Frustrated and overwhelmed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Frustrated and overwhelmed.
7
Thu, 10-29-2009 - 11:49pm

I have 5 kids altogether. 3 girls and 2 boys. The girls are all great students. The 2 older ones were always on honor roll etc. The youngest one is in Kindergarten. She loves school and the teachers says she wishes she had 20 just like her.

Now the boys. They are 8 and 10. They are smart. But they do not pay attention in class. They act up. They forget books, lose books and homework and can't remember what the teadcher said in class. There is hardly a week that goes by without a bad report from one or both of their teachers about work not done, not handed in, not paying attention, etc.

Some days I am convinced that one or both of them have ADD. But then I think that surely I couldn't have two kids with it. Maybe I'm just a bad mother of boys. Or maybe boys are just different. Or maybe the boys got their father's genes more than mine because he said he was always not that great in school while I always made straight A's. Now DH is very smart and has an engineering degree and is a major geek. I think he has Asperger's.

Anyway, I outright asked the 10 yr old's teacher if she thought he had ADD and she wouldn't asnwer me. She said she wasn't a doctor and couldn't make that call. So I wrote her back and said that I was simply asking for her opinion not a diagnosis. After all I figure a teacher would have a heck of a lot more experience with ADD kids than I have right? I haven't got an answer from her yet.

I don't know the first step in getting the boys checked for ADD. I know to go to a doctor, but what kind? Just a pediatrician? I asked the pediatrician about it once when they were quite younger and he just said that boys are boys and that's just how they act. So I'm reticent about going back to that dr. with this again. I don't know anyone else in this town so I don't know who I could ask for references.

Does insurance pay for ADD evaluation? What about the drugs? How much does insurance pay for those usually? I have a plan that I pay $20 copay for dr. visits and $20 for generic medicine. Does insurance usually pay good for ADD? I'm just so clueless and the school is absolutely no help. It's like they don't want me to go to the dr. But they have no problem sending those notes home every week saying that something needs to be done or the grades will start dropping. Right now both boys are making A's and B's. But yet the teachers keep complaining about them as if they are the worst kids they have ever seen. Maybe I'm overeacting and being too sensitive. But it seems that the school is not being very helpful. It's like they want me to do all the teaching at home and just send little robots to school to sit there and take the tests.

How common is it to have 2 kids in the same family with ADD? Is that possible or am I just looking for an excuse for my boy's bad behavior?

Sorry for the rambling but I have noone to talk to about this and I'm about to explode. I have a teacher conference in 2 weeks for the youngest one to talk about evaluating for Autism/Asperger's. Should I discuss the ADD thing at that meeting or just shut up about it like they seem to want me to?

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Fri, 10-30-2009 - 9:21am

HI, and welcome


We have all been frustrated and overwhelmed at one time or another.


As far as your questions, the Teacher Cannot mention ADHD( there is no ADD), it would violate federal law, and she is correct that she is not a Dr and should not be discussing it. Are you seeing these behaviors at home? IN public? Can they stay on task at home and follow directions?


Have you called the school to discuss your concerns, not the teacher, but the Special Education Director? That would

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 10-30-2009 - 9:53am

Insurance varies waaaay too much for us to tell you what *yours* will do. Let's see, there are generic meds for ADHD, though many of the most popular aren't generic.

Me, I'd take "I can't tell you" as "Get him evaluated by a professional". Different school systems are different about what they allow teachers to say--ours, for instance, can talk about it, but ONLY if asked directly. What I usually ask is, "Do you see anything that would make you think we should get him evaluated for ADHD". LOTS of parents apparently get very, very upset (and sue, sometimes) if they do otherwise. And like the Cl says, some school systems feel the words can't leave their mouth at all. Presuming you go to a competant Dr, those teachers will be filling out forms about behaviors that the Dr will use to evaluate for ADHD (and so will you!). That's how their opinion is brought into the whole thing.

ADHD is very much so genetic, so yes, you could have both boys with it. Or not...if you think your DH is aspergers, then I think that increases your chance of ADHD, too. DO realize that the school can't possibly prescribe meds; many autistic/aspergers kids are also ADHD, so I'd say if you are considering an eval for that, you'll also get one for ADHD, at least from an outside Dr. School, it's harder to tell. Go both routes--if the school does testing, then you don't have to pay (if your insurance doesn't!) to have those tests repeated, you just get copies from the school.

I'd also recommend grabbing a book on ADHD that goes over organizational issues (sometimes called Executive Function, though that's not exactly what that is...). Who cares if they're ADHD or not, those tips tend to be helpful...

Hope you get the help you need from the school & feel free to come here anytime!

