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susieq76 
Posted: 18-Oct-2004, 10:36 AM
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QUOTE (Irish Stepper @ 16-Oct-2004, 12:50 AM)
Wow, I'm glad I'm not the only one going through this. My 6-year old son is having similar problems. He hates handwriting, and almost never gets it completed in school. The teacher keeps sending home notes that just drip with frustration and sarcasm. She keeps saying that he doesn't have any attention span. Yet, when she sends home 7 papers, and 6 are completed, I see that he has an attention span...just not enough to suit her. One day I got a note that said, "he doesn't even have the attention to complete one task". She keeps harping on the attention thing, rather than even looking for other possible problems. I'd rather rule out a couple things first...one of them being his eye-sight. I have an appointment for him on Monday with an optometrist (sp?) to get his eyes checked. However, when I sent a note to the teacher letting her know this, she sent one back claiming that wasn't his problem...his problem is attention oriented and to ask his pediatrician about it on Tuesday when I take him to that appointment.

Whenever she sends home classwork that wasn't completed, I have him sit down and do it, then he shows it to her the next day. I have NO problems getting him to get his work done at home. I have to harp on him a little bit to keep him on task, but it's like the teachers don't want to bother with any child that takes any extra effort. They either want total compliance, or let's drug them into compliance. Maybe I'm just in denial... sad.gif unsure.gif

Irish, that sounds like a teacher problem, not a kid problem to me. How awful. If I were your son, I am sure I would not be putting forth my best effort either. How can you when someone is so rude, spiteful and is just waiting for you to screw up? It is possible that he has an eyesight problem, though I am not sure of that. My sense is that he is just stifling in that classroom with a horrible teacher, and that he is exhibiting normal childhood behavior. It is normal for all children (and adults) to forget things, daydream, etc. My daughter has many different issues across the board that all point in the general direction of ADD (not to mention the fact that I also have it). Another thing to point out is that 6 year olds should never have that amount of work!! He is still a baby, and I hate how the school system today tries to take away our childrens' childhoods.

It sounds to me like there is nothing wrong with your son. I feel for you, and hope that you can get the situation resolved. How awful to have such a teacher!!


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Irish Stepper 
Posted: 18-Oct-2004, 12:30 PM
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Well, we took him to the eye doctor today, and eye-sight is not a problem. Even the doctor commented on how "inquisitive" he is...hehe. He is definitely inquisitive and hates sitting still to do work. But the teacher claims that none of the other children have a problem getting their work done...only him. Tomorrow we have an appointment with his pediatrician, so we'll see what she has to say. unsure.gif


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urian 
Posted: 18-Oct-2004, 01:05 PM
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It sounds to me, Irish, that you may want to consider changing teachers(if thats an option). Growing up , my younger brother had a teacher that was horrible with him so my parents talked with the principle and he was moved to another teachers room where he did fine.
Just my two cents


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Irish Stepper 
Posted: 18-Oct-2004, 01:17 PM
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I don't think the teacher is rude or anything to the kids...just to parents who don't want to agree with her opinion...hehe. I think that next week, I may decide to sit in the classroom for the day and observe. I'm also headed to the library to get some books on ADD to help me figure out if that is the problem. I'm just so afraid that he's going to get labeled and then find out later that it's the wrong diagnosis.

I just figured out too...I'm not a single parent. rolleyes.gif Maybe I should be checked... biggrin.gif
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susieq76 
Posted: 18-Oct-2004, 01:42 PM
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You don't have to be a single parent to be in this forum or participate in it!! I just needed something to label the topic before I posted it biggrin.gif
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krmsmax 
Posted: 22-Oct-2004, 05:23 PM
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I have a daughter who is hard to keep on task at times as well. She is, however, a gifted writer and is involved in several RPG sites. I have found that if I make her finish her chores and her homework before I let her on the computer, it helps to keep her focused a little more. Sometimes it is a matter of finding the right incentive to motivate them.


