View Full Version : 5 year old and our struggles for an answer

01-21-10, 11:59 AM
Her is a little back ground:

My 5 year old has always been a very "active" child. I also find from early on she as absolutely NO FEAR. not long after she learned to run she decided to try to take a beline for a sea wall at a family members house and jump over where there was no water. Thankfully I caught up to her in time and stopped her from actually going over. She was also never a child you could take out in public and stay right here so I can find something or read something even now there are times when if I even take my attention off her for a split second she is off running. She is often very distracted by stimulus and has a hard time focusing. She says things like "my brain is crazy" and I am not sure if this is her trying to tell me she can slow down her thoughts or if its something an adult has said to her.

When she started Pre k I had the director voice some concerns, while I agreed with her her behavior as out side of the norm, I still wasn't willing to have her labeled and tested. she was only 4 and I got the feeling from this school they wanted her tested just to medicate her. After I was confronted with this I chose to observe her class with out her knowing I was there. What I saw was a wild child and teachers enabling it, she was far beyond the scope of what she did at home or with anyone else while I am not there. The director got wind of me observing the class and was not happy with this and told me from now on if I wanted to observe I would have to ask permission..... needless to say I took her out of the school. I search long and hard for a school that would be a fit for her. I found a small preschool with a small class and an amazing director who was also her teacher. They had things like a giant inside sand box. Her teacher was great with her.... each time a problem came up we would work together to create a system that worked for her. She involved all of the students to help my daughter..... and it was a great setting for her.

She was there almost the full school year, at the end of the year my husband and I Separated and we moved about an hour away. I found a school for her it wasn't my 1st choice but she was only going to be there about 2 months. we got thur the summer and she went to summer camp during the day... most days she had good days but there wasn't much focus required for her it was almost all "fun" and not a school setting. She still had problems doing as she was told and running around like a mad woman.

So far this year she is really struggling in school. She knows the material, she is extreamly smart, and quite the sense of witty humor. But she is at risk of repeating kindergarten, because of her behavior and inability to sit and focus. She gets a lot of frown faces for not staying on task.... it began taking its toll on her self exteme because the teacher and I became so focused on these smileys and frowns on her paper that comes home. I decided to stop "punishing" her for it.... ie taking things away if she gets a frown. Its very hard to put her on a reward system for positive reinforcement because its always kinda like a 2 steps forward and 5 steps backwards. So its been hard to establish a pattern of positive rewards.

And of course my divorce factors into the equation and has added to the equasion. The are with me 90% of the time... and go to their dads who moved 4 hours away every other weekend. Its like clock work that 2 days before she goes and 2 days after she comes back are really bad days. while this is "normal" I think a lot of the issues is her routine being broken. once she is back for few days and back into her routine it levels back out and its much better until the cycle repeats itself. I think also part of the issue is there is no consistancy between the 2 houses. at my house there are routines, structure in almost everything we do, they have appropriate bedtimes etc. I also watch their nutrition intake especially hers and try to weed out the starches, sugar and high fructose corn syrup.... which also greatly helps. At the other house they are able to run wild, they stay up until ungody hours of the night and no rules are enforced until it gets unbearable and they are punished when the adults are at their breaking point. Also when I pick her up and I know this is done on purpose but she has "candy breath" she is loaded up with sugar and sent back to me...... I can smell it sometimes before I even pick her up in my arms.

anywho this is getting kinda long so let me finsh up here. Some of this yes could be due to her emotional roll-a-coaster ride of the divorce but her hyperactivity was there long before the divorce but is now amplified as well as she is at a point where it can be seen how its affecting her academically and socially which is the base of any "problem"

