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Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS

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  #1  
Unread 03-30-2005, 11:33 AM
Unhappy - Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS

Hello ladies!

I have a problem and I know that there are others that can offer some suggestions, so please, PLEASE offer anything!

I'll give you all the abridged version:

My son, (turned 10 last Saturday), was diagnosed EARLY at 2 1/2 with ADHD. Granted, the actual testing didn't come till he was 3 1/2 but our wonderful ped. knew the symptoms. Full scale formal eval at 3 1/2, and another in kindergarten by our developmental center at our Children's Hospital. Diagnosis: Severe ADHD. The team told us that out of the hundreds they've diagnosed, he's the second most sever case they've ever seen. (always knew he was a special kid! ), though we are amazingly fortunate that he has no learning disabilities -- NONE! -- and is off the charts with IQ. Anyway, tried stimulant after stimulant, therapist after therapist, psychologist & psychiatrist after .... well, you get the point .... and they all say the same thing: Great kid, vocabulary of an adult, needs some help, I CAN HELP HIM AND YOUR FAMILY! Three sessions later, they all say the same thing: great kid, very articulate, awesome sense of humor, and there's nothing else I can do.

You see, my little piece of sandpaper from heaven has all the right answers, says all they need to hear and the doctors, et.al., have little choice in continuing.

School, as usual, is a nightmare, because (no offense to any teacher or principal or other educational type -- none of you get paid enough IMHO!!) they expect all the kids to be square pegs that fit into the square notch that fits inside the square room that fits inside the square building inside the square campus. Sorry, my son happens to be a round peg. Not better, not worse, just different. Unfortunately, our first teacher, resource teacher and principal were not only ignorant but passive agressive where he was concerned. The teacher thought he was "just too cute to have anything wrong" with him (very UN-lady like snort inserted here), the special ed teacher thought he just needed to be disciplined more (walk three feet in my shoes, lady!), and the principal would only talk to my husband at the first meeting. Yes, our IEP team was very productive . . .

He's in 4th grade now, ten, and failing. He has simply shut down where school is concerned. Has absolutely no interest in the work. It's too hard. His testing levels are 6th grade and higher in reading, so I know he's capable. It's a struggle every day. The child can recall every conversation, person, place and thing from the earliest years of his life, but he can't 'get ready for school' without having to be told repeatedly what to do and to stay on track.

We know he's about two years behind socially, so that plays a part. We've been told that 4th grade is the hardest year for boys as this is the time when they really begin to mature. DS hasn't and we can't figure out what to do to make it click inside his amazing little brain. He's been in several different programs (not school related) and we seem to have short term success, but nothing over 5 weeks. We're very involved, well educated on ADHD and all the other attachments, we set firm limits -- all the stuff. He's a happy, funny, brilliant little man with a streak a mile wide filled with apathy. His apathy has caused him to fail 4th grade, which we think may actually help him since his maturity/responsibility level isn't up to par for 5th grade (our school changes classes three times in 5th) and with him being unable or simply not responsible enough to keep up with one teacher and one class, I have serious doubts he'll be able to cope in 5th.

So, ladies, though it was long, any help or advice? He is such a great kid with massive possibilities ....... but how do we get him over this hump and get him to step up?

Thanks so much!
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  #2  
Unread 03-30-2005, 08:55 PM
Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS

Hi!
I have big sympathy here with you, as my DD is in a similar position. she's now 10, and going through similar issues, although she's only ADD. this is school programme set for her:

Every piece of work has a time limit, work is chunked down, with her able to see an end to each chunk. When she finishes a chunk, she gets to do a maths programme on the computer. She does something on there, and then continues with her work. It may take longer, but it works. Sometimes, she has to go and sharpen red pencils, blue pencils etc.

Ed psychologist set this for her. he said biggest problem with kids is them not seeing the end of the task, try this, speak to class teacher.

He also highly recommended non competitive sports. she is now excelling in swimming, and tennis lessons have been the best idea, as they develop hand/eye coordination, which will give the biggest improvement. Also, horseriding is great, as it improves sensory array!
My DD has Occupational therapy every 6 months, this also helps a lot!
  #3  
Unread 03-30-2005, 09:25 PM
Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS

I just need to change a few facts, here and there, and I could have written that post My DS is 13 1/2, has severe ADHD and a very high IQ. Like your DS, especially in the earlier years, he would hide most of his ADHD traits thanks to his high IQ... and we'd always get the comment (as he was being, once again, suspended from school): Such a bright kid!!! as if that would mean that he should be any better at controlling his ADHD symptoms.

