The can help some.

I would be glad to talk if you need to. [email protected]____.com

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R.M.

answers from Shreveport on

I am not a mom of a add child but I grew up with my brother having it and it definately can be challenging but you have to stay as strong as possible and definately talk to his doctor about medicine options.... they do help.

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K.C.

answers from Jackson on

I don't exactly know where you stand on the ADHD medicine, but it has made a WORLD of difference for both of my girls. I have a 9 year old daughter who has always been an A/B student with behavioral issues. Her teacher this year wishes she had more children like her! My 11 year old daughter is also on a small dose of concerta. She has struggled with school since 3rd grade. Last year she was an A/B student and this year she is acing all of her tests. We do still have the pre-teen angst, but that is just handled with TLC. If you'd like to talk more about it with me, please feel free to contact me.

KC

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B.B.

answers from Memphis on

Hello L.,

You've gotten a lot of good responses here.

I have a 14 year who was diagnosed with ADHD at age 6. He does take Adderall and it works very well with him. He does not take it on weekends or holidays or over the summer so I know it is NOT addictive!!

You really need to speak to a doctor who deals with ADD / ADHD on a regular basis and discuss the different medications.

When my son was diagnosed, I told my doctor that I refused to put him on Ritalin (spelling?) and he said good because he didin't prescribe that. There are meds that have the same kind of side effects as Ritalin so be sure to discuss all options with your doctor.

I have heard of people who do not use meds and just modify their child's diet and they seem to have success with that. My son is too picky of an eater to modify his diet. There are support groups for ADD / ADHD and there are groups for treating it naturally. Just google ADD / ADHD support groups and you should find lots ... BUT don't let that replace the advice of your doctor!

Best Wishes,
B.

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N.D.

answers from Jackson on

I am not the mother of a child with ADD, but my husband suffered with this as a child and also now as an adult. So with some information that he has given me, I'd like to pass it on to you. First school is going to be a challenge, some area's he will do fine in and even excel but then other things are going to be so hard like the math thing. Just reassure him that he is doing the best he can and point out his good areas. One thing that worked well for my husband was that he is very hands on, he likes to take things apart and put them back together, so he can figure out what makes them work, fix them if their broken, ect. And that was something he would do as a child and now as an adult to work out his stresses and it helps him a lot. We had like 4 computers that didn't work and he has taken them apart and made one really good computer out of all the parts. So that is just an example. May not work in your situation but I'm sure any ideas would be welcome.
One other issue may be the new marriage. That can be a big thing for any child to deal with, how do they get along? Is his biological father still in the picture? If so how is there relationship?
I know this a lot to deal with and figure out but all these things by them selfs may not seem like an issue but together they can add up to one big thing for a child.
The internet can be your best resource, gather as much information as you can about ADD, your best weapon is going to be your knowledge. There are so many articles and books that it can seem overwhelming, I know I have done some research on it myself, (my husband and I have two sons, so I wanted to learn more about it, not only for my husband but to see if our boys would be more pron to develop it) but just take them one at time and you will get through them.
My husband had a very hard time with this, not only him telling me things but his family as well. But he got through it. Their will be hills and valleys and even some mountains to climb, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know it's hard to believe when you don't see it, but it's there.
If you only get one thing from this, please let it be the following, it's not his fault, there is nothing he can do and I'm sure he would rather not have to deal with this himself. So try not to get angry or short with him. Give him all the time and patience he will need, and yourself too.
I wish you all the luck in the world for you and your family, please keep us updated on how things are going, what's working and what's not working.

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M.K.

answers from Monroe on

I am a teacher, Math teacher at that. I have students with ADD and ADHD in all of my classes. Some who have learned coping techniques and some, who, like your son, have not. It's important for you to do some very important things.
1) seek help from the school or a private counselor on techniques that might help him cope and with depression that in pre-teens and teens many times accompanies the ADD/ADHD because they feel like something is terribly wrong and they have no control over it.
2) change his diet--eliminate all processed sugars--get the book "sugarbusters" or "the south beach diet" and try to get the whole family to eat that, you'll be amazed at the difference it makes--it can improve concentration, reduce hyperactivity in children, lower blood pressure and cholestrol, reduce the amount of headaches and body aches you have. (and lose weight if you need it)
3) Try medicine--I know that many are reluctant to, however, in that age group, particularly with boys, you need to do something now to prove to him that it is something that can be helped and that it's nothing he's doing wrong, but something his body needs help with at them moment. Remind him that it's not for life, just until he (with your help) find some techniques that help him cope with it.