I took her to the doctor yesterday to begin the evaluation process. this wasn't the ped I like and they have gone to I had to switch doctors because the new insurance.... there we some issues with paper work and we ended up in the waiting room for about an hour past when her appointment was for. She was bouncing all over the place. at one point we went outside while I was talking to the receptionist for a SECOND and when she saw I was headed her way she took off into the parking lot and to a major road. I caught up to her and brought her back in.... and yes I was mortified. We go back to see the Dr. and he says to me he doesn't think she has ADHD that you can tell "those kids" who have it as soon as they are in the waiting room... and I told him what she was doing in his waiting room. Its like he refused to hear what I was saying and said that he didn't think medication was right for her (I had not mentioned I even wanted her medicated) I told him I didn't want her medicated but if she has ADHD that I wanted to start her with behavioral therapy as well as start to establish and IEP plan for her in school and I was emphatic that I didn't intend to medicate her at this point. I guess to get me off the subject he asked if her shots were up to date and I said yes, and he then told me to get her vaccination records and we would take it form there. I have no idea what her vaccinations have to do with anything at all.... and was not the reason I was there. I felt like I was just arguing with my ex husband and it was time to leave and find a new doctor. How do we find what the core issue is here if your not willing to rule all possibilities out.

so i find myself in a dilemma.... I want to get a 2nd opinion. I think this Dr. may have gotten the impression that I was just there to medicate my unruly daughter even though I didn't even bring up that I wanted to medicate her. I am worried the next Dr. will jump to the same conclusion because they haven't seen her and the 1st visit is me asking for an ADHD evaluation. He may also have dismissed my concerns... because ADHD is typically and unfairly seen as a "boy" problem.

I want to be an advocate for my daughter, how do I do this that will be effective?

01-21-10, 12:45 PM
Most pediatricians have ADHD forms that are filled out by the parent and at least one teacher or other care-taker. It would probably be best to seek another opinion. Ask your pediatrician for a referral to a psychiatrist that specializes in children. This is standard medical practice for a child suspect of having ADHD and your pediatrician should give it to you without a problem. It absolutely sounds like she needs an evaluation and it sounds to me as though your pediatrician simply does not want to deal with this evaluation and treatment. As a health care provider I can tell you that no one can tell who does or doesn't have ADHD by just watching them walk into a room. Good Luck to you and don't despair. You will find the right professionals to diagnose and treat her. This is just a stumbling block you need to leap over. Tess

01-21-10, 03:22 PM
Clearly you are trying to get help for your daughter for all the good reasons. Not every practitioner will jump to the conclusion that you want to medicate her. Especially if you focus on the school issues, ie bright child, but might need to repeat Kindergarten because of behavior issues.

Another way to get your child evaluated is to request that the school do it. Just write a letter to the principal requesting it and then they will have to have her tested.

01-28-10, 09:10 PM
He may also have dismissed my concerns... because ADHD is typically and unfairly seen as a "boy" problem.

My mom ran into the same problem back in the day, I was much like your daughter as a child, super active, running constaly, unable to be left alone, would run into streets etc. In the early '90s, the DSM-III-R was in use and all research was conducted on boys with the disorder, therefore professionals and teachers alike dismissed the possibility that a girl had ADHD and that I was just a born trouble maker. Which led to a huge delay in my diagnosis till age 12. Now however, much research is being done in the gender differences and the appearance of the disorder in boys and girls. With the new DSM-V, there is supposed to be a whole secton devoted to the topic.

I wish you the best of luck for advocating for your daughter.

01-28-10, 10:30 PM
My son is struggling in kindergarten for different reasons and the school is going to do CORE testing - PT, OT, speech, cognitive, early reading & math. The results will help decide if he needs an IEP. My 8 y/o had a full neuropsychological evaluation done by a psychologist we paid out-of-pocket and this helped diagnose his ADHD and gave us a lot of helpful information.

I agree with the above posts, get a referral to a child psychiatrist and contact the school to request testing. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

02-04-10, 01:59 PM
I didn't use my ped or school. I sought out the two best hosipals and made appointments with there Neurodevlopmental pediatrician in there child development center. Both came back with the same diagonses and I chose the doctors I like best (and it was apparent to me) to be his doctor for this condition and to treat him going forward. From there we ordered a school evaluation and subsequent in school support. Turns out he would not have been classified without ADHD cause he was scored low but not low enough.