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  #1  
Old 10-08-08, 10:21 AM
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ADD Inattentive good and bad days

Hi
I have a 14 year old son as yet undiagnosed (only been seeing Mental Health Professionals for 2 years!!!!).

So far we have 2 paediatricians who have said ADD (no hyperactivity) and 2 psychiatrists who think he has an Autistic Spectrum Disorder maybe Asperger's, but seeing that he is a popular boy in school with a good circle of friends and has never had any obsessions or routines in his life, I don't think he is Asperger's. He can hyperfocus on his PC for hours though.

What I have noticed is that he appears to have good and bad days, good days when he can get through a full day at school and want to go out with friends after school, and really bad days when he will phone me and beg to come home because he can't do the work. He produces very little written work and seems to find it really hard to motivate himself, he is taking fluxotene at the moment for anxiety and there has been an improvement in his behaviour and moods, definitely not as anxious. But getting him into school is still a big problem, he dreads English and Maths and I notice some days he seems really dreamy, I have to stay upstairs while he gets ready for school because I keep having to prompt him to put on the next item of clothing otherwise we'd still be home at lunchtime.

Is there anyone out there with ADD no hyperactivity who can relate to what I have described and can they tell me if medication helped them at all. Thanks.
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Old 10-08-08, 10:59 PM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

I know several people who have Asperger's children. They are ALL very socially awkward. I met a lady who has been doing seminars on Asperger's for decades. She says that Asperger'schildren don't like loud noise or light, prefer to be alone, forgetful, easily distracted, need structure.

We thought a friend's daughter would be perfect to work in a library. So no, it doesn't sound like your son has Asperger's.

I am Inattentive ADD and your son sounds more like me. Sometimes I'm the life of the party ... other times, I just want to hide in a little hole.

I did well in English because I would start "dream-writing". But incredibly bad with math. I just couldn't "get it".

In college I flunked out because I could never make it to class. No family to move my butt in gear.

I am now 46, female and diagnosed 4 weeks ago by an MD who has ADD himself.

I'm on Vyvanse and the difference has been HUGE for me. I really feel it has been life-changing.

I don't know what comes first, but here's a quick list of what I notice:

1. Great self-esteem. I really feel positive these days.
2. I can pay attention in meetings without daydreaming.
3. No more road rage or uncontrolled bursts of anger.
4. More patience.
5. I actually stay in one area when house-cleaning. My husband doesn't find me in a different room every 15 minutes then see me get mad because I'm overwhelmed.
6. More focus at work. I don't get distracted by incoming mail. I can actually take a break too and still pick up from where I left off.

That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure there's more. I've been in 6 hours of meetings today - it's amazing I'm still upright.
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Old 10-09-08, 05:22 AM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

Hi Jud's mum ,

I've just been diagnosed as Inattentive ADHD and it sounds a more likely diagnosis for your son than Aspergers . Frankly in the UK unless the psychiatrist has had some training in ADHD I wouldn't pay too much attention to view of wether or not he has ADHD . Because stimulants are controlled substances they will be inclined to diagnose just about anything other than ADHD unless he actually starts throwing around furniture in their office which as he isn't hyperactive isn't likely .

I too found written work difficult and it would often be done last thing at night with lots of mistakes . I was at at good school and have a fairly
high IQ so apart from language didn't have too many problems paying attention in class but as I got older found it increasingly difficult dealing with homework and often only managing to complete it driven by panic and anxiety . I assume his good and bad days relate to anxiety about particular subjects on specific days .

I've been taking prozac now since 1994 mainly in the winter for seasonal affective disorder and it has usually dealt well with anxiety and low mood but done nothing for concentration and because anxiety has always been an important source of motivation for me has been counterproductive in that respect .If I were you I would investigate the ADHD diagnosis further and maybe trail medication , Jud's problems may not end in childhood and even if you don't want to medicate him permanently getting a diagnosis will enable him to more easily trial stimulants when he is an adult .We're at least 10 years behind the US here in the UK with ADHD and Inattentive adults can often find it very difficult getting proper treatment , I had to go private in the end .
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Old 10-09-08, 07:15 AM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

I agree with the above, it certainly sounds like ADD. Have the psychiatrists who diagnosed him with Asperger's seen him in a social situation? It's usually easy to spot someone with an autism spectrum disorder when they are engaged with a group of people and your son's behaviour doesn't seem to fit that. Unfortunately many practitioners in the UK still don't have much awareness of primarily inattentive ADD, despite how common it is, which will sadly result in such misdiagnoses - paediatricians tend to have more experience with it as it's such a common problem in children, which I suspect is why they were the ones who spotted it. If you haven't yet, I suggest you arrange to see a psychiatrist who specialises in ADD (there is a list of UK specialists in a sticky in the UK subforum here: http://www.addforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=98), who should have a better understanding of his circumstances and, if he has ADD, should be more willing to prescribe the correct medication.