Megan
Megan
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-07-2009
Fri, 10-30-2009 - 11:48am

It has been my experience that when going through the diagnosis processes that the school isn't going to be much help.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Mon, 11-02-2009 - 10:51pm

There's no ADD? Why is it in the name of this forum then? I know that in the DSM-IV they use ADHD now but don't most people still use the term ADD?

Semantics aside, thanks for all the input and advice. Yes I've talked to the school counselor, psychologist etc. We've had "team meetings" when they evaluated the older boy for autism/Asperger's a couple years ago. I brought up the ADD thing and the psychologist nodded. But I felt discouraged from going outside the school for more evaluations. I still don't understand that.

So I have a team meeting set up for the younger one for another Autism/Asperger's eval. He was "borderline" so they said in kindergarten and the psychologist said she would not label a child so young. He's in 3rd grade now so I've asked to do it again. He's getting speech therapy and has an IEP for that. When I mentioned the possiblity of having a doctor evaluate him I was told "Well, he's getting all the services we can provide for him anyway, so you really wouldn't be getting any more if you got another diagnosis." Now I've been told that they shouldn't have said that to me, but I'm so not interested in getting anyone in trouble. How would that help my sons? I just wish everyone could speak plainly and honestly and not worry about getting sued all the time. I don't blame the school people though. I know they are just doing what they have to.

I'm asking around for a pediatrician recommendation to get the ADD (oops I guess I mean ADHD) evaluation process started. I don't think our current ped. would be much help. Not sure I mentioned this before but he has made remarks that led me to think he does not "believe" in ADHD very much. He recommends these expensive vitamin supplements that his wife happens to sell for behavior issues.

I'm really just looking for a place to vent I guess. And to wonder out loud why the school wouldn't want me to pursue an outside diagnosis. I thought maybe they did not want to expend the resources if it turned out one or both of them needed extra services. But I've also been told that schools receive extra funding for the number of special needs kids they have, so I don't know what to believe. I know our school has had some pretty drastic cuts recently and have lost many of their paraprofessionals and one special ed teacher. So I'm wondering if they just don't want to stretch their teachers any thinner. I don't know. But I do get the feeling that they have discouraged outside testing and just want to understand why. I don't want to upset the school and have them think I'm being confrontational. Just trying to gather all the info I can before the next wave of meetings.

Oh and about the insurance. Of course I realize that no one can tell me what MY insurance will cover. But I would appreciate a ballpark idea of what I'm looking at if my insurance does and does not cover things. I am unemployed right now and need to kind of know what to expect before I go forward. We have Aetna POS and it does pay pretty good on most things, so I'm thinking it would cover something of it. I pay $20 copay when we go for an office visit and that's it. So if anyone could throw out a few numbers so I won't go into cardiac arrest when the bill comes that would be great. I mean am I looking at $150 or more like $1500?

Thanks!

 




Edited 11/2/2009 10:57 pm ET by jackie.m

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Tue, 11-03-2009 - 9:03am

I would ask your ped for a referral to a Neuropsychologist, not another Ped. to get the evaluation process going. Usually Pediatricians are just not qualified to diagnose or test.


ADD used to refer to ADHD/inattentive, now it is referred to as ADHD, and there are different types of ADHD , Hyper, combined, impulsive etc.


Honestly, my experience with DD's school is that NO, they do not want to spend the money on helping Sped kids.

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.

Avatar for kathyjoenathan
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Tue, 11-03-2009 - 10:03am

Our insurance won't cover a Neuropsych and there is not one close to us anyway.

Kathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 11-03-2009 - 11:05am

Always feel free to vent!!! And, yeah, if my ped sounded like that, I'd be looking for another, too (regardless of whether I went further with diagnoses!).

This: "Well, he's getting all the services we can provide for him anyway, so you really wouldn't be getting any more if you got another diagnosis." sounded fairly honest to me. Unless you feel otherwise, of course! There are *always* more services they could provide, like a non-mainstream classroom, etc., but you don't necessarily want/need those for your kids, if you know what I mean?

Is that the only thing you mean when you said "discourage you from outside diagnosis"? It's possible they just want to save you the money--the cost of diagnosis really depends on where you go--I've heard #"s from $500 - $5000, and insurances that cover anywhere from $0 to 100%. Except, for ADHD, that makes no sense, that's a LOT more covered than Autism diagnoses, from what I've seen (don't ask why, I don't know), and the with ADHD, there are meds that are effective in a fairly large number of kids (not so much with ASD, as I'm sure you're aware!).
The other reason I can imagine a school district not coming on too strong about outside diagnosis is you then being able to turn around and make THEM pay for it, either as IEE or some other thing I'm unaware of. And yeah, I totally agree with you about it sucking that they need to worry about law suits & stuff, but they do. Because people do. And then they have even LESS money!

Megan
Megan