View Full Version : Seeking help for my 6 year old son


MikeTheDad
02-08-16, 06:06 PM
Hi, I have a 6 year old son that has some issues, but no diagnosis has been attempted. Below is a list of his issues that I've observed. I'm just wondering if anyone has any reaction to this list. Does it sound consistent with ADHD? He's been going to Occupational Therapy to help with the thumb sucking (sensory type therapy) but it hasn't really helped. We regularly get calls from his school about bad behavior. I'd love to help him have more self-control, follow instructions better and have better social skills. I'm sure there are a lot of parents on here who have been through this and I'd appreciate any advice or insight I can get.

Difficulty controlling impulses

• Sucks his thumb uncontrollably
• Chews shirt collars
• Chews pencils
• Retaliates when teased by other children
• Sometimes acts like a clown
• Strong urge to sit close to and touch certain girls in his class
• Once he cut his own hair with scissors when he was supposed to be in bed asleep

Difficulty sitting still

• Difficulty sitting still and upright in his chair at the dinner table
• If you lay with him in bed, he’s constantly moving his arms and legs and touching you
• Can’t sit still to listen to a book being read. (When I read aloud to him, I let him draw or build legos at the same time. He’s able to listen to the story and draw his picture simultaneously.)
• He has always been like this – even at 2 years old, we remarked that he has “ants in his pants” (constantly moving around)
• Not sure if it’s related, but he’s a bit clumsy and uncoordinated

Social Immaturity/Difficulties

• Sometimes seems anxious in groups of other children
• Difficulty or disinterest in making friends
• We hear that he sometimes spends recess time by himself
• He has difficulty finding friends to share a seat with him on the bus

Difficulty following instructions

• Often ignores instructions and just does what he wants
• In teams and other activities (skating lessons, soccer team, swim lessons), he will often stray away from the group of children, ignore the coach’s instructions, and just do his own thing
• He is not particularly worried about consequences; even if he knows he’ll get in trouble, he misbehaves anyway
• Sometimes gets too frustrated to sit and do homework


Despite all this, most of the time he is a very nice and sweet boy. He's also very smart and learns quickly. He's very happy to go to school each day and enjoys it.

Cyllya
02-09-16, 12:43 AM
Those traits do sound very ADHD-ish.

sarahsweets
02-09-16, 05:19 AM
Has you ever considered having him evaluated for autism?

MikeTheDad
02-09-16, 09:05 PM
Thanks, Cyllya and sarahsweets. I appreciate you taking the time to read my long post. I hadn't considered autism. After I saw your reply, I read a little more about Autism and Asperger's and some of it sounded a bit like him and a lot of it didn't. When my wife and I read about Sensory Disorders, ADHD, Autism, etc. we generally get the feeling that our son definitely has something that makes him a little different and a little difficult at times, but he doesn't perfectly match the list of symptoms of one particular diagnosis/condition - although to me a lot of these conditions seem similar or overlapping. But maybe as I learn more in the years ahead I will get a better understanding and appreciation of them. In general, when we read about a condition like ADHD we think "that sounds like him, but maybe his case is mild compared to the full list of symptoms and characteristics". My wife's coworker had his child evaluated at a place in town - I think it is 2 full days of evaluation, costs something like $3000 and isn't covered by insurance. We might be interested in doing that evaluation at some point - I think it might help us to have a professional evaluation when working with the teachers and administrators at his school. If there's some explanation for his traits and some best way to work with him about it, we've sure love to know. Another thing we plan to try soon is a Social Skills group.

I find that I sometimes feel frustrated by his behavior and sometimes a little embarrassed by it. I'm curious, if you could summarize the best strategies for parenting an ADHD 6 year old, what would the main points be?

JenineS
02-15-16, 03:05 AM
You should look into neurotransmitter testing - amino acid testing that reflect whats going on with his brain chemistry, based on the teat results you get a custom supplement made to balance him out chemically. He may have a serotonin/dopamine imbalance, or a hard time clearing epinephrine etc... I did a 23&Me genetic test then had the neurotransmiiter teat done with Sabre Sciences. If there is a genetic trait causing a chemical imbalance you can identify it and treat it. All in all the testing would cost less that $500. I found it to be very helpful im giving us a direction and specific targets of what needs to be treated.

sarahsweets
02-15-16, 08:01 PM
You should look into neurotransmitter testing - amino acid testing that reflect whats going on with his brain chemistry, based on the teat results you get a custom supplement made to balance him out chemically. He may have a serotonin/dopamine imbalance, or a hard time clearing epinephrine etc... I did a 23&Me genetic test then had the neurotransmiiter teat done with Sabre Sciences. If there is a genetic trait causing a chemical imbalance you can identify it and treat it. All in all the testing would cost less that $500. I found it to be very helpful im giving us a direction and specific targets of what needs to be treated.

