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A bit distracted today....

FortKnox (169099) writes | more than 7 years ago

User Journal 30

Yesterday, my clever son figured out how to fake an illness to get out of preschool. Suffice to say, when I heard the news, I was livid. But the teacher emailed my wife asking her how Joey was and told her there were other concerns with Joey.Yesterday, my clever son figured out how to fake an illness to get out of preschool. Suffice to say, when I heard the news, I was livid. But the teacher emailed my wife asking her how Joey was and told her there were other concerns with Joey.

As a parent, the last thing you want is for your kid to be different... for your child to have to bear a burden 'normal kids' don't have to. I knew the problem. I've known the problem but ignored it hoping it wouldn't come around or no one would notice and he'd just be a little different, without a diagnosis or word associated with it.

We got another email today. This time with specific concerns (emphasis mine):
Joey really has a difficult time following directions at school. He has his own agenda and needs directions repeated 2 to 5 times. Even with the daily routine of taking off his coat and hanging up his backpack - he needs one on one adult supervision to complete the task. He has a difficult time sitting for any group activity and blurts out off topic comments. He also has trouble transitioning from one activity to another. He demonstrates limited eye contact, is easily distracted and is restless. He has a difficult time waiting his turn. He also places classroom materials and toys in his mouth[...] He is not able to sit in a chair without moving - he sits on his foot, on the edge of the chair, etc.

My son is in a special program. Its a preschool program run by the school district for children with minor disabilities like speech problems. They also add in a few 'normal' kids to be 'models' for the other children. Joey came in as one of these models. Probably will finish as one of the kids needing some extra attention. This is actually a good thing. They have about four dozen different types of therapists that help with everything. Joey had a phase where he stuck everything (mostly his thumb and shirt) in his mouth. They worked on it, and he doesn't do it nearly as much (still his thumb, but I was a thumb sucker for years... at least my mother says I was). The teacher also included different techniques she is using to help him with the issues, but I already know whats wrong with him. Just like I said before. The emphasis was what stuck out like a sore thumb to me.

My son has ADD. Why do I know? Cause his Dad does, too. He just learned it when he was in college...

So now comes the part where the teacher will meet with us tomorrow afternoon, will express the concerns, will suggest we take him to a shrink. The shrink will do the ever fun six hour test on Joey to find out he has a minor form of ADD, and I've got to feed the poor kid brain pills for the rest of his life.
I think I'm going to try and opt for a non-drug solution if I can. Maybe occupational therapy or something...
I guess I'm kind of overreacting to all of this, since I haven't gotten a diagnosis, but from someone who has it and studied it... it sure seems like a honest to goodness case for ADD.

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i'd be distracted too (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17664384)

i hope you are able to find the best options. it's good you know about it and all.
 
i try to never think about all the things that could possibly happen to my kids because i just get paralyzed by it all.

I wish you the best. (1)

pythorlh (236755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17664634)

I was diagnosed with ADD as an adult. My oldest son has been diagnosed as a child, but his mother doesn't want him on drugs. She wants him to learn how to cope with it until he's fully developed, and the see if the drugs help him. I can't force her to give him the drugs, but I seriously want to. She has a point that he wasn't acting quite right the one time we tried him on something. On the other hand, there are a dozen different medications available, and if one doesn't work right we should be trying another, not giving up the ghost. I can tell you that I wish I had had Ritalin when I was younger. I went through all sorts of hell, guilt and underachievement. Ritalin does wonders for me. I honestly believe that if I had had Ritalin in high school and college I would be 10 times happier today.

don't sweat it man. (1)

Blackneto (516458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17664734)

my boy is just like you described except no ADD, but a little OCD, he comes by it honestly. but he's a wiggle worm that can't stay still.
He is 5 and has to be very detailed and careful with all of his school work.
The teacher's primary complaint is that he spends way too much time on projects getting them perfect.
fortunately we are working with him at home to not get so uptight.

I'm really against labeling these little guys so early.
They are boys. they are boys without an outlet for their energy in todays world.
but the teachers/shrinks want to dope them up to make them fit in with the program.