I can tell you from personal experience that every notebook I have ever owned (as an ADHD student and adult) has the front of every page with notes on it and the back with drawings/doodles on it. Our brains work so quickly that if you don't have something to stabalize you working puzzles with your hands, drawing on a paper, even doing oragami while you listen to teachers or even other students, your brain will wander to a thousand different things before it lands back on your work. You must eliminate ALL distractions from the area where you work, many ADD (not ADHD) students are OCD as well in some areas like their work station. Let him tell you what will help him, does he need his own desk, does it need to be large or small, where and in what does he want his pens, does he need wide-ruled or college ruled paper, where do his books, rules and other item need to be to not distract him, does he need one or two lamps, no lamps, does the radio need to be on to provide something for his brain to multi-task with (silence can be cruel to those with ADD as can harsh light), what kind of chair helps him concentrate (his brain will find everything wrong, so help him make a space that is his own and right for him even if YOU couldn't work that way--this is about HIM and helping him do better and feel better). you can mail me if you want more suggestions.

M.

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H.

answers from New Orleans on

I understand your frustration. I finally decided to have my son tested at the end of this past school year. I would spend hours with him to get his homework every single night from Kindergarten on! He started being jumpy in class. He'd start out the year for the first few weeks good then just barely pass by thwe end of the year...not because he not smart...he was constantly distracted. I was told he's just a boy he'll outgrow it. But then he was being labled a bad child and I realized looking back all the way to pre-school I remember telling his teachers he a sweet good boy but needs to be kept busy. He has to be allowed to move from one thing to the next. I had to put him in pre-k b/c I was a stay at home mom w/ another 6yr old at the time and I felt like he needed more brain stimulation because nothing held his interest for long. As the classes became more structured the more he struggled. In first grade I had asked him why he did whatever he was doing in class and his response to me was "I don't know, Mommy my brain just makes me do it." He sounded so sincere I felt awfu. I hated punishing him for not finishing his homework, etc. He was ALWAYS forgetting and doing things w/o thinking first. I used to wonder why my best friend would say I can watch your daughter but I can't handle him too with my grils as well. She siad it wasn't that he was bad it was that certain times he'd bee too taxing to keep up with and under control. I kept struggling and trying the diet and vitamins but it really wasn't helping him and deep down I felt like he was a more severe case ADHD and needed more than just that - but not the extreme Hyperactive child. He knew he wasn't supposed to drink things w/ caffine, etc. and was so honest about trying to do what he should but it wasn't cutting it. When he started expressing hurting himself because no matter what he did he couldn't do what he was supposed to do. I decided to get a doctors advice. Against his step-father's wishes, he didn't believe it, he thought he was just a rebellious deceiteful child. I know my son and he was begging me for help. He was relieved when I told him we were going to see a "feelings" doctor to get him help. I made it perfectly clear that I did not want a zombie (my little brother was on all kinds of meds that were awful for him...he was a horrible case of ADHD...but my step-mother was not on top of things either). My son was put on Concerta - the first day he got angry and stayed angry over something irrelivant. I called the doctor and they gave him a lower dose and for a month I used that - but realized it didn't last, it was worn off by noon...which was fine in summer school but I knew it wouldn't last for the regular year. I think the normal dose was too much too fast for his system. So I had him on the lower dose for a month. Then I tried the regular dose again. At first I only did it when he went to school but now he takes it every day, because of beign able to do what he wants, so I agreed and put him on it everyday - if he misses a day on the weekend it's not the end of the world. It doesn't change his personality it helps him bloom! He has finished the first quarter of school and made all A's & B's w/ one C (almost B). Unfortuantely he has to do his homework as soon as he gets home from school b/c the medecine wears off and he can't focus to finish then and we are back to where we were a year ago. He is at a new school so he's not labled a a "bad" child. He has sooooooo much self confidence. I know it was the right decision for him. It was VERY hard for me to put him on medication. He isn't having any of the typical side effects that MAY occur. Believe me...if he forgets to eat he will get a headache...but I give him Tylenol and feed him and tell him the importance of eating even when he doean't hink he's hungry...which is normal for anyone. Then there are times when he is ravenous. Especially at dinner.

I was totally agianst medicating a child. I grew up with 3 brothers and I know boys are rambunchious but you know when it's more than just being a boy. If there are thoughts of hurting oneself and eventually others there is another issue at hand and it's more than just being an active child. But only you know your child best and try the diet and suppliments first. If that doesn't work you keep reading and reading. And educate yourself before you even think about seeing a doctor. Sometime medication is what you need and not everyone responds to it the same. So if one doesn't work try another.

It is a good thing when you see that sparkle come back into your childs eyes and see how proud of themselves they can be when they complete things you tell them to do and they can do their homework on their own, and they don't get blamed for every distraction in class. His step-father doesn't outright admit it, but he is more supportive of me and my son and he see's the positive changes in my son. He is more like a little boy should be; he still plays around and cuts up like the typical boy but now he can also focus and not forget what he's supposed to do when he see's something more interesting to him.

Just believe in yourself and your child. They let you know what they need.

H.

