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ADHD

Hi,

   My son is 13 years old.  In most respects he seems to be a totally average kid.  He loves sports and is very active. His full speed has always been the other kids half speed.  This alone means nothing but it got me thinking.   He has never been able to do more than one thing at a time.  If I ask him to do 2 things, one task will always be forgotten. He leaves refrigerator and freezer open regularly ( I forgot to close it.. sorry).   Forgets to bring home school assignments.  Forgets backpack on Bus.  Forgets to put name on homework papers.   He gets B's on his report card but usually with the caveat "needs to pay more attention in class".   I attribute his good grades to me checking his homework each night and making him redo it if it is sloppy or done incorrectly, which it is a lot of the time.  I have experimented in the past with letting him be totally in control of his own school work and each time he drops to D or failing and I feel the need to step in and monitor his work again.   Keep in mind he scored in the top 98% in 6th grade standardized Ohio testing and actually was asked to take the SAT test (he scored average against other 6th graders invited to take the test).  He is easily distracted by anything going on in the background.  If there is a television on in a room he is walking through he will stop and stare at it until someone reminds him of what he was supposed to be doing.  It almost seems he walks around in a haze most of the time.  He has been a heavy bed wetter his entire life though in the past 6 months or so it has become more and more infrequent to the point where he only has an accident once every few weeks now.   My wife has mentioned ADHD before but my son has never been hyperactive in any way.  In fact its just the opposite, he is beyond mellow.  Recently I read about ADHD PI and this seems to describe my son perfectly.  I guess my question is would it benefit my son if we look into treatment for these problems or is he old enough that he can start to learn to control this himself?   I'm worried because I'm not going to be there to help him forever.  

Thanks,
Ken
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18 Comments Post a Comment
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757137_tn?1347200053
We are not clones of each other. Just because a child has harmless peculiarities does not mean that he is not normal. Often, in today's world, a child is judged by his academic performance. This is what seems to be bothering yourself and your wife. No doubt, although he may have very fine qualities, his poor school performance may be putting everything else in the shade.

I have four children and 11 grandchildren. I note that boys often take a long time to settle down to studies. My own son was a royal pain in this regard until he went though puberty. Ultimately he went to a fine university where he did well. One of my grandsons loathed school and always did badly. Lack of ability or lack of academic interest? Who knows. He is a talented working musician and has now left college to go to culinary school. He is happy and so are we. There is another grandson who is like my son in his behavior - mucking about, acting silly and not doing well as he should. We are giving him time to grow out of it.

And now a daughter, also a school hater. Someone who could never sit still. She would get A's one day and F's the next. She was rambunckious and mischievous. At home she was delightful. They said she had ADD and wanted to drug her (no doubt to keep the teachers happy). I told them to go fly a kite, that she was who she was. As she grew older she took all that energy and directed it toward studies. She graduated from a prestigious college, aced her MSAT's, went on to grad school, got a fellowship, and came first in her class. She is now a very highly-placed executive in a highly-specialized field.

All of these children, including those I have not mentioned, are fine people, and in that regard are worthy of admiration. Your son may never be academic.  And then again, he may surprise you. But please don't try to turn him into something else by drugging him. He is who he is.
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Avatar_m_tn
    I respectfully disagree with allmymarbles.  Your son is not one of her children.  To try and draw parallels is not good science.  Furthermore, her kids went through school a while ago and the whole ADHD treatment is much better than it was then.  The fact she talks about teachers wanting to drug the kids just to keep them happy show a horrible bias to the whole idea of medication to help a child.
    If you want to really help your child - find a child psychologist who specializes in ADHD and get their advice.  Also, you might want to do something that allmymarbles apparently has not done, and that is to read up on ADHD and find out what it is all about.
   The concept that "he is who he is is", is really cute until he catches a severe infection and you go "oh, he is who he is."  That's BS.  ADHD is a proven medical problem.  How it is treated is what is important.  To ignore it is in my opinion a form of child abuse.  And there are a lot of posts by grownups on this site that had to endure there ADHD through childhood and suffer the consequences until they finally got treated as an adult.
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757137_tn?1347200053
The quick and lazy fix is drugs. What about good parenting? What about tolerance? I refuse to believe that such a huge proportion of the child population is out-of-whack. It makes no sense. The human race would not have survived if it were true. The great emphasis is on children succeeding academically, rather than their succeeding as people. Are we looking to create a homogenized society of well-behaved zombies? As for abuse, drugging a kid who doesn't fit the mold is the worst abuse I can think of.