I also have ADD primarily inattentive and can definitely relate with the "good days and bad days" thing.
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Old 10-09-08, 01:41 PM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom_jud View Post
What I have noticed is that he appears to have good and bad days, good days when he can get through a full day at school and want to go out with friends after school, and really bad days when he will phone me and beg to come home because he can't do the work.
Maybe try keeping a record of what he is eating on or before his "bad days".... The fact that his symptoms fluctuate like that might mean something in his diet is triggering it.

Things to watch for in particular: foods containing artificial dyes, flavoring, and preservatives.

Good luck and I hope you can find the trigger
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Old 10-10-08, 08:29 AM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

Things at home are getting really bad, I have just picked up my husband from work, the first question is has L gone into school today, when I said he hasn't that was it - seems its all my fault and I'm too soft with him.

It makes me really mad he leaves everything to me, I have to do all the phoning up, the appointments the getting him up every morning and he just sits in a corner and does his little list of weekly jobs, no one disturbs his routine his little world.

Snooping around my older sons room (he's 19) my husband found a small quantity of weed, and he has had a good talk to him, so have I. But now he is going on and on about it and it seems even that is my fault. I feel like walking out and not going home anymore, I am sick of trying to sort out everyones problems (by the way eldest son is definitely ADHD with loads of hyperactivity - but won't go for a diagnosis).

I am sorry to rant on but I am so upset I just want to find a corner and cry.
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Old 10-10-08, 06:58 PM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

Hubby's lettng the team down. Maybe put him on the bench for awhile? Tell him he can back when he's ready to take up his part of the slack and stop whining like a ***** over some weed.

I hope you feel better soon and that you're other half grows up.
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Old 10-10-08, 10:16 PM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

As a fellow inattentive ADHDer, I certainly can empthasize with your son's behaviours.

Does medication help? Yes, but that doesn't replace the need for ADHD management. In other words, your son will need 'tools' (checklists, schedules, etc.) and the medication in order to get things done. And they're a combo pack. It's not like you can have one without the other.

As for motivating him to learn... well if he's anything like me, learning isn't exactly a barrell of laughs. It's hard to do, takes twice as much effort to produce such minimal results.

Hopefully the medication will help him to focus better so that it doesn't take as much effort to focus, learn and then retain the information. That will certainly go a long way towards motivating him.
But he may have to learn to use different learning methods. So for me as a visual learner, I have to use a lot of coloured markers and put things into charts/flow charts in order to process the information.

And finally, there are going to be days when despite the medication, despite the management techniches... ADHD will just get the better of him. Hopefully these kind of moments will be far in few, but just be prepared for them.

Truly though, the best way to help your son is that he knows he always has your support no questions asked. That you truly understand that ADHD is a constant battle he's fighting. So sometimes rather than bugging him about those socks he has yet to pick up, that you pick him up for a good honest hug instead.
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Old 10-11-08, 06:42 AM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

Thank you for the support it helps so much because it helps me continue to support my sons.

My inattentive Adder knows that he has my support and I will fight for him all the way but he has to talk to me, tell me what he finds difficult so we can put things in place. At 14 he just doesn't want to admit to anything. In some ways he is really immature like hes 10 or 11 years old, he doesn't look beyond the day. If you try to talk he says please don't because it makes him anxious.

I put no pressure on him its a very fine line I have to tread, I don't want him to think that hiding at home is the answer but I don't want to push him into school when he genuinely can't cope with whats expected. Teachers put kids under a lot of pressure these days because school league tables are so important to them and they get slapped if the school falls in the league table so in turn they are always on at the kids about exams which are 18 months away. This is fine for lots of kids because it motivates them but for my anxious adder it just makes him worry and nervous and has the opposite effect.

