View Full Version : Currently untreated...

01-11-13, 12:05 AM
Hello everyone! I'm new to the forums, but have been a bit of a lurker recently. My son seems to be falling further and further behind in school. We have seen the pediatrician who currently does not want to treat our son with medication. He suggested some changes at school and home along with behavior modification and a reward system. We have tried all of the doctor's suggestions and now he's recommended a reading evaluation. He referred us to a child psychologist who specializes in reading disorders who is not in network with my husband's insurance. The final price tag was close to $3k. I went looking for another psychologist and (thankfully) came upon a woman who is a provider with our plan. Even better, it turns out she is working under a grant and not accepting payment! Long story short, we are now on the waiting list for a reading and ADHD evaluation.
I wanted to share a video I recorded tonight of him and I getting through a typical night of reading homework... Beware it is lonnnggg (and I'm getting ready for trash day so please excuse all the recycling out on our countertops!), but if you would consider bouncing through it and giving your opinion on what I think is ADD or ADHD I would appreciate it so much. Am I on the right track here in assuming there is a problem that warrants a prescription medication? Or am I simply just... impatient?

Thank you for your time,

01-11-13, 09:26 AM
You have privacy settings on the video so it can't be watched, either here or directly on youtube. That may actually be a good thing.

It sounds like you're on the right track as far as getting evaluations. Don't jump the gun - the whole process of diagnosis and treatment happens over a long period, and you don't want to make any decisions without knowing as much about your options as possible.

01-11-13, 03:44 PM
Here is the updated link:<WBR>v=H_N2W7SmZZs&feature=youtube_<WBR>gdata_player (

Sorry about that. I thought I had it set to "Unlisted" rather than "Private". Today has been a frustrating day... On top of this behavior last night, I got the following email from his teacher this afternoon:
I am so sorry to have to send you an email on a Friday, but Xavier had a rough day. The teacher on duty during lunch recess said he was kicking kids in line. Then in the classroom today during math he threw a crayon across the room. These are behaviors that are not like Xavier. I always have problems getting and keeping his attention, but never these kinds of behaviors. I knew you would want to know so that we can stop them now before he decides this is the way to act in school. Thanks so much for your help.
Mrs. Smith

He's getting worse and I feel like there's nothing I can do. :(

01-11-13, 04:22 PM
I must confess I only watched a few minutes. I donīt agree with homework for young kids, there are far more negatives than positives to it. Anyway thatīs another matter.

There are many types of problems that can resemble adhd in young children so your doctor may want to try other routes before medication, so even if meds do help children in some ways, this doesnīt mean they have adhd.

though it seems pretty expensive. Iīm not from your country so really canīt understand the enormous costs involved in healthcare.

Ms. Mango
01-11-13, 04:28 PM
I watched about 12 seconds of the video. I'm not going to watch any more as it won't change my answer.

No one here, even people who can diagnose IRL (and there are a few on this forum), can tell you what's going on with your child or that you should medicate him based on a YouTube video. Fortunately, you're pursuing an evaluation for your son in spite of his pediatrician dragging his heels. I think everyone here will agree that is the best course of action.

The purpose of an evaluation is to get the proper diagnosis. It is the diagnosis that drives treatment decisions, either therapy, medication or both.

Often there are other disorders present with ADHD. These co-morbid disorders (like dyslexia, for example, since you noted your son is having difficulty reading) also need to be diagnosed in order to devise a treatment plan for your son. Medication alone will do nothing to improve his reading; for that he might need therapy or tutoring.

If you do get a diagnosis, ask for recommendations for a pediatric neurologist or psychiatrist who can prescribe meds. Since your son's pediatrician has been so reluctant to treat your son in this area you might be more comfortable having a specialist prescribe and follow up.

My other suggestion to you, if you haven't already, is to get you son a really thorough eye exam from a developmental optometrist. Google "College of Optometrists in Vision Development" to find one in your area. Rule out any vision problems before spending gobs of money on a reading instructor. Several of us here, myself included, have a child who struggled to read due to a vision problem. An eye exam and a pair of reading glasses did wonders for my DS.

