Questioning myself

Avatar for kenyadee
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Questioning myself
6
Mon, 03-22-2010 - 1:27pm

Last week I asked about how you get a child diagnosed. I decided to start with the school social worker. I know there are forms that the parents and the teachers fill out and I thought that would be a good place to begin. Ever since calling the social worker and asking her to do this, I've been questioning myself. She said she had spoken to DS's main teacher a few months ago and she did not think he had ADHD. And his grades improved in most subjects over that quarter but dropped in reading, largely because he would not complete his tests.

In one way, filling out the questionnaires seems so non-invasive, non-anything, that I'm wondering, why am I stressed. I guess I'm fearful that he'll be labeled. Even if a ream of tests shows he's not ADD, I'll have planted the seed.

But I also want him to have what he needs to succeed. I want school to be a good place to be. I don't want homework to be drudgery with teachers and parents having to constantly goad him to finish and confrontations accepted as the norm. The reading teacher had him sit next to her to do tests so he would not get distracted by anything.

Last week was not a good week and he absolutely refused to do work - going UNDER his desk to avoid it. I wonder, is this just a power struggle? He had writing to do and would only write 2 words. He also HATES to write.

Part of me thinks that maybe testing will uncover something else. I still wonder if he's just not immature and will get there. He is 8 now and I remember 8 as being a big year for social/maturity leaps. He has never been in a hurry for anything in his life. He was born 2 weeks late and had to be induced for that. He was in no hurry to talk, although he's talked a blue streak once he got going. Part of the problem is that everything interests him and he wants to focus on what he wants to focus on right now. That part of him seems like he jumped ahead to the teenage years and his attitude is also often seems like that of an older child.

Gah! I'm frustrated! He can be an ever-livin' joy. He was on cloud nine when we went to the space center this weekend and just takes such joy in stuff like that. But I don't want to battle him in school for another 10 years.

dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Mon, 03-22-2010 - 2:32pm

HI, and welcome back!


Checklists and School social workers do not make a diagnosis. A social worker cannot diagnose, and may be brushing you off....if you get a diagnosis, they have to provide extra help meaning more $$. At least that has been my experience. Honestly, it sounds like a classic case of ADHD/Innattentive to me, but I am not a Psychologist.


I would contact your ped and get a referral, ASAP, the sooner he gets help and you find out what is going on, the better.

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.

Avatar for kenyadee
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-22-2010 - 2:55pm

The thing is that my ped wants us to do the checklist first before a referral. I know it's not a diagnosis, but a first step. Something to go to someone and say, look this is what he does at home, this is what he does at school, etc.

Frankly, I think it makes sense for the ped to start there because at the end of the day, we could see some sort of pattern that we're not noticing on its own and it might lead her where to recommend or who to recommend. I imagine some docs are good in one area, others in another.

The teacher is already aware this is an issue and has recommended a 504 so that he has more time on tests. So I don't think they are just brushing it off so they don't have to deal. Quite frankly - I think they will welcome anything that makes this situation easier.

Something the teacher said in our meeting last week was that the kids in his class are particularly mature. I don't entirely agree with it put that way, but several are particularly gifted.

dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Mon, 03-22-2010 - 3:38pm

It is possible he is gifted, and bored also. You can be gifted, bored, and have ADHD( or not) and show the same behaviors you are desccribing.


By all means start with the Ped, and do the checklist, but don't let anyone diagnose on that alone.


I would ask for an educational evaluation, the school will test him, and can diagnose Learning Disabilities and giftedness. There are several kids in my DD"s class who are highly gifted, and have 504 plans. Some need a bit more time on tests, others need quiet etc....each kid is different.

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: 03-25-2003
Tue, 03-23-2010 - 10:51am

Decent educators shouldn't see anything terribly wrong with being ADHD (especially DIAGNOSED ADHD that's being taken care of). I guess I'm saying, don't fret the label--it'd be much worse for him to be labelled "uncooperative", or "dumb", or any of a host of things ADHD-inattentive kids can get labeled instead.

Look, are they doing *any* testing? Hating writing that much sounds like potential fine-motor OT issues, for instance (I know that's a cause with my kids!).