He is taking prozac which has just been increased to 40mg as his psych says it will help with the anxiety. But he won't have it that my son is ADD because he manages to stay on the computer for hours on end and he did well at educational psychology assessment which lasted for over two hours. I pointed out that the doctor we saw said that it was common for adhd kids to hyperfocus on computers and if sufficiently stimulated and in a one to one situation an ADD person can concentrate, he said that was a load of rubbish and doesn't agree at all so where does that leave us? He won't consider a trial of medication at all.
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Old 10-12-08, 02:05 AM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

I'm sure that you're doing your best to create an inviting, caring and loving environment. Then again, a 14 year old boy may just not want to talk to mum. But that doesn't mean you should leave him alone with his video games. You know your son. Encourage his interests and maybe develop some together.

Continue to read about ADHD and asking other mothers for advice. I'll be honest and say that as an adult female with ADHD, my experiences may not necessarily be the best advice on how to deal with your son.

However speaking as a former teenager with ADHD I will say that my emotional state at that time made it extremely difficult to be appreciative of my parent's efforts. I had so much going on that my mom could have been perfect, it still wouldn't have been enough.

And don't stop seeking for help from people who actually believe ADHD isn't 'rubbish'. You're never going to get anywhere from individuals like this.

Sadley, there are going to be a lot of thankless moments, but I know if you're on a board like this your parent of the year trophy is on it's way
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Old 10-12-08, 11:44 PM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

Being able to focus on a computer is not grounds to dismiss ADHD.

having 6 or more of the following items would demonstrate being ADHD


Inattention
  • often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in homework, work, or other activities
  • often has difficulties sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • often does not follow through instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
  • often has difficulties organizing tasks and activities
  • often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental efforts
  • often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books)
  • is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • is often forgetful in daily activities
Hyperactivity/Impulsivity

Hyperactivity
  • often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  • often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
  • often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
  • often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
  • is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor"
  • often talks excessively
Impulsivity
  • often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  • often has difficulty awaiting turn
  • often interrupt or intrudes on others (e.g. butts into conversations or games)
BobC
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Old 10-13-08, 12:13 AM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

I was personally able to focus on computer games in my youth. It was a primary factor in me not getting diagonised with ADHD-PI until age 32. My mom was told I couldn't have ADD since I was able to work on computers. I believed my ability/focus on computers clearly showed I couldn't have ADD.

At age 31 I finally bottomed out depressed and sought out treatment. After about 9 months of treating my depression. A therapist, whos son has add, said she thought I might have it. She convinced me to talk to my P-doc. Stimulants were like putting on a pair of glasses. My mind became clear and I was able to finish tasks. Within a year I completed an associates degree with a 3.7 GPA. Since then my life has felt/been back on track.

Stimulant therapy is difficult. It took about a year to find a medication/dosage which worked well.

Untreated ADHD-PI is hell.

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Old 10-13-08, 03:28 AM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

Can you get a new phych? It sounds like the one you have doesn't even believe in ADD.
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Old 10-13-08, 06:52 AM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

I agree, I think it's very important for you to find a new psych. It's good that a professional is wary about diagnosing it incorrectly, but clearly the one you have does not have much of an understanding about ADD (or is bringing their own opinions about it into the diagnosis rather than using the textbook definition) and is therefore not the right choice to treat your son. If you can find one who specialises in ADD, I'm sure you'd find the process much easier.

I also hyperfocus on things I am interested in and can stay fixated on the computer all day. This a symptom of ADD - hyperfocus in things which fascinate us and no focus for anything else - not grounds to suspect it isn't there.
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Old 10-16-08, 05:26 PM
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Re: ADD Inattentive good and bad days

Hi just wanted to thank everyone who has posted replys to me. Thanks to you all, and particularly Bobc. I have seen my sons psychiatrist today and we worked through my sons developmental history and at the end of it the psych agreed that Liam doesn't have Asperger's or an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

I showed him Bobc reply to my post about ADD -pi and he said he wasn't shutting the door on ADD and if my son says he wants to trial medication he will monitor him.

You don't know what a victory that is we have spent two years trying to convince psychiatrists that my son isn't 'Aspergery', but what happens in the doctors room is he becomes very bored by all the talking and switches off and becomes very dreamy and yawns his head off.

Now we are beginning to make plans for CBT for Liam and visiting school to work out a routine which will reduce his anxiety and in the meantime hopefully Liam will agree to try medication. I think he is frightened because he thinks he won't have an excuse, nothing to hide behind because he doesn't see how he can be any different to who he already is - if you get me?
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