Possible ADD

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2006
Possible ADD
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 5:21pm

Good Afternoon!

My son turned 8 in May and is in 3rd Grade.
He was "placed" in 3rd grade, not promoted, due to Benchmark scores last years saying he was below grade level in reading and writing.

I have been asking since 1st grade for him to be tested for any type of learning disability, but they didn't answer my questions until his ARD last year.
They don't do learning disability testing until the beginning of 3rd grade, so that if a child does enter into a special education IEP that is other than Speech, their TAKS Test scores wont count against the school.
(We live in Texas)

I was angry that they wait this long when they see a child is smart, but still behind.

I met this morning with the schools diagnostician who did my sons testing.

She shared she tested him over a period of 5 days.

He was administered the Woodcock Johnson Test and the WISK Test (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children)
He was re evaluated for Speech Services, tested for IQ and academic achievement.

He does not show a defecate for a learning disability based on the types of tests they administered.
He scored low in Processing Speed (77) (anything below an 85 is a cause for concern, and in Short Term Memory (72) on the Woodcock Johnson Test, but then two days later she used the WISK test and my son scored a 100 for short term memory, so that brought the 72 above the 85 mark.

He showed an 83 in Math Calculation on the academic achievement test, but they were timed Math problems, and I know my son, you cannot put him on a time restraint, he will keep working slow, and get frustrated.

One of the tests was a page of numbers where he had to choose which ones were alike, instead of going from left to right, he started in the middle, and with so many numbers on the page that intimidates him.

One of the other parts was pointing to animals when the audio recording said the animals name, but during this there was also another audio recording of noises you would hear in a restaurant, and my son said he couldn't hear the first recording, that the second one (that was meant to be there to distract the kids) was too loud, so he becomes off track and the second audio distracted him from hearing anything else.
That I already knew, he needs to be able to be focused and not bothered; he is easily distracted.

She spoke with sons 2nd grade teacher from last year, and then observed him in his class this year in 3rd grade.
He will work for a little bit and then start looking around the room, or fidgeting with his clothes, he has to be redirected to the task in the classroom, and she observed he sometimes looked like he was day dreaming.

She said for me to consider ADD or emotional set back issues.

(Husband had brain surgery in Aug 2008, we lost our home and only car in Hurricane Ike in Sept/Oct 2008, we had to move, he had to change to a new school.
Three months into the new school his 1st grade year he was touched inappropriately by three different girls in his class, the school defended the girls, and blamed it all on my son.
I withdrew him from school for three weeks after this happened and it was proven my son was not the problem, and the girls were touching other boys while my son was gone.
I had to go to mediation with the school district, my sons outside therapist, and the school administrators, and I enrolled him back in the same school because they would not let us transfer, or go back to the school we had moved from.
There were no problems during summer school or during 2nd grade.)

But now all the things he has been through, he doesn't believe he can do work that is harder than he is used to, he shuts down and wont try.
There has to be something to him being behind.

He displays Attention problems that would be the signs of ADD, but he isn't a behavior problem.
He loves to read, he loves math, and science, loves animals.
He needs to discuss books, or situations, he can't just read something on a page and retain the information.
If you discuss it, he processes everything.
If a question is read to him, he can understand it.
When there is something he likes, he will pay attention, it's just getting his attention back to you once that interest gets his creativity flowing.

He wears glasses for stigmatizms and needs to have work on paper in front of him to copy it down, he has big problems with copying from the board or a transparency projected on the board.

He has had problems for almost 4 yrs with bad bronchitis or lung sicknesses when the weather changes, he was given Allegra for allergies, but then he gets allergy induced asthma brought on by the severe bronchitis.

These allergies are factors that display in ADD children as well.

My issue with the labels of ADD or ADHD is how easy society (meaning schools, doctors, and other mental health professionals) diagnoses kids with this and how quick they are to medicate.
Also, how the schools are so quick to label these children as "problem child" groups.

I've seen how the meds make the kids zombie's and just a shell of who they really should be, which are kids, having fun, but also learning.

I am looking at all the options, and what is the best way to move forward.

It was said my son doesn't have a problem intellectually or academically, but there is an issue somewhere that is causing him to fall behind.

The next step is the school psychologist that is separate from the school counselor come to the school and observe my son in class on more than one occasion and in different classroom settings and make her observations of if it is ADD, or an emotional factor.
It will take a while since she only comes on Mondays and has a large number of kids to see, but it will go from there.

I am waiting to receive the results of the Celiac Disease tests on Sept 23rd and this may bring light to some other problems with food allergies, which can cause learning problems.
(he already has lactose intolerance).

Thanks for your reading, I'm sorry this was so long.

I hope we all can be here for each other and learn along this journey of motherhood to do the best for our kids with special needs.~*~Debbie~*~
Loving Wife to Chuck, and Proud Mommy to:

Edited 9/9/2010 5:25 pm ET by proudmommydebbie

Edited 9/9/2010 5:27 pm ET by proudmommydebbie


Loving Wife to Chuck, and Proud Mommy to:

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Mon, 09-13-2010 - 1:34pm

Part of the stuff that my son did for therapy was the near-far stuff. He had a Hart Chart (developed by Dr. Hart) which has letters to be read in groups of 4 - two exactly the same charts - one was a really tiny font that was held by his nose, and the other was much larger and placed a few feet away. He practiced this with a patch over one eye. Basically I could see how it mimics the back and forth that are needed to copy stuff off the board. There were other exercises too - reading letters from different charts to move the focus of the eyes. Even with therapy he may still need glasses, but it may help some with this stuff.