Addressing the teachers concerns:
Joey really has a difficult time following directions at school. He has his own agenda and needs directions repeated 2 to 5 times. Even with the daily routine of taking off his coat and hanging up his backpack - he needs one on one adult supervision to complete the task. He has a difficult time sitting for any group activity and blurts out off topic comments. He also has trouble transitioning from one activity to another. He demonstrates limited eye contact, is easily distracted and is restless. He has a difficult time waiting his turn. He also places classroom materials and toys in his mouth[...] He is not able to sit in a chair without moving - he sits on his foot, on the edge of the chair, etc.

my only answer is He's fuckin four years old, what the hell do people want? Is he supposed to be a little drone with no will or energy.
If he was 9 or 10 i would worry about stuff like this. Hell even my 10 year old has problems focusing on math. she just doesn't like it.
Kids all do funny stuff.
My 10 year old is very shy, just like her dad. I don't look people in the eye. I catch shit for it too. But i've noticed something. I don't look people in the eye unless I'm angry with them or they are challenging me on what i know is right.
My 7 year old is the most devious little shit i've ever known. I fear that when she gets into High School that she's going to be a Mean Girl. but on the other hand, she's never had any 'developmental problems'
The boy (5) like i said is very driven and focused. but he's just so full of energy just like you described your son. During the spring, summer and fall it's easy to tire him out since he spends every waking moment outside running around. but he's super smart and very loving. We work with the teacher to make sure he stays focused in class.
the youngest is 3. and she acts like a 3 year old. hasn't really developed any traits that i would veiw as abnormal.
But the wife and I work with them all, spend time talking with them, reading, playing games and sitting down together for dinner.

Another thing you have to realize is kid's tend to act like whomever they are with. and youll have to excuse me here because i don't know the makeup of the "special" class he's in. but if a kid is thrown in with a bunch of spazzes, who do you think he's going to emulate?
I was really concerned about Peter when he was heading into school. because he's such a bouncing ball compared to the first 2 girls I was sure i would be fighting a battle with the schools about doping him up. But in pre-school he emerged as one of the leaders of the pack and never had a problem. When he went to kindergarten he was fortunate enough to get a male teacher that grew up in a house full of boys, has 2 boys and knows how to handle them without doping them up and sitting them in a corner to drool on the carpet.

sorry this was so long but this subject is one of my pet peeves in life. I'm not saying to avoid medical care if you really think he has a problem, but don't be so quick to force him into la-la land because you are scared. I'm going to be scared with my 4 every day until they get out of the house.

yah. (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17664834)

They used to say "boys will be boys" but I thiink we should extend this to kids will be kids. So many well-meaning school nurses drug kids into submission just because they are (shocker!) acting like children. I would be VERY skeptical of any ADHD diagnosis at this age.

Re:yah. (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669808)

Same here. The Confessor's a pretty active kid, too, often a handful. No way in hell I'd want to medicate him just because he's active. I love him the way he is.

Even if a kid does have ADHD, I'm not convinced that medicating them is the answer. Seems like a bit of a cop-out to me. Often the best way long-term isn't the most convenient way, and pills are just a crutch that don't solve anything.

Cheers,

Ethelred

Dairy products (1)

redhead-kitten (775093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674712)

My niece doesn't like the idea of medicating a child without a real good reason, and then the school came to her about her son exhibiting some of the same traits that FK was listing off. She did a lot of research and came up with a possible allergic reaction to dairy products, specifically that of cows milk.

She has gone through some major hoops in keeping dairy products out of my gr-nephews diet (you wouldn't *believe* how many products contain dairy or dairy by-products) and it made a considerable difference.

Now it's painfully obvious when he's spent the night or weekend with one of the grandparents (who aren't nearly as careful with his diet) because he's beyond "boys will be boys" hyper.

^_^

Re:Dairy products (1)

Blackneto (516458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17687712)

The daughter of a friend of ours is allergic to corn.
You just reminded me that she acts this way when she has corn products. Also when she has corn products it gives her intestinal problems.

Thanks for the reminder.

Re:yah. (1)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672622)

I was just thinking the same thing. I wouldn't follow directions in school either because I thought I was smarter than the teachers! (and in come cases, I think I might have been correct.) I figured out how to work the system too, and my parents came up with a novel solution that worked. Give me options, and explain why they wanted me to do whatever. Sure I had to be over-ridden sometimes, but that's parenting for you.

Re:don't sweat it man. (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 7 years ago | (#17664896)

I wanted to come in and post that "Uncle Buck" speech, but wasn't sure if doing so would display the proper tact. (Yee gods! WTF am I doing worrying about TACT?!)

