Trying to decide re-evaluation or not?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2002
Trying to decide re-evaluation or not?
Wed, 06-17-2009 - 11:44pm

My husband and I have gone around and around with the teachers since kindergarten with my oldest son, Alex. Since kindergarten the teachers were hinting towards ADD or outright suggesting he has it and telling us how helpful meds are. DH and I didn't see any of the things at home that he was doing at school.
We had Alex semi-evaluated anyway, with worksheet type test that us, the daycare, and the teacher filled out. He was scored to be in the "gray area" and showed ADD-like traits while in school but not at home. However, some of the things that we answered no for back then (this was 1st grade), he definitely exhibits now.
Is it possible for ADD symptoms to get worse with age?

His behavior got a lot better the first part of this year, his 4th grade year, and NO behavior slips were coming home. Awesome. Even his super strict teacher was saying how good he was doing. However, then by the last quarter of school he just really went down hill. Lots of behavior slips and phone calls from the teacher. He almost didn't get to go on his class end of the year field trip to the water slides because of his behavior. The things he was getting in trouble for was constantly getting out of his seat, talking to friends, fiddling with things he wasn't supposed to, reading when he was supposed to be listening...just doing whatever he pleased to do at that moment.

Now at home it seems to really be a lot worse then before. I don't know if it's the age (he's 10) or if something else is going on.
Before DH thought the teachers were just "labeling" him, but now he even admitted last night that maybe he does have ADD and is willing to have him re-evaluated.

Examples - I asked him to go take a shower last night. I literally had to repeat myself five times, all while he was looking directly at me...yet he didn't seem to hear me. First he wandered around the kitchen until I saw him not in the shower yet and asked him what he was supposed to be doing. I had to remind him again what I had told him. Then he started picking up the living room and I asked him what he was doing and he had already forgot that he was supposed to be taking a shower. Twenty minutes later I still found him just messing around in his room and playing with his frog and STILL not in the shower.

I can't even trust him to watch/play with my 2 yr old outside (we have a large fenced yard with a long gated driveway so the 2 yr old is safe to play outside but I still like someone to keep an eye on him because there are things he can get into still) and after just a few minutes his attention will go elsewhere and he totally forgets about the 2 yr old. I don't like to compare, but it seems that other 10 yr old friends he has are a bit more reliable for things like watching his siblings. OH and that's another thing..he's sometimes violent with his brothers. I don't know if that's from being a super annoyed big brother to FOUR little brothers, haha, or something else. This weekend we had to take the 2 yr old to the ER because Alex had pulled his arm or was holding it tightly while the 2 yr old threw a fit/pulled away. It actually caused an "irregularity" in a small area on one of his arm bones that almost needed a cast. A hairline fracture I guess?

At swim lessons today, even though I told him like 20 times to make sure to hold on to the wall the whole time (they are required to hold the wall during the lesson and he got into trouble the first lesson for not holding the wall). I thought he got it through his head, but sure enough he was the only kid to get into trouble for goofing off and letting go of the wall. He had to be put into a "time out" on the edge of the pool for a couple minutes. *sigh*

To best describe it, it seems like he's in la la land half the time, in his own little world inside his head and not paying attention to things going on around him or what we're saying. Then when he does hear us, he just goes and does what he wants to do anyway and not what he's supposed to be doing. GRRRRR

He's a GREAT kid - our biggest helper and very sweet and loving. He's also very smart and really advanced in all of his studies, although his writing is pretty messy and a bit lower.

Is it worth another evaluation, this time with a specialist? We were totally against medication but now we just want him to succeed and if he needs it and it will work without causing bad side effects..then we'd be interested in looking into it.

Thoughts? Help? Advice!? THanks!!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Thu, 06-18-2009 - 9:29am

Hi, and wwelcome!

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
Thu, 06-18-2009 - 10:01am

You're describing my kid (off meds) ;}. Yeah, I'd go for the proper eval. How do I say this straight? As they get older, the ADHD traits get further separated from the "normal"--it's normal for lots of K/1 boys to be fidgety. It's less normal for 4th/5th. Stuff like that. Interesting that it got worse as the year went on--we do find that he goes up & down (on the meds OR off the meds--for us, success in school requires the meds). "Worse" is a hard thing to measure, though, when you realize that we expect more and more out of the kid each year of age they grow. I mean, I wouldn't expect a 5 yr old to go take a shower on their own, but I would a 10 yr old, so, did the ADHD get worse, or is it the same & my expectations of an older kid make it seem worse?

Hang in there--I hope you do the eval--and, if he does end up with the diagnosis, about meds? MY kid is really at his best that way, helpful, happy & more fully himself.