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N.P.

answers from Knoxville on

Hi L.: I'm a teacher and I've taught middle, high, and college classes in many areas including chemistry. I'm 66 and the grandmother of an ADD grandson. I don't understand why you aren't using medication. My experience is that my grandson makes fabulous grades and his behavior is much more acceptable with it. I also tutor some students with ADD and they need repitition, patience, and loads of love. The anger is real. My heart goes out to you. If you can get meds for him, I highly recommend it. Your child has a lot to deal with especially since he has a new step-father. Don't let him linger on one math problem that long - that's counter-productive. Help him and show him the answer and hoe to get it. Get help now. I understand that you are tired. It goes with the territory. I can't tell you how much better my grandson behaves and functions with his medication. God bless - prayer and reading the Bible also seem to help everyone - love and blessings

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E.

answers from Fayetteville on

Hello Mom. A little about me...I work out of my home. Married 20 years and raising 4 children from 16 down to 15 months old. I used to work out of my home till my second child was 15 months old. My oldest daughter was diagnosed with ADD when she was in 4th grade. My family doctor had suspected earlier though. Focusing and concentrating were hard for her and stressful for me. He put her on Adderall. She started with a 1/2 pill in the morning only. Then he increased it to 1 pill every morning and then on up to 1 1/2 every morning. That seemed to work for about 6 months. Then we started having problems with coming home and "crashing". It would keep her on a level plateau at school and then she would come home and just be cranky and want to sleep. She would go to bed and sleep so sound she started having a few accidents. So the doctor put her on something to help her sleep lighter so she would know when to get up and go to the bathroom. After we started that treatment her teacher was concerned because she was very lathargic in class. So at about 8 months we started weaning her off the medication. Luckily, she hasn't had to be on the medicine since and she is now a junior in high school and on the honor roll. That 8 months she was on the medication, was hard. I had a problem accepting that MY child NEEDED medicine in the first place. But my doctor said, she probably won't need it forever, they can plateau where they can cope with things on their own. Now looking back, I am glad I put her on the medicine when she was young because I contribute her success now to getting her help then. Now, through the years since coming off her medicine, I still had to "push" her at times...do you have homework, anything due tomorrow, tests, etc...it takes a lot of patience to raise an ADD child. They truly are special children that tend to be very smart in a lot of ways, creative, passionate...it's just up to us parents to push and guide! I hope this helps you some. Just hang in there and stay on him. It will pay off for him and you in the long run. Hang in there and Good Luck!!

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K.S.

answers from Birmingham on

I have a dd with ADD , a friend with an ADD son (10) and friend with dd who is ADHD and I can tell you I am home with her and it is a daily struggle and anger is one of the side affects (a way of dealing when they feel they an not communicate) and I have had to give her tools to express herself and get rid of those bad feelings. At home we work on use of a count backwards, blowing out a candle and deep breaths....as far as homework, we are HS because of this condition not being condusive to "norm" classroom. Try allowing him to get help afterschool from tutor, or ask teacher for other ways to help him grasp this math concept...also you could go on-line in "Freetime" and try to find some montessori style that teaches the same concept. I know that sounds like a lot of commitment, but it will only benefit your son. I think what peds forget to tell us, is that drugs aren't the only thing they need. My dd is aggressive by nature and it comes from her dad. She needs daily exercise, quiet time and we try to encourage work done until she gets frustrated before stepping in to help. I have found that if a subject is hard for her, we will work together for about 2 15min sets and then she feels confident enough to try on her own. We combine Montessori style with traditional materials...works great for her style of learning (mostly hands-on). Check with his teacher, most are more than willing to help you out so he does succeed! sounds like some of this could stem from missing time with you also...I know it sounds hard but try to find once/week to spend with just him. I am sure that being in a re-marriage can also take a toll on all. GOod luck and know that you are a great mom who cares enough to get help and keep learning more about it....books from library are a great, free sources and could help both you and your new DH understand him and it better...ADD for Dummies.

God bless, K. S (AL)

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D.B.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Hi L.,

I understand exactly what you're going through. My brother, my son, and my husband, all have ADD/ADHD. My suggestion would be to ask your son's psychiatrist to suggest the best medication for your son. My son and brother are both on adderall. The medication is perfect, it helps them to focus more, which is very important to those who have ADD/ADHD.I also encourage my son to focus at all times. He understands why he takes the medication and he knows that the medication is to help him to be more focused. My son is an 'A' student. Having ADD/ADHD is not a negative, it's a positive. There are so many positive attributes a person with ADD/ADHD can give. Persons with ADD/ADHD are very passionate, loving, creative and highly intelligent. As their parents, it's important that we encourage and support them enhance their positive characteristics. In my opinion, your son getting his education is important and I know that you want him to enjoy receiving his education. So again, I would suggest that you research adderall, receive information on adderall, the pros and cons,and talk to your son's doctor about what would be the best thing for him. Remember, that your son needs your support, he needs your love, he needs your patience and most importantly, he needs the assurance that he will be ok...and trust me he will!!!!!! Let me know how things go and I wish you all the best!!!!