And, how do I say this...being nervous is perfectly understandable. Heck, I'm *always* nervous about filling out the questionairres--part of it for me is that for so many of the questions you end up saying "as compared to what???", and "exactly what do you mean"? We had re-evals at school this past fall & I had new ones (screening for Aspergers, other stuff), and same thing--I know I shouldn't worry, but it doesn't stop me. And I'm perfectly OK with the ADHD diagnosis, it's been there enough years I've gotten used to it. If that makes sense?

Good luck--you've started what could be a long road, but hopefully you'll find what'll help your kid along it (whether that be ADHD meds or whatever!!!)

Megan
Megan
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-21-2003
Thu, 03-25-2010 - 7:59pm

Hi there,

In Megans post I saw a key sentence:

"Look, are they doing *any* testing? Hating writing that much sounds like potential fine-motor OT issues, for instance (I know that's a cause with my kids!"

This makes me stop and think, I have been through hell and back with my child, we started off with PDD (nope), ADHD inattentive type (nope), went to mentally retarded (ooohh heeelll no) and finally agreed on developmental delays. Okay, I had that changed too "other health impairments", that's a "label" I can live with, AND, I will prove them wrong ones again.

When we talk about children, who do not like to read, who do not like to write, run around, have to touch everything, they overread words (attention? Yeah right), jump entire lines when reading, they have poor handwriting, they can't finish their task, try as much as possible to get out of doing their homework...

Try to see it from their perspective, they are perfectly fine children, they are SHOWING US something, they have an issue with the tasks we want them to do, which is usually what? Up close school work ONLY? (plus a few behavioral issues, trust me, I would freak out too).

Over the past six years I have learned to read my sons signals and guess what he was signaling? Mom I can't see right?

It took me 6 years to get to a Functional/Behavioral/Developmental OPTOMETRIST (not an eye doctor, not optician, an optometrist who specializes in visual development). Heck, I had no idea such people exist.

So totally excited and nervous at the same time, I see the guy and we did the testing, I was stunned at the results. My son scored in the lower 5% visually. He has convergence insufficiency (meaning can't put the eyes together to read, one goes in and focuses correctly, the other he shuts out by turning it outward, I had no idea), no control of his eye muscle (which means, he jumps to far up close, try to read that way, he notices that and jumps back, just too far again etc.) and some serious problems with visual perceptional skills and this will offset the motor development, for him right now that means, he has delayed motor reaction to visual stimulation. (like throwing a ball, that's why we can't catch it).

Anyways, this could be YOUR childs issue as well and ADHD Symptoms and problems with Vision (and I do not mean 20/20 on the snellen chart, I actually mean being able track, focus on a small point up front ,being able to put your eyes together to actually see clearly etc) are almost identical.

There are a few good websites out there, that explain that issue, but I found a book published in 2009 bu Stanley Applebaum and Ann Hoopes named "Eye Power" this will explain it all, if you are interested.

Please, do it, it sure helped my little pumpkin, he is 12 now and guess what? 6th grade was a huge success for him, he has As and Bs, enjoys learning and reading and does this finally much quicker and nope, doesn't forget anything, is very particular with his home work, finishes assignments on time and socially, Oh gosh, I could just cry when I watch him with his friends outside (he used to be super shy).

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 03-29-2010 - 9:31am

Yup, I agree, that's one of the things we had checked, too--pediatric optometrist for us, since we were doing this KG/1st grade, but she also checked tracking, focus, etc. & said he was fine. Now, my not-yet-ADHD-4th grader DID have visual tracking issues that the school OT picked up on; they did OT stuff for that for awhile 1st/2nd grade. But THAT kid's a reader ;}. Anyhow, the tracking stuff did make a difference in his ability to catch fly balls AND his ability not to skip lines when reading (oddly, it never seemed to get him on individual words, as far as I could tell).

So yeah, I'm a proponent of testing--there's SO much stuff that can mimic ADHD. I know MY kid has it because a) we tested lots of other stuff, and b) his symptoms are beautifully affected by the ADHD meds. But he needed OTHER help too--OT, etc.--without which I don't think he could have been nearly so successful.

Congrats on finding the problem for your kid, that's fantastic!!!!!!

Megan
Megan