Where am I going wrong?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2003
Where am I going wrong?
4
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 1:27am
I am really hoping someone can help me. When my girls (3rd grade) were first diagnosed with ADD, I was in complete denial. I have been this way for almost 2 years. I have tried everything I could, right down to pulling them from school just to keep them off of the meds. Now I know that I was wrong and these girls need help. I cant protect them from everything even tho I was trying. They just need more than I can give them. Some days I think 'Wow, they have it' and then others they couldnt add 2 + 2 if I paid them.

I made an appointment at the dr.s office the other day. We had to switch doctors because ours went on to other things. When we finally get back to see the doctor, I explain why we are there and he just flat out refuses to get these girls on any meds. He said they arent ADD because they were sitting calmly. I told him they didnt have ADHD and there is a difference but he still doesnt get it. So we are back to square one. I want to put the girls back in school but dont want to do it until I know they can keep up. But I know at this point they cant do that without the meds. Homeschooling has helped, but I am going to eventually have to go back to work. My nephew is on Concerta and it has done wonders for him. (He has the exact same problems as my girls)

So what do I do? Do I switch doctors again until I find someone who knows what they are talking about or just go with what this doctor says and start again with the girls on work we have been over again and again, hoping they will retain it this time? I am really at my wits end on this. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.


Edited 6/3/2003 2:15:14 AM ET by waffle70
Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 6:30am
Who made the diagnosis? Did they have a full evaluation done? Was this something done at school or privately? And, what type of doc did you go to for meds? I'm assuming you have twins ... are you taking them together or separately? Lots of questions, but that could be where the answers lie.

The fact that the doc (I'm guessing a pediatrician?) did not give you meds right off the bat is NOT a bad thing. But, ADD/ADHD kids are able to sit still. They are NOT all 'hyper.' As a matter of fact, when my DS was diagnosed as ADHD (in addition to ODD) we were surprised, even the doc ... because he isn't the typical ADHD poster child. There are 3 components of ADHD ... attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity. Often more than 1 is present, but not always all 3. My DS has the impulsivity issues, with attention a small problem (the later isn't enough to warrant intervention.) But, we had a full evaluation conducted by a licensed psychologist ... and we go to a child psychiatrist for meds. Our pediatrician (who happens to have an ADHD child himself) is not the one administering or diagnosing medication for ADHD.

My suggestion to you would be to (individually) have each girl tested, with a full evaluation, if you haven't already done so. If you put them back in public school, do not have them in the same classroom ... it is possible that they are feeding off each other, and maybe need to be separated in order to learn better. But, see what the results of the evaluation reveal, and take it from there. IF there is a problem (ADD or something else) then you'll know where to go from there.

Remember, too, that not all children learn the same way ... and perhaps the problem isn't an attention issue at all, but in the way they are being taught. Schools focus on one method of teaching all kids, usually, but not all kids learn the same. Check out: http://www.allkindsofminds.org/ It's really quite interesting.

It is sometimes hard to accept the fact that our children are not 'perfect' ... but remember, no child (no person) is. Everyone has some sort of hurdle in life to overcome, and the things they learn to overcome as children will make them stronger adults. ADD/ADHD or any number of behavioral or learning disorders are not life sentences. IF it turns out that medication is suggested, don't look at it as a failure ... look at it as something that may help them reach their full potential. Just like giving insulin to a child with diabetes, medication for ADHD can be critical to their survival. (There are docs that are too quick to prescribe and medicate ... and the fact that your doc isn't one of them is a good thing!)

Good luck. I hope you get the answers you're looking for. It just sounds like you may have to explore it all a little further, but perhaps that can be your focus for the summer ... get all the answers and the right direction, so they can go to public school in the fall.

Nancy

Nancy 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 11:54am
Nancy, Thanks for answering me. Sadly you did peg me on the perfect child bit. I really did feel that admitting my girls were ADD was admitting they were just not as perfect as I thought they were. I have grown up alot in the past 2 years.