Until he gets the help he needs, I would talk to the teacher about how to help him - let him copy from his neighbor, have the teacher give him the stuff on paper, or have him sit up front and have her check to see if he is copying the stuff. This doesn't correct the problem, but it can help for a period of time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2006
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 12:05pm

Thanks for this information.

It's always worth looking into.

He had glasses starting at the end of 1st grade, and when we had his eyes checked again this summer the stigmatism wasn't as bad, so the glasses helped i guess, or with him growing his eyes developed more, not sure.

He reads great, I've seen much better improvement with starting 3rd grade and he reads his homework to himself.
He stays at his desk in class, it's just a matter of not copying work from the board onto his paper, he needs to have it in front of him.

I only know of what the diagnostician said about he started with his hands in the middle of the page to do one test, and then seemed intimidated with a lot of numbers on one page.

He sees a child optometrist, so I will share with her what he is doing at school and see if she will test him for more vision problems.

My sister was born blind in one eye, and I had exotropia growing up where they did pencil therapy and then patch therapy, it corrected itself and now i just wear glasses or mainly contacts for stigmatisms, my husband was born with coloboma of the optic nerve and a blown pupil from his hydrocephalus and spina bifida birth defects, so it's highly possible for genetic eye disorders.

Thanks again, and glad your son received therapy to help him and improve his ability to learn.


Loving Wife to Chuck, and Proud Mommy to:


Loving Wife to Chuck, and Proud Mommy to:

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 11:37am

Have you had your son checked to see if his eyes are tracking together properly? If they are not, vision therapy help with your son's vision. It is certainly possible that he has more than one thing going on with his eyes. You may need to go to a different eye doctor - some think it is a bunch of hooey, but it certainly helped my son. My son couldn't get his eyes to move together. Words on the page moved around. Too much print was confusing - he often started in the middle or end of the line. Everything else that he was seeing was in double vision. To get it not in double vision he had to move - a lot. He sought out other sensory input to compensate for the vision - hugging, touching everything, oral stimulation. It sounds like your son has some similar issues with too much print on the page, and movement.

The therapy took us about 6 months, with daily practice, but his reading level went from below grade level to above. He isn't moving so much. He doesn't touch and hug as much. Reading he can do on his own now, and is even writing a lot more now.

Try an optometrist if you are currently seeing an ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists tend to go to physical things to correct eye issues - glasses and surgery. Optometrists can't do surgery but do believe that sometimes the muscles don't work properly, but through training (like physical therapy) that eye muscles can be retrained so that they can work properly. This is a non-medicine based therapy that "may" have some results for your son and is worth checking out at least to rule it out. The school will not do this for you - you will need to go to an eye doctor. Our insurance paid for it because it was a medical issue (lazy eye.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2006
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 9:41am

I did report the school, and the administrators I spoke to, and documented what they told me in email, phone, letter, or in person.

I am not sure how long it will take, or what will be done, but it is not correct for a school administrator for special education to tell a parent that they do not test for learning disabilities until the beginning of third grade for the sole fact that since TAKS starts in 3rd grade and if the children are entered into special education, then their TAKS scores wont be counted against the school, which will then not hurt them for Title 1 Funds.
The kids in special education aren't stupid, and should be labeled as not being able to do well on tests, ect.

I know about Title 1 and what the schools get and don't get, and what money is allocated to help special educations, ect, so it was very upsetting to have someone say that.

Just frustrating all around.

Happy Friday to all the Moms Here.


Loving Wife to Chuck, and Proud Mommy to:


Loving Wife to Chuck, and Proud Mommy to:

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 9:31am

The school district doesn't have a choice of when they test, or at what age or grade. IDEA 2004 states that they have 60 days from the date of request to finish it, or they are violating federal law. I imagine a few calls to the State Board of Education (TEA) would get their attention. They can only test for Ld's however.

I do know what you mean however, I see it all the time. Kids misdiagnosed by a Ped or GP, or the testing and bloodwork not being done and there is a comorbid or underlying problem. . Kids on the wrong meds and either parents or Dr's not making the change that is needed. We had our testing done at TX Childrens. They have a Psych team, so your child is evaluated by multiple Dr's. We saw a Neuropsych, Psychologist, Psychiatrist and a Neurologist. It took several weeks, and alot of driving back and forth to Houston....but it is thorough, and not the first one we have done. I get DD evaluated every 3 years or so, just to make sure.

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

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2006
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 9:20am

Hi Megan,

I am just now going through assessments for my son for Attention Defecate Disorder, he might have it, or might not, I am getting a variety of opinions before I move forward.
I asked inside my school district to have my son tested for learning delays in first grade, they shared they don't test until the beginning of 3rd grade, but they did the run around or ignoring parents for over a year before they tell us when they do testing.
It's not right, the parents here don't agree, but there is only so much stomping and venting we could do before it all hit a brick wall of no one listening.

