I think my DD might have ADD/ADHD...

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
I think my DD might have ADD/ADHD...
5
Thu, 09-10-2009 - 12:03pm

I'm not sure I know the difference between ADD and ADHD, but let me give you some background.

My DD *just* turned 5, and just started K. Her entire life she's been a "spirited child" as we've called her. Tons of energy, strong-willed, never needed much sleep, potty trained late, etc.

I've had concerns about her behavior but she's my first child and others seemed to brush my concerns off as "kids will be kids" and "she's still young."

Her behavioral issues increased (she's not violent or anything, but very whiney, demanding, doesn't do well with transitioning, etc.) in the last year and it was attributed to boredom in daycare/Pre-K.

I used to nanny for a 6-year-old boy with ADHD and I see a lot of similarities between him and her, especially in terms of sleep patterns, lack of focus, etc.

But what really made me think about it again today is because last night my friend babysat DD and she has a bachelor's degree in ECE and used to teach K and 1st grade, and she mentioned she thinks DD has ADD. And it hurt/upset me because I feel like she very well could be right...

DH had anxiety issues as a child/teenager and I've struggled with bipolar disorder and depression (and honestly, I wonder often if I have ADD/ADHD!) and I know that it can be connected.

Where exactly would I begin if I want someone to help me determine if DD might really have a problem??

Photobucket

AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Thu, 09-10-2009 - 12:18pm

Hi, and welcome


If you suspect ADHD you could make an appt with a Neuropsychologist, although 5 is a bit young, but not too young.. She could just be a normal 5 yo, but it does sound like there are some underlying anxiety issues.

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Wed, 01-20-2010 - 6:02pm

Here I am again, months later.

DD has been seeing a child psychologist since November. She has continued to have a difficult time at school, she is struggling somewhat with friendship, she still doesn't sleep well, etc. I finally threw up my hands and said, "I need help!!"

My husband and I have an appointment (sans DD) with the psychologist next Tuesday, and I'm certain we'll be talking of a diagnosis. She has mentioned in passing sensory issues (sensory defensiveness) as well as hyperactivity, poor impulse control, attention deficit, etc. But she hasn't gotten too in-depth when DD is present.

I'm not sure how I feel at this point. I have so many confusing emotions. One set of people close to me think there is nothing wrong with DD at all, like I'm trying to create something myself... that hurts. And DH, although he sees the issues, thinks they're "not that big of a deal" but he supports that I've taken her to counseling, he sees the improvements she has made, etc. I keep wondering what I could have done differently... why I didn't notice it until now (and am angry at myself for that)... is this a genetic thing? Or environmental? Either way I feel we're to blame. And here we are in the process of TTC#2 and we have some nights (like last night) where she's so high-strung and drains me, and I wonder HOW will I ever handle her AND a newborn? (My DH works most nights.)

And is medication ALWAYS the solution with AD/HD? Just curious on that.




Photobucket

AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers



AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers

AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Wed, 01-20-2010 - 6:17pm

HI, welcome back!


I would wait for a diagnosis before worrying about meds. They are one answer, but not the only one.

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
Wed, 01-20-2010 - 10:07pm

#1--cease the beating-up of yourself, please. She's FIVE. ADHD is defined, mostly, by a) not being a whole bunch of other things, and b) they behave significantly different in some specific ways from their peers. Why are many docs reluctant to diagnose at young ages (5 & under, sometimes 7 & under)? Because the behavior isn't significantly different from peers, not enough for that "aha!" moment. Plus, ADHD kids...some of it IS behaviorally modifiable (oh, now there's a phrase!)--I mean, if you do the rewards & consequences right, you see results. Just not...what you'd see with non-ADHD kids. If I'm making any sense? Anyhow, the beating yourself up is another form of the parent guilt thing & both are just going to wear you down & out & you need your energy for other things. Forgive yourself for not being perfect!!!

#2--there are always people close who will see no issues. Ignore them, you know better. There's also a class of people out there who think we're medicating our children because the teachers can't teach rowdy boys. Um, noooooooo.... Seriously, the Aspergers moms talk about this all the time, too, and that's even more impacting on behavior that ADHD. a) the kids do behave sometimes & some people seem to think this means they always can, and b) some people don't understand the problem.

#3--Handle her & newborn...well...my ADHDer was 3 when his brother was born, and we spent lots of time prepping him for it (he was totally undiagnosed back then, of course). There's likely to be good bits here, too, truly. And you're going to learn alot about how to handle yourself. I'd set up as much structure as you can for her in advance, for sure, and talk a LOT about what it's like to have a baby in the house--don't sugar coat. They cry, eat, sleep, are annoying, stinky, etc.. They won't be playing with you the day after they are born. They do have good points too...

#4--Medication always the solution: no. Frankly, I'd say it's *never* the solution all on its own. You're going to be doing whatever behavioral stuff works with or without the meds. Meds help them learn, help them deal with reality. Help them be less worn out trying to keep control desperately, if they're that kind of kid. Helps them focus when they want to. Believe me, it's not a magic solution, but they reallllly helped my kid, for which I am grateful. Some people's kids handle it without the meds--it's a kid by kid, individual circumstances thing.

#5--starting where I ended: NOT your fault. REALLY. Not yours, not your DH's (what, you guys coded your own genome? You *purposefully* set up the environment somehow to hurt the kid?). Be a crime if you guys let the guilt get in the way of providing for your kid (YOU being happy helps provide for the kid!).

Good luck next Tuesday & do update us if you want--we're always interested to hear some of the "what happened next" & we've all been there...

Megan
Megan
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2006
Thu, 01-21-2010 - 2:07pm

Megan, Thanks!

Genette - new siggy coming soon Photobucket