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Unread 03-05-2004, 09:10 AM
from both sides

This is an excellent post with lots of good info. I see this situation from two sides - as a parent of two extremely bright sons with ADD w/o hyperactivity, one with a learning disability that he's done a wonderful job of compensating for - finally, (he's 16) and the other (12) is starting testing, as well as being a special ed teacher for 19 years.

I never wanted to believe that my boys had ADD - my students were soooo much worse - I felt that if the teachers telling me they were having problems wanted to see real problems, they should visit MY classroom. Since then, I have learned that ADD and any type of disorder that affects learning and growing and behavior is different from child to child. I already knew that as a teacher and worked with parents to help them understand that, but did not understrand it when it came to my own. Finally, my boys are medicated appropriately and things are better. No they don't like taking meds, but will do it when pushed (lightly - they try to "forget" if I let them!)

The one fact that really convinced me was when I attended a training for a special student awareness team that I was asked to join. In the training they said that a recent research study showed that of non-medicated ADD students, 90% will "self-medicate" (i.e., use drugs, alchohol or caffeine) by age 14. Wow, that's 8th or 9th grade. It went further to say that of non-medicated ADD teens, 74% had criminal records by the age of 17. This is only one study, and not every child fits into it, but it was really a wakeup call for me. I even began to realize my own struggles w/ADD and my husband's, too.

I still maintain that the number one predictor of a child's succes is invovled parents, whatever their decisions are as to how to deal with their child. Good luck and I hope this helps you feel more confident that whatever your decisions/actions are, the fact that you are in there working with and for your child, he is already a winner.

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Unread 03-05-2004, 09:37 AM
Smile - DS with ADHD DS with ADHD

My DS has ADHD, too. He's 11 and was also diagnosed in the first grade. I started him on ritalin. It helped but also made him very aggressive. We switched to Concerta, and didn't find that to be so great either. Finally, we switched again to Adderall XR and it's wonderful! He went from getting Cs and Ds on his report card to all As and one B!! Amazing! It literally changed his life! He still has some problems, but the pill makes a huge difference in his academics and his self esteem.

The trick is to be consistant and help him to establish routines - doing everything the same every single day. Diet is supposed to be really important too, limiting refined sugars and such. But, my son is soooo thin and he doesn't like to eat so anything he is willing to eat makes me happy.

It's tough, no doubt about it. My DD is less than 2 years older and soooo different. There are a lot of books out on the market about ADHD, too, which might help to understand the condition.

Anyway, I can relate!
Unread 03-06-2004, 08:31 AM
DS with ADHD

((Kit)) thank you so much for sharing your insight

I also knew that the majority of children who have ADHD but are not medicated might end up self-medicating with drugs and alcohol and that some could end up in trouble with the law. Those stats that you quoted are scary, indeed. And I know all too well how true this can be: some members of my family, who are undiagnosed ADHDers, ended up having troubles in those very areas (alcoholism, trouble with the law, teen pregnancies, etc.).

I agree that working with teachers, doctors, psychologists, special ed technicians, etc. will help both yourself and your children.

BTW, we were very lucky in that Ritalin has been working wonderfully for our DS, from day one, with regular tweakings. However, for some children, it's not that easy and it is important to keep searching for the right combination.
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Unread 03-06-2004, 09:25 AM
Smile - DS with ADHD there is hope

My son was hyper from birth. Never slept well, awoke during the night and would wander around, even had to put safety locks on the doors at the top to keep him from going outside. He never knew any fear. I had to watch him constantly. He was and is a wonderfully natured boy though. We maintained a strict consistent discipline pattern with him. I kindergarten we started Ritalin (this was 16 years ago before we knew alot about the drug). While the meds helped him calm down and focus, I hated the way he seemed to be in lala land after taking it. It also seemed to surpress his appetite. He was always so small and skinny. We finally took him off it in the 5th grade. It wasn't easy. I worded hard with his teachers and counselor to stay on top of his schooling. He had to write his homework in a notebook each day and the teachers had to sign off that it was correct. I got weekly updates from them also. I had to push for this, but the schools have to work with you if you request it. He managed to keep a B average and I was a proud mom. When he was home, I let him run it off alot. He loved the outdoors and we tok advantage of it. He did suffer from emotional mood swings some. Had trouble making friends with kids his own age. Seems like sometimes ADHD children are a little immature. He would cry one minute and be fine the next. There were times I wanted to beat him, then the next minute I wanted to hug him forever. ADHD effects the entire home. We disciplined consistently. That is so important to maintain a set pattern of rules. ADHD children don't adjust well to lots of changes. I learned it time out for him might only be 5-10 minutes. While telling my other son to sit for 30 minutes on the couch might be fine, 30 minutes of stillness to an ADHD person is an eternity. You have to learn to see things from there view. Look out the window, and you might notivce a car going down the road. To them, they would see trees, a car, squirrels, a ball, dirt....they can't focus on one thing. There minds are rolling with activity.

My son graduated HS, and I have to say that even then I was still working weekly with the teachers!! I didn't know for sure he was going to get to graduate until 3 days before graduation! But he made it! He now has a great factory job and his ADHD is to his advantage. He is so full of drive that he is an excellent worker! Makes better money than me and loves what he is doing.