What i have shared here is the horror stories I see with the Special Needs Children I work with, and the screwed up ways the school districts around Houston handle there special education department.
Or how some of the doctors prescribe meds and it doesn't help the children, or don't try to find a solution to if that med isn't right for them.

I am no expert, but sharing my opinion because it is not helping the severely handicapped or ADHD - Hyperactive children who come to us for Music Therapy Services.

The parents are upset and hurt that their voices aren't being heard when they want the best for their children.

Now that I started the assessments for my son, and since I have previous experience through work, when I hear ADD or emotional set back as the diagnosis the school diagnostician has made, I am guarded with what I will believe and with what direction automatically the school will go with saying it is this, and not being for sure.

The problem many school districts have is if the child is not tested into the "gifted" category though multiple tests, but also don't test in the "defecate" for IQ or academic achievement, then they are grouped in with the rest of the average student population, but there is no intervention or modification for them when they fall behind or learn differently.
The professionals are too often wanting to give the kids a diagnosis of an attention problem, or hyperactivity problem, when they don't know for sure, or don't do accurate testing to see where the real problem lies.

Public school has fallen behind with ensuring every child learns the best way for them, the teachers aren't able to work one on one because there are so many demands, too little time, and too full classes.
Kids are falling through the cracks and it becomes too late when the problem is finally noticed.

My mother was a teacher in Canada and the states and saw this as well in ESL and then when she went into administration.
My sister was a speech and Debate Teacher along with Speech Pathology, she saw the same things as well.

Everyone might not see it, or form the same observation or opinion, i am just sharing how things are happening around here.

Many school districts are great from the outside, but then you get to know the feel and how the special education systems work within the schools and school district and it's a nightmare.


Loving Wife to Chuck, and Proud Mommy to:


Loving Wife to Chuck, and Proud Mommy to:

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 8:51am

So, you get the ADHD diagnosis & they WONT give accomodations? That's...backwards, to say the least.

Um, in case you don't know this, your school district is awful, based on what you said (the testing of kids? That's federal law!).

Meds: I'll say this--they are an absolute blessing for my child. He is MORE himself on them, more "there", more able to have long conversations, to interact with everything around him, etc., etc. I was terrified of giving him meds (the zombie thing!), but we did, because you can STOP if it's hurting the kid. I mean, no way would he be taking meds if it turned him into the zombie. We do have a Dr who listens to what the kid needs--hope you find a good one too!--which helps, but end game, as parents, we make the final decision.

It sounds to me like you are talking far more about ADHD-inattentive than ADHD-hyperactive, for your kid? He's not getting out of his seat & wandering around, "just" having to be refocused constantly? That's my kid. We found (find!) it's really hard to do things about this because his distractions are internal--hard to take his own brain out, as it were. Even with meds, the teachers have had to help along the way with reminders, etc. 3rd grade? What really worked then was for stuff like writing (where it's worst for my kid), the teacher would come by & drop a small block on his desk every 5 minutes. No words, very quiet, just the block. He was supposed to write 1 sentence per block, as I remember it. It worked well for him.

Good luck--and I hope you manage to get the school system to work for you guys!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2006
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 7:24am

Thanks for your reply!

We lived in Harris County, in Katy (West Houston)
about 1 and a half hrs from Galveston when we lost the house.

Cy-Fair ISD is where my two oldest go, and they don't test before third grade, I asked the school, requested it through the district special education for elementary chair, and went to student services with the superintendents office.
They may do it in other districts, but not this one.
There are so many Title 1 schools in this district that barely get the funds they need, so testing whenever a parents asks is not something they will do.
The politics are all screwed up in the district.

I will bring him back to his child therapist that worked with him since 1st grade, but also see what the school psychologists says.
His ENT has a referral for an audiologist due to some ear drum problems he sustained with too many ear infections from bronchitis or other bacteria.

The right meds work great on different children, sadly my experience with a variety of children with ADHD is where doctors have given one medicine, and not changed when it makes them a shell of a person.
The music therapy services we give don't help if the child isn't there.

The ADD children are helped mainly by alternative routes aside from medicine because the doctors say they don't need help to calm down and not be hyper, they need help turning their brains back on when it shuts down for a bit.

This is not how it works for everyone, but around Houston the kids are falling through when doctors don't listen and parents don't know where else to go, or what to do.

The label is too quickly passing around, especially in Houston ISD that if a child has ADD/ADHD they are problem children and the district doesn't try to work with interventions.
This is not right, but too few voices are speaking out when witnessing this, and there needs to be more for anyone to take a look into what's happening.

That's why my motto is be the best advocate mother for our children because no one else will.


Loving Wife to Chuck, and Proud Mommy to:


Loving Wife to Chuck, and Proud Mommy to:

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 6:06pm

HI, and welcome

Honestly, it sounds like you live in my School District( and we also lost our home to Hurricane Ike, so I know you are within 100 miles of me, I am in Orange County..LOL)! They can, and DO test

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