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DD diagnosed with ADD DD diagnosed with ADD

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Unread 01-25-2003, 12:58 PM
DD diagnosed with ADD

Hi Xena --- PLease, please don't blame yourself re DD for what you did or didn't do as a mom. My oldest DS has had learning disabilities (not ADHD) throughout his entire life...and he is now doing very very well. At one point I thought I had ADHD, but the doc's said no.

I think you are approaching this in a very constructive manner, to read as much as possible to understand as much as you can.

You need to build a good relationship with your school...and special ed.folks..they should prob develop a program to assist her...build on strengths, work on weaknesses. So, you will also need to learn as much as possible about IEP's and/or other programs...I know there have been some changes over the past several years. If you don't feel right about how the school is handling things, follow your instincts and insist that other ooptions are explored/planned.

There may be a support group in your area.

I suspect that this all "happening" and being discoved when one is 16 has got to be an extra stress - I'm sure that you and your family will be supportive of one another and DD.

I have some books, and next time I come online, I will share the titles.
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Unread 01-25-2003, 04:34 PM
DD diagnosed with ADD

There are indeed ADD support groups around, but not everywhere. The nearest one to us seems to be in Charlotte, 2 1/2 hours away. There is so much more information and support for these conditions than ever before, and believe me, YOU need the support, too, to understand it and to understand how it affects you and to figure out how best to deal with it for all of you. Experience is a great teacher and with the internet you can draw on the experience of many people!!

One funny story that DH tells from Driven to Distraction (he has it on tape) - the guy started a support group but no one showed up. Half the people forgot about it and the other half either got the time wrong or got lost getting there. DH felt much better about things when he heard that.

A big to all of you with from the peanut gallery!!

Unread 01-25-2003, 08:48 PM
A resource

There's a book by Dr. Mel Levine, called: "A Mind At A Time". It really parses out all the different neuro pathways that go into learning (particularly school learning, which as many of us know all too painfully well is only a distant cousin to "real" learning). He offers lots of "real life" illustrations of each subject, and also offers real-world tips to circumvent differences in learning styles and attention problems.

The problem in part is that so much gets lumped together with the label "ADHD" that the real person gets left behind. And the assumption is that medication will "solve all the problems" when in fact it may reveal new problems (as in, now the kid or adult can finally turn off the speeding mind, only to find that there is dyslexia, or sequencing problems, etc.).

All I know is, I've bought five copies of this book and given all but one away (I'm hoarding it ). It has explained so much to me about my kids...and about myself. And much of what he offers in the way of strategies work just as well in a workplace as they do at school or home.

There's a related website that I can't recommend enough. Like this one, it has so much information that you just have to bookmark it and return periodically to try to absorb all the content. It is called : All Kinds of Minds .

My DD's teacher calls this book a "lifesaver" for any educator or parent. She said she kept reading it, saying, "Oh, so that explains so-and-so!". And I know that we have, using those principles, transformed the experience of writing in her classroom.

I can't recommend this book enough, and Dany, I've meant to send you the link for the resource forum, as well as the book, so here's my opportunity to do just that!

ADD, or ADHD, is treatable. So much of treatment, though, also has to consist of a transformation in the way we all do things, whether it's at home, at school, or in the workplace. It's not that you're making "special accommodations" exactly. Sometimes (at least in our household) it may be something as simple as putting on Mozart while a book report is being written...and turning off the TV during any time, such as dinner, where I might want my kids' attention. We turn off the TV and computer a LOT at home!

I hope this information helps someone. I really think that so much of the school routine is absolutely mind-killing, non-nurturing of the "unusual" child, and absolutely wasteful of the creative energy of our children. Yes, medication is very useful...but so is activism in the classroom, the schools, and increasing our own understanding of how ours and our childrens' minds work.

My stepson has some rather extreme special needs: a mood disorder, ADHD, and heart problems that require medications which unfortunately contribute to the mood disorder (he's sort of bi-polar ). So I know this road all too well...and this book has made a difference in his and our lives...

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Unread 01-25-2003, 10:40 PM
DD diagnosed with ADD

Audrey, thanks for that title. I don't know if DH has it or not, since he simply can't find his ADD books (he is so about misplacing such important books, but what else is new) but we'll have to be sure to get it.