In our case, we've been saved once he got into highschool (which happens in grade 7 over here): the transition was soooo hard for him that he slipped into paranoia and simply refused to go to school, because he was too scared. A stay in the school area of the local psychiatric hospital revealed that the ADHD diagnosis wasn't quite right: his actual diagnosis is Pervasive Developmental Disorder, which is in the autistic spectrum accompanied with schyzoid tendencies. New medication and a full time aide in school and we've now got a different child

He's also now in a special class and that makes all the difference: he can now learn at his own rate, and he doesn't have to perform at the rate expected from others... just because the majority of the kids can.
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  #4  
Unread 03-30-2005, 09:58 PM
Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS

Got a 17 ADHD teenager. He's my SS, came to live with DH and myself at 11. His mother refused to do anything for him, even thou he'd been diagnoised for three years (we found out after he moved in with us). He failed sixth grade, but it was for the best, that was the year he came lived with us so it was new school. He struggled every year, ** he would pass each year.

Oh, I remember he would do homework, often after it was due, and we would check to verify he finally did it. And then he would not turn it in, I found them later between his mattress and box springs. I can laugh about it now, but I was seeing red then.

Anyway, he's been off meds for a year now. Has better skills to cope with most of life. He's going to a vocational school for his junior-senior year, taking a web design program. Last grade card had A's, B's and 1 C. I about fell over, never thought we'd see that.

It's been rough, but he really seems to enjoy school since he can focus energy towards studies that mean something to him personally. We haven't allowed him a driver's license, don't feel he's able to handle that responsibility. But he does have a job at a local eatery and manager says he's a good worker. We have high hopes that he'll become a responsible adult.
  #5  
Unread 03-31-2005, 09:13 AM
Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS

Thanks Fran K, dany and dway2 -- are we all the same person and just don't know it?!

We've broken his work up into sections, he gets 'out of class' time in resource as he is classified under 504/IDEA, multiple suspensions, also, Dany! -- let's not forget the bus suspensions, too. Homework crammed in places .... we know that routine, and even had a 10 day stay in a hosptial when he was 4 too!

He was one year away from a black belt in Tae Kwon Do when he threw up another brick wall and wanted to quit. He has an arm like a rocket and stood in right field picking flowers for two baseball seasons when he could have been on first, short or pitching. It was frustrating, there were tears shed on all parts, but in the end, I have to remember that 'couldda-wouldda-shouldda' conversations aren't productive.

I guess my thing right now is how heartbreaking it is to watch him. Not only because he, for whatever reason, has trouble in school, but also because he has no friends. He is considered an outcast because he seems to stay in trouble so much. It's not every child, and I know that. It's the few that rule. I tell him that people who are deliberately mean are just trying to cope with their own ignorance and intolerance of people and things that are different.

He doesn't have a mean bone in his body and is always the first to befriend the new kid, the kid who failed last year, the challenged kid, whatever. He sees people inside and always finds the good.

While I would love to see him be the President, an astronaut, doctor, lawyer, the next Einstein or architect, it would suit me just fine if he wanted to be an average joe like me-- as long as he was happy and educated. I see him heading down a road of unhappiness and possible depression right now, and I just don't know how to get the dominoes rolling inside of him. I know all it would take is one and then he'd be on the way.

I also know that he'll level out and have more friends and interests as he grows and matures. He's very creative and clever, and just hilarious. I know that all parents want total success for their kids, and I'm no different. I just love him!

How big did God say my shoulders are?!?
  #6  
Unread 03-31-2005, 09:31 PM
Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS

Ok so obviously I am typing posts in my sleep now. It is scarily uncanny the similarities in you DS and mine. My DS is 11 and in year 6 at school. He was diagnosed at 4yrs and he is on long acting ritalin so that he can go to school at all. I also have problem teachers as he isn't even allowed to attend school unless he is medicated because he is too disruptive (his teachers words). I feel he is actually just too much hard work for the teacher. He is also very bright and I find if he is kept to task (someone literally standing over his shoulder) then he gets work done but otherwise he gets distracted and bored very easily. At school my DS has been shunned socially from the first week in kindy at the age of 4 because he is very loving and affectionate and just plain full on 24/7. The kids don't know how to take a kid that wants to hug them after they come back to school from school holidays because he has missed them and he is excited to see them. They tease him mercilessly and he has been with the same classmates since kindy as well so that really doesn't help matters either. He is so trusting and gullible that he tends to end up being a victim in any prank going around at the time. I have had so many meetings with the headmaster and teachers at the school that seem to have had no effect in regards to how my DS is being taught and treated by his teacher. I also had the problem of the school staff saying that he wasn't ADHD just naughty so I just sent him to school without giving him his medication one morning....they phoned me to pick him up within an hour and they apologised profusely for doubting his diagnosis. My son is really struggling with his grades in some areas (maths especially) and yet the teacher is doing nothing to help. I am also at my wits end. He is only medicated while he is at school so that he can actually learn while he is there and then he has teachers that can't be bothered to try and teach him how he needs to be taught. What really upsets me is the fact that the medication he is on has worn off by the time I get him home from school in the afternoon so I get no benefit from it at all only the school does. I adore my DS but I only get the million mile an hour version of him. I have to give him his night time medication by 5:30pm to help him sleep at night otherwise he stays awake for days at a time. This medication is supposed to take about an hour to slow him down enough that he can go to bed and actually sleep but it actually takes anything up to 8 hours to work nowadays which is why he has to have it so early. It was after midnight last week before he went to sleep and then he was awake at 4am. I sympathise with you totally as we have seen every medical professional available and they all just say he will grow out of it but now they are saying that he is getting worse as he gets older and he was the worst they had seen when he was 4years old so once again I know where you are coming from. I also have the problem of him not being able to get ready for school in the mornings so I now have a list on the wall in his bedroom with actual pictures of what he should be doing and it is numbered so he knows what to do next. I still have to remind him to look at the list but he is slowly getting better. Feel free to PM if you want to swap notes.

