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My grandson just diagnosed with ADHD but...
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My grandson just diagnosed with ADHD but...

I am not convinced.

He is 11 years old. My daughter broke up the marriage to his dad about 5 years ago. He has a brother who is 7, and now a step brother aged 2. He doesnt really get on with his father and I know he is jealous of this new sibling.

My daughter has had several new relationships in her life in the last 5 years non of which have worked. The last one 2 years now, but he does not get on with my grandson and finds him hard work, and my grandson does not like him.

My daughter is self absorbed with her horses and the kids do come second I am sorry to say that but it is true, and she finds my grandsons behaviour hard work and they are constantly arguing.

My grandson suffers at school with learning problems. My daughter too had very bad dyslexia when she was young.

My grandson has dyslexia, does not cope well at school and finds it hard to learn this is one of the reasons he has been given the diagnosis. He is a bit hyperactive in class and can be disruptive.

He was only in senior school for 1 month this year and was suspended 4 times for being rude to the teachers he is very impulsive and says what comes into his head.  Now the second time I just think he learnt that if he mis behaved he would get a day off school which he did. This has now been resolved with the school finally being on side with him as he has this diagnosis.

Well back to the diagnosis and why I am not sure.

When he is with me and his grand dad he is completely different. He is quiet and polite and loves to learn new things. He wants to be a chef and every time I have him we cook and he picks up cooking really well. He has never shown temper or rudeness.

Friday night he stayed over with his brother. I found my grandson and my husband sat on the settee at 9.30 in the evening just chatting away. My husband showed him how to make an omelette for his supper. The next morning my grandson wanted to make it again on his own. He did it perfect and cleaned up behind him too.

I am just worried that he is going to be labelled now and he starts medication tomorrow. My daughter doesnt want to listen to my concerns.

Maybe he does have ADHD but everything I have read about it there is stuff puzzling me.

I think he has learning disabilities because of all the problems at home, the trouble with his dad, his new brother, the problems with my daughters boyfriend and his struggling at school.

What do you think and do you think I am over reacting. I want what is best for him, but I am worried about his future. Oh recently he stayed here for the day when he was suspended. I got him to strip my bathroom of wall paper, and when he was doing this he chatted away for ages with my cleaner very intelligently and she thought he was a lovely lad. He did 2 hours stripping and did a grand job of the walls. Would a child with ADHD focus for that long?

I am confused and need help please to just try and understand ....
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Avatar_m_tn
   I can certainly understand your concern.  And I commend you for finding ways to make his stays with you enjoyable.  Please try to keep finding ways to do that.  It may well be the highpoint in his week.
  To answer your question, Yes - a child with ADHD can focus that long.  In the book, "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley (you might want to buy it), she basically says on p. 10-11 that a child with ADHD who enjoys what they are doing can do it for hours.  However, if the child does not like the task, they don't have the mental ability (because of ADHD) to stay on task.  I have had ADHD kids in the classroom absolutely riveted to a discussion (usually on some weird thing I mentioned), and withing 5 minutes on a test were completely distracted.  The best example is probably video games.  An ADHD child can play them to the point of exhaustion.
     Certainly his homelife is or has been a distraction.  But, homelife won't cause ADHD.  You mentioned that,  "my daughter too had very bad dyslexia when she was young."  Years ago, ADHD or ADD (especially in girls) was not easily caught.  Many kids who had "learning problems" really had AD/HD, which wasn't diagnosed. The point being is that there is a genetic link to AD/HD which also adds to the likely hood he might have it.
   It used to be that being labeled was a bad thing.  Basically,  I think that now it can only be a good thing as it will help the child.  That was not true years ago.
   Finally, what can you do.  I think the most important thing that you can do is to learn about ADHD.. It will help you with your grandson.  But more importantly, I do worry about his mom.  She really needs to learn about ADHD.  There is a lot that you can do to help a child with ADHD..   Meds are only a part of the help.  Without knowledge, and only meds, its the easy way out and the child will wind up suffering in the end.  The book I mentioned is really worth getting.  For a basic understanding of ADHD, the website at the top of this page is a good start - http://www.medhelp.org/medical-information/show/2157/Attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-ADHD
     I have many more helpful sites if you want more info.   Bless you for taking the time to post - it shows your concern.  Best wishes and happy holidays.
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551343_tn?1350880995
Hi oh thank you your reply has been really encouraging. I am off to buy the book. I would like any information you can give me please as it is all new to me.

