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FortKnox's Journal: A bit distracted today.... 30

Journal by FortKnox
Yesterday, my clever son figured out how to fake an illness to get out of preschool. Suffice to say, when I heard the news, I was livid. But the teacher emailed my wife asking her how Joey was and told her there were other concerns with Joey.

As a parent, the last thing you want is for your kid to be different... for your child to have to bear a burden 'normal kids' don't have to. I knew the problem. I've known the problem but ignored it hoping it wouldn't come around or no one would notice and he'd just be a little different, without a diagnosis or word associated with it.

We got another email today. This time with specific concerns (emphasis mine):
Joey really has a difficult time following directions at school. He has his own agenda and needs directions repeated 2 to 5 times. Even with the daily routine of taking off his coat and hanging up his backpack - he needs one on one adult supervision to complete the task. He has a difficult time sitting for any group activity and blurts out off topic comments. He also has trouble transitioning from one activity to another. He demonstrates limited eye contact, is easily distracted and is restless. He has a difficult time waiting his turn. He also places classroom materials and toys in his mouth[...] He is not able to sit in a chair without moving - he sits on his foot, on the edge of the chair, etc.

My son is in a special program. Its a preschool program run by the school district for children with minor disabilities like speech problems. They also add in a few 'normal' kids to be 'models' for the other children. Joey came in as one of these models. Probably will finish as one of the kids needing some extra attention. This is actually a good thing. They have about four dozen different types of therapists that help with everything. Joey had a phase where he stuck everything (mostly his thumb and shirt) in his mouth. They worked on it, and he doesn't do it nearly as much (still his thumb, but I was a thumb sucker for years... at least my mother says I was). The teacher also included different techniques she is using to help him with the issues, but I already know whats wrong with him. Just like I said before. The emphasis was what stuck out like a sore thumb to me.

My son has ADD. Why do I know? Cause his Dad does, too. He just learned it when he was in college...

So now comes the part where the teacher will meet with us tomorrow afternoon, will express the concerns, will suggest we take him to a shrink. The shrink will do the ever fun six hour test on Joey to find out he has a minor form of ADD, and I've got to feed the poor kid brain pills for the rest of his life.
I think I'm going to try and opt for a non-drug solution if I can. Maybe occupational therapy or something...
I guess I'm kind of overreacting to all of this, since I haven't gotten a diagnosis, but from someone who has it and studied it... it sure seems like a honest to goodness case for ADD.
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A bit distracted today....

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  • i hope you are able to find the best options. it's good you know about it and all.
     
    i try to never think about all the things that could possibly happen to my kids because i just get paralyzed by it all.
  • I was diagnosed with ADD as an adult. My oldest son has been diagnosed as a child, but his mother doesn't want him on drugs. She wants him to learn how to cope with it until he's fully developed, and the see if the drugs help him. I can't force her to give him the drugs, but I seriously want to. She has a point that he wasn't acting quite right the one time we tried him on something. On the other hand, there are a dozen different medications available, and if one doesn't work right we should be trying
  • my boy is just like you described except no ADD, but a little OCD, he comes by it honestly. but he's a wiggle worm that can't stay still.
    He is 5 and has to be very detailed and careful with all of his school work.
    The teacher's primary complaint is that he spends way too much time on projects getting them perfect.
    fortunately we are working with him at home to not get so uptight.

    I'm really against labeling these little guys so early.
    They are boys. they are boys without an outlet for their energy in todays wor
    • by sulli (195030) *
      They used to say "boys will be boys" but I thiink we should extend this to kids will be kids. So many well-meaning school nurses drug kids into submission just because they are (shocker!) acting like children. I would be VERY skeptical of any ADHD diagnosis at this age.
      • Same here. The Confessor's a pretty active kid, too, often a handful. No way in hell I'd want to medicate him just because he's active. I love him the way he is.

        Even if a kid does have ADHD, I'm not convinced that medicating them is the answer. Seems like a bit of a cop-out to me. Often the best way long-term isn't the most convenient way, and pills are just a crutch that don't solve anything.

        Cheers,

        Ethelred

        • My niece doesn't like the idea of medicating a child without a real good reason, and then the school came to her about her son exhibiting some of the same traits that FK was listing off. She did a lot of research and came up with a possible allergic reaction to dairy products, specifically that of cows milk.

          She has gone through some major hoops in keeping dairy products out of my gr-nephews diet (you wouldn't *believe* how many products contain dairy or dairy by-products) and it made a considerable differe

          • by Blackneto (516458)
            The daughter of a friend of ours is allergic to corn.
            You just reminded me that she acts this way when she has corn products. Also when she has corn products it gives her intestinal problems.

            Thanks for the reminder.
      • I was just thinking the same thing. I wouldn't follow directions in school either because I thought I was smarter than the teachers! (and in come cases, I think I might have been correct.) I figured out how to work the system too, and my parents came up with a novel solution that worked. Give me options, and explain why they wanted me to do whatever. Sure I had to be over-ridden sometimes, but that's parenting for you.
    • by mekkab (133181)
      I wanted to come in and post that "Uncle Buck" speech, but wasn't sure if doing so would display the proper tact. (Yee gods! WTF am I doing worrying about TACT?!)

      Glad to hear you come through with another side of the coin.
    • by Otter (3800)
      I completely agree.
    • by FortKnox (169099) *
      That's how I feel, really I do. When I see him unable to sit in his seat, I try to tell myself "he's a bucket of energy". I also tried the "its his age" thing, too, but my wife (assistant director of a daycare for years) claims that kids his age can sit still.