Regards and sympathies
Sasha
  #7  
Unread 03-31-2005, 10:33 PM
Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS

I think that the most important things I've heard, over the years, came from two different persons:
  • A friend who's also a school psychologist working very closely with the region's most reknown ADHD specialist once told me that we don't necessarily get the children we dreamed of. We still have to love them the way they are.
  • The wonderful Special Ed Technician who saw DS through gradeschool once told me, on one of those loooong talks, when we were trying to figure out what to do with him "but we love them all the same".

These notions stayed with me and have both helped me, a lot, as we muddle through the whole schooling process. And yes, it is soooo hard to see them struggle through school, through the suspensions and through the lack of friendship. But there are still days of pride, especially with our bright little guys.

One reason why this year has been so much easier for him is the aide: she does sit on his shoulders and make sure that he remembers to write down his homeworks, to hand the homeworks in and to complete the assignments in class. She's also there to prevent the meltdowns... because we know that it's harder to recover from the melt-down than to prevent them.

But it's been hard. And he is constantly medicated. It's not performing any miracles, but it is making things easier. For all of us. Including him.
  #8  
Unread 03-31-2005, 11:02 PM
Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS

I have applied to the Education department for an aide for my son but I was informed that it would take 6 months for them to decide if he needed an aide and then if they decided he did need one then he would have an aide for 1 hour once a week...I told them not to bother. It is just so frustrating for him as well as me because he knows he isn't stupid or naughty but he is treated as both. And you are so right.....for all the difficulties related to my DS I wouldn't swap him for a different child as he is unique and he is mine.

Sasha
  #9  
Unread 04-01-2005, 08:55 AM
Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS

It's funny (not ha ha) how people say that a child can outgrow ADHD. Even had a ped. tell me once that he thought he had a 'touch of ADHD' when he was a child. (blink blink .... blink). I was so furious. I told him that we had had the eeg, pet scan, beem eeg --they all showed the same thing: the P300 (whatever that means in technical terms!) part of the brain that helps to distribute the dopamine and help all those little wires connect on my child was dead -- non functioning -- kaput. It will not regenerate as so many other cells in our bodies can, it will not just magically one day be functioning again, HE WILL NOT GROW OUT OF THIS!!! He and we can learn to function and WILL learn to.

It's sad when I know more than the doctors. Heck, I'm just a lil' ol' country girl from Arkansas!

Dany, you are right in loving them as they are -- I fully believe that God gave me Cole for a very special reason. I also believe that while 99% of parents love their kids completely, I think I love my son more, simply because of what it takes to raise him. I wouldn't trade a single nanosecond of having him in my life. He's amazing and does things that most kids would never think of. Usually, he goes about it from a totally different direction, but that is just his style.

Flitty, I wish you lived here. We got an aide in a matter of weeks and it really helped. Cole takes Concerta 54mg. It has been the best we've ever tried -- and we've been through 18 at last count. Bless his heart, no sugar, no caffeine, no chocolate (how would I survive without chocolate?!?!) but he takes it all in stride. On occasion, he gets a small amount of chocolate when I know we're going to be at home and can control the situation.

We had our parent-teacher conference last night. Yick. The IEP team now is great and the principal is working hard to get him into an alternative school that also includes an awesome summer program. YEA!

There was a website I found once about the 50 great things about having ADHD. Wish I could find it again, because it had so many positive things and listed many famous people through history with ADHD.

Any time, ladies, pm me or continue to post. I'm sure there will be more up hill times and we can use all the support we can get. Plus, I love and welcome the ideas.
  #10  
Unread 04-01-2005, 09:36 AM
Out of ideas for my 10 year old ADHD DS

Ladies - While I can never imagine what you are going through with your children right now - as my son does not have ADD - my DH does. (He does not have the hyperactivity.) Problem was that nobody bothered to have him tested until he was 23 years old. They just let him flounder through school. He tells me about his experiences - and his memories are not pleasant. We now understand why. I'll never understand why someone didn't catch on that he had a problem. I guess it seems obvious to me, now. He is actually able to sit down and figure out math, or put together a puzzle. Or...play board games and things like that, which he never could before. He couldn't stay focused that long. And he would get frustrated and angry....But then, you all know about this!

I guess what I am trying to say...stick with it, ladies. My MIL says how much "trouble" she had with DH in school (again I don't understand how they didn't get that there was a problem??? ) But he's now a functioning, loving father and husband.

Thanks for letting me share my story! I'm sure your son's are wonderful little boys!

Cortney
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