I have a lot to learn but he is worth it. He is a wonderful boy. Thank you again you have put my mind at rest.
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551343_tn?1350880995
Good morning. An update.

He has taken 2 days and started on low dose Ritalin.

Day 1. Totally transformed his school day. Even the teacher who has a problem with him said he was AWESOME, and he came home buzzing and excited because he stayed in his classes all day and learnt something.  He was a little hyper but we think it was more the fact he had a good day rather then the medication. Appetite very good.

Day 2. The same as day 2. He stayed focused and felt calm all day, wasnt quite so hyper when he came home. No problems in the house after school.

So fingers crossed. It looks as though they are on the right track for him. I know it is a long road ahead but at least its the start.

I have bought the book recommended and everyone who is to deal with him I have asked to read it. I told my daughter we need to be on the same page ALL of us.

The thing is DONT give up on your kids. Kids are not just naughty for naughty sake there is usually a reason for it. Ok some are just spoilt but then that is the fault of the parenting not the child....kids are worth fighting for they are our future.
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Avatar_m_tn
   That is wonderful news.  The meds can appear to be almost magical the way they work.  Unfortunately, sometimes people think that is all they need to do, and years later the child will pay for that lack of knowledge.   That is why I am so glad you bought the book and are having everyone read it.   Got a feeling that you will be having a Happy Holiday - you've earned it!
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551343_tn?1350880995
Hi well yesterday was so frustrating. He had a good morning, then in the early afternoon had an argument with a pupil and called him a bad name and has been suspended again for one day.

The school is driving my daughter nuts. She was actually in the school at the time having a meeting to find out what is next for him. What is the point in suspending him, they know he has this problem.....

We know it is a long road, and that no medication is a magical cure he is only on a low dose at the moment, so why cant they get off his back. Yes punish him but not exclude him from school its ridiculous.

I get so mad with our system in the UK. The governments closed all the special schools and put the kids in mainstream education and it doesnt work.....

At least he has the holidays soon, and I am going to be reactive with him, even though I have my own illness to contend with. Its worth taking the time if it helps him in the end.

Thanks for your support.
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Avatar_m_tn
  And if he was suspended for just calling a kid a bad name - that's ridiculous!   Especially given his condition.  And the meds start wearing off later in the day.  By the way, make sure the parents keep in communication with the doctor.  Doctor's typically (and logically) start kids off with a low dose and wait to see what happens.  It's not unusual to change the dose or go to an extended release version based on how the child is doing.  
   I know in the states, if a child has a special ed plan, he cannot be suspended for something that was caused by his condition - which makes sense.  Heck, either way, there are better ways to deal with this (like in house suspension) then what the school is doing.
  Anyway, enjoy the holidays!
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551343_tn?1350880995
Hi I agree with you about a special ed plan but our schooling is to say the least backwards. The problem is all the special schools that kids could have gone too with trained staff were closed by the governments.

Anyway the book arrived. I spent all day yesterday just reading and reading, and was amazed at how complex ADHD is.....I think I will send a copy to the school what a good idea......

The book has really opened my eyes and i had a chat with my daughter about it and told her she needs to give him more positive praise and reinforcements and when he does the slightest thing right she needs to tell him well done.

So thanks for the recommendation. I also understand the medication now too.

