View Full Version : Decline in performance at school


joynem
07-13-17, 03:22 AM
My 12 yo daughter has recently been diagnosed PI ADD. Our psych through the public system prescribed short acting Ritalin increasing up to 20mg once daily, but my daughter had a bad reaction with hyper-activation and palpitations. The psych then tried her on Dexedrine increasing up to 15mg once daily, but because it didn't have any effect, they are trying to say she doesn't have ADD, maybe auditory processing or a specific learning disability. The thing is she has all the signs of inattention, is impulsive, can't sit still for 5 seconds, has to fiddle to focus, forgets to hand in notices etc.

As she was having problems at school with too much noise and distractions in a class of over 80 kids, we moved her to a new school that had smaller class sizes and a teacher that makes accommodations for her. After receiving her grade 7 mid year school report (the most comprehensive we have ever had) it has shown up deficits in writing recount, summarizing, inference, and lack of punctuation, capitalization, grammar. I knew about the issues she has been having for a while with punctuation and grammar that don't seem to be improving, but it wasn't until I was looking through her old school books from grade 2 that I realized she was using punctuation, capitals and paragraphs perfectly back then. This is why I don't think it is an auditory processing or SLD problem. Also she is an amazing speller and reader.

Has anyone else had these issues with their ADD child?

Many thanks

sarahsweets
07-13-17, 04:44 AM
My 12 yo daughter has recently been diagnosed PI ADD. Our psych through the public system prescribed short acting Ritalin increasing up to 20mg once daily, but my daughter had a bad reaction with hyper-activation and palpitations. The psych then tried her on Dexedrine increasing up to 15mg once daily, but because it didn't have any effect, they are trying to say she doesn't have ADD, maybe auditory processing or a specific learning disability. The thing is she has all the signs of inattention, is impulsive, can't sit still for 5 seconds, has to fiddle to focus, forgets to hand in notices etc.
Is it normal for the school system to prescribe medications? It isnt here in the US. And if your dautghter didnt benefit from meds then it certainly doesnt mean she doesnt have adhd, thats then most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Someone's reactions to stimulants has nothing to do with whether or not they have adhd.


As she was having problems at school with too much noise and distractions in a class of over 80 kids, we moved her to a new school that had smaller class sizes and a teacher that makes accommodations for her. After receiving her grade 7 mid year school report (the most comprehensive we have ever had) it has shown up deficits in writing recount, summarizing, inference, and lack of punctuation, capitalization, grammar. I knew about the issues she has been having for a while with punctuation and grammar that don't seem to be improving, but it wasn't until I was looking through her old school books from grade 2 that I realized she was using punctuation, capitals and paragraphs perfectly back then. This is why I don't think it is an auditory processing or SLD problem. Also she is an amazing speller and reader.

Has anyone else had these issues with their ADD child?

Many thanks
How someone does in school also isnt the way to confirm or deny adhd. What about her private doctor? Why dont you take her there?

joynem
07-13-17, 06:28 AM
Is it normal for the school system to prescribe medications? It isnt here in the US. And if your dautghter didnt benefit from meds then it certainly doesnt mean she doesnt have adhd, thats then most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Someone's reactions to stimulants has nothing to do with whether or not they have adhd.

How someone does in school also isnt the way to confirm or deny adhd. What about her private doctor? Why dont you take her there?


Sorry, by "public" I meant the government funded public health system. That's what we call it in NZ. It is terribly underfunded and that is why I think they don't want to take the time to trial meds. Also, in NZ we only have access to methylphenidate, dexamphetamine and atomoxetine for treating ADHD.
I think we will end up seeing a doctor in private practice as you suggest

Caco3girl
07-13-17, 07:32 AM
For my 14 year old son, if it wasn't reinforced over and over and over he forgets it. It would not surprise me that he did it correctly in second grade, but when they stopped teaching it he stopped doing it.

My son has issues on everything you mentioned. He does his papers in "Word" and that helps with much of it. The grammar is something I have been correcting. He is fond of adding "S's" to words, for example "I gets the paper"...he also uses the wrong tense, for example "I get the paper yesterday from the store". He's been much better at both of those things since I corrected him out loud and often.

We had to try 4 types of meds until we found that both Concerta (at 54 mg) and Adderall XR (at 40mg) worked well for his inattentive ADD. Ritalin did not work very well, we actually saw no difference but it's possible the dosage wasn't high enough. My son is VERY active physically so low doses would wear off quickly. Only a higher dose works for him.