D.

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L.B.

answers from Fayetteville on

Have you communicated the frustrations your son is venting to your doctor that is overseeing him for this? It is very important that you do so. Some children WILL hurt themselves over frustration because they do not understand what is happening, they feel like a failure to themselves as well as to the people who love them (like you).

A medication adjustment may be necessary or a switch to another medication. It is also possible that your son may also have ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) which is a common trait to have when there is ADD or ADHD present.

However, please do not ignore warning signs when your child vents his frustration as a possible threat to himself because of issues.

I'd be more than happy to talk with you more on this... to write it all here would turn into a book.

I've been dealing with ADHD since before my son was officially diagnosed at age 4. Everything you have written about, I have gone through. There is hope and a bright light...this I can tell you. You'll have to be strong for your son, you'll be exhausted most of the time and at times you'll just want to find a corner to cry....other times you'll laugh yourself silly over something.

If you want to chat, just give a shout.

Take care,

L.

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K.S.

answers from Birmingham on

I am not a parent of a child with ADD, but I am currently in school to be a special education teacher. From my experiences and from what my professor has told me, any threat a child makes should be taken seriously. More than likely it was just made out of frustration, but better safe than sorry. I would also consider looking into medication. It could be greatly beneficial to your son. Many children do well with medication, but some children have to try many differnt medications before they find one that works. I would also consider talking with your child's teacher about the homework situation. Homework for a child who has ADD can be extremely difficult, for both the child and the parent. It would probably be best if he had no homework,or very little and not on a nightly basis. He should be given special provisions if his ADD is diagnosed by a doctor and has been reported to the school. Good Luck.

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J.G.

answers from Augusta on

I do not have experiance with an ADD child however. I have some ideas you could try. What does your son enojy doing, his hobbies? Try to incorporate that into his studies. When he gets angry run around the house or do some kind of exercise to work off the angry energy. And last but not least pray and speak that he is calm and patient and tell him to say that he is calm and patient. I hope that helps.

J.

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S.J.

answers from Knoxville on

Good Morning L.~
My name is S. and I have an eight year old daughter who was diagnosed as ADHD at age 4 due to her inability to slow down, to concentrate and remember anything. I put her on medications because everyone told me that it was the right thing to do. Then, my daughter started to act like she was stoned...and it really bothered me, she seemed like she was not the child I raised. I took her off the medication and my daughter started to reappear...if that makes any sense to you. She is learning to control herself, and the school tells me that I need to put her on meds again, but I refuse. She is hyper and does struggle, but I talk to her about it and she wants to try without the meds. Now, my step-son, he was diagnosed as ADD, but then when he started to get very hateful and ugly, he was taken back to the doctor and they diagnosed him as bi-polar. This medication seems to work for him. You can tell when the meds wear off, because the hatefulness and hyper-activity comes back. If you are that concerned, I would get a second opinion. Medication is not for everyone, but sometimes its a necessity. If you don't like the idea of prescriptions, take him to a herbologist/naturpath. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Good luck and have a great day!!!

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L.H.

answers from Shreveport on

Dear L.,

My son is 14 and was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in Kindergarden. He was put on meds and visited with a physcologist and phyciatrist (forgive my spelling) reguliarly. Things were ok for a while, but the meds did affect his appetite. One med would work for a while and then they would have to up it, then they would have to change it because his body kept becoming used to the meds and they would no longer work. Eventually, he developed tics from the meds and since his dad never wanted him on meds anyway, we gave up. His dad and I were divorced so I had the kid on meds against his dad's will in the first place. I had also remarried a man with no kids of his own, like yourself, and the ADHD kid was my first. My remarriage just added to the kid's problems. I'm telling you this for a reason. Get the kid evaluated, get him on meds, stay in close touch with the docters, make changes as necessary, but never, ever give up!!!
If you do give up, he will know it. He got so much worse after we stopped the meds. He ran away a few times because with the new husband and new son we had, he felt displaced. He finally decided to move in with his dad and things got even worse when we thought they couldn't get worse! Now he's constantly in juvie, in and out of court, and last I heard his dad had no clue where he was. Of course, I've offered time and time again to take the kid back but his dad refuses (doesn't want to pay child support again). So now I don't know where he is and I can't help him. If I could I would definitly put him back on meds- tics or not- and get him back in school and get his life back on track. So my advice to you is to get him help now, while you still have a chance. Now you see what will happen if you don't. Don't take his threats lightly like I did! Pray for him, too!