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GRIZWYLDE 
Posted: 23-Oct-2004, 01:46 PM
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I have a 5 year old daughter who is in pre-K, mainly because of a slight speech deficit. We had her hearing tested numerous times to be sure she was hearing properly. It did turn out that she needed a tonsilectomy -- they were the size of golf balls! My ha-pence opinion is that I am more inclined to side with teachers who realize that all kids are different and they don't all learn the same way. I am very leery of teachers who are too quick to "label" kids who have any trouble at all as ADD. Even worse are the ones who immediately want to medicate any kid who has problems.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, keep an open mind, learn as much as you can, and don't take the word of the first teacher, administrator, or doctor who wants to pigeonhole your kid just to make their job easier.
I haven't had this kind of problem myself, but I've seen it happen. Just as I might get a second opinion from a physician, I would do the same where my child's education is concerned.


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Irish Stepper 
Posted: 24-Oct-2004, 12:16 AM
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Well, I spoke with the nurse practitioner who saw him. Just from her observations of how he was acting in the doctor's office (which was suprisingly well behaved), she doesn't really think he has ADD. However, she gave me some questionaires to have his teachers fill out and those can help to possibly diagnose the problem. She said that if he is ADD, she doubts if it's bad enough to medicate, and I really have no intentions of medicating him.

She also said that if he's officially diagnosed with ADD, then the school will have no choice but to create an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for him, and that they'll have to work around his needs, rather than forcing him to conform to theirs. I actually thought this was kinda funny, because his teacher may end up shooting herself in the foot if he gets diagnosed with ADD. She'll not only have to work with him a bit harder, but she'll also have eyes on how she's performing at it. It's like there will be a spot-light on her everytime the school evaluates how he's doing for his IEP. If the chips end up falling that way, she'll probably wish she kept her mouth shut, rather than trying to manipulate us into forcing him to conform to her idea of a "mold". rolleyes.gif

Pardon me for sounding a bit sarcastic. wink.gif
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Annham 
Posted: 24-Oct-2004, 07:51 AM
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Hi Everybody,

I'm not a single parent either, but for some reason I decided to check out this thread this morning. What a coincidence! My grandson who lives with us is 9 now and was diagnosed this past summer as "ADHD-Inattentive type" (They now classify it into two types, Hyperactive type or Inattentive type)

This is kind of a long story, but I wanted to be able to explain how our perspectives changed... etc...

In Kindergarten, he had a hard time staying focused and the teacher mentioned testing him for "ADD".. but we thought she was wrong. We thought she just expected too much out of him for his age. The school was very big and he was overly anxious about being lost or left there too.
We took him out of the school and put him into a private school for the rest of kindergarten... He was more secure there, but still didn't get his work done very well.

Sadly, the private school had to close because of lack of funds.. So when it was time for school to start again in the fall, we put him in a smaller public school, and requested that he start in Kindergarten again. He did okay there, but constantly had to miss play time because he hadn't finished his work.

In first grade, it was the same, he did okay, but had a hard time completing work and the teacher suggested that we have him tested for ADD.
We took him to a psychologist who he was referred to by my insurance company (we have to call to get a referral for mental health coverage)... Anyway, she talked to him and to his mama and I and saw him by himself etc... and decided that he wasn't ADD.. She said that "teachers are just too quick to label kids with ADD" and we agreed... She thought he just worried about things too much (his mama had been through a divorce) so she wanted to use "talk therapy". He went a few times to see her, but began crying when it was time to go, so we stopped taking him.

We were satisfied that he didn't have ADD and that we just needed to work with him, so the Second grade rolled around. In Second grade, He brought a "homework packet" every week. He wouldn't concentrate on it by himself, so we had to sit down with him to keep him focused. We tried everything.. Always trying to remove all distractions from where ever he was... and we always had to sit with him one on one to get through it. We still thought that he just needed to practice staying focused.

By the middle of Second grade, he had to bring home about everything he had worked on in class each day to finish plus the "homework packet" It was horrible... we had to sit with him each evening until about 9 or so and sometimes he still didn't get everything finished. By the end of the 2nd grade I decided that maybe we should check into ADD again. I looked it up online and found that he fit into the "ADHD without hyperactivity" type perfectly.