In answer to your question about the diagnosis. On September 17, 2001 they were seen by a team of experts at the local childrens hospital for a whole score of evaluations. This is when they were diagnosed with ADD. Actually one was diagnosed with ADD and one with borderline ADHD. They were both said to have weak fine motor skills, speech problems with articulation (R/W), a learning disability in Math and spacial problems. We were told at this time that we needed to get them on medicine in order to help them but I refused. So instead we tried behavior modification. The school also had more extensive tests performed which came up with the same results. When they told me I needed to put the girls on meds, I pulled them out of school and started homeschooling. This was in February of 2002.

Since then I have done hordes of research on ADD/ADHD and learning disabilities. I have probably even posted here a time or two with questions or one of my new found 'solution of the week'. I researched learning styles. I have done so much research that sometimes I feel that I could give the doctors a lesson on these subjects.;)

The homeschooling has helped them because they get the one on one that they werent getting in school and because I was so strict with the school about how they should treat my children. They both still have trouble -lots of trouble- with focus. They will sit still but if I dont make the work interesting enough or go quick enough to hold their attention, they will start daydreaming. Then some days one may daydream while the other wants to learn and the next day the other child is daydreaming. It has been frustrating and some days I just want to sit and cry, but I think the worst part is knowing they know something and when I ask them a question it seems a wall will come up in their brain that keeps the info from getting out. It hurts me because I know now that this is hurting them. It has affected their self-esteem and if I keep letting it go on, I just feel they will lose all faith in themselves.

So anyway, this is why I decided to go ahead and try the medicine. At first I didnt feel it was in their best interest, but now I know that they need it.

Sorry this is so long. I really havent had anyone to talk to that actually understands what we are going through.

Thanks for the advice,

Debbie
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 1:59pm
You need to find a doctor that is knowledgeable. Even if the girls DON'T have ADD, if that's his only answer (they can't have it because they are sitting too calmly)-he's not too knowledgeable. Find someone who specializes in ADHD/ADD, whether it's a child psychiatrist, a neurologist or behavioral pediatrician.
Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 9:52pm
Please don't think you've done anything 'wrong' ... because you haven't. Opting to NOT medicate your child is not necessarily a bad thing. What's worse is choosing to medicate if you aren't really sure or aren't comfortable with that decision. I spent years avoiding the inevitable with Kevin, and while sometimes I wish I had done this earlier, the truth is that when I finally did say "OK" to meds, I knew I had exhausted other alternatives and possibilities. I did behavior mods and charts and rewards and all of that stuff (still do, but it's more effective with the meds.) I spent hundreds of dollars at a nutrionist to have them do blood and hair analysis ... and put him on vitamins and minerals (without success, I might add.) Now, when I give him a pill, I do it knowing that this is helping him, not hurting him.

And, even if your DDs need meds, they are still perfect. God doesn't screw up. He doesn't make mistakes. I firmly believe that God doesn't give us more than we can handle, so the fact that he blessed you in double makes me feel that you are a very strong and capable mother! I firmly believe that. I've been hearing a lot from other parents (of 'perfect' children) who are so quick to point out how they would never put up with this, they would never allow their child to do that, etc. And, the "God doesn't give us more than we can handle" came full circle for me this week ... that's why He gives those parents those perfect children ... because THEY couldn't handle anything less than perfection. It has nothing to do with THEIR parenting abilities. It's not that THEY do things better than we do because their kids get straight A's or excel in sports or are practically perfect in every way. It's because He knew that they couldn't handle anything more difficult! He saved the challenges for those of us who he knew would be stronger and more tolerant. And, remember too that the obstacles they overcome as kids will make them much stronger adults. (Those perfect children will be on the therapists' couch complaining about their mothers.) Sorry, I'm in a mood tonight and annoyed with some of those 'perfect' mothers right now.

Anyway, perhaps you can go back to the hospital where the evaluations were conducted to see if they can't get you in to see one of their docs who would be in a position to do a quick update on the evaluation (since it is 2 years old) and see about med-options.

And, stick around here. These ladies really are the best! The best you can do for yourself is to get a good support system, people who know ... and that's exactly what you've found here.

Nancy

Nancy 

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