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General Parenting Issues The purpose of this forum is to discuss general parenting issues related to children with AD/HD(ADD & ADHD)

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Old 02-28-05, 12:38 PM
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Post How to convince spouse our son is ADHD

I was just formally diagnosed with ADHD in Oct. 2004. Our oldest son is 7 and, in my opinion, is exhibiting the typical signs of ADHD. My wife thinks we should just wait to take him to the doctor because it is not affecting his school work. He is very focused at school, but when he comes home he let's it rip. It's like he was just bottling it all up until he gets home. The teacher said she has to occasionally remind him to pay attention and not talk.

- The other night we were at a Cub Scout event were everyone had to sit and listen. When we first got there he was OK. By the end, he was literally rolling around on the floor like he was posessed. Other kids his age at the event were able to keep it together.

- We also went Christmas caroling at a local nursing home with the Scouts. Again he was rolling around on the ground while everyone else was singing.

- We went to a high school basketball game and he was flailing on other kids. In the begining it was OK, then the other kids started to get mad at him.

- When he does his homework I can sense he just wants to crawl out of his skin.

My wife is in the special education field and has students with ADD/HD, but could she just not see it because he's our son? Kind of blinded by the fact.

I have talked to my son and asked him how he feels. I asked him if he sometimes feels like he is going to crawl out of his skin and if he feels like he can't stop. He said yes, but I figured it was a loaded question.

I think he is on the edge right now. If we don't get it addressed right now then it will only get worse. Both socially and educationally.

Any thoughts?
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Old 02-28-05, 04:29 PM
FightingBoredom FightingBoredom is offline
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My first thought is DON'T freak out and try your best to avoid putting your kid on medication.

I have 5 kids and each of them shows some symptom of ADD. One was diagnosed with ADD in his teens, he is now 26, and successfully managing his life without medication, by choice. Of the other 4 kids only 1 of them really seems ADHD and he is 6 years old. It's odd, but my wife also has a special ed background and doesn't really see those hyperactive symptoms as ADHD. Even though I am the ADD'er in the house and he really is a "mini-me".
I'm sure that part of it is the "protective mother" in her that doesn't want to know her son has ADHD.

My wife and I have discussed whether to have him diagnosed or treat him and both agree that he is TOO young to start meds...no matter what the situation.
We enrolled him in a full time Montessori program that has helped immensely.
When he comes home he has a tendency to get a little wound up but we channel it into things he likes. He has the option to play outside, sit and draw, read or watch tv. He tends to do a little of all of it.
Wintertime is the worst because he can't really play outside much or often and that really makes it challenging. When he gets bored with all of that he "bounces off the walls" a little like I would expect any kid to do with cabin fever. But it can get emotionally intense sometimes where he fights with his brother or sister or just gets whiny.

Your son may have ADHD. With that usually comes high intelligence and desire for challenge. I would bet that your son just gets bored! Hey, just reading about sitting and listening at Cub Scouts or caroling got my knee bouncing to start and I'm on meds. So, avoid things that would bore him and if you are at some event where he starts acting up.....take him outside for a little walk and ask him what he wants to do when he grows up.

Find ways to keep him engaged/stimulated mentally. Get him a cheap electonic drum set and some headphones and let him pound on them every now and then....my son does.

Oh, and one big thing that I've noticed with our son is this...when he eats a lot of protein he is calmer...in fact, so am I. When he eats breads and sweets he almost seems bipolar.
I think that you can manage, at the age of 7, to find ways for your son's life to work better for him and the rest of the family without deing diagnosed and medicated.

I wasn't diagnosed until I was 40 years old. Would my life be better now had I been diagnosed earlier? I seriously doubt it and wouldn't wish to go back and change it to find out.
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And I'm sick of giving people advice. They don't listen. They don't really want to deal with their issues. They just want to whine and complain and have someone else listen and tell them everything is going to be OK!


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Old 02-28-05, 11:28 PM
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milauran milauran is offline
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I couldn't disagree more strongly about your life not being better had you been diagnosed 40 years ago. The question here is not whether to pursue treatment/medication or not, that part is optional, but rather to get a diagnosis with which you can arm yourself and your child with as much understanding/knowledge about his particular style of learning.

There is never anything wrong with gathering as much knowledge as we can about what makes each of us tick. The majority of people fit into a particular range for behaviours/learning styles/social skills etc, for those of us who fall out of the range, the danger is in the daily repetitive times we keep asking ourselves - why am I different then everyone else, why can't I do x, y or z like everyone else?

