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Thread: Didn't know where else to look...My 10 year old DD diagnosed with ADHD

  1. #1
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    I know I haven't been around much, and I'm sorry. With the end of the school year here, I haven't had any time to myself. I haven't had any time for quilting, which bugs me to no end, let alone any time to get on here and post and chat and look at all the great wonders you have all created.

    I didn't know who else to turn to for support. I've looked for ADHD messageboards, but they just don't seem right to me. So I come to you all, my quilting/sewing friends for some support and advice.

    My 10 year old DD has had trouble in school from the start. She's always had problems focusing on her work, working alone, not disturbing others by talking, she constantly interupts conversations, takes hours to do homework when it should really take no more than an hour, and so on. I knew it was ADD or ADHD, but I thought with the help of teachers and persistance, we could work through it without meds.

    On Tuesday I took Angela for her 10 year checkup. I told the doc about stuff above and she said it's definetly ADHD and that she recommends trying meds. She says all parents feel the same way about the meds and no wanting to do them, but then they do and they see a huge improvment in weeks. So with the last 3 weeks of school ahead of us, we're trying the lowest dose of Concerta, 18mg. She took the first pill this morning.

    I'm praying this works. I do not want to have to go through a bunch of meds to find the right one. I'm also so sick of homework and effort being such an issue every day. I've struggled long enough and so has she.

    I had ADHD growing up (I'm sure I still have it too) and I remember when I started meds, Ritilin back then, and my grades soared after that.

    Does anyone have expereince with Concerta or ADHD in children? I'm interested in the stories of other parents and what they have had to go through.

    Thanks for listening and being a support system for me.

  2. #2
    reneebobby's Avatar
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    No i don't know anything about concerta but I do know that if the child doesn't eat junk food (kind of like a diabetic) everything sugar free, fruits and veggies for snack they settle down and work. THe hard thing is getting the teachers to understand this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    My oldest, now 25, was diagnosed borderline ADHD. We did not put her on any meds, at the Dr's direction. Our biggest problem was getting the teachers to not give her pop and candy. We finally had to change schools and were able to work with those teachers. LDD never did do very well in junior high or high school.

    Now.....she's grown up, been through the Air Force, is in the National Guard, goes to college for Air Traffic Control, and has a bright future.

    I have a sister, also an ATC, who is flaming ADD. She has been told that ATC is perfect for kids with ADD, but if you are a medicated ADD, you are disqualified for the job. That was 10-15 years ago, so I don't know if it has changed. Why it is a perfect job is that it's so much like a video game, and we know how all these kids can stay focused on those games.

    I also know that I would be considered ADD. When I was a computer programmer (before Windows software allowed you to have more than one program running at a time), I would have multiple computers running in my office at one time. We were going through layoffs, so I'd go grab extra computers from the empty offices. Because I always had multiple projects going on at one time, I was very productive, and was one of the last hit in the layoffs (only the department supervisor was left in the end)

    I think that we need to treat ADD as a 'gift', not a curse. By teaching the kids to go from one needed project to another needed project, they can learn to be more productive. I know that it has been helpful for me!

  4. #4
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    Jen-I am sorry to hear that your daughter is having such a rough time in school. I too raised a child with ADD and he was not diagnosed until 8th grade. By then, not only had his grades suffered, but so had his self-esteem and interactions with others. School and homework were a constant battle. And I suffered from horrible "mother guilt".

    I know that it is difficult for you to have to put your child on meds at an early age, but remember how much better you did in school and how it will help her too. Once you find the right medicine for her she will feel so much better--will be able to concentrate and complete tasks in a timely manner---thus raising her grades AND self esteem. If she had a physical illness that required antibiotics or insulin, for example, you would not hesitate to give her the medicine she needs. Do not feel guilty about doing what is best for her in this circumstance too.

    I have no experience with Concerta, but your doctor should be able to provide you with literature and answer any questions you have concerning it. The Internet is also a great place for reading more about ADD and its treatments. I hope it works out for you and your daughter.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rose Hall's Avatar
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    As an educator, let me be the first to tell you to talk to your daughter's teachers, guidance counselor, etc. for ideas, tips, etc. Your doctor should also know of support groups, etc.

