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Old 07-08-2013, 07:15 AM   #1
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Would you pursue a possible diagnosis?

For the last year or so I've suspected dd1 probably has ADD or something. My Mom (who is a para at a school so sees kids with various diagnosis quite a lot) has suspected it too. Dd1 is extremely bright (several teachers have told us they have no doubt she is gifted) so school is easy for her. As a result she has no issues keeping up on her school work. So at this time even if she was diagnosed, I wouldn't pursue medication unless it became obvious she needed it.

What we see in dd is that she has a horrible time settling down and concentrating on something for long. She will fiddle with something until she starts to figure it out and then stops. She rarely finishes anything. She is a major space cadet - she frequently gets lost in her own little world. This is sometimes an issue at school but her teachers recognize this and are quick to reel her back in. But all her teachers acknowledge she spaces off much of the day but it isn't a big deal because she is so advanced for her grade level. She's 8 1/2 and I know some of this stuff is just her personality. But I know she could accomplish so much more if she'd sit at something for longer than 10 minutes before moving on.

A common example of this is my girls just spent a week at grandma's house. She took them to a local museum each for a day of their own. The day she took dd2 they were there from the time the museum opened until it closed. They took a lunch break and stopped for an imax show but otherwise dd2 studied stuff there all day. The next day she took dd1 and they were there 2 hours. Dd1 just wouldn't stop and read anything or do more than glance at the stuff. She loves the kind of stuff at the museum and in the past has spent hours there. She reads books about that kind of stuff all the time. She reads at a high school level so can read stuff with ease (while dd2 doesn't read at all and still managed hours there). My Mom said she just couldn't stop long enough to really enjoy anything (even thoigh she had a blast in her 2 hours). This kind of thing is getting more and more typical of dd1. I don't really want to medicate her if not needed but at the same time I wonder if I'm doing her a disservice by not at least finding out if she has ADD (or something else).

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Old 07-08-2013, 08:43 AM   #2
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If its starting to interfere with her life, in your opinion, I would. I would also pursue strategies and such related to a diagnosis to help in situations you feel it is interfering
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:48 AM   #3
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Re: Would you pursue a possible diagnosis?

I would. You can then more easily seek non medication treatment ideas from professionals in the field, have an iep on hand with the school which would be greatly beneficial in guiding a future teacher who may not otherwise work as well with her, and if situations change you could also more quickly seek medication vs starting at square one.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:57 AM   #4
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I would, too. I would also shop around for a professional who is in agreement with your approach to things and, of course, well respected in the field.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: Would you pursue a possible diagnosis?

Having never met her, I can't even begin to answer that. I think if your mom feels like she could use a little help, then, maybe it's not a bad idea.

I DO think though, that with the way the world works now, that we make it really difficult on our more active kids. In the past, kids walked to school with friends, they played outside before the bell rang, they sat for a while (but they had had lots of activity before school, so it wasn't so hard) they had recess twice during the day, and walked to another class for music, P.E, lunch, etc. Kids had a much longer lunch time, so they could eat, talk, play, and then it was time to go back in and start over. Classrooms were smaller, and more hands on. Now everything is on the smart board, or on a worksheet, so there is very little reason to get up and move.

Kids were walking home, and could play outside all afternoon. Now they have over an hour of homework.

If your child was not a "museum" kind of kid, you'd take them to someplace that would really float his or her boat. Maybe swimming all day, or hiking, or exploring. (not that your mom would want to do that....swimming all day is the last thing i'd want to do..i'd also much rather take my grand kids to a museum) But, my point is, not all kids are born to sit, study, read. Some kids have explored and learned as much about a subject, and they are ready to move on much sooner. But, if she were out catching critters in a creek, perhaps she'd spend all day on that. Or maybe she's a soccer player in the making.

She might be a dancer, or a musician, or something that has nothing to do with what 90% of the group wants. She might need to be on the swim team, maybe she's a future Olympic swimmer.

Maybe she is going to work at Sea World as an animal trainer.

In today's world, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn would have been diagnosed as ADHD and put on drugs. Shaun White (Olympic snow boarder) would have been diagnosed with ADHD if his parents had wanted him to sit still and not move on to the next thing so quickly.

ON THE OTHER hand..... I also think that kids who go undiagnosed, can often grow up and self medicate because they feel like something isn't right. So, there is obviously an important balance.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:38 AM   #6
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Re: Would you pursue a possible diagnosis?

love escapethevillage's response on this one.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:21 AM   #7
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Labels=services at school.

