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Children's Diagnosis & Treatment This forums is for parents to discuss issues related to diagnosis and treament of children with AD/HD

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Old 10-07-12, 09:38 AM
janie1207 janie1207 is offline
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child diagnosed with ADD

Hi I just recently had my duaghter diagnosed with add. She is in 3rd grade & has been having trouble in school since kinder. She is @ a 1st grade level in reading. Ive had countless parent/teacher conferences & the most recent one the teacher suggested that I get her tested for add as she saw shmptoms of it. This had never even crossed my mind but I went ahead & asked her pediatrician. He gave me some forms for me to fill out as well as for her teacher. I took back the forms on Thursday & he put her on a medication called vyance & ordered for her to be tested for a learning disability in school. All this has me very depressed and i dont know what to do. I haven't given it to her the medication yet because I don't reallly like the idea. Is it safe? How do I know if she really had ADD? Is it that easy to diagnose some one with ADD just by filling these simple forms? I dint know if I'm just in denial or what... has anyone felt like this?
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Old 10-07-12, 10:14 AM
SquarePeg SquarePeg is offline
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Re: child diagnosed with ADD

Personally I would hold off a while. The school suspected my son of having adhd after observations by various teachers. They then called in the district team of educational psychologists who visted and worked with my son every week for around 3 months and met with his teacher.

They carried out all the recommended assessments for adhd including testing of intellect, achievement, processing speed, fluency, executive functioning, language, memory and learning, attention, etc. They did a host of other testings and comparisons which I didnīt fully understand, but the report was about 6 pages long and he also met the DSM IV criteria for adhd.

I was advised to take the report to his doctor for referral to a psychiatrist.

I was still in denial as I equated adhd with Ritalin and grew up on scare documentaries, so I did nothing for a couple of years other than send him for extra tutoring.

He moved to high school where they reported that they suspected some form of learning disability. So I went to the doc finally and he was assessed by a psychiatrist, this took about 4 visits. He was then sent for further testing with another educational psychologist. This was about 8 hours in total along with a 2 hour interview with myself.

She came to the same conclusion. So now I am happy that the diagnosis correct and ready to try meds.

I donīt believe for one moment at that an accurate diagnosis can be made on the basis of a few forms. There are so many other conditions with similar or overlapping symptoms and I think itīs essential to get the correct diagnosis before deciding on a course of treatment.

You donīt give a child medication and then ask for her to be tested afterwards, thatīs appalling and negligent.

Also if she does have add and medication is required then this should not be the sole treatment, medication should be used in conjunction with other learning therapies, strategies put in place at the school to support her.

The above advice was given to me by a friend in the UK who has 30 yearsīexperience working with children with adhd, dyslexia, autism, aspergers, ocd etc.

Donīt feel pressured to put her on meds at this stage, have her fully assessed as there is no one test to diagnose adhd, itīs a combination of tests, observations made by teachers and a doctor who is experienced.

sorry I will get right off my soap box now!!
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Old 10-07-12, 10:34 AM
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Re: child diagnosed with ADD

I tried to convince my daughter to get my granddaughter tested for ADHD

when she was in 3rd grade, but she waited until she was failing 5th grade.

It's heartbreaking to get the diagnosis, but it's not so much different than

needing to wear glasses to read or see the white-board at school.

Here's some info that will help you understand what you and your daughter

are dealing with, and some good tips on how to do that, including info on meds.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60130 Dizfriz's Corner
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ADD is not a problem of knowing what to do; it is a problem of doing what you know.
-RUSSELL A. BARKLEY, PH.D.


As far as I know, there is nothing positive about ADHD that people can't have w out ADHD. ~ ADD me
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Old 10-07-12, 11:18 AM
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Re: child diagnosed with ADD

I would be upset if I were you, but probably for different reasons. A teacher should never tell you they think your child has anything specific--they are not qualified to diagnose. The most a teacher should tell you is that they see a problem and you should consult with a qualified professional. Period.

There is no medical test like a blood test or x-ray for ADHD. The diagnosis is made through observation, interview and questionnaires. So, it is possible to receive a diagnosis and prescription for medication as you did.

However--my concern here is that there has been a rush to diagnosis. Your daughter is reading 2 grade levels behind but no one has suggested that testing be done to rule out an LD before slapping an ADHD label on your DD? While it's possible she has ADHD and another disorder it's also possible she has a just a learning disorder (like dsylexia) and doesn't have ADHD at all! Why then would you medicate her?

I also don't like the idea of allowing the school to test; private testing by a psychologist or neuropsychologist would be better. Unfortunately, this is expensive and not always covered by insurance. Call your insurance company and find out.

It's clear that your daugter is struggling in school, so this is something you need to address. I'm just not happy for you that the "help" you've received so far is so second-rate. All the so-called professionals here are failing you and your DD.
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Old 10-07-12, 11:24 AM
Dizfriz Dizfriz is offline
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Re: child diagnosed with ADD

Quote:
Originally Posted by janie1207 View Post
Hi I just recently had my duaghter diagnosed with add. She is in 3rd grade & has been having trouble in school since kinder. She is @ a 1st grade level in reading. Ive had countless parent/teacher conferences & the most recent one the teacher suggested that I get her tested for add as she saw shmptoms of it. This had never even crossed my mind but I went ahead & asked her pediatrician. He gave me some forms for me to fill out as well as for her teacher. I took back the forms on Thursday & he put her on a medication called vyance & ordered for her to be tested for a learning disability in school. All this has me very depressed and i dont know what to do. I haven't given it to her the medication yet because I don't reallly like the idea. Is it safe? How do I know if she really had ADD? Is it that easy to diagnose some one with ADD just by filling these simple forms? I dint know if I'm just in denial or what... has anyone felt like this?
What you are feeling is quite normal. No one should go into treating or medicating a child lightly and one should always have doubts or concerns especially at first. I will say however that often the consequences of not treating ADHD can be far more severe than the consequences of treating it.

