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Old 07-03-08, 08:56 PM
Justtess Justtess is offline
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question about dx(s) and strategic learning

After my son saw two psychologist and one adolescent psychiatrist, he was finally dx ADHD. I looked on a letter the psychiatrist gave us for school and it states ADHD DSM-IV, code #314.01 or #314.00.

Anyway, since my son has a high IQ treatment was questionable (since he will average out with passing grades). I asked the psychiatrist about ways my son can learn to address the ADHD issues he was having. The psychiatrist seemed to look at me puzzled and said something like "he takes the medication and the symptoms disappear or get better" I imagine there is some truth to this. Though I can't help but feel there are ways he can compensate or overcome these issues. (Isn't that what we do when we have something that inhibits us? We work with what we have and adapt.)

We went to a screening for an ADHD study on strategic learning. My son was hesitant because he didn't feel like being a guinea pig. One of the questions on their survey asked if he was inattentive, hyperactive, or combo. I don't recall any of the prior doctor's even testing for such or bringing it up.

That is my first question. How do doctors determine the type of ADHD? and why wasn't it addressed by 3 doctors? Could it possibly be the protocol or definition our state adapted for identifying ADHD or is there an international standard?

Second question (or third). Has anyone tried a strategic learning approach and found it to be successful? The program describes a 2 week period where they are taught different methods to keep their focus in class and their learning. After 2 weeks, I think they will test him again and see if he scored differently on specific executive funtioning type of skills.

On a good note, whether strategic learning works or not, I'm happy my son is now interested in participating. He's wanting to learn more about himself.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-03-08, 09:40 PM
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Re: question about dx(s) and strategic learning

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The psychiatrist seemed to look at me puzzled and said something like "he takes the medication and the symptoms disappear or get better" I imagine there is some truth to this.
It's a definite reality. That's how medication works for my ADHD and my son's ADHD. That's also what the research shows and a good psychiatrist will base his treatment on what works.

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Though I can't help but feel there are ways he can compensate or overcome these issues. (Isn't that what we do when we have something that inhibits us? We work with what we have and adapt.)
You've been a registered member of ADDForums since March. Is this what you've learned here?

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That is my first question. How do doctors determine the type of ADHD? and why wasn't it addressed by 3 doctors? Could it possibly be the protocol or definition our state adapted for identifying ADHD or is there an international standard?
I was diagnosed in 1996 by a very knowledgeable psychiatrist and my file states: ADHD, adult diagnosis. I hadn't read the DSM so wasn't aware that there were different classifications of ADHD. I am very obviously ADHD - combined type.

My son was diagnosed by an educational psychologist who did not specify which ADHD he has. As a child, he could have been the poster boy for ADHD - heavy on the hyperactivity, but as he aged, he is obviously the combined type as well (it runs in my family).

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Second question (or third). Has anyone tried a strategic learning approach and found it to be successful? The program describes a 2 week period where they are taught different methods to keep their focus in class and their learning. After 2 weeks, I think they will test him again and see if he scored differently on specific executive funtioning type of skills.
Does this commercial program have a name we might recognize?
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Old 07-03-08, 09:43 PM
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Re: question about dx(s) and strategic learning

It's a research study at a university. They are looking at 100 participants.

I could PM you the exact name of the research and university
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Old 07-03-08, 09:46 PM
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Re: question about dx(s) and strategic learning

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It's a research study at a university. They are looking at 100 participants.

I could PM you the exact name of the research and university
Sounds like fun, if your son is o.k. with it. Member, Jillette, participated with her young daughter in a study where she lives.
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Old 07-03-08, 09:46 PM
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Re: question about dx(s) and strategic learning

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It's a research study at a university. They are looking at 100 participants.

I could PM you the exact name of the research and university
Can you find it here?

http://clinicaltrials.gov/
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Old 07-03-08, 09:56 PM
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Re: question about dx(s) and strategic learning

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Can you find it here?

http://clinicaltrials.gov/

Nope.... unless I am not using their search engine correctly
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Old 07-03-08, 10:02 PM
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Re: question about dx(s) and strategic learning

Give it a try. any skill you can learn is useful. In real terms, the effectiveness of cognitive therapies is limited because they don't address the core problem(s) in adhd. At the end of the day you still have adhd. Put it another way: if you are nearsighted, changing your reading technique is not likely to improve your vision very much.

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Old 07-03-08, 10:22 PM
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Re: question about dx(s) and strategic learning

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You've been a registered member of ADDForums since March. Is this what you've learned here?
Yes. There is post after post on various ways those who were dx shared what they found helpful in their life. On other posts it was a book about different ways to organize, choosing a career that fits, resolving forgetfulness with ways to help track...

I don't mean overcome in the sense that one would become like the majority. I mean overcome in a sense a person doesn't use it to shoot down all other possibilities. If nearsightedness did not have a remedy such as glasses.... I could still choose to get up go to the store by using sound and what patterns my eyes will see in the distance.
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Old 07-03-08, 10:26 PM
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Re: question about dx(s) and strategic learning

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Originally Posted by speedo View Post
Give it a try. any skill you can learn is useful. In real terms, the effectiveness of cognitive therapies is limited because they don't address the core problem(s) in adhd. At the end of the day you still have adhd. Put it another way: if you are nearsighted, changing your reading technique is not likely to improve your vision very much.

Me

Thank you Speedo. My son and I were talking about the possible results. We would know what doesn't work and not to waste efforts on.

The screening did make him feel more confident in himself when the researcher told him he had one of the highest test scores for recognizing patterns!
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Old 07-04-08, 08:27 AM
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Re: question about dx(s) and strategic learning

Yes meds help, I'm older here 41. But I'm trying to teach myself ways to organize my life and home, and study habits to make my life easier with the ADD.

Most research studies can be dropped out of at anytime. So if it doesn't seem to help that's usually an option.
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Old 07-04-08, 10:46 AM
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Re: question about dx(s) and strategic learning

Thank you C&B.

I don't doubt meds effectiveness. I can't function very well without mine for anxiety. I think sometimes I struggle with my behavioural model mentality.

What I can tell so far about the study is their approach using 2 weeks to see if certain strategies would improve particular issues. On the average, it takes 2 weeks for someone to change a particular behaviour if a person is intruduced to a particular structure and willingness also plays a factor. (i.e. child sleeping at an appropriate bedtime, or getting used to eating healthy... eliminating sugar)

I don't mean to offend anyone about having choices or control over ADHD issues. For the most part, I think my son would learn what and how much he can control and look at other avenues to be successful in the future. Some professionals need secretaries to get things done. Some can't stand secretaries.

In either case, I hope it empowers him when someone challenges his behaviour, he will say "You need to give me a list." or "send me an email or I will forget" instead of sitting there feeling defeated and kicking himself.
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