This month I downloaded "Getting Things Done" (by David Allen) from Audible.com, and DH is thrilled with this short book. It really seems to address some of his problems (and mine, too) by giving specific steps to take. Here are some details:

In today's world of exponentially increased communication and responsibility, yesterday's methods for staying on top just don't work. Veteran management consultant and trainer David Allen recognizes that "time management" is useless the minute your schedule is interrupted; "setting priorities" isn't relevant when your email is down; "procrastination solutions" won't help if your goals aren't clear.
Allen's premise is simple: our ability to be productive is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve stress-free productivity and unleash our creative potential. He teaches us how to:

Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box empty.
Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations.
Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed.
Feel fine about what you're not doing.
From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done has the potential to transform the way you work - and the way you experience work. At any level of implementation, David Allen's entertaining and thought-provoking advice shows you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.
Unfortunately the cd's I made from it seem to be damaged and there are gaps in the reading, but DH doesn't seem to mind, he is reading between the lines, as usual.

Unread 01-26-2003, 05:10 AM
DD diagnosed with ADD

Thank you all so much for your help.

This has been quite a thing to come across suddenly & I so appreciate the good info & support from you, Dany, Desk & Audrey and the words of comfort & encouragement from you, Bliss & Hwoman!
I guess we really need both!

I intend to read the book you suggested, Audrey. Desk, I'm going to check out Audible.com (cool find, never heard of it!).

Dany, I've been checking out the websites you recommended & am feeling better about the whole thing. Yes, it's definitely an unfortunate situation for dd, as I mentioned, her deficit has been described as quite significant, but there are ways to HELP her & that is wonderful.

As sad as this is, it's also a bit of a relief, too. I see this problem as a solution too, you know? dd feels the same way. It's nice to have answers & for her to know that she's not lazy, dumb, or apathetic. She has a problem that can be addressed, finally.
So, today were at the "better late than never" place & hoping to
move forward with few looks back. Ouch! Those looks back really hurt.
Don't want to make this about me, so just know that I am managing my guilt as well as I ever do (keeping silent & waking up with sore jaws from clenching...!)and focusing on the "what to do to help dd now" stuff.

She was in a private college-prep high school & just couldn't keep up. 2 1/2 years of "if she'd apply herself...she needs to take responsibility for herself & her schoolwork...she's a LOVELY girl, we LOVE her so much...BUT she just won't DO it!...
She changed schools at semester and this is how she described it to me: "You know Atlas from mythology? Well, I feel like Atlas only I finally got to set the world down."

She feels much less pressure & she is excited & happy & doing better than I've seen her in ages. The problem is still there but her current environment is healthier for her & frankly, the work load is significantly lighter. She needed that.

Thank you all so much for listening, first of all, and for responding so kindly & helpfully!
I'm glad we're talking about this because I'm not doing much of that in my "in-person") life. Still too raw maybe.
Many, many s to you all. It really is important to know we're not alone on this path & that there IS light at the end of the tunnel.
Thanks again, girls. You've helped so much.
s & s to you all!

Unread 01-26-2003, 11:42 AM
DD diagnosed with ADD

Xena, it's lots of work for all of you, but it's wonderful to see how things can now start to work for all of you. Good luck! We are listening now (on my computer) to Getting Things Done and boy-o it's pretty basic, not unlike Flylady's helpful help but focused steps on properly physically organizing one's work, filing, and actually completing things. Wow. As I'm not really ADD, I can't listen and write at the same time, so forgive me if this is less coherent than usual.

Unread 01-26-2003, 02:47 PM
DD diagnosed with ADD

Xena - I'm so glad your DD is feeling so good about herself!!! And, Xena, you can chat away here, where it is more comfortable!

As Audrey says, it is sometimes the little adjustments that make the big difference. With our DS, we learned we always had to get his attentipon first w/his name, and then go on with the conversation. When he was in elementary school, the only way he could do his math was by using lg. grid graph paper, so that every number had a "home" in a block.

(And I, of course, forgot to round up the titles of the books I have).

s to you and your DD

Unread 01-26-2003, 03:35 PM
DD diagnosed with ADD

((((Audrey)))))) and ((((((Desk)))))) thanks for the two resourses. I'll add them to the Learning Disabilities post.

I have not been able to hook up with a local ADHD support group in my community: we do have a CHADD chapter in the city next door, but I keep forgetting when they are meeting Another Association tried to organize a parents' support group, but they couldn't get all of us to agree to a convenient evening. Two years ago, when we didn't really need it (DS was thriving in school that year), they had a relief program we qualified for, where a Special Ed tech would come to our place and do things with our son while we did something else. Last year, when it was a whole lot rougher, we hoped to get the same service, but they had changed their approach into a week-end away, something all of us would have hated.