It is a brilliant read and EVERYONE should read it.....
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi I am new to this group, I know that you don't know me very well, but there are a few things that you might want to do and make sure that you stay on top of with your grandson.  you must love him very much. I am a mother of three children, two boys and a girl. I am also 29yrs. and for 25 of those yrs, I was on Ritalin my dad was millitary and the school told my mom that I needed to me put on it, So I went on it. I want say anything bad about ADHD because I got tested as adult and I do have it. but please for your grandson sake research it until you cann't reseach it anymore. I will tell you that my son has ADHD and ADD, and I am so scared of the day that they make me put him on that med, because of what it does, in mo they can force you to make your child take it, if they think that it is needed, or you lose all of your kids.  I am no DOCTOR but I can give all of the websites that I have reseached with and tell you what it was like for me. I will add your family to my prayers, and not because I am not  a church person but because you love your grandson so much that you are looking and asking for help. I wish that my parents had done that.
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Avatar_m_tn
  Ouch! Its hard to hear from someone who didn't get the help they needed or deserved.  You probably saw military doctors, and I doubt that they were very good at working with kids with ADHD.  Even back then there was still a lot of the old "tough it out" mentality going around - which is not real useful in learning how to live with this disability.
  I do want you to know that in the last 20 years, the meds have gotten a lot better (longer lasting, more gentile, and even non-stimulant ones).  Hopefully, the doctors have gotten better at giving advice to parents and kids - but it does depend on the doctor (and the type of the doctor).  
  By the way, they can't make you put him on meds.  But if you have tried all the alternatives and he (and the key word is HE) is still suffering, then its hurting him not to try.  But the key thing is as you mentioned in your fine post is to research like crazy what you can do for him.  I have many very good sites and books if you want any recommendations.  Best wishes.
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Avatar_f_tn
You do know that Ritalin carries the strongest lable that a med can carry right it is blacklabled.  And how many doctors now days do the required test that is nessary like the ekgs every month, the bloodwork. and you talk about the last 20 years worth of reasearch what they don't tell you is the side effects that will carry you for the rest of your life. Now my kids are living that effect. my middle son has 4 yes 4 different heart murmurs and a hole in his heart that is the cause of my long term use of Ritalin. and another thing that they don't tell you is how addictive it is. and how many doctors actually care enough to sit down and talk to the child to find out. And the schools get a kick back for each child that is diagnosed as ADHD or ADD. those meds still cause long lasting heart conditions, nero problems down the road and a half a million other problems. I can proudly say that I am a surviver of Ritalin. I have wrote many papers on the effect of the meds and students, past and present.  And as far as millitary doctors because of what my dad did in the millitary we got the best doctors. better then what I have see as a civillian.I had a daycare until year and ahalf ago, I had to shut it down to a personal illness that has left me weak and blind at times, but when I check on those kids the ones that I have helped they are still pulling the grades most of them are on the honor roll, and the problems at school have stopped. I still have parents that are ready to give up on the meds ask me for help. grand total I have watched 9 children buried, all for different reasons all caused by different ADHD meds. I'm sorry if I sound harsh but the reason why you have the data you do is because of people like me who have basically given the rest of their lifes to a med without knowing the side effect. I meet with a group 4 times a year so that they can get data and have been doing so for 25 years, and we will keep meeting until the day I die. all for data so that maybe people don't have to go through what I live with on a daily matter.
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Avatar_m_tn
  I can't disagree with most of what you have to say.  
However, I strongly disagree with your statement that the schools get a kickback for each child that is diagnosed with ADHD or ADD.  Schools do get federal funding for their special ed programs.  But many children with ADD or ADHD do not get into that program.  A 504 designation does not get federal funding.  And the funding itself does not even come close to paying the actual costs of helping the kids in special ed.  But what I object to the most, is that your statement makes it sound like the schools are purposefully getting kids designated as ADHD to make money off of the child.
  I strongly agree with you when you said that, "given the rest of their lifes to a med without knowing the side effect."  Way to many doctors just take the easy way out and give meds without proper information or other ways to help a child.  The one thing I hopefully do on this forum is to stress the need for information.    Best wishes!
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551343_tn?1350880995
So now I am more confused and worried. Should my grandson be on Ritalin he is only on a very low dose I dont want him on meds that could harm him what would be the point.

Surely after all the research if this medication was so harmful it would have been pulled?