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C.H.

answers from Texarkana on

Wow, your situation is just like mine. My husband is new to children and I have a 10 year old child with ADD. She is one to take 2 hours to do 1 math problem. She is really smart but doesn't apply herself. She actually does take medicine and it helps tremendously. Last year when she was in the 4th grade she was failing terribly. I took her to the doctor because I had done everything I could think of to get her to do the work. I was very ashamed that I had punished her and turns out she had ADD. Anyway, the doctor gave her low dose Concerta. And she went from D's and F's to A's and B's. She listened more, doodled less and the homework started making sense to her. Her test scores went up and she became alot happier because she was grounded less. During the summer she was not on the medicine because she had to go to her dad's house. Now she is in the 5th grade making D's and F's and I have made her an appointment with her doctor again. I was very against medicines but low dose works and we haven't noticed any side effects. I refused to put her on some of the most known brands because of the effects I have seen in some children. My daughter is not at all hyper and doesn't like to do much but when she was on the medicine she was very much more outgoing and wanted to do the fun stuff kids should do. Talk to your child's doctor if you haven't already. I don't recommend put your child on certain medicines but if he/she can find something to help your child without horrible side effects or he might have a non-medicinal suggestion for you. It is worth a shot.

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K.D.

answers from Clarksville on

L.,
I understand what you're going through...

One "trick" that we learned with my son was to give him something to keep his body busy so that his mind could concentrate on the work to be done. We found that a "kush" ball or something similar that he can squeeze with one hand while working with the other works amazingly well. Just that small motion was all it took for him to be able to concentrate a little bit longer.

My son is now 17, and will be graduating high school this year. He was diagnosed ADHD in 2nd or 3rd grade. We did medicate him for a couple of years, but found that the behavior modification works just as well if you are consistent.

Good luck!

K..

E.F.

answers from Chattanooga on

Hi L., I know I don't have an 11 year old child, but I do have a child who was diagnosed with ADHD, and we talked with our pediatrician who said he believes that he can help control it with natural remedies. He believes medication is the last resort. He told us he has had great success with fish oil pills. I don't know if your son can swallow pills yet, but if he can our pediatrician told us that 500 in the morning and 500 at night can help. He says that a person with ADD or ADHD has trouble feeling comfortable in their own skin. If your son can't take pills, then they have a chewable form that is small round gels that taste like strawberry. Go to GNC and ask about them, of course any vitamin nutrition store will have them. If you can't find them in your area, go online. Another thing I have tried and it has worked wonders is going to www.nativeremedies.com and look for focus and or brightspark, both were very helpful and all natural. My son even asked for it. We are now trying the fish oil pills. I know this is extremely difficult. I remember the day that Nathan said, "I am never going to get a star." This is what his teacher gave out to the children when they did a good job. He wasn't trying to be mean to me because I didn't give him things he wanted or to challenge me, he said it because he was so frustrated that he couldn't control his behaviours and do his work. Please look into those two things and please let me know what happens. I will be thinking about you!!!!! Please let me know. TI am Ellen from Chattanooga TN. You can contact me through e-mail if you like. [email protected]____.com

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T.L.

answers from Jackson on

Hi L.,

My 8 year old is ADHD. When he was in first grade we had him tested and not only does he have ADHD is also has a genuis IQ. Many children with ADD and ADHD are gifted children.

I find that the best way to help him is to show him how to solve a problem using items. We didn't want him on medicine either. However, we found it best for him. He was able to focus during school which made homework easier since he understood it more. His mind doesn't wander when the teacher is explaning the assignment.

You can visit the Parent Resource Center for help. There are a ton of tools there to help a parent work with the student to better understand assignments.

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L.R.

answers from Chattanooga on

It's hard raising children that have disabilities. My oldest was diagnosed with ADHD when he was starting school. The doctor put him on Ritalin, the only thing available at the time. I went from a boy who was in to everything to one who was not interested in life. I took him back off of it.
We used caffeine to help him concentrate (stimulates work as a sedative on someone with ADHD). I make sure he eats protein every 2-3 hours and I have no idea if it's the ADHD or not but it works for him. I've talked to adults with ADHD and they control theirs with tryptophan, (chicken breast,soybeans, turkey etc) and I wonder if perhaps the causes of so many children being diagnosed with ADHD and ADD could be because they are deficient in it.

http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbi... says this:
Dietary deficiency of tryptophan may lead to low levels of serotonin. Low serotonin levels are associated with depression, anxiety, irritability, impatience, impulsiveness, inability to concentrate, weight gain, overeating, carbohydrate cravings, poor dream recall, and insomnia.

It's worth a shot anyway to see if it helps your son before he's put on medications for it. It's a lot easier now with the decent protein bars and now even protein waters.

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C.M.

answers from Alexandria on

My son was diagnosed with ADD last year he was eight years old and the Dr. put him on adderall. I know alot of people do not like to put their kids on medicine like that but somtimes you have to do what is best for the child. And it has helped. That would be my advise to you is to try a medicine. I think the problem with my son now is that he just does not like school but most kids dont.