He is and will always be ADHD. THe key is learning to deal with it. DOn't treat them like they are different. Love them for what they are. Keep your expectations at a weekly level, and try not to worry to much about the future things, take it one day at a time. Give them positive feedback. Try not to constantly tell them what not to do, but rather praise them for the small accomplishments. I always felt God must have thought I could handle it or he wouldn't have given me an ADHD child. I must say he is such an outgoing and friendly man and I love him dearly!

i wish you all well.
Unread 03-07-2004, 08:27 AM
DS with ADHD

This has been such a good thread because although society thinks that children are being over diagnosed with this problem a parent can tell a true ADD/ADHD. I just wanted to note that in an earlier reply to this thread I am an ADD adult. When I was taken off of Dexedrine because of a heart arrythmia I mourned the loss of my focusing ability and the ability to stay on task. Believe it or not I needed that at work as well as at home. With new drugs available I saw my doctor this past week and he put me on Adderall to counteract some of the side effects that I am having with Klonopin and Neurontin. It was like my light bulb wattage went from 40 to 100. I am so elated to once again be able to function better, especially since surgery. The Adderall for me is not such an intense drug as Dexedrine was. It is like a smoother ride. My physician told me that Dexedrine is used very little now. I do remember some bothersome side effects, so Adderall for me is so much better. God made us all different for a reason, and sometimes we are the victims of some strange heredity from our ancestors. I am glad that we live in a day and age that these problems can be diagnosed and treated with whatever method turns out to be the best for an ADD/ADHD. Hopefully as time goes by and my medical problems since surgery resolve themselves I will have even more ability to be vital again. (I still can't find my glasses, I forget words and names and am definately symtomatic of menopause, but I am better emotional and even physically with the new med.
Unread 03-10-2004, 03:29 PM
Thumbs up - DS with ADHD DS with ADHD

Hi Ladies,

This site as been one of the best things that I've ever found. It has helped me with my endo/hysterectomy and now with my DS who is ADHD. My DS is 7 years old and was diagnosed at 5. My DH is manic bipolar. The ADHD has been really hard for me. I didn't know anything about until my son was diagnosed.
We have had lots of problems with him since my surgery. Part of it has been the fact school refused to give him meds because the note the doc signed didn't match the pill bottle. Doc did it so we wouln't have to get it filled as often. Today, I went and got a new note because the teacher agreed with the bottle not the note. MY DS has a wonderful teacher. She has a grown daughter with ADHD. I couln't have asked for a better teacher. I just hope he makes through the 2nd grade. I know he is capable of doing so much. It's just getting him there.
Thanks again. I have been getting depressed about him lately. It feels good to know I can get info here as well.

Unread 03-10-2004, 06:49 PM
DS with ADHD

My DS is 9 1/2, has a combination of learning differences that are not easy to categorize but there is certainly a strong attentional component (if you read the books by Mel Levine, mentioned on the website "all kinds of minds," you can see how he divides attentional controls into different subcategories). DS has big problems in the "output" area of attentional control--he blurts things out, is impulsive, etc.) but not so strongly in the other areas. Concerta (time release ritalin) has helped him a lot. I sympathize with those who have had flak from others who don't understand the decision to use meds--some people say it's an "easy fix," but they aren't the ones who have to get prescriptions for what happens to be a controlled substance--you have to do it right on schedule, no phone prescriptions, zillions of forms if it has to be administered at school, etc.! No easy fix there!

Anyway, one of my concerns for my surgery and recovery is how ds will cope. He does NOT do well with changes in routine (he's doing much better now than he used to, but still!) I'm concerned he'll act out at school. Right now he doesn't seem too worried (I have tried to remain positive about it) but when it starts to disrupt his routine I think it will take its toll. For those who are post op, how did your special needs kids cope?
Unread 03-11-2004, 08:16 PM
DS with ADHD

Hi (((jobiska)))) Boy do I know what you mean about what others see as "an easy fix"... guess they never had to refill a prescription for a "controlled substance" when the doctor was out of town

My DS, no 12.10 yo, was 9 1/2 yo when I had my hyst, over 3 years ago. I also feared that he would have a hard time with it, since, like most ADHDers he really didn't do well with change... and my surgery did entail having me away in the castle for 4 nights!!

Surprisingly, he did very well. He was caring and thoughtful and would even remind his little sister that mom had just had surgery and that she had to let me rest and had to stay away from my recovering tummy

I think that the key to success is to make sure that he is aware that you're having surgery and that it will entail a long recovery process. Also, it's always a good idea to inform their teachers of such a thing, so that they can be aware of the upcoming changes/upheavals in your life. This will help your son's teacher understand why he may be acting/re-acting in an unusual way.
Unread 03-11-2004, 08:39 PM
DS with ADHD


I have to agree with telling sons teacher. Not only does my sons teacher have a child w/ ADHD she too has had a hysterectomy. Never know where you will find support. It has helped him knowing about moms surgery. The only problem we have had is with homework. Good luck with surgery and child.

Unread 03-12-2004, 06:51 PM

Thanks for your answers! I actually did tell one of his teachers and asked her to tell the others, and then the next time I was at school one of them came to me and said she had had a hyster. some years ago! You all are right, I should not expect the worst but assume he'll live up to his sweet self that is his true core (but deal with acting out if it happens!). I tell him all the time that no matter what he has to struggle with, I wouldn't exchange him for any other kid in the world--I am so lucky to have him. So I should just remind myself of that and not borrow trouble!

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