Glad to hear you come through with another side of the coin.

Re:don't sweat it man. (1)

Blackneto (516458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665052)

hah, thanks for reminding me of the Uncle Buck speech.

Re:don't sweat it man. (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17664940)

I completely agree.

Re:don't sweat it man. (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665312)

That's how I feel, really I do. When I see him unable to sit in his seat, I try to tell myself "he's a bucket of energy". I also tried the "its his age" thing, too, but my wife (assistant director of a daycare for years) claims that kids his age can sit still.

Even if he does have ADD, there are advantages to it... hyperfocus and the ilk.

I dunno... just worried my kids going to get a label.
I'll sit and wait to hear what the teacher says. Last thing I want is for a diagnosis that requires me to take him to a shrink.

Re:don't sweat it man. (1)

Blackneto (516458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665556)

hrmm
put the wife on drugs, save the kid.

yeah kids his age can sit still. but some kids his age cant. BFD.
Like I said, I have 4. the first 2 had no problem sitting still, the last 2, not so much. But we aren't worried about it.

Even if he does have ADD, there are advantages to it... hyperfocus and the ilk.

I'm so afraid of how it might mess me up that I refuse to go to a shrink.
I beleive It's only my quirks that keep me driven and able to provide for my family the way I do.

Do you take brain pills? (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 7 years ago | (#17664818)

If not, why would you let him?

I think you could find ways to work with his behaviour that don't involve medicating him.

Good luck with this.

Re:Do you take brain pills? (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665190)

I used to back in college, but gave'm up. Side effects were as distracting as my normal brain. I have coping techniques, but thought about going back and trying something different.

I don't want him medicated unless I feel it is absolutely necessary. Neurological meds are serious business to me.

Re:Do you take brain pills? (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665518)

I'll just post my usual broken record: Have you tried modifying his diet? What about yours? I mean substantially, not just cutting out eggs or lettuce or things that disagree.

What about probiotics? More yogurt?

I just want to see you guys get better. I know that there are certain aspects of my behaviour that changed when I started on this diet, most notably that I don't get *so* cranky when I haven't had food for a while.

Re:Do you take brain pills? (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665842)

His diet is fantastic. You put a piece of candy next to a piece of broccoli, and the kid takes the broccoli. We don't eat much junk food, and no caffeine (except for my wife). Balanced meals and everything. I could try to cut out trans-fat and all things processed... that wouldn't be a bad thing.

Oh, and he and his sister have yogurt for breakfast nearly every day.

Re:Do you take brain pills? (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668348)

What about starches & grains?

Re:Do you take brain pills? (1)

Rolyat69 (838367) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675404)

I agree with Sam here... avoid brain pills unless it's just really needed and there is no other alternative. It already sounds like you agree with me on that point.

I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in the 3rd grade. Couldn't sit still, not listening, not following directions, wouldn't shut up, never walked but ran... the works. My mom and my physician decided to stick me on Ritalin for a couple years to see if it would help. It was one of the most horrible experiences I remember from my childhood years. I remember sitting at my desk, practically drooling and staring off into space, totally oblivious to what was happening around me. It wasn't until I skipped a couple pills and realized that hey, when I don't take those little yellow things, I don't feel like a zombie! I started pitching those little yellow pills at lunch every day. That also meant that I had to teach myself coping skills. Now, it's almost 20 years later and I still sit on my feet to remind myself to sit still (I really can't sit normally in a chair). I still shake my feet back and forth to deal with the energy. Perhaps talk to your son and try to help him understand what is going on, and suggest some ways to help him remember to not speak out of turn, or hop up out of his chair like sitting on his feet? I really hope you guys can work through this. It is a battle that can be more than likely be won with the right amount of determinism and good guidance from mom and dad. I just wanted to offer some suggestions from someone who's been through it and understands living with ADD/ADHD all too well.

Pills (1)

dthable (163749) | more than 7 years ago | (#17664850)

There's nothing wrong with brain pills other than it's expensive and annoying. Are you still on the meds?

I can understand part of the frustration. I recently got a diagnosis and got assigned the brain pills. Since then, I've been doing so much better but I really was bummed. I told my girlfriend that I never wanted kids because I didn't want to give them what I have. I still don't tell many people all of the details, including my parents. I'm afraid I would break their hearts by telling them.