    I have ADHD, was not diagnosed until I was an adult. I do not take meds (probably should!!). To help stay focused I stay ultra organized. I keep a planner and EVERYTHING gets written down. I also have to watch my diet--especially the caffeine, sugar/sweetners and food dye's. You might want to talk to your daughter's doctor about a visit with a nutritionist. Routines/schedules/behavior modification has also helped.

    There are advantages to having this much energy as an adult. She needs to learn to channel it in the right way.

    Rose Hall



  6. #6
    Kj05's Avatar
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    I don't have ADHD, nor do I have children yet, but I do have a friend who has ADHD. For him there is quite a noticeable difference when you compare the days he takes his meds to the days he forgets to. One thing I know that really helps him aside from the meds is having a set schedule that he follows everyday so that he knows he has to concentrate on getting through the things he has to get done.

  7. #7
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
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    My boyfriend's son has it, he is 9 yrs old. It is a difficult situation as the son lives with his Mom, who is happy to have him on meds all the time, and when he is he is rather spaced out and not himself, but calm.

    When my boyfriend has him on alternate weekends, he does not give him the meds and keeps him under control with good food, exercise and organisation and schedules. He is highly energetic but my bf feels happier because he can teach him how to control himself without being zonked out by the drugs, and he is 'himself' when not on them.

    I have no opinion, from what I have learnt I hear it is a matter of striking a balance between what you eat and what meds you take, as well as vital support from the child's school. Read up on all you can and fight for the support you both need, you can do it! Don't despair, I'm sure there is plenty of help out there :wink:

  8. #8
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    As a retired Special Ed. teacher, I aplaud you for being sensitive to your child's needs and taking an active role in helping her.

    Medication works but it is important to monitor as the dosages sometimes they need to be adjusted. (and at the present time, there are several different drugs that are being used) Find out how long it takes the meds to kick in as well so you can give her the medication at the appropriate time before school.

    Never forget that you are child's best advocate and don't hesitate to talk to her teachers and let them know "how" your child works best. A sensitive teacher (one who allows for individual differances in children--ie. lets them walk around after ten minutes of work, allows them to "play" with a fidget (spiked ball--there are lots of differant kinds) for the calming effect it gives them, allows them to sit on a large ball instead of a chair, etc.) can make all the differance in the world.

    As it has been pointed out, ADHD adults can become dynamic, high energy workers who can make their ADHD work for them not against them. We had a Speech Therapist with ADHD who was incredible---she could get lots done and focused well (was busy all the time, I might add)And, you should have seen her with all our really "hard" children! Wow, let's just say I learned a lot from her.

    Don't despair, embrace the ADHD---you're doing a great job and let your daughter know she is doing well, too! Everyone one learns differently and she will learn strategies for dealing with the ADHD.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I don't know anything about that drug, but my grandson had the same problem and whatever he was on helped. He is now 15 and has outgrown it.


    Hang in there, it is always hard on us as mothers when one of our children is having a problem. If you trust your Doctor, then do as he says and read all you can to educate yourself to the problem.

    I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts.


    Ninnie

  10. #10
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    One thing that really helped my daughter was to take a good look at her class schedule. Example: Math, gym, history, lunch, english, art/music, language. This way she did not have back to back classes where she was mostly just sitting...it really helped her be able to sit and focus better. I would have to go in each year as soon as the teachers came back in Aug to set up her schedule. The schools were great in helping me with her schedules.

  11. #11
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    The drugs ADD kids take for their condition are not sedatives. The same drug that works for ADD also works for Narcolepsy (People who have trouble staying awake). The drugs help the synapses in the nerves to fire correctly and with better connections.

    Every child I ever taught who had ADD and was on drugs did better. The ones that did really well, were the ones who had supportive parents.

    Drug "holidays" are a good idea for children... But I'd predict that you'll be a happier family if she does adjust to Concerta

  12. #12
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    Try this:

    http://www.thrivewithadd.com/

    I have ADD and so does DD. We are both medicated. She has been on Concerta for 5 or more years. It was a vast improvement in 24 hours. The above website will give you lots of resources and information. I have the Self Coaching workshop and it is wonderful. I will be happy to talk further to you anytime you need.