I am very anxious now......dont know what to think to be honest.
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Avatar_m_tn
Mrs. Aristotle, to be perfectly honest, Ritalin is usually one of the last ones that a doctor puts a child on; however, there may be family history or medical history that we aren't aware of as to why he was put on that.  Usually they try Concerta or Strattera first or even Adderall (adderrall)/Adderall XR.  My son is 17 y/o and is on 10 mg of Adderall (adderrall) XR and she is about to put him on a booster dose in the afternoon because he metabolizes so fast.  I am on 30 mg of Adderall (adderrall) XR and I have an appt tomorrow to discuss putting me on a short acting dose because my metabolism is so slow that I'm still wide awake at 1 and 2 AM.

Herein lies the problem, you have to convince your daughter to let you go with to your grandson's appointment to discuss your fears and concerns with the pediatrician and to just flat out ask if there is a better medication for him.  

Also keep in mind that just because he is on the medicine does not mean it will work like magic and everything will change.  The treatment also requires behavior modification, for him and from your daughter (again this I know from experience).  I would also maybe sit down with your daughter and discuss with her about getting checked for ADD or ADD with hyperactivity (btw ADD and ADHD are the same thing. the difference is ADD and ADD with hyperactivity, which also is not always necessarily physically but can be mentally too).  Maybe the reason she is focusing so much on the horses is because that's what can hold her attention the most.  

I also question the school that your grandson is in that they are suspending him for menial things.  Talking back and being rude are not grounds for suspension, even for a repeat offender, unless it is In-School Suspension (ISS), and that should be addressed with the principal or maybe even the School Board.  I have really lucked out with my son's school, they have amazing communication and on the 2 occasions they did want to ISS him, I was able to get him into a Saturday detention rather than ISS because it is a worse punishment.  A good school and a good principal and a good teacher SHOULD work with whoever has the child's best interests at heart.

I wish you good luck with your grandson.  ADD and ADD with hyperactivity are very hard diseases to work and live with.
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Avatar_f_tn
Do you get the needed blood work on every refill to check you liver levels, your kidney levels. and refills should only be for three months max at a time so that these levels can be watched. also the EKG's and echo's to keep a eye on your heart. there is also along with  behavior modification, a diet tha takes forever for you to get down because it is different for everyone. different foods cause dfferent reactions, same as the dye in some foods. once you had ADD and ADHD you have it for life theres no fixing it. you said that you are on a med. how long have you been on it? and the staying awake, it ***** when I was younger I was really small but active I use run. But I could no sleep for nothing, I would stay away for days. even now, I can stay awake for 4 days before the shakes start. doctors would have to knock me out, over the counter sleeping pill will not work, so they had to put me on high doses of phenergan just so that I can sleep at night.  I wish you the best of luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have found with my son jordan who is 9, that if I make out a contract with him, in the beginning it was if he didn't flip his card at school for two days that he could watch his favorite tv show. but if he flipped it he would have to do some sort of chore that he doesn't like. and have both of us sign it.  I really cann't use doing extra homework because he loves school and does very well in it so extra homework is like getting a new toy to him.  but for him the contract works. now it more computer time so that he can play games. granted they are all educational games, but I don't think that he has figured that out yet. crossing fingers. I have also found that if you can find a sport that he really loves, that helps out too so that he can work out anger. even if t is running.  I cann't run anymore so I walk for hours. when I get mad. I also have a husband that loves me very much. also hsve him keep a diary. I know thats for girls. but it will help him to put it on paper. also this will help you find out what he is really thinking.  let him know that you would like to read it every once in a while. but also stress that he will not get in to trouble for anything that he writes in it. and he might try and test you. but unless he is talking about causing harm to himself or anyone else. just let him vent.  
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Avatar_m_tn
My doctor watches my liver functions and kidney functions regularly because of my family history and my cholesterol medicine, as for the EKGs and echo's, we haven't checked those.  I am hypothyroid also so I have to watch what I eat now as it is because we're trying to get me to lose weight.  Being hypothyroid and ADHD is extremely difficult because my body metabolizes so slowly.  Today was my first day taking two short acting 15 mg doses at 8 am and around 1 or 2 pm and it is working awesome.  Normally my mind is still zooming at 1600 mph come this time of night (8:30 pm my time) but I can already tell that it's slowing down.  

