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Question about kiddos and attention disorders

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suckstobeme posted 10/10/2013 10:05 AM

My DS has been diagnosed with a non verbal learning disability. He has trouble in school and has been placed in a smaller class that learns according to his issues. I'm very grateful for that or else he would struggle beyond belief.

He's been evaluated for all sorts of learning issues, but has never had an evaluation for ADD. We've always noticed that he is able to focus well on subjects that he enjoys. When he doesn't enjoy it, he doesn't focus. The school has never pushed or even mentioned that this may be part of his issues.

At the same time, I'm not an expert in this area and neither are the teachers. None of us is qualified to determine how much of his focus is within his control.

The teacher called me to say that he's having trouble focusing in class and that we should discuss it. Is this the one piece of the puzzle that has been missing? Does ADD often go hand in hand with learning disabilities? If he is evaluated and it's determined that he does have an attention problem, is medication an option? Will it help him?

lieshurt posted 10/10/2013 10:26 AM

Try researching Inattentive ADD and see if it describes your son. My son has this and I can tell you the only thing that has worked is if the teacher is a good one. My son has to have a teacher that is engaging, who introduces variety, who challenges their students. He thrives in that environment. If he has a teacher who does nothing but have them read from a book or just assigns homework, he shuts down.

My son is an advanced student. He has tested at college level since around 6th grade. However, put him in a boring class and he'll come to close to failing every time.

[This message edited by lieshurt at 10:30 AM, October 10th (Thursday)]

NotDefeatedYet posted 10/10/2013 11:40 AM

My oldest daughter does that. When she doesn't understand the subject, she completely zones out. We suspected some sort of ADD at the time. At the worst of it, she was always getting into trouble for talking, and her grades reflected it; she was barely passing. The school evaluated her and found retention issues in language arts and math. Last year, if she got to a subject that was difficult, she could leave her class to work with a teacher one on one. This year, they changed it up so she has a co-teacher in the classroom. If she has trouble, she can call on the co-teacher to help her through it and work with her in a corner of the class if need be.

Another problem she had was she was afraid of looking stupid, so she wouldn't ask questions. Now, she's not being removed from class, and she's getting the help she needs without going into a separate classroom. Her report card came out today and she's made straight A's. We had to be pushy with getting her evaluated at first, but since then, she's done really well in school.

tushnurse posted 10/10/2013 13:16 PM

ADD and ADHD are usually diagnosed more based on symptoms than any one particular thing. The testing that most Dr's give includes a parent evaluation, a teacher evaluation, and then another adult to answer the questions.

It is not uncommon at all for ADD/ADHD to have a component of LD, or be mistaken for LD. (NOW REMEMBER I'M OLD and a kid of the 70's).

In KG my teacher hated me because I was spaz, and couldn't sit still, talked too, much, did goofy things for no apparent reason, and she pegged me as dumb. (She was like 100 years old, and had been burned out for at least 50 of those years, not a pleasant lady).

1st grade rolls around, and by the middle of the 3rd week my teacher has me figured out. She was young, and had only been teaching for a year. She saw me chew a marker until it exploded, and got green ink all over my face, mouth, and hands. she saw me writing my letters backwards when they were mirrors of other letters bd pq etc. She called my parents, said I think little miss tush has ADD, and I was sent for real testing. Now back then only child psychiatrists did the evals, and he didn't even have to give me the full exam. He pegged me as ADD, and slightly dyslexic. He was awesome. They put me on Ritalin, and littl miss tush did much better all around.

Now the interesting thing was his philosophy wasn't to keep you on meds forever, just until you mature enough to learn coping stratagies, and methods to function, so I was off meds by middle school. When he signed off on me, he made a cassette tape for me to play when I was done with college or married. My mom gave it to me, then, I listened to it, and it was like the dude could see into the future. He really had me pegged, that I would struggle through school, and get average to slightly above average grades, and would excel at verbal things, that I would choose a carreer helping others, and not sit at a desk, that I would only have a handful of friends but those friends would be friends through thick and thin, and that my tolerance for bullshit would be very low. He nailed it.

I digressed a bit, but my point is without help kids with ADD/ADHD can really struggle, and with help and medication they can excel, and do well in life. Without can be very frustrated, and hate school, and tend to self medicate with drugs or alcohol.

purplejacket4 posted 10/10/2013 15:04 PM

I treat adults with ADD so know a fair bit about the topic. Learning disorders and ADD often go hand in hand. I would advise you to have the school system test your child for ADD. Some kids who have a milder case do not need treatment as they get older as their maturity helps them cope. Other people I wouldn't want driving a car even as an adult without medication!

Dr. PJ4

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