You say that ADD is a proven medical problem. In rare cases that is true. For such a large proportion of the population it is nonsense. Much of the medical community agrees with me which is why over-medication of children with supposed ADD is such a hot topic. You are out-of-touch with this subject.
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Avatar_m_tn
  First, I never suggested drugs.  I said, " If you want to really help your child - find a child psychologist who specializes in ADHD and get their advice."  Then I said, "read up on ADHD and find out what it is all about."  There are a lot of suggestions that I could give him on helping children with ADHD, since  I have probably 300 posts on this subject on this forum, but I kind of got sidetracked by your comments.  I think what upset me the most was the idea, that the dad would, "try to turn him into something else by drugging him."  
   I have read a lot of your posts to parents of pre-school children and many of your suggestions are right on.  However, I have been reading the posts on this forum for the last two and one half years and there is a little bit more to helping a child then what you seem to be aware of.  Feel free to go back and read some of the posts of mine to get an idea of what I believe in.  
  Finally, I am a long way from being out-of-touch on this subject.  I have been involved in it for over 30 years.  
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757137_tn?1347200053
Much of our attitudes are philosophical. Given the same set of circumstances, different people (medical specialists included) will arrive at different solutions. My feeling is that there is room in this world for a great variety of personalities. The medical community often intervenes inappropriately, often because people demand it. You are not happy, take a pill. You eat too much, take a pill. You are overactive, take a pill. I personally do not feel that medication should be used for the ordinary vicissitudes of life, or for personal, harmless quirks of temperament. But they are invaluable for serious afflictions, both physical and mental.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Ken,
  I apologize, I should have gotten back to you much sooner, but I got distracted.  You asked a simple question, " I guess my question is would it benefit my son if we look into treatment for these problems or is he old enough that he can start to learn to control this himself."  Unfortunately, the answer is not so simple.
  "This link seems to suggest that your fear of your son having ADHDPI is correct.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADHD_predominantly_inattentive
He certainly shows the signs.  Fortunately (or unfortunately), he appears to have very high intelligence.  With normal intelligence, his poor grades in school would have meant that this might have been noticed (or at least been a cause for concern) earlier.  But his intelligence has probably allowed him to "go under the radar".  Typically, the really hyper kids get noticed early and children like your son (if the diagnosis is correct) don't get noticed.  In fact, as long as they are pulling C's, they may never get noticed.  The problem is that they will reach a point where their innate intelligence can't pull them through.  Algebra is typically where this begans to happen because they have nothing in life that prepares them for numbers suddenly switching to letters.  And then it can only get worse.  I quote from the above mentioned link - "The more intelligent inattentive children may realize on some level that they are somehow different internally from their peers; however, they are unfortunately also likely to accept and internalize the continuous negative feedback, creating a negative self-image that becomes self-reinforcing. If these children progress into adulthood undiagnosed and untreated, their inattentiveness, ongoing frustrations, and poor self-image frequently create numerous and severe problems maintaining healthy relationships, succeeding in postsecondary schooling, or succeeding in the workplace. These problems can compound frustrations and low self-esteem, and will often lead to the development of secondary pathologies including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and substance abuse.[2].  This can happen, I have seen it happen to ex students.  This forum has had several posts from adults who have finally realized that this is what happened to them and are now trying to deal with it.  Your son may well be smart enough that he can go all the way through highschool with maybe a B or low A average.  But what a waste of talent, when he could be getting A's and getting into  a top tier college.
  So what do you do.  The single most important thing is that your son get accurately diagnosed.  The second thing (and this is maybe even more important then the first) is that he understands what this is!  Both he and you need to do research into this.  There are a bunch of study techniques that he can use to deal with this.  But he will never use them if he doesn't see the need.  His intelligence may be good enough, that given the right study techniques he may never need medication.  Or he may get into an AP course that demands a lot of study time, and then medication might be necessary.  Maybe it won't even be necessary until he has to pass his medical boards or the law boards.  Whatever, the option needs to be there if it is needed, and that can only come through the first two steps.
   Chances are he will start having trouble with tests as the curriculum gets harder.  Perhaps not because he doesn't know the material, but because it is a timed test over a lot of material- and he gets distracted during the test.  If you get an diagnosis from a good specialist - then you can get a 504 special ed plan that will give him extra time on a test.  This can work all the way through college and could even eliminate the need for medication.
  But, I have to stress.  He needs to know what is going on with him.  He probably knows this every time he gets a D.  If he doesn't realize what is happening, how can he work to overcome it?  Is he old enough to start to learn to control it?  Yes, he is.  Knowledge is his weapon, without it - its a tough fight.
  Good luck to both of you.  If you have any questions, please ask.
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree with your last post 100%
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757137_tn?1347200053
I like to think our posts have been helpful. Here is a story that might appeal to you. I was looking to rent an apartment that happened to be owned by a psychiatrist. He said jokingly that as a special inducement to my renting he would get rid of all my neuroses for free. I told him, "Oh, no! Then I would have no personality at all."  We had a good laugh over that.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the insight.    I think we may have him evaluated and go from there.  He isn't thrilled about it but jsaid he would try just an evaluation.  I was just talking to a guy I know and he said his 19 year old daughter was having problems in college and got herself evaluated and was found to have ADHD-PI.  