Trying the Dexedrine at only 15mg when it wasn't having an effect seems idiotic. Like I said the Concerta, which is your methylphenidate didn't have a noticeable effect until 54mg and we noticed my son did MUCH better with the extended release versions of Dexedrine which is called Adderal XR in the US, but still stopping at 15mg seems silly.

joynem
07-13-17, 08:01 AM
Thanks. Yes, it is silly. Even when we said to the psych that 15mg dex wasn't working, she wanted her to stay on the same dose and wrote another script for a month :confused:. As a result my daughter refused to take it because she wasn't seeing any benefit. She won't put the dose up as she only goes to 0.5mg/kg and in NZ we can't get the extended dex :(

Caco3girl
07-13-17, 02:54 PM
Everyone is different. I have seen a 60# girl on a greater dose than a 250# man. It depends on the individual brain chemistry of the kid.

I will say that I knew when things weren't working in about 2-3 days, but if there was zero change we gave it a month. I would agree, take her to a different doctor.

maple17
07-16-17, 01:35 AM
My 12 yo daughter has recently been diagnosed PI ADD. Our psych through the public system prescribed short acting Ritalin increasing up to 20mg once daily, but my daughter had a bad reaction with hyper-activation and palpitations. The psych then tried her on Dexedrine increasing up to 15mg once daily, but because it didn't have any effect, they are trying to say she doesn't have ADD, maybe auditory processing or a specific learning disability. The thing is she has all the signs of inattention, is impulsive, can't sit still for 5 seconds, has to fiddle to focus, forgets to hand in notices etc.

I guess one way to find out is to do those investigations. We did the auditory processing tests and the results were negative. So, we were able to rule that out completely.

As she was having problems at school with too much noise and distractions in a class of over 80 kids, we moved her to a new school that had smaller class sizes and a teacher that makes accommodations for her. After receiving her grade 7 mid year school report (the most comprehensive we have ever had) it has shown up deficits in writing recount, summarizing, inference, and lack of punctuation, capitalization, grammar. I knew about the issues she has been having for a while with punctuation and grammar that don't seem to be improving, but it wasn't until I was looking through her old school books from grade 2 that I realized she was using punctuation, capitals and paragraphs perfectly back then. This is why I don't think it is an auditory processing or SLD problem. Also she is an amazing speller and reader.

Has anyone else had these issues with their ADD child?

Yes. My daughter is 12, recently diagnosed ASD/also ADHD, and her ADHD symptoms got more prominent in Year 5 and 6. She was getting As in English back in Year 3, then by Year 5-6, she was getting Cs and failing standardised testing that she used to ace. The teacher always remarked on her lack of proofreading, lack of editing, lack of attention to detail, careless errors, appalling handwriting (it got worse in the later grades). There's a number of ADHD researchers and specialists who have contended that symptoms can get worse for many girls as they approach puberty and the affect of the hormones on the neurotransmitters.

My daughter still complains of the distractions in the class and purposely sits in the front row so she can try to concentrate. She says the boys in the back of the class talking all the time drive her up the wall.

Anyway, long story short. After 10 months on medication, we just had her Year 7 report and her grades are up, As and Bs. She's doing her homework now without a battle (Year 6 was a nightmare in that regard), and she got an "excellent" for effort from all of her teachers. We still have some issues to work on as her meds have really mitigated her ADHD symptoms to such an extent that we can see the aspie traits very clearly now, but compared to last year, she's come a long way and there's been a huge positive change in all aspects of her life (she's made new friends, joined extra curricular clubs, stuff that she likely wouldn't have been as motivated to do previously).

I would see another doctor, a private one perhaps, who specialises in girls with ADHD. Are there any behavioural and developmental paediatricians you could see? I know they cost a small fortune, but it would be worth it. And if NZ is like Australia, you will get some of it back from the NZ version of Medicare I imagine.

Caco3girl
07-17-17, 08:46 AM
I agree that around grade 5, so 11 or 12 years old right around when puberty hit, was when I started to see the drastic changes in my son in school and at home. Test scores went down, he didn't know when tests were, and to this day when he is not on his medication people think he is high on marijuana or another drug. This just came up this past weekend in fact and he is now almost 15!

And before anyone asks, I could have medicated him this summer but I would rather have him a bit loopy and spacey if he gains 15 pounds like he did this summer. He is VERY athletic and active but can't eat much when on the meds sadly, but he also can't stop moving, so it's become a problem.

joynem
07-19-17, 05:50 AM
I found the answer :yes: This is overwhelming evidence for ADHD, not SLD.

http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/Journals/Winter2011/Mahone

Caco3girl
07-19-17, 10:37 AM
I found the answer :yes: This is overwhelming evidence for ADHD, not SLD.

http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/Journals/Winter2011/Mahone

It was explained to me that while my son can identify one word at a time, if you put them in sentence form he gets lost by the end of the sentence because he has thought of 20 other things in the time it takes to get through one sentence. These thoughts often cause him to insert a word or two that wasn't in the sentence, and/or eliminate a word or two that IS in the sentence. Making reading comprehension a NIGHTMARE.

Great article, really liked it, thanks!