Good luck with this.

Re:Pills (1)

Blackneto (516458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665686)

my wife is on the brain pills and she is more functional when she stays on them.
She started on them because of post partum.
She didn't start on them until the 3rd kid.
but she doesn't like them. She can't even describe what they do to her.

Without the brain pills no work gets done around the house till i have time for it. but I work 60 hours a week so nothing gets done around the house.
but on the other hand she writes more, is easily aroused, and not so uptight with the kids.

With the brain pills she's superwoman around the house. but unhappy because she can't focus enough to write, yells at the kids and has no interest in sex.

she's going to another doctor this year, maybe theres something else that will help.

things may change when the youngest is in school, she can work, and I don't have to work 2 jobs. but that's 2 years away.

Re:Pills (1)

dthable (163749) | more than 7 years ago | (#17667790)

I read a lot of the same kinds of comments before I went it. I made it very clear that I wanted to still be an active runner and read. We worked a long time but finally found one that works great for me. I would suggest inquiring about a different med that could be better for her. Sometimes the doctors don't know what's going on like they should.

My only side effects are that I've gained some weight because I crave sweet things and it takes me longer to learn things, like stats, because I don't have a steel trap mind. I figured out that diet soda really helps with the cravings as it's sweet and doesn't do much damage. The only solution I have for the second is that I actually need to study now.

Re:Pills (1)

SlashChick (544252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17686658)

Hire a cleaning company and drop the pills. Probably the same price as the meds, too. Problem solved. :)

Re:Pills (1)

Blackneto (516458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17687788)

if leaving the house dirty was the only problem that would be wonderful. :)
theres other issues that required some chemical help that i won't go into.

Christopher is in a program like that (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17664984)

Of course, he was in there for his delayed speech development. We've been very happy with the results so far- a year ago he would have never done what he did this morning- standing in front of the door to the garage telling me "You no leave" after 5 days off due to illness, holiday, and snowstorm.

I wonder (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17666800)

I wonder if any of it is learned attention-seeking behavior?
Since you say he was brought in as a model for the other kids, maybe he was ignored my the teacher, not given extra attention, etc., like the other kids?
If a kid can figure out that pretending to have a tummy ache can get him a day off, he can figure out that acting up like his peers will get him attention like his peers.

I'm not saying the teacher is wrong, but this should be ruled out. If he's mislabeled, the way he's treated and conditioned from this point on could lead to effects like those he is labeled with.

Re:I wonder (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17667108)

Everything she has labelled as a problem I can see when he's at home. Even before he went to school. Its just the type of kid he is. And we give him plenty of attention, especially my wife.

ok (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17667410)

well, never mind, then. :) Good luck.

I'm with you (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17668972)

Kids should not get pills for being kids. Assistance to cope with whatever is going on, so he can focus and be part of the group (when that's appropriate anyway), that's all great. But playing chemistry experiment on your kids brain when the PharmCo's do NOT do very adequate testing on children is not an option.

My son has turned up with PANDAS--essentially strep caused OCD, google it if you want more particulars. The good news is that like Rheumatic Fever, maintenance doses of antibiotics (mostly) controls the symptoms and lets him be himself instead of a robot programmed to repeat and do everything in sets of three. But if he were a little older, I'm sure our medical team would have been recommending brain pills, as that is also a standard therapy.

While I'm on some brain pills myself, I think there's a significant difference between an antidepressant prescribed for long-term depression that we can see going back over 20 years versus one prescribed because in some kids it "seems" to help reduce their symptoms. Most drug testing in children amounts to scaling back the dosage for body weight and doing a trial to make sure it doesn't make them sprout extra heads or keel over dead. Not, in my opinion, sufficient testing for altering brain chemistry.

If it was me, I'd work with therapy, diet, etc, long before I went to brain pills, and they'd only be a last resort for a kid who was completely disruptive and out of control. That doesn't sound like your son.

Check the diet (1)

Eye of the Frog (152749) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675960)

I'll mirror some of the comments about the diet as well. Check out cases of red dye sensitivity in kids. Here's one article: http://recipestoday.com/resources/articles/reddye. htm [recipestoday.com]

My cousin had a similar problem with red dye in foods when he was young. There was a huge difference when his diet was changed to avoid those foods.
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