I asked our family Dr. about it and he recommended a person who specializes in ADHD.. I decided to take him there whether or not insurance would cover it..
That was in May of this year. They tested him there and diagnosed him as, "ADHD - Inattentive type". Ritalin is no longer the medication of choice when it comes to treating this. They tried Straterra. He did seem to be a bit more focused on that, We weren't too happy with that because it seemed to make him a little sleepy and if he didn't eat enough before he took it, he got a stomach ache.
Also, the Dr. thought he was testing better, but not as good as he wanted.
He tried another medication, Meditate at about the time Third Grade started. It has been like a miracle drug... Now He almost always gets everything done at school and when he brings things home, he gets them done quickly. Also, he doesn't need any kind of special cirriculum at school to help deal with it.
We also notice that he does better with chores and anything else he has to do at home AND, most important, we don't notice any side effects at all... He doesn't seem drowsy or any different except that he is able to focus better.

Here are some examples of what he did do, just in case anyone is experiencing any of this with their child.

1. The main thing that we had trouble with before we realized how hard it was
to get him to get his work done was that if we were getting ready to go
somewhere, we had to constantly stay right with him to get him ready.
He always got distracted on something. (we thought it was just his age).

2. Here are some examples of what he did (and no longer does) while doing his
homework:

A. If he had to color a picture, he got distracted by melting crayons on the
desk lamp.

B. Constantly breaking his pencil lead and wanting to sharpen it.

C. Sliding out of his chair onto the floor, and various other forms of fidgiting

D. Wanting a snack even though he had just eaten... or a drink.

Looking back on it, I am really sorry that we weren't more persistant because he had to go through 4 years of struggling before he got any releif. He was NEVER hyperactive.. and NEVER a behavior problem..At school he got many awards for good character and good behavior..etc... which just reinforced to us that he couldn't be "ADD"... But we were wrong.
I apologize for this post being so long, but maybe it will help if anyone even remotely suspects that their child has this. Online there are many sites where you can look up the symptoms.

Anne smile.gif


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Irish Stepper 
Posted: 24-Oct-2004, 04:04 PM
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Thanks Anne! Nathan shows a few of the signs...the main one being that he doesn't always get his classwork done. His main subject he has a problem with is Handwriting. He has never brought home a math paper that wasn't completed. rolleyes.gif

What complicates this, is that he has a disorder called "Essential Tremors". All the men in the family have it. Basically, his hands shake. When he writes a number 1, it looks more like a squiggle. As the boys get older and master their fine motor skills, then the tremors become less of a problem. Joshua, who is 8, no longer shows any problems with his. Although, he did up until the beginning of 2nd grade. My husband only shows symptoms of it when he's had a particularly hard day at work and is exhausted. Then you can see the coffee cup shake while he's drinking it.

Anne, was your grandson able to remain attentive to other things that interested him? Nathan can spend a solid hour or two playing his jumpstart game on the computer, or playing with his matchbox cars. He'd love to play video games for that long, but I've got a limit on that. wink.gif He loves certain TV shows and doesn't budge an inch until they're over. It seems that he just doesn't want to pay attention to things he doesn't like. In school, he loves math and never gives me or his teacher a problem completing that. Can ADHD be selective like that? unsure.gif Thanks for sharing your experiences...it may end up helping me figure out what's going on with my son. thumbs_up.gif smile.gif I need all the help I can get. wink.gif
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Annham 
Posted: 24-Oct-2004, 08:55 PM
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Yes, it is really a misnomer, because they tend to "hyperfocus" on what they are interested in to the point that what they aren't interested in doesn't get done. When Devin is watching TV, He can tune everything else out and can stay focused for the entire movie, show or what ever... He has done that since he was very small 2 or 3 years old. That is one reason I thought he didn't have ADD in the beginning. Same with video games or anything else he enjoys. He tunes everything else out.