I would go through the process. Just because she is diagnosed doesn't mean you have to medicate, though it has been amazing for my son.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by luvsviola
Labels=services at school.
YES!! The label will help her get services she may need. Without it, you may have trouble getting her help if/when trouble arises.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:57 AM   #9
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Re: Would you pursue a possible diagnosis?

This is going to be very long, but I have quite a bit of experience with ADD.

I have two very bright kids I believe have ADD. ADD/ADHD is very prevalent in my family. I knew the issues and I did lots of reading and research. I managed their environment in many ways. In my school district, I was frequently able to request teachers in the primary schools. Since I knew they had issues, I chose teachers who had very structured classrooms with clear expectations and consequences. I would start the year by expressing my concerns and willingness to work with the teacher to maximize my child's educational experience. It worked extremely well. By partnering with the teacher, we were able to work as a team.

Then middle school....argghhh. How quickly things can change and not in a good way.

My oldest was never diagnosed. He has always been very verbal and an excellent reader. He started to have problems in middle school as the amount of tasks increased. His test scores were always very good, but his overall grades suffered due to late and missing assignments. I begged, I pleaded with him, I discussed, I screamed, I punished, we cried in frustration and guilt. There was never a concern that he couldn't do the work, he seemed to want to do the work. Then the report card would come and he would be every bit as confused and frustrated as I was. It was a nightmare. Thank goodness he had acting and music.

Next child was a bit more challenging. He was always less verbal, more physical. He had a constant need to fiddle with things, had great difficulty sitting still. He learned to read easily but after the initial thrill, he just lost interest. We live in house full of books. Both children were read to constantly, husband, son1 and I read constantly, but son2 didn't "catch" the bug. (BTW, that is a signal to just make sure everything is okay) Same experience as son1 in primary school but middle school was a complete nightmare that just kept getting worse. His teachers thought I was making excuses when I asked them to partner with me. I had to get him diagnosed just to have a way to make sure I had a real voice as his advocate. In the process, the psychologist thought he had a processing issue as well. Sure enough, visual and auditory processing stuff. We started medication, counseling support to learn organizational skills and effective coping mechanisms, and tutoring for the processing issues. I honestly don't think anything would have worked for him without the medication. We also learned that he required a lot of physical activity to keep him on track, one fall he played on three soccer teams and his grades were amazing. Since the school still wouldn't work with him, I moved him to a very small, private school for one year where he thrived and the next year he moved to a college prep high school. He wouldn't take meds anymore, but most of the teachers there worked with him. At college, he would go back on meds if he had a class like history that required him to attend and do work that didn't interest him. He had learned many coping techniques but he also recognized when he needed help. He also figured out that his career needed to be something that was constantly changing and interested him.

When second son was diagnosed, I was diagnosed also. I cannot tell you how life changing that was for me. All my life, I felt somehow "less than" because I had to work so hard to do things that came easily to others. The first time I was able to file a stack of paperwork correctly gave me such a sense of competency. On meds, I had to do a lot of work to teach myself how to use the executive function part of my brain, but I could do it!

Here is what I believe. I don't know that a diagnosis is necessary, but it sure gives you a place to start. I don't know that meds are the answer for everyone, but I found them extremely helpful for my son and for myself. I think that some kind of therapeutic support to develop coping skills can be helpful regardless of meds.

My two nephews that were diagnosed early are thriving. They didn't have the frustrations of constantly failing. They are aware that they have attention issues and have systems that help them.

If you actually read this, I hope it helps. LOL! Feel free to pm if you want.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:21 PM   #10
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I don't think it would do any harm to see a professional. DS1 is almost 4 and very bright. He is also a very active, very intense child. He can go from the second he wakes up to the second he can't keep his eyes open and literally falls asleep where he is at. He got kicked out of his first daycare when he was 18 months because his provider couldn't handle how active he was. She could never get him to nap or sit still. When DS1 was at his 3 year old well check, the pediatrician watched him bounce around the room intently focused on one thing one second to something else the next second. He commented that he showed some signs of ADHD. He said if he had problems in school (he started preschool a few months later) that we may want to take him for an evaluation. DH and I discussed it, and with the problems he had had in daycare, we wanted him to be seen ASAP so we could figure out what we wanted to do. Both of us agreed before seeing the psychologist that we didn't want to just put him on medication. By the time his appointment came he had been in preschool for a couple weeks without too much trouble. The psychologist also said that it was possible that he has ADHD but he wasn't comfortable putting a definate diagnosis on him right away, but if he was doing ok in school and at home to just keep working with him. He said if we had problems start at school to bring him back in and we could figure out a strategy that worked with him and his teachers. He knew we didn't want to resort right to medication.
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