      Even if he does have ADD, there are advantages to it... hyperfocus and the ilk.

      I dunno... just worried my kids going to get a label.
      I'll sit and wait to hear what the teacher says. Last thing I want is for a diagnosis that requires me to take h
      • by Blackneto (516458)
        hrmm
        put the wife on drugs, save the kid.

        yeah kids his age can sit still. but some kids his age cant. BFD.
        Like I said, I have 4. the first 2 had no problem sitting still, the last 2, not so much. But we aren't worried about it.

        Even if he does have ADD, there are advantages to it... hyperfocus and the ilk.

        I'm so afraid of how it might mess me up that I refuse to go to a shrink.
        I beleive It's only my quirks that keep me driven and able to provide for my family the way I do.
  • If not, why would you let him?

    I think you could find ways to work with his behaviour that don't involve medicating him.

    Good luck with this.
    • by FortKnox (169099) *
      I used to back in college, but gave'm up. Side effects were as distracting as my normal brain. I have coping techniques, but thought about going back and trying something different.

      I don't want him medicated unless I feel it is absolutely necessary. Neurological meds are serious business to me.
      • I'll just post my usual broken record: Have you tried modifying his diet? What about yours? I mean substantially, not just cutting out eggs or lettuce or things that disagree.

        What about probiotics? More yogurt?

        I just want to see you guys get better. I know that there are certain aspects of my behaviour that changed when I started on this diet, most notably that I don't get *so* cranky when I haven't had food for a while.
        • by FortKnox (169099) *
          His diet is fantastic. You put a piece of candy next to a piece of broccoli, and the kid takes the broccoli. We don't eat much junk food, and no caffeine (except for my wife). Balanced meals and everything. I could try to cut out trans-fat and all things processed... that wouldn't be a bad thing.

          Oh, and he and his sister have yogurt for breakfast nearly every day.
          • What about starches & grains?
            • by Rolyat69 (838367)
              I agree with Sam here... avoid brain pills unless it's just really needed and there is no other alternative. It already sounds like you agree with me on that point.

              I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in the 3rd grade. Couldn't sit still, not listening, not following directions, wouldn't shut up, never walked but ran... the works. My mom and my physician decided to stick me on Ritalin for a couple years to see if it would help. It was one of the most horrible experiences I remember from my childhood yea
  • by dthable (163749) *
    There's nothing wrong with brain pills other than it's expensive and annoying. Are you still on the meds?

    I can understand part of the frustration. I recently got a diagnosis and got assigned the brain pills. Since then, I've been doing so much better but I really was bummed. I told my girlfriend that I never wanted kids because I didn't want to give them what I have. I still don't tell many people all of the details, including my parents. I'm afraid I would break their hearts by telling them.

    Good luck with
    • by Blackneto (516458)
      my wife is on the brain pills and she is more functional when she stays on them.
      She started on them because of post partum.
      She didn't start on them until the 3rd kid.
      but she doesn't like them. She can't even describe what they do to her.

      Without the brain pills no work gets done around the house till i have time for it. but I work 60 hours a week so nothing gets done around the house.
      but on the other hand she writes more, is easily aroused, and not so uptight with the kids.

      With the brain pills she's superwom
      • by dthable (163749) *
        I read a lot of the same kinds of comments before I went it. I made it very clear that I wanted to still be an active runner and read. We worked a long time but finally found one that works great for me. I would suggest inquiring about a different med that could be better for her. Sometimes the doctors don't know what's going on like they should.

        My only side effects are that I've gained some weight because I crave sweet things and it takes me longer to learn things, like stats, because I don't have a steel
      • Hire a cleaning company and drop the pills. Probably the same price as the meds, too. Problem solved. :)
        • by Blackneto (516458)
          if leaving the house dirty was the only problem that would be wonderful. :)
          theres other issues that required some chemical help that i won't go into.
  • Of course, he was in there for his delayed speech development. We've been very happy with the results so far- a year ago he would have never done what he did this morning- standing in front of the door to the garage telling me "You no leave" after 5 days off due to illness, holiday, and snowstorm.
  • I wonder if any of it is learned attention-seeking behavior?
    Since you say he was brought in as a model for the other kids, maybe he was ignored my the teacher, not given extra attention, etc., like the other kids?
    If a kid can figure out that pretending to have a tummy ache can get him a day off, he can figure out that acting up like his peers will get him attention like his peers.

    I'm not saying the teacher is wrong, but this should be ruled out. If he's mislabeled, the way he's treated and conditioned from
    • by FortKnox (169099) *
      Everything she has labelled as a problem I can see when he's at home. Even before he went to school. Its just the type of kid he is. And we give him plenty of attention, especially my wife.
  • Kids should not get pills for being kids. Assistance to cope with whatever is going on, so he can focus and be part of the group (when that's appropriate anyway), that's all great. But playing chemistry experiment on your kids brain when the PharmCo's do NOT do very adequate testing on children is not an option.

    My son has turned up with PANDAS--essentially strep caused OCD, google it if you want more particulars. The good news is that like Rheumatic Fever, maintenance doses of antibiotics (mostly) contro

  • I'll mirror some of the comments about the diet as well. Check out cases of red dye sensitivity in kids. Here's one article: http://recipestoday.com/resources/articles/reddye. htm [recipestoday.com]

    My cousin had a similar problem with red dye in foods when he was young. There was a huge difference when his diet was changed to avoid those foods.

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