That hard part with kids with ADHD is that each one is so different and finding what works for your grandson is what's going to be the hard work.  123 Magic is an amazing way to discipline and adjust behavior.  I use it on my 17 y/o, he hates it but he knows that he has to follow it because the consequences are not worth doing the behavior.  
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Avatar_f_tn
the thyroid condition I understand, I have to take 500mg of synthroid daily. I hate my problem because my thyroid flips back and forth. we have to use clonidine to control my heart rate, because of the damage done. I also can not take meds for depression or anti nuts. they make me very violent. so normal treatments for my IC is out the window, and so are meds for migraines, and my Grand mals. I was told when I was a kid that I was ADD and ADHD. but I got my self tested as a adult. and when they got my results back the doctor just handed me a script.  I don't think I ever laughed as hard as I did that day.  My husband teases me because I have a system for everything, like bills, I tried to explain it to him, and he told me that open heart surgery would be easier for him to figure out. but my son jordan complety understands my methods.  
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Avatar_n_tn
For your thyroid....Armour Thyroid.  Much better than Synthroid.  
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551343_tn?1350880995
Well going back to my grandson. He was suspended again yesterday even though the teachers have now said he is ready to be statmented.

He saw the consultant on Friday and they have agreed he is high up on the ADHD scale and he is now on slow release medication. My daughter said yesterday that he was brilliant with her all day..

Its a long road I know, but so confused about the medication and the dangers of it.

I dont see any ADHD with him when he is with me, he behaves really well EVEN BEFORE the medication.

One thing though I didnt realise for anyone in the UK you can get DLA for your children if they are diagnosed with ADHD, my daughter has been given this yesterday it came through really quickly.

So not much has changed really since I posted last the school is a waste of time, and he has run out of school twice in the last few weeks, but thank god he comes straight to me. Its all too much as I am not well myself (possible MS), AND it is taking a toll.

Thanks for all your information and support guys.
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1596141_tn?1297307500
My daughter is the same way and also has dsylexia.  If she really enjoys what she's doing then she can stay on task, but the problem is is that she gets easily bored and distracted.  I don't think it's fair to say it's because your daughter is self obsorbed.  My mother was too and my sister and I had no issues in school.  I made mostly As and scored really high on tests and went to college and got a bachelor's degree and my sister made the same grades. My mother was extremely neglectful and unloving and my stepfather was very abusive and it had no impact on my behavior or performance at school. My daughter was recently diagnosed with ADHD and she and I have a very close and loving relationship, but she does horribly at school even though she is very bright and capable, she just can't sit still and focus. She barely passed Kindergarten and First grade and is in danger of failing the second because of it. She has had the issue since she was 3 and I had to put her on medication recently and she is doing much better. After she got kicked out of her day care, and I had to do something, I was at my wits end.  She still has her bad days, but she has alot of good days which is a good start.  Eventually most of them grow out of it, and I'm hoping the same will happen for her.  You can't really say what you think the problem is until you live it everyday and have to put up with it on a day to day basis.  I didn't think my daughter really had a problem, other than not being able to remember what she learned in school, but her teachers and day care providers were just fed up with her.  The problem was she wasn't paying attention in class and didn't absorb anything.  I was at the school every other week for a parent teacher conference and everytime I went it was like I was being attacked as a bad mother.  Like it was my fault my daughter was not behaving or learning, even though I was strict and disciplined my daughter when she got in trouble. It felt like they were calling me an unfit mother and my child was stupid when I knew that wasn't the case..  I spent all my nights reteaching her everything she was supposed to be learning in school just to get her to pass and it got so stressfull that I ended up in the hospital psych ward after suffering a nervous breakdown.  As a working single mother, it was too much.  It was a last resort and for most other mothers it is the same. That have other medications now besides Ritalin that have less side affects and she's on one of them.  We don't want to medicate our children.  It is not until something drastic happens that we have to break down and do this. I've come to realize that my daughter really does have this problem when I didn't want to think she does.  sorry if this is a long reply, but I just wanted to add my perspective on this.
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