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Old 07-08-2013, 12:23 PM   #11
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Re: Would you pursue a possible diagnosis?

Thanks for the responses. Part of my hang up is I'm not sure I want the label on her. I don't want her treated differently because of it. It may not make sense but I hate labels. I've been very hesitant to even start admitting she is gifted because I don't like labels.

No teacher has ever expressed concern with her behaviour at school. The all know she spaces off easilly but they also know she knows the lesson inside and out already so they 'get' why she spaces off and just engage her more so she isn't bored.

She gets lots of outdoor active time. And if we don't get out we play lots of silly wear the kids out type of games inside (dd2 and ds have a high need to get the energy out or they get naughty). She normally is a museum kind of kid - she loves to see stuff and learn stuff. She is very visual and loves to see stuff she reads about in books. She was super excited to go and had a blast - she went on and on about what all she saw when she talked to us on the phone. At 8 her tastes could be changing though so the museum alone is just an example. We notice it in small things she does. Stuff that at the time we can't quite put our finger on but know something seems off (if that makes sense).

My biggest reason for debating a diagnosis is the what if it changes. What if it starts taking a little longer to catch on to a lesson so her spacing off becomes a big deal. If she were already diagnosed in theory it should be faster to correct things. Maybe I'll send an email to her teacher from last year and see if she noticed anything and what she'd recommend. She was really great at working with dd's quirks (she went through a stage of chewing holes in all her clothes while at school) and maybe she could say if she feels seeing a dr might help or not.

Oh and to my knowledge no one in either dh or my family has ever been diagnosed with adhd. So there isn't really a family history of issues. So a lot of this is just gut instinct that something is off - it was my Mom who finally said she suspected ADD.


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Old 07-08-2013, 01:58 PM   #12
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Re: Would you pursue a possible diagnosis?

I am in the exact same space as you right now. I suspect my dd (also 8.5, also gifted) may have ADHD. She is extremely active, has difficulty sitting still and/or focusing on tasks, is perfectly capable of getting her work done but it is pulling teeth to actually get her to do it. I'm a teacher at her school and I've tried to work closely with her teachers the past two years. Her second grade teacher said she doesn't think she has it, her third grade teacher thought she did, and now she is about to enter 4th.

In addition, she has an explosive temper and has a lot of trouble adapting to change. She is extremely disorganized and messy, and there is frequently strife in our family due to her temper outbursts. She is dreadful at controlling her impulses if she is the least bit tired or hungry.

However, in my experience and opinion, I don't think a diagnosis would be helpful at this time. I'm not sure how it works in other places, but she would not qualify for an IEP here, but rather a 504 plan (medical need.) Although she probably wouldn't qualify for a 504 plan right now anyway, since we haven't demonstrated need. The diagnosis alone does not mean she gets a plan. What I've seen is that a 504 plan onlyis given to a student when their medical issue directly impacts their learning, socialization, or is a serious medical need (life threatening allergies, for example.) I would imagine my daughter wouldn't qualify because her learning is not, at this point, seriously impacted, and because her social skills are good. I would push for one if I thought that she had a teacher who was not willing to make the necessary accommodations to her personality and learning style. But I don't think that is the case, so I'm not pushing.

I would medicate her, potentially, if I felt that the benefits were worth it. Right now though, even though she can be difficult to live with at times, and homework is frustrating, we're managing okay. She is still young enough to want to please us, and her teacher, with her work habits and behavior, so she is trying hard. If she gets to the point where she is overwhelmed or frustrated at school, she feels she can't give her attention to it, her schoolwork suffers, she starts to lose friends, etc. I would pursue diagnosis.

The other concern I have is similar to the poster above who talks about activity level in school and differences in learning styles. I also wonder, (not to be snooty, just concerned) if she is bored because she isn't being challenged appropriately. It can be tough, as a teacher, with all the pressure on test scores and such and you've got students that are seriously struggling. I don't think it makes her last year's teacher a bad teacher in any way, but she was new to the grade level, pregnant, and trying to manage her class so I think that challenging my already competent daughter was probably not first and foremost in her mind.

Sorry for the long winded response. It is something that has been on my mind a lot lately and I've thought a lot about what I want to do about it. I want to see how she does this year in 4th, and how she responds to a different teacher.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:03 PM   #13
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Re: Would you pursue a possible diagnosis?

They all know she spaces off easilly
This is the symptom many girls with ADD have and teachers often minimize it as "she is daydreaming".

ADHD kids are disruptive in the classroom, teachers tend to push for diagnosis.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:35 PM   #14
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Re: Would you pursue a possible diagnosis?

What our psychologist has told us is that girls with ADHD often manage to keep it together in the classroom, but at home, where they feel safe, is where you see the symptoms. For our DD, it is at home, violin, and Girl Scouts that we see it. I've had 4 years of teachers tell me that she is perfect. While that is wonderful, for them, we are ready to kill her at home. We finally sought help because her hyperactivity is damaging her relationships with most of the adults in her life.

We are medicating DS (4) already, and it significantly improved his relationship with us since he doesn't get in trouble nearly as much and is much more pleasant to be around, and in the process of starting with DD (working with a psychologist first, but will eventually see a psychiatrist). DS's bio siblings are all placed in different adoptive families, and all are medicated. You can't stand to be around them not on their meds. It is unreal the hyperactivity/sensory issues.

DH is on meds (started in May), and he is 100% onboard with starting for the kids. He said that it competely changed his life when he started, and he just feels better on them. He's a lot happier, and enjoys his job more on meds. He was sinking into depression, and this has really helped change his outlook on life. He comes home excited about what he is doing at work, instead of feeling like a failure, and is much more driven. It is a very welcome change.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:09 PM   #15
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Re: Would you pursue a possible diagnosis?

Personally, I would wait on a diagnosis and try things at home, first. Keep a food diary and see if you can find any correlation between foods. For my oldest, the correlation is wheat. I am starting to wonder if my youngest daughter has a behavior issue tied to dairy, which we do know she is sensitive to. For a lot of people, making changes in the diet make a huge difference. Look into some behavior strategies that might help. If after making changes at home without any success (give it at least 2 months), she has problems at school, then go get her some outside help.
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