What chats like this one does, in addition to providing information that we so badly need, is to reassure us that we're not alone going through this. We also learn that the problems really are not our fault, or our child's fault (I know I've been told, many times, just how bad a parent I was )

I agree that advocacy is a really big issue. I've often said that my DS has become a carreer for me. I've spent sooooo many hours educating myself, calling the school, running after him and educating the school about his problems!!!! It's especially frustrating because, at home, he functions really well... his sister, who is a model student, is the one who is the trouble maker at home.

I've also figured out that it's not really a case of my DS not being able to function in school, it's also a big case of the school not having the right competency to deal with him. That's a very different perspective and much less damaging to the parents' and children's ego.

((((Xena)))))) I'm so happy that you're coping with this and finding the silver lining to this diagnosis. I think that it's all the issue of having your doubts and suspiscions validated: she's not dumb, lazy or low-achieving... she has a learning disability that is causing her to exhibit behaviors that mimic all of these other things

And, yes, ADHD can be managed: there are meds that help, behavior modification therapies that help and family therapies that help. I find that a combination of everything was the best approach for my family. Hopefully, your family will find the right approach to help all of your through this.
Unread 01-30-2003, 10:54 AM
DD diagnosed with ADD

I am a little late on this discussion, but my son was also
diagnosed with ADD the middle of his junior year of high school.
When he was in elementary school, we had him tested privately to see why this very bright child was having some difficulty in school. He then was gifted verbally, but average on the performance IQ. There was around a 27 point difference. I
questioned if there was a learning disability, and the psychologist said it was inconclusive because even the lower performance
IQ score was normal. We continued to struggle with school
knowing how gifted he was, and the grades did not reflect it.
We tried private schools for middle school and high school.
The high school was also college prep, and my son hated it!
The guidance counselor was not helpful saying he needs to
take responsiblity blah blah blah. We put him in public school in his junior year, saw another pediatric specialist, had documentation of his inattention from a private math tutor
we hired, and took in the IQ test scores. Finally, a diagnosis
of ADD. He did go on medication which he detested, but his
grades improved dramatically. He went away to college and
refused medication. HIs first year was great, then really
got sidetracked with friends who did not like school. We
again had him tested, and this time he was diagnosed with
a Non-verbal learning disability which has some of the same
behaviors of ADD. He is now back in college, registered with the
Learning disability dept. who is making the necessary accommodations for him, and he is a senior in college! I never
thought I would see this day! He had so many problems getting through the general ed. classes, and he needed to come home and finish them at our community college. NOw, he is away again in his beloved field of studio art. My son is happy and succeeding!
Please don't feel guilty. You and I both tried for years
to talk with the professionals and learn why our children were
struggling. If they did not know, how could we know? We did
our best! Now that you know the problem, there are many
good books about ADD. I would suggest you research and
read up on this topic. There are ADD books about teenagers,
college students, and adults. With the right environment
and accommodations, your child will also succeed. If you search the web, once I found a listing a famous people who had
learning disabilities. "THis may be a bump in the road, but it is not the end of the road!"
Unread 01-30-2003, 11:41 AM
DD diagnosed with ADD

Thank you locki, for your reply.

Your message is so hopeful & one I am grateful to hear! I must admit that I have this fear that the other shoe will drop, so to speak, and we'll find this doesn't take care of things for her. I hope it's an irrational fear, brought about by so many years of tests, medicines, dead-ends, and failures. It's good to know though, that your ds is doing so well after so much struggle & even set-backs after diagnosis.
Kind of brings me a bit of peace I didn't have, knowing that even if this isn't "the answer" it is not the end of the road.

There is so much at risk for a child this age! If they blow school, their future is changed...scary stuff.

Thank you for taking time to tell your story. It gives me hope for my dd and besides that, I'm happy to learn of someone who struggled, lived as an underdog, and is coming out on top! Bravo for him! And for you, for helping him get there!

I appreciate your perspective, and that of all the ladies who have been kind enough to help & encourage me as we make our way down this strange path. (Trying to maintain my sense of humor! This morning I went online & read a bunch of Stephen Wright quotations. Funny stuff & very good medicine!)

Many s & bunches of s to you all!


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