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T.G.

answers from Fayetteville on

L. - I've been reading through the responses you've received so far, and I'm quite disgusted with how many people are encouraging the use of medications. My 7 yr. old was recently diagnosed with ADD, so I'm in a similar boat. However, I don't want to give my child the Concerta that was prescribed due to the side effects. I don't think it's worth it. I've done a lot of research (I'm a nursing student, so I'm used to doing a lot of research) and I'm going to rule out EVERYTHING else first.

Do a web search for the ADD diet. It takes out all refined sugars, gluten, and processed meats. It's about as natural as it gets without going organic. It's VERY difficult to stick to when you're working full time, but you might be able to get your husband to help with meal planning and preparing.

Also, try to find a Homeopathic Doctor in your area. I don't know where you are, but Harrison, Arkansas has an "Optimal Health Clinic" that houses an MD that's also a Homeopathic Doctor. She will spend 2 hours with your son on your first visit doing a complete assessment. She'll draw blood to check for trace metal levels (some kids have elevated lead/mercury/magnesium levels that lead to decreased focusing abilities), allergies (distracted kids are often allergic to gluten), red blood cell count (anemia will cause a person to be easily distracted) and do a physical assessment to rule out any abnormalities (eyesight, hearing, writing abilities, etc). She even accepts Medicaid. I'm not sure if there are any others that are like her, but I've been pleased so far. She's told me that if we can't find a natural way to get him to focus, she will resort to the Concerta. However, she's going to support me in trying all sorts of other things first. I want to find what works best for MY son, and I'd really like it if it were a natural solution. It will allow me to keep the son I know (no personality changes, depression, suicidal ideations, tics or mood swings) and will allow him to know that I love him just way he is - even if he has a hard time focusing in the classroom. PLEASE research all routes before administering any medications! Those drugs are scary! It's a legal form of methamphetamine and it's just as addictive!

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E.J.

answers from Clarksville on

It can be somewhat overwhelming at times. However, you have to have a lot of time and patience. My daughter is an ADHD child. She is always busy and has trouble focusing all day long. She was on medication previously, and for me it wasn't really helping her. Therefore, I carefully took her off of her medication and simply spend more time with her and reminding her to stay focused. They require several breaks while completing assignments. Normal attention span is approximately 45 minutes. My daughter's is 30-35 or so. Therefore, you have to incorporate breaks and time to breathe for both of you. The local Title 1 Learning Centers have lots of great tips, and lots of books as well. They have ADHD workshops throughout the year. Some children actually do require some medical treatment, and you have to consult with his physician and teachers. They have to be rewarded in order to stay on task. It doesn't have to be something big...it can be a smoothie....crackers....a sticker or something. Therefore, as each portion of the homework is completed they have something to look forward to. There are times when I have wanted to cry, but as of this school year I have learned to give her more time. When you watch what he does and the easiest way for him to learn; only then will you be able to add your own twist to the enhancement and fun of his learning. We have a strict schedule at home. When she gets off of the bus she comes in and immediately changes her clothes. Afterwards, she has a snack and some juice or water. From there it's all business for 30-35 minutes, and at this point we take a break. We talk about any difficulties she had at school, and I always asked what her best experience was during her school day. The break is 10 minutes and back to business. Her homework should take approximately 30 min to 1 hr 15 max. At the beginning of the school year it was taking 2 hours plus, and now she comes in like the little princess that she is and gets her work done in 30- 45 or 50 minutes depending on the assignments. She has dinner, 30 minutes to watch television, showers and we read a story or sing before going to bed. Sometimes it is hard to complete everything, and you have to get up early and set aside some time in the morning for completion. Simply take your time, and always ask what he is having the most difficulty with on any assignment. Consult with the physician about the statement that he made, and he may refer you to a therapist. We can never take these things lightly. The more he talks about the problems the better you will both feel. Oh, you have to incorporate everyone into this experience including your husband. There will be times when you are simply stretched to thin. If there isn't anyone else available take a break, go to the park or to get ice cream. I hope that this helps and always remember it may be difficult but it could be worse, and his success depends on you and family involvement. Our children need a lot of TLC and try not to show frustation. Keep me posted on your progress.

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S.R.

answers from Nashville on

L., This sounds so much like our son. He's a very smart boy, but his grades kept slipping at each grade level. Homework was a night mare in our house resulting in terrible arguements and upsetting the whole family. He would get so frustrated that he would hit himself really hard on his head, pull his hair, or grab his shirt with his teeth and rip his shirt. Nick absolutely could not sit still for even 10 min. to do homework after sitting most of the day at school. Then, after he did his homework, he was too disorganized to turn it in or would lose it after taking it out of his folder at school to turn it in. He was diagnosed with ADHD with Oppositional Defiance Behaviorat at the end of second grade. We finally found the perfect med. for him and he is a completely different child. He is now 12 and doing well in school. Many times reading comprehension delays can accompany ADD/ADHD. He has been seeing a reading specialist too. Advice: When he gets home after school, have him take a 30 min. break with a snack and then jump on a trampoline (small ones are only about $25). Jumping on a trampoline or swinging or tumbling for just a few minutes is very therapeutic and organizing to the brain (I am a pediatric occupational theryapist with a masters degree including certification in Sensory Integration).Then have hime start his homework right away (before he gets more tired) with small breaks every 20 min. Use his favorite rewards (t.v., X-Box,...) after his homework is done. Also, don't be afraid to consider the use of med.s. It made a whole world of difference for all of us. You might want to subscribe to ADDitude Magazine filled with terrific advice.