01-11-13, 04:35 PM
I would say that you want to see what you can do behaviorally - sometimes this kind of behavior comes from frustration with being unable to grasp something they're currently doing in school, but aren't yet mature enough to express verbally. That's a little harder for boys at his age, too.

There were moments there that looked maybe ADHD/maybe reluctant to do something frustrating. There's a lot more to evaluation than individual behaviors, and if you can address the behaviors without medication, that would be really good.

My feeling is that when medications are justified, you shouldn't withhold them - but be absolutely sure they're justified, first, because it can be a rough road finding the right one. It's all about making life better for your child.

01-11-13, 07:54 PM
I watched about 12 seconds of the video. I'm not going to watch any more as it won't change my answer.

No one here, even people who can diagnose IRL (and there are a few on this forum), can tell you what's going on with your child or that you should medicate him based on a YouTube video.;

I didn't post the video for a diagnosis. I posted it as an example of what we go through on a consistent basis every time attention is required to complete a task. I wouldn't come to a forum for a dx.

That said... maybe I should've been more clear in the steps and treatment we've taken thus far.
1. We visited the pediatrician in October. At that point he made some suggestions regarding behavior modification and a reward system at school. Our teacher already uses a reward system which does nothing for our son. He could care less whether his name makes it to the end of the chart for the day, he gets a piece of candy for good behavior, etc. When we visited the pediatrician in October he said, "His diagnosis? Sure he's got ADHD. Now we have to find the way to treat it without medication."
2. He has a specific spot for homework that is nice and quiet with all the supplies he needs to complete work without distraction.
3. Fish oil.
4. Dietary changes. (I kept a food diary for 6 weeks. He eats healthy anyway and none of the changes we made had any effect on him.)
5. Time chart. (Daily activities are outlined following to stay with routine.)
6. Extra exercise. (Karate class, soccer, baseball, swimming, extra time outside and at the park... you name it.)
7. And yes, he has had a complete eye exam by a pediatric optometrist every year since he was 3.

Maybe listing the steps we've taken thus far can convey my frustration a little better. No further direction or help from the pediatrician is making me feel like a crazy person. I think maybe many parents feel the way I do while they're going through the steps towards a final solution for treatment. I suppose I posted the video to see if the behaviors looked familiar to anyone and for reassurance that I am doing the right thing in the way we work together. I don't think he has a reading disability... I think he doesn't like to read. I don't know any 5-year-olds that want to try harder at something they don't like doing. It's like asking a kindergartner who doesn't like liver to sit down and eat a plate full of liver.

I'm lost. Thank you for reading, all. (I know the video is extremely long and I didn't expect anyone to watch all 25 minutes. But thank you to those who took the time to watch a bit of it.)

Ms. Mango
01-11-13, 08:39 PM
It sounds like your son's pediatrician has made it clear that he is against medication, even when there's a possibility it's warrented. I find that an interesting stance from a medical professional. His suggestion to try behavior modification first was valid, but he failed you (and your son) when you made it clear it wasn't effective.

Based on his attitude I wouldn't go to anyone he recommended, so I think you're doing the right thing by seeking an evaluation elsewhere. It is frustrating and can take a while to go through the process, but hang in there.

Ok, I made it about halfway through the video. One thing I noticed is that he does much better reading when he is in motion. That's ok--it might be a little hard on you to watch, though. Could he do just as well holding a fidget toy? Then he wouldn't be quite so bouncy! (Also, not all kids are ready to read at 5--schools really need to cut these kids some slack or they'll end up hating to read.)

Also, what works for my DS now, even medicated, is to take a lot of breaks. At that age we could only work for 5-10 minutes at a time before getting squirrely. He was also a table pounder...:(

01-11-13, 09:37 PM
How old is your son? How is he doing in other areas in school, like math? What grade is he in?