Thanks again
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Avatar_f_tn
Okey I have to put my two cents here,

Thank goodness I did not listen to people like you marbles because my daughter would still be crying.

Both my children are now being ''DRUGGED'' and little do you know it is far from being the ''EASY WAY OUT''  Actually it is alot harder than just letting them hang on and get by fully knowing they are both in the superior academique range.

This involves monitoring all resources to teach the children how to live with ADD.  Spending 100drs of hours learning what it is, the weaknesses and how to help your child learn with ADD.  

Maybe you ought to get a better doctor because now a days the good one's won't just push a pill.  My family doctor recommended and ordered 3 levels of various psychological testing be done before he medicated.  Although the first meeting he told me he had his doubts but wanted confirmation.  This whole process took 6 months.  The family doctor wanted it pinpointed exactly what the weaknesses of my children were before medication was decided.

Since my 7 year old daughter is on meds she has had a 15% allaround grade improvement except for french.  She now does not wake up 3 and 4 times a night getting up tired and crying before school and coming home crying.  She is much calmer and happier and is loving life.   She had finally made a whole bunch of friends instead of always being isolated by herself.

Each child deserves individual approach. Your ''DRUG'' attitude is very disappointing and doubt that it makes parents happy.  You seem to project your anger here without thinking of whether your statements help or hinders.

Totally agree with Sandman2.  Do it get your son assessed and then at least you will know exactly what you are dealing with.

My son is diagnosed since last May and he is 13.  He just this week realizes that he needs help to be the best he can be.  And that is exactly why we come to these posts for help.

God Bless
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757137_tn?1347200053
The psychologist who does the evaluating does not have the advantage of seeing the child in his home setting. For instance, what he sees as ADD might be environmental. One of my daughters has four sons and a daughter. Her husband, who loves his children dearly, keeps them in a constant state of excitement. They tussle, wrestle, play very competitive games, race around, jump from one thing to another. The father and children are in constant motion. There is no quiet time. Also, because the father does not value possessions, they are very destructive. (ADD symptom, right? In this case, wrong.) My granddaughter's silver charm bracelet got taken apart and scattered because a couple of the boys were intrigued. Their bikes are always in need of repair through misuse and their toys always get broken. When they visit I am in a constant nervous state, afraid that they will wander off, do dangerous things, etc., because they don't listen. The poor things CAN'T listen. Were a psychologist to see them he would diagnose at least three as having ADD and put them on drugs. They don't need drugs; they need a modicum of peace and quiet.