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S.

answers from Little Rock on

My son is 10 and we have had the same problems since he started school. Every Year has been a fight. The teachers kept telling me something was going on. I had him evaluated by a behavioral therapist who then sent me to an occupational therapist. He has ADD paralleling with SPD.
Not many people realize this problem exists. His handwriting troubles are why he is having trouble with Math and spelling! Strange but true. If you need to know more you can email me.

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D.

answers from Shreveport on

You need to have him checked out, even more so that he is saying he is going to harm himself, I hate my son being on medicine but he has to be, right now he is not, because we are in between doctors, but my son is 17, so most of it he has grown out of.

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P.D.

answers from Clarksville on

my son is ADHD he is 21 now but, i can tell you how it affected him from age 5 is when he was diagnosed with ADHD.
your talking about taking two hours to do one problem in math is a sure sign of ADD (bc he can't help it but, his mind is going so fast he can't slow down enough to think clearly in order to solve the problem which in turn makes him very angry at himself).I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO NOT TAKE IT LIGHTLY WITH HIS THREAT TO HURT HIMSELF TAKE ACTION NOW BF SOMETHING TERRIBLE DOES HAPPEN. not being on medication for this disorder is asking for trouble as your child gets older without medication to slow his mind down to be able to think on whats right or wrong he will start to get into trouble also if not already,more than likely with the law.what it is - is that their minds go so fast that they can't slow down enough to think clearly so therefore they are more likely to fail in school,trouble with peers,trouble with the law,etc.my son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 5 yrs old. i was strongly against medication i did not want my son on a drug with the side effects that some of them have.but,you have to weigh the side effects verses what is possible to happen to your son without it.don't wait like i did being so set against medication and thinking i could control his ADHD by his diet and many other things bc trust me it took something really bad happening to my son at the age of 6 for me to realize that medication was the only answer.im not saying that medicine is going to solve everything bc it won't you have to contiuously work with your son to keep him focused on whats best for him.also,therapy with a therapist to help him understand more about his disorder which will help u also.
i can't tell you enough how important it is to get your son on medication ASAP.i promise you will see a huge difference if he is put on the right kind of ADHD medicine.we tried several kinds with my son and the drug of choice was Ritalin.also get him in therapy so he can understand why he is taking the medicine and learn about what is wrong with him which is ADD and a therapist also can help guide you on working with the medication.at first after being put on medication you will see that he has a lose of appetite,not sleep well.but,this will not last it will stop after he gets more use to taking the medicine or should i say his body adjusts to the medicine.questions u need to ask yourself is:
1.can he be still for a period of time?
2.can he focus on one thing for a period of time or does he jump from one thing to the next?
3.when u correct him when he does something wrong does he listen? does he do it again?
4.does he get along with his peers?
5.is he contiuously in trouble at school or often?
6.does he have many friends?
7.does he have outburst of anger for no reason that you can see the reason why?
7.does he get agitated easily?
8.do you tell him not to do something and he does it anyway?
9.is his grades poorly in school especially reading and math?
there are alot more things that go along with ADD or ADHD.as such as the disorder can result in bypolar depressant among other things. you can research all the info you need to know on the internet about syptoms and possible results if not medicated n also what to do.one site is
www.ADHD.com also you can go to www.ritalin.com and scroll down to ritalin.

if the answers to these questions are all yes.PLEASE get him to a doctor for medication and to a therapist.
i hope this information has helped you and i will be praying for your son and your family bc,not only does this disorder affect your son it affects the family as well.
Good luck and God Bless.
if you need to talk to me more about this i will be happy to talk to you if you want.email me anytime.anything i can help with i will.

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J.W.

answers from Dothan on

I know you have already gotten numerous responses to your post but having reading some of them, I too, had to respond. As a teacher, it is very difficult to bring up the issue with parents. However, as one that is experienced in working with many ADHD over the years, those that are PROPERLY medicated are the children that are the most successful. Not all children need medication due to the severity of the problem but most do. Look at it this way...if your child was a diabetic, would you not give him medication for that. It's the same thing, a medical problem that needs to be addressed. Your ultimate goal is for your child to be successful and feel good about himself, correct? The frustration would not be there if he were able to focus and you need to find the correct intervention for him. There are many medications out there. I've worked with children on just about all of them. The key is to find the one that works best with your child's body. Realize that this may take a little time. Again, I emphasize to you...equate it do another medical problem...wouldn't you seek medical intervention???? I, too, would recommend a counselor to help with the period of adjustment. Best wishes!