Anne
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susieq76 
Posted: 25-Oct-2004, 09:55 AM
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Mine is a bit of a long story, too and fits in a lot of the same ways as Anne's grandson. Mackenzie had always been very calm, attentive, and very go with the flow around us at home. When she started preschool, she had problems transitioning between activities and it took her alot of effort to stop one thing and start another. In kindergarten and 1st grade at public school, she continued that problem, as well as becoming painfully shy to the point of sitting with the teacher at recess. Still, academically she seemed fine. No hyperactivity at all, no other problems. But she was miserable. I was able to put her into a private school, where she repeated 1st grade due to her birthdate (which was one of the smartest things I have ever done). She was like a changed little girl - outgoing again, happy, friendly and eager to learn. Still problems with transitioning, etc. In 2nd grade the problems started again. She never (and I mean never) was able to finish her class work. Forgot homework, daydreamed, threw a lot of temper tantrums outside of class, etc. I thought it was the teacher (who was awful). Her desk was very messy, and she was very messy at home. She began to say she was sick every morning (head, neck, throat, legs, arms - anything!). I took her in for several checkups at the doctors. She also developed a bit of a funky tic in 1st grade for a bit, but it seemed to have gone away (but is back a bit now). Fast forward to 3rd grade, where we are now. Over the summer, I went ahead and talked with her doctor about ADD, since I have been diagnosed, and in reading up on it for me began to see a lot of similarities in our behaviors/problems. Mackenzie got more and more fidgety, is very daydreamy in class, and cannot finish her timed math tests to save her life. She is getting very good grades, and I think she is very bored with the class. I have to sit with her to do her homework at night, sometimes everything we do is a power struggle. She is also very sensitive to the environment, fabric, etc. and that makes things hard on her, too. She tends to get wound up much more easily than she used to, and still has all the transitioning problems. If I don't tell her step by step and stay with her through anything I want her to do, then it won't get done.

It has been very frustrating, and hard to see her pain because of all of this. I got her "quickie" diagnosed by a psychiatrist, but have asked for more in-depth help before I put her on medication.

I can tell you guys this, we have had hardly any power struggles in the house since I bought this book "1-2-3 Magic" by Thomas Phelan. Great book! Very easy to incorporate into our lives, and it has made my life three hundred times less stressful. I used to just cry in frustration and anger, y'all, because of the power struggles. Now none of that is going on anymore.

Anyway, just a plug. Maybe it will help.

ADD children are usually incredibly bright, and Annham is right - it is not a matter of focusing at all really. It has been explained to me as not having a filter for the world around you. You cannot rank things in terms of importance, so everything gets the same amount of attention from you because you are unable to drown any of it out. At the same time, it can be done, but takes so much effort both in getting focused, staying focused and transitioning that you are drained by what others may see as small tasks. For those reading this, "Girls and ADHD" is a great book - I'll have to see if I can find the author, but I think it is Kathleen Nadeau. "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy" is also another great one! Through all my digging, I have found out so much more info, and it has truly made my daughters' and my life much better.

Susanna
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Irish Stepper 
Posted: 25-Oct-2004, 04:36 PM
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Ok...I'm at my wits end today. He brought home 7 papers today that weren't completed. I don't think he got anything done in class at all. sad.gif He said he was sent to the "rug" while everyone else did their work. He also forgot to bring home his reader (which comes home everyday). What kind of specialist should I take him to, so he can get evaluated? I know the pediatrician is a start, but I'd rather make SURE, and get him checked by someone who sees this sort of thing every day. down.gif
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susieq76 
Posted: 25-Oct-2004, 05:42 PM
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Call around to different psychiatrists, Irish Stepper. Ask them if they specialize in pediatric psychiatry - especially if they have any experience with children with ADD. That will be key. Also, get some books to read, check out CHADD - www.chadd.org I think, and www.add.org (I think). They will be great support if this is what is going on with your son. But remember you know your son best. If something doesn't feel right about any kind of diagnoses or anything, then keep looking. I think medication is definitely a route some people should go. My daughter probably needs it pretty badly. But make sure you also have a lot of support for him and organziation as well. One thing that worked for me with my daughter was to (and I got this from another woman whose son is very strongly ADHD) write down any routines, etc. on an index card. For example - bedtime : list all the things you wish him to do at bedtime in order. This way he has no excuse for not doing it. Each time he is getting ready for bed, hand him the index card. Taping it to the mirror may work, but honestly it's too easy to ignore after a few days or so. That has worked well for my girl. I also include how much time I will allow her to complete these tasks, so she isn't surprised when I get upset. If your son has a hard time transitioning, I have found that five minute warnings help my daughter, and again - she isn't surprised.

Sorry - more advice than you asked for. But we are all here for you! Just PM or email here if you need anything else.

Susanna
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susieq76 
Posted: 25-Oct-2004, 05:44 PM
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Oh, BTW - there is no real test for ADD. Just questionnaires and observations, really. Anyone who says differently wants money.
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