01-12-13, 07:16 PM
Hi LynneC,
He's in kindergarten and will be 6 in one week. He enjoys math and is good at it. It seems to come very easy to him. His teacher said he does okay in most areas but is a constant distraction. I'm sure if she could, she'd spend all day sitting next to his desk reminding him to pay attention and what the class is doing at that point in time. He doesn't have much interest in anything (at school) other than math and gym. At home he likes science projects, playing outside, video games, and occasionally will sit down to listen to me read to him.

01-12-13, 09:39 PM
7. And yes, he has had a complete eye exam by a pediatric optometrist every year since he was 3.

FYI -- are you sure this is the same as a *developmental* optometrist? My understanding is that the developmental speciality can detect more subtle problems such as the eyes not tracking motion properly or moving the right way to go from one line of text to the next, where your regular optometrist is mainly looking at whether a kid can read an eye chart.

01-14-13, 02:43 PM
I haven't watched the video, just commenting based on Ms. Mango mentioning your son seems to do better when moving.

My daughter used a "wedge" in school for a few years. It helped IMMENSELY with the need for movement while sitting. If you google "balance wedge" you will see online places that sell it. I think it was around $40 or so, but you might find it cheaper if you look around (the school paid for ours).

It's an air filled rubber cushion shaped like a wedge and it allows them to have continuous small amounts of movement while sitting, and helps with the need to get up out of their seats.

My daughter also used fidget toys (cheap at the dollar store) and chewing gum for this and other sensory issues.

02-10-13, 05:32 PM
Just in reference to his homework-

You have unbelievable patience :cool:

Have you tried literally cutting it up into smaller chunks? It was a big piece of paper for such a little boy. If he had maybe 1/4 of it placed in front of him, it would instantly be a far smaller mountain to climb. He could do one bit then go and play for a bit. When you got back, you could re-cap and the he could do the next little bit. We do my daughter's homework over 5 nights.

Or could you read half and he read half?

Just a thought. All done again for being so patient :)

02-26-13, 05:53 AM
This was a blessing to watch (I know, the irony in that statement)...It was nice to see someone else go through similar motions on homework (sometimes you feel like you are alone in this evening struggle). I can stay patient most nights but have bouts of external frustration at times too--sad to say, I know).

My soon-to-be step-son is in fifth grade and I have been with him since age 9 (now almost 12). While in fifth grade now, he gets one hour of homework that typically takes us 2-3 hours per night. The majority of the time is spent refocusing attention. We deal with miscellaneous conversations, not sitting still, frustration outbursts (although these have gotten a bit better), etc.

Although we are also big proponents of doing without medication, I am very open to cognitive behavior programs. Some are helpful, but find that as always, we are not dealing with a "one size fits all" situation with our children. Trial and error all the way. Thank goodness for the patience. I watched the video in its entirety and many props to you. You refocus him well, you adjust inappropriate behaviors quickly, you reinforce the positive behaviors and yet you still allow for some creativity and a tailored amount of independence along the way...Great job!! Not sure if the regimen the doc provided will be but a mere temp fix, but maybe some further insight from a trained psychological professional will prove more helpful...Good luck!

02-26-13, 07:14 PM
I watched about 3 minutes into the video and I can already give you some suggestions about helping him.

First off, I would like to say that your sons current ability to read at his age does not seem concerning. He was able to sound out the letters just fine. "b" and "d" are common to mix up, even for 1st and 2nd graders.

Secondly, it seems that your son could use more encouragement while you are helping him. I heard you once say "very good" after he read the first sentence. However, for a kid his age, reading a simple sentence takes a lot of brain power! Every word should have a "good" or a "nice" after it. Encouragement should be more frequent, and very positive. Keep in mind that he reads your body language and tone of voice more than your actual words.

It seems that your son is highly kinesthetic in his learning style. Allowing him to stand while he is reading would help tremendously, rather than forcing him to sit up straight with his back to the chair.

The best way for kids to learn how to read is to read with them!!!! My dad read with me at night as a kid. I could read short chapter books in kindergarten. I accredit that to the effort of my parents as they would read to me at night. My 12 yr-old asperger's brother is a very good reader, as my parents would read to him frequently when he was younger.