Unless we can understand that we are different for a reason, that its not because we are lazy, stupid or crazy, we are daily eroding our self-confidence and self-esteem because of this constant self-comparison (not to mention the constant barrage of criticisms, sarcasm, teasing, etc that he will get from his peers, teachers, etc.). Being armed with that kind of knowledge can mean the difference between appreciating our uniqueness, managing the parts that you can't change or internalizing that there is something wrong with me - I'm different, I don't fit in, I'm stupid.

You can't explore the possibility with him a serious way if you aren't sure that he is ADD, but if you find out that he is ADD, you can help him come to grips with it. Early intervention and diagnosis in childhood has been identified as being key to successful development later in life.

I lived without knowing for 49 years, the effects on my life were enormous, the most significant being all the years of beating myself up because I thought it was a character flaw. If I had received the support I needed, I would have completed my education, gone into a field that was suitable instead of flitting from job to job, chronically under-employed. I would have been able to careful consider each stage of my life with a clear understanding of how ADD would impact it.

Here's a quote from the International Consensus Statement published in 2002 by 75 ADHD healthcare providers (led by Dr. Russell Barkley):

ADHD is not a benign disorder. For those it afflicts, ADHD can cause devastating problems. Follow-up studies of clinical samples suggest that sufferers are far more likely than normal people to drop out of school (32-40%), to rarely complete college (5-10%), to have few or no friends (50-70%), to under perform at work (70-80%), to engage in antisocial activities (40-50%), and to use tobacco or illicit drugs more than normal. Moreover, children growing up with ADHD are more likely to experience teen pregnancy (40%) and sexually transmitted diseases (16%), to speed excessively and have multiple car accidents, to experience depression (20-30%) and personality disorders (18-25%) as adults, and in hundreds of other ways mismanage and endanger their lives. Yet despite these serious consequences, studies indicate that less than half of those with the disorder are receiving treatment.

Why would you want to spend the next few years constantly wondering every time you see him do something slighly ADDish? Why not find out and either put your mind to rest or ensure he gets whatever supports he needs in school, etc. ADHD rarely exists in a pure state, there are almost always co-morbidities such as learning-disabilities. Shoud he not have every advantage as soon as possible?

If we as individuals with ADD hesitate to seek diagnosis, who's doing the stigmatizing?
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Old 03-01-05, 06:07 PM
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I can't speak for everyone but I really wish I had been diagnosed much earlier in life. I've lived through quite a bit of suffering that I now realize was related to ADD. Just my $0.02.

I'll add that I don't have a problem with seeking alternatives to medication. My oldest son is showing some signs of ADD and I will hold off as long as possible before resorting to medication. If other methods fail, though, and I see that he's having real problems, I will definitely consider medication.
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Old 03-03-05, 03:20 AM
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Awareness is the first step! I would encourage you to have it checked out, though, because an official diagnosis will resolve any lasting questions.

I don't think anyone here would say that a diagnosis automatically means medications. There are amazing things that can be done with diet, therapy, and coaching. I have two sons, both diagnosed ADD, one has been medicated since the age of 4 and the other has never been medicated. Each child (person) is different and our goal as parents is to find what works for each individual.

Kim
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Old 03-03-05, 08:53 PM
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Being recently diagnosed with adhd yourself, Iam can only assume that it has affected you in many ways that had it been found sooner perhaps things would be different. he is your son and I know that you want only the best for him. You fear your son may also have the same thing and dont want anything to get in his way of a "NORMAL" life. We all want to give our children more than we ourselfs had. There is nothing wrong with that, there is also nothing wrong with having them tested to be sure. If this would put your mind and heart at ease then that is what you should do.
But dont assume that he is or is not. Get help with the diagnoses and go from there. Do whats right in your heart, but understand WHY you are doing it, because of you love and concern for Him. I hope this helps
Tim
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Old 03-06-05, 02:59 PM
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Thanks for all of your feedback.

Today on the the way home from chuch our oldest decided to drag our youngest down the sidewalk by his coat hood. Of course, we asked him why he did it. His answer was, "I don't know." followed by a blank look that re-enforced his actions. I told him I believed him.

It's getting to the point that our immediate family is being effected by both of our son's behaviors. When we visit my wife's parents house the boys are always in trouble because they are so active. It's nothing but yelling at the boys. It's also always there fault. The littlest thing gets a very harsh and frustrated sounding.

I think we'll get him tested now that he is 7 and going into the 2nd grade. That's the time that I really was effected by ADD. My desk was moved away from the rest of the kids in the class. Actually my desk was moved along and faced the back wall of the class. It was permanently located there. I always wondered why I was isolated from the rest of the class. I would never wish that on any child. 4th grade was just like 2nd grade.
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- "Tim's incessant talking is wearing on all of us." (comment on 4th grade report card)

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