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H.G.

answers from New Orleans on

My son is ADHD, he was diagnosed when he was 6 he is now 9. We are on medicine now, and it has help to a degree. Before we got on the medicine we tried everything! It got to the point where I didn't know what to do anymore and we were having knock down, drag out fights over homework. When it gets frustrating and overwhelming now we take a snack break or maybe just step out for some fresh air to clear his head. Walking away and not fighting, making sure to remain calm, and reassuring him seem to work and help ease the frustration. There is no sure fire thing that is going to make it easier, it just takes patience and time. My son also goes to counseling once a week and sometimes that is the best thing for him. It gives him an outlet to say what he needs to say and he knows that I am not going to ask what they talked about.

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T.J.

answers from New Orleans on

I have a child with PDD-NOS ( a high functioning autisim ) along with ADHD.

The only advice I can tell you it take him to a therapist. That along with the right medication has helped my son and it's amazing to see the change in him.

If you need to talk or anything I'm always around!

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L.S.

answers from Birmingham on

Sounds way too familiar...I have a son that is 11 also. He was diagnosed with ADHD in kindergarden. Which, if you ask me, is worse than ADD because it is ADD with hyperactivity. My son does the same thing as yours.....his medicine usually wears off by the time he gets home, so if he has tough homework I give him another pill about 1 hour before we get started. He is a different child. He can concentrate, he can problem solve with ease and he reads and comprehends. When he was in 1st grade, his grades went from d's and f's with the teacher calling me about his talking in class, to "A" honor roll and him never talking. He is in 5th grade now and has only made 1 "C" on his report card since 1st grade. He honestly can not learn without his medicine. The downfalls are that it does make him seem depressed at times, very quiet, like something is bothering him, but it is just the effect of the medicine and you can tell when it is wearing off because he starts getting more and more hyper and talkative. I have always explained to him that there is nothing wrong with him that it is just harder for him to contrate than other kids, so he takes this medicine to help him make better decisions through the day and help him understand what is being said at school. he has never had an issue with taking it. Good luck !!!!

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D.D.

answers from Huntsville on

It bothers me that so many kids are being diagnosed with ADD. My son was diagnosed at 4 with ADHD. The doctors wanted to put him on medicines, I refused. How can a child make B's but mostly A's have a attention problem? Hyper, he was. He said, he got bored and anxious in class at lot. If some teachers don't understand these kids. It can make them worse. When he had compassinate teachers. He did well. Teachers who didn't understand him...BOY OH BOY ( this maybe a little different from your situation).

But, two hours on one problem will make anyone feel that way. I believe in that situation the math problem was the problem and not your child. You should have gotten help with the math problem sooner - internet is a great source.
But, by the time my son turned 12, he was much better. He is 14 now. I'm glad I didn't put him on medicine.

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T.R.

answers from Jackson on

I am resource teacher and spending two hours on a math problem is just unacceptable. If your son is having difficulties in his work and is falling far behind, there are options. Maybe looking into receiving special education services or 504 services. They are not a magic cure, but if he is falling behnd they may help him.

Was medication not deemed right for your son? Some students need these medications to be successful and to manage their ADD or ADHD. I would consider this if the problem worsens.

Just a couple of opinions, but good luck in whatever you decide to do.

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C.M.

answers from Fort Smith on

I am a mother of two children with this kind of problem. My 9 yr old girl is ADHD/learning difficulity and is on strattera, it has helped her at first, but now I need something else. She would not be able to focus at all on homework and she still can take about 3 hours to do work too, including math. And I know that is fustrating, not only on you but your child too. I have made it to were we will work on a problem for a while and If after some time she still dont have it done we will take a 5 - 10 min brake and then I will show her how to do the problem. My 6 yr old son has ADHD/immpulsive he will do things without even thinking. He is on Provigil, and so far it is helping him. With out the medicine you could tell the difference, now he is not so disruptive in school and he is not so deffient at home. He also has tried Adderall, and strattera, but they just werent for him.
Anyways, weither or not you decide to put your child on medicine is tottally up to your doc and you. IF you really dont feel comfortable about putting your child on medicine, try the diets mentioned before, they have said that if you take certian things away from add/adhd children then they get better with love and without medicine. Here is a link to a Parents site that might have some answers for you. I hope it helps, maybe looking into a therapist might not be such a bad ideal.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/attentiondeficithypera...
http://www.kidshealth.org/index.html

these are just a few pages that might have the answer you are looking for, or atleast help you make the right decision for your child, and might give you ideals on how to be able to help your child learn.

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