  13. #13
    Super Member Bill'sBonBon's Avatar
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    I have a Granson that is ADD. He is 27 He is still ADD. It is hard for him to focus. He cannot sit still. But He loves baseball,video games any thing that make him focus. As a Grown man He has to work with his hands,keep his body and mind busy. He has never been on meds. He works with a company in Airconditioning for businesses. Does super, now they want to put him behind a desk as a supervisor and getting different contracts. He is not happy. He knows He will not be able to sit and talk on the phone all day but the promotion means more money and He is married with a DD and a DS.
    As A Paraprofessional I was involved in more than a few ADD children. One Mother absolutly refused the meds for her son. She said I have to deal with him at home and you have to deal with him Here. She really was a good Mother just didnt want him on meds. When in class he never finished his work,Was a smart young man, just couldn't focus. I took advise from a Phsycologist for the school and gave him one task of seat work at a time. When He finished one paper He got another. This worked very well. Seems He was overwhelmed because He couldn't focus. But is someone didn't do one to one with him He was lost.
    Giving your child meds for ADD is a hard thing to do. Even though My DD didn't put her son on meds. sometimes I wished she had maybe things wouldn't have been so hard for him. May God be with you about what ever you decide.
    BillsBonBon

  14. #14
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    My oldest son, now age 33 was ADD. I started him in meds about 4th grade. His grades improved, his teacher sighed relief, home life was much better, and it was a great thing. I took him off at age 15 because he was kinda small for his age, and he grew, but it was a struggle to keep him focused. He's full time Army now, and they frown on any "head meds", and he has learned to realize how to help himself. I totally agree with meds when you are sure it's not just a behavioral issue. Not giving meds is like telling a diabetic "get over it without insulin, it's JUST diabetis". Keep us up to date.

  15. #15
    Super Member quiltwoman's Avatar
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    My 15 yr old son just started meds 4 months ago. He managed to make good grades in grade school but high school hit him like a ton of bricks. He is not hyper--he just doesn't have the attention span. He started meds but he also has a teacher's advocate at school who not only checks on all his homework assignments, but she meets with him to discuss how HE thinks things are going. together, they work on different approaches to organization. (Teenagers seem to think their parents are dumb so she has been a godsend.)

    At first he was mad at us. He did not want to meet with his advocate, thought we thought he was "dumb". My dh and I decided he must be a genius. For a kid who took NO NOTES for an entire semester, what he learned, he learned by sight/sound. He cannot process listening to a teacher, watching it get written on the board and then take all that stimuli in, and produce something on paper.

    Organization for him is still frustrating. He has not come up with a system yet to keep him on track. Writing papers is also VERY very hard for him and we are really working with him to find what makes sense to him.

    He is on Vyvance. He has lost 10 lbs and we are pushing calories/shakes. He has no appetite. The meds have helped him in our eyes. He can carry on a conversation and seems to know what homework he has and how he's going to start things. I think it has been a good thing. We saw many signs, we just never connected the dots. I wish we had been able to intervene earlier. His self-esteem took a beating. he is positive these days and I think if we gave him the choice, to stop the meds, he would not do it.

    HTH, hang in there.

  16. #16
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    Quiltwoman there is a college in Vt that is for students with learning disabilities. They have classes towards degrees and workshops for learning skills for those that want to go to a "normal" college. your 15 year old may benifit from them. Check it out.

    http://www.landmark.edu/

  17. #17
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    Wow! Everyone is really great! From what I am reading here and all over the net, I think it's more ADD then ADHD. Angela is not hyper..she's seems pretty normal in hyperness for a girl her age. It's definetly more a focus thing and she has a hard time remembering to do one task right after the other. I don't know about seeing a difference today or tomorrow, but I'm sure I'll know by the end of next week if the meds are working.

    As for her diet, she eats pretty healthy, but I will start cutting out sugary stuff. I don't let her have sugary things after school except maybe a couple cookies or ice cream after dinner. I know I will definetly pay more attention to what she eats.

    Thank you all for sharing your stories with me. It helps knowing there are people out there going through what I am.

  18. #18
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    blzzrdqueen the lack of "H" is the problem as I saw it. Because my DD was not hyper no one would say she was ADD. It took me years to get someone to listen to me. Once I did the whole world changed for her. Be persistant. you are fighting for your child. No one else will. I did not tell the school when she began to take Concerta. They did not help me when I needed them and I was not going to let them brand her the way this school district does. So as far as the school knew she just "outgrew" the problems she had from first grade to 10th when I finally got her meds. Good luck.