If there are major doubts in your mind, a good approach is to go to a specialist clinic involved with a major teaching hospital or university.

I don't know where in Texas you live but here is a list for Texas clinics that might be of some use.

Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas (Austin)
Mental Health Services

Program Notes: Serves children.


Children's Medical Center (Dallas)
Department of Neuropsychology

Program Notes: Serves children.


Cook Children's Health Care System (Fort Worth)
Behavioral and Health Services
Program Notes: Serves children and adolescents.


Texas Children's Hospital (Houston)
Clinical Care Center
Children's Psychiatric Clinic

Program Notes: Serves children.


University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
The Center for Human Development Research

Program Notes: Serves children, adolescents and adults


Some need physician referral and some do not.


Source: http://www.help4adhd.org/treatment/prof/centers#tx

You might also begin reading on ADHD in order to be an advocate for your child. Here is a good place to start. There is a lot there so take you time.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60130


On a small note: very often learning disabilities go along with ADHD, much more so than with the general population so checking for this is probably a good move.

Good luck, most of the parents of ADHD kids have been through this dilemma.

Dizfriz
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  #6  
Old 10-07-12, 01:09 PM
mctavish23 mctavish23 is offline
 

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Re: child diagnosed with ADD

When you get a chance, please check out some of the excellent FORUM posts on

Diagnosing ADHD in Kids, by Dizfriz and others.

Good Luck.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)
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Old 10-07-12, 02:36 PM
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Bethylphenidate Bethylphenidate is offline
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Re: child diagnosed with ADD

I agree with the above sentiments. Teachers aren't qualified to diagnose ADHD, and it sounds like that was a swift diagnosis from the pediatrician. While I know MDs can diagnose ADHD, I've always personally been skeptical of anyone other than a psychiatrist making that diagnosis (although I'll admit, they are qualified for a reason.) The thing is... I can't help but be critical of a pediatrician who used a questionnaire. Even if the ADHD diagnosis is accurate, that is not the way to go about it. It's like taking a shot in the dark... and hitting. A good "guess."

Also, it's very common for learning disorders to be comorbid with ADHD. However, the symptoms of an untreated LD can actually mimic ADHD symptoms. Having your daughter tested for an LD would be a very wise idea.... before treating (or considering) ADHD.

Having said all that, whatever she has (ADHD, LD, or both), it's good that you're finding this out now. The sooner, the better. There is nothing "wrong" with her, and you as a parent have done nothing wrong. Remember, ADHD (and/or a learning disability) is a hurdle, but it doesn't mean your daughter can't live a successful life, or that she's inferior to any other child.

To answer your question about medication, I took Ritalin and Dexedrine at a young age, both without ill effects. ADHD medications are proven safe for children and adults. Of course, that is for children who actually need them.

My suggestion is to go over the pediatrician's head, and not make any moves until you are sure. Perhaps you can see a specialist? You are wise to be skeptical, but please don't let this get you down. And I wish you the best for you and your daughter.
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Old 10-07-12, 03:57 PM
Dizfriz Dizfriz is offline
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Re: child diagnosed with ADD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethylphenidate View Post
The thing is... I can't help but be critical of a pediatrician who used a questionnaire. Even if the ADHD diagnosis is accurate, that is not the way to go about it. It's like taking a shot in the dark... and hitting. A good "guess."

Just to keep accurate information in the system:

There is no test or set of tests that are considered valid for primary diagnosis of ADHD. The current diagnostic protocol for diagnosing ADHD consists of:

1. An ADHD specific survey, one for the caregivers and the other for the school.

2. A diagnostic interview including a careful history of the Child and the family.

3. Clinical observation.

That is it.

Now please understand that psych testing is very useful especially for discovering other issues that may be going on and especially useful for picking up learning disabilities. They can be useful in providing support to the ADHD diagnosis but they are not currently considered as valid for primary diagnoses of the disorder.

Other than that small detail it was a very good post.

Dizfriz
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Old 10-07-12, 04:17 PM
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Re: child diagnosed with ADD

I agree that only professionals can make an adhd diagnosis but it was the special educational needs coordinator at my sons school (30 years experience of special needs) that first mentioned to me that it would be an idea to have him referred to the adhd psychiatrist. I resisted this for 18 months being in complete denial, but eventually I gave in to her advice simply because I wanted to prove her wrong. We went through all the assessments and the psychiatrist (there were 2 actually) made long observations of him and no one was more shocked than me when they both said Aaron was classically adhd ! I often think that had it not been for that teacher I might still be in denial and Aaron would not have received the help medically and from play therapists that he has received.
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Old 10-07-12, 04:41 PM
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Re: child diagnosed with ADD

Oops! I didn't mean to imply that the questionnaire wasn't a valid diagnostic tool. I should have worded that as, "[...] who used only a questionnaire."

So... yeah, what you said, Dizfriz. That's what I meant.
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