When one of my daughters, a can't-sit-still type who was always making a ruckus in school, was evaluated by a psychologist, he thought ADD and got it all wrong. He never found out, for instance, that she hated school. Nor did he understood how intelligent she was because he misinterpreted the test he gave her. It was that put-the-square-peg-in-the square-hole business. She thought it was so simple that there must be a trick to it and tried out different ploys. When she finally did it the simple way and he congratulated her, she thought he was silly and asked me why he played with toys. I turned down the drugs. She grew up without pharmaceutical interference, took degrees at top colleges and is extremely successful in her career.

As I have said before, and which you conveniently ignore, some children do have a serious problem and need medication. My quarrel is with giving medication to children who don't need it. And that practice is all too common.
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Avatar_f_tn
Gee guess you got your marbles mixed up because you are comparing apples and oranges.  First of all you don't tell a parent not to ''DRUG'' their child.  I expect at your young age you understand the negative tone to this.

Also your feedback seems like just normal childhood behaviour.  But when they take apart the bracelet and stare in thin air until you remind them they are there, there is an issue.  This issue could hurt the children.

Remember just because you ended up with an incompetant tester does not mean they are all incompatant.  My 13 year old did exactly that on his test.  Luckily I picked my psychologist and was watching in a no see window and could give them feedback which never happened .. The tester saw my son was bored and carried on further.

The testing must be administered by a professional.  You must really stop generalizing everythin.  I feel really sad for you.

God Bless

patsue
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Avatar_f_tn
I had to add this dear

The children you describe seem to need ''SUPERNANNY'' not a psychological testing? lol
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757137_tn?1347200053
How kind of you to feel sorry for me, and I thank you for your medical guidelines. It might surprise you to know that I have spent my life in the medical community. Perhaps because of this I know that not all doctors are brilliant.
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Avatar_f_tn
I DID NOT SAY I FELT SORRY FOR YOU BUT RATHER SAD THAT YOU GENERALIZE AT TIMES .  I HAVE READ SOME OF YOUR OTHER POSTS AND THEY SEEM GREAT.  BUT THE DRUG ISSUE SEEMS TO BE AN ISSUE WITH YOU THAT STOPS POSSIBILITY THAT THEY COULD WORK IF PROPERLY ADMINISTERED.  
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757137_tn?1347200053
In a conversation dealing with generalities, it is impossible not to generalize. The generalization I make repeatedly is that there is a strong tendency to over-diagnose ADD (or others cases with a strong psychological component). I stand by that generalization. The over-diagnoses obviously involve unnecessary medication, the long-term effects of which are not adequately known.
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Avatar_f_tn
well i deffinitly have something to say about all of this even though im only 16 i am a highschool student and i have ADHD i take 60mg of vyvance everyday even when im not in school  (vyvanse- a type of ADHD medication) i would not use the term "drugged" because i deffinitly dont think im being drugged everyday . If it werent for this medication honestly i probably will NOT walk across the stage with my friends and classmates . ive learned that kids with ADHD are not crazy , dumb , uneducated ect. its just an inbalance in the brain and all that medication does is help balance that side of your brain to help you focus and be able to do tasks like homework , classwork , ect and be successful it also brings out some of your best talents !!!! before i was on that medication my grades were d`s and f`s now im taking all honors classes in highschool , im in the school marching band , i play softball and basketball and i still manage to get everything done ! also i get along fine with others and my personality is still the same all the time !!!!  that medication just helps it doesnt drug a kid up or any of that other negative stuff if that were the case i would not be perscribed !!!!!


well thats all i had to say !!!! if you have any questions about what i wrote just send me note !!!!
good luck to you and son !
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Avatar_f_tn
GO FOR IT KENNETH Your doing great

And no you are not crazy.  Obviously you are quiet a genious. You seem to understand profoundly what you have and grown to accept it.

Fantastic, I congradulate you dear.

Thanks Patsue
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