  19. #19
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    My nephew-in-law had ADHD and he took meds during the week. Then his imbacile of a father took him off the meds for the weekend and that poor boy would literally bounce off the walls. What a roller coaster.

    The message here is to find the proper dosage and stay consistent. I have read quite a bit about the relationship with foods (removing sugars and chemicals in processed foods) and the severity of ADHD. It's worth a try.

    In addition to the meds, it is important to find out what motivates your daughter (and use that effectively) and to develop a routine for her. ADHD children tend to do better in a routine because their internal life is so hectic. I think it is important to break instructions down and dole them out in smaller doses. Where most people can retain and act on a list of instructions, ADHD sufferers can get sidetracked by too many details.

    Good luck with your DD. She is a lucky girl coz her Mom loves her and wants what's best.

  20. #20

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    I just wanted to share something my daughter's doctor told her when she was 13. School was constantly a battle, she couldn't stay in her seat, she was always in trouble for talking and disturbing other kids, homework was a nightmare and a constant battle of the wills. Combine all that with having a rare disorder that left her with no sweat glands except on her nose, skin that cracked wide open in winter months so even holding something like a pencil could be painful, body temperature that could not be easily regulated -- life was one roller coaster ride after another. At 13 she was diagnosed as ADHD but could not be put on medication because there was no way to know how it would affect her and because I was dead set against medication. Her doctor sat her down and told her "you need to understand that there is nothing wrong with you ~ it is just that your brain works at a speed faster than all the other people and so while they are talking about something, you have already moved on to a whole new topic. What I need you to do for me is to work on slowing down your brain so the rest of us can catch up to you." She walked out of his office feeling confident, rather than like she had one more thing that made her different. We had a great LD teacher - we worked with her on a plan for school work, we put together a schedule that was taped on every surface of the house and she had to check off each thing as she accomplished it, we set a time limit that she had to stay on task for each day and worked at increasing that time every two weeks. She took her tests at school in time increments - one part of the test on day one, second part of the test on day two and within the task time frames we developed. Within just a few months her school work had improved tremendously, her grades jumped way up, she could stay on task for the time limits and started increasing the time limits on her own. Her behavior at home and school improved -- it was like having a whole new child!! :) When she would get off task, we'd remind her, as would her teachers that we needed her to slow her brain down so we could catch up. She is 28 years old now and to this day she keeps a list of things she needs to get done, she is the most organized person I know and one of the most patient with kids and adults with disabilities ~ because she has been in their shoes.
    So ~ tell you're little one she needs to slow her brain down so all of you can catch up.

  21. #21
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    You need to see a specialist....regular MD's do not have the training for tis. These medicine have some terrible side effects.... Almost every teacher i have met with says
    the same things. A dr will go along with it. Makes it easier for the teacher if the kids sit and be quiet

  22. #22
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Hang in there mom! There are many resources that may help. Take one day at a time and try not to get stressed or discouraged. Your daughter sounds like a bright child, so I think your "mom-ing" will do wonders along with what the doc says. You can do it!

  23. #23
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    Yes ADD'ers are more intellegent then the average bear. That is a fact. It is difficult but it can be dealt with. 33% of us will grow out of it. 33% will be significantly better by adulthood and 33% will not get any better.

  24. #24
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    When my daughter was 4, her doctor had me put a hand on either side of her little face and hold them there gently until she would look me in the eye. If she looked away, I would stop talking, when she made eye contact I would start over. She learned to listen and focus on what I was saying. We only used this method for the more important stuff, eventually all we would have to say is look at me please while I am talking and then she tuned out whatever else was going on and would focus on us. Her teachers would tap on their desk, not saying anything, and that was my daughters sign to pay attention. No one else in the room knew it was just for her benefit...they thought it was meant for "all" who may not be paying attention.

  25. #25
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    In the third grade my DD was bringing home hours of homework every night. I contacted the teacher who told me it was stuff she had not finished in school cause she was wondering the room. I told her to tell DD to SIT DOWN!! She wouldn't so I gave DD a small postit note to go at the corner of her desk. I told her to put a mark on the paper everytime she got up and bring me the paper every night. The first day she had 24 marks on the paper and four hours of homework. I told her I wanted the marks cut in half the next day, they were and so was the homework. Things progressed along until she was only getting up 4-6 times a day and the homework was much better. This is just one example of how things go with an ADD'er.

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