I am very leary of 23&me. I am worried that it will lead people to pursue avenues of treatment that are anything but what they actually need. And all the stuff you mentioned about getting custom supplements for conditions do not have the science to back up their claims.

CanadianDad
02-15-16, 08:58 PM
Thanks, Cyllya and sarahsweets. I appreciate you taking the time to read my long post. I hadn't considered autism. After I saw your reply, I read a little more about Autism and Asperger's and some of it sounded a bit like him and a lot of it didn't. When my wife and I read about Sensory Disorders, ADHD, Autism, etc. we generally get the feeling that our son definitely has something that makes him a little different and a little difficult at times, but he doesn't perfectly match the list of symptoms of one particular diagnosis/condition - although to me a lot of these conditions seem similar or overlapping. But maybe as I learn more in the years ahead I will get a better understanding and appreciation of them. In general, when we read about a condition like ADHD we think "that sounds like him, but maybe his case is mild compared to the full list of symptoms and characteristics". My wife's coworker had his child evaluated at a place in town - I think it is 2 full days of evaluation, costs something like $3000 and isn't covered by insurance. We might be interested in doing that evaluation at some point - I think it might help us to have a professional evaluation when working with the teachers and administrators at his school. If there's some explanation for his traits and some best way to work with him about it, we've sure love to know. Another thing we plan to try soon is a Social Skills group.

I find that I sometimes feel frustrated by his behavior and sometimes a little embarrassed by it. I'm curious, if you could summarize the best strategies for parenting an ADHD 6 year old, what would the main points be?

Welcome.

We're about a year into having our Son diagnosed and under treatment, he's now 7, soon to be 8. We had a full Psychoeducational Assessment done privately following some feedback from a Kindergarten teacher and our own observances. The assessment was around the $3k mark, but we were lucky where it was covered by our insurance. Afterwards, we realized how important it was as a resource for us and his school. I would highly recommend it, sooner rather than later.
Afterwards, you can talk over with a Child Psychologist or Psychiatrist about treatment options. My wife and I believe in the Scientific Method, so we only use things that are proven to work..... so our son is on a Stimulant Med, along with a multivitamin (due to our sons less-than-ideal diet) and daily fish oil (recommended by our family physician).
Medicating a child is always a hard decision. We were EXTREMELY concerned about it, but we trust his Psychologist, and I looked her in the eye and asked what she would recommend if it were her son. I would recommend reading Sarah's sticky on the subject in this sub-forum, I found it very helpful.
Our son had some of your childs symptoms, and we were concerned about him being on the Autism spectrum, but it ended up he's ADHD with a High Functioning LD.
I can't exaggerate how Anxious we were going through the whole process. I've found these forums very useful in seeing how others deal with these issues and have reached out for support a few times and been so happy with the friendly responses.
Feel free to reach out as often as you need. As I said, I would recommend doing an assessment sooner rather than later, if possible. I know that sometimes personal circumstances do not always allow.

sarahsweets
02-16-16, 05:23 AM
My wife's coworker had his child evaluated at a place in town - I think it is 2 full days of evaluation, costs something like $3000 and isn't covered by insurance.
When you say evaluated and the cost, what are you referring to? When it comes to adhd, there are no tests and evaluation is done by a qualified doctor, usually a psychiatrist that has experience with adhd. It shouldnt cost that much for this sort of evaluation, if thats what you mean.

I find that I sometimes feel frustrated by his behavior and sometimes a little embarrassed by it. I'm curious, if you could summarize the best strategies for parenting an ADHD 6 year old, what would the main points be?
In the kids section dizfriz's corner is a great place to start. If you are interested in my son's personal story there is a sticky in children's diagnosis as well. Not that I am an expert or anything, just my experience with it.