I'm going to test my kid no matter what hubby says

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kathrine, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. Kathrine

    Kathrine New Member

    I've been coming here for a few of years now off and on. I think with some good advice from the moderators here I've managed to deal with some of the symptoms of a possible ADD child, but my husband insists that my son simply has a discipline problem and refuses to get him evaluated.

    I just made an appointment with our family doctor to have my son evaluated for ADD. If he does have it, he must just be borderline. I think it can be controlled with nutrition, discipline, and extra special care. I've been working with him all summer on math and I've noticed that there is something wrong. He is very intelligent and makes good grades. But after about 15 minutes of work he can't think anymore. This morning after about 5 minutes he told me he couldn't remember how to make a 5. He's 7 and going into 2nd grade! I can tell by looking at him that he's not just trying to get out of work. His brain just locks up and he can't recall the information anymore. He's at the top of his class in every subject, but the teacher has had to spend a lot of extra time with him to make him stay on task and finish his work. I think something has to be done or he won't succeed in second grade. His teacher had mentioned in the past that he displays several characteristics of ADD children. He is behind the rest of the class developmentally--short attention span, inability to do his work when there are distractions around him, messy desk area, etc.

    Does anyone have anything to suggest about how to confront my husband about this? The first appointment is on Monday, and from there my doctor will refer me to an ADD doctor, or whatever you call them. (Psychologist? Psychiatrist? Neurologist?)
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hopefully, it is a neuropsychologist that your doctor is referring you to.

    Well, basically your post said it all. You certainly did not seek out this site years ago for the fun of it. Obviously you have been struggling for a few years at least. By the looks of your sign up date - 4 years.
    What does your husband think - that there are a million things to try for different discipline? Make a list of all the different methods you have tried and see what he comes up with to try next. I am sure you have exhausted all possibilities.
    It is common for the dad to not want to believe there is anything wrong with their child. You should approach it gently with him. It is difficult to admit a problem for guys.

    You have the teacher already. Are there any other family members that agree with you? You will probably have the doctor on your side (although the only things my pediatrician did was give me a questionnaire for the teachers to fill out and send in) after the appointment.
    Perhaps there will be strength in numbers.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Do you think he'd take a peek at this board?

    Maybe if you (ahem) even tricked him into seeing the board?
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    While I agree with the need for an evaluation, please don't go into the appointment thinking that it has to be ADHD. Lots of disorders can mimic the symptoms of ADHD, and you need to get a doctor to tease out what's really going on or the interventions won't match the disorder. I agree with the need for neuropsychological testing. Your difficult child could have anxiety or a learning disability, for example, with the symptoms you describe. Please make sure you get a thorough evaluation before "deciding" it has to be ADHD. Good luck.
  5. Kathrine

    Kathrine New Member

    Originally Posted By: smallworld While I agree with the need for an evaluation, please don't go into the appointment thinking that it has to be ADHD. Lots of disorders can mimic the symptoms of ADHD, and you need to get a doctor to tease out what's really going on or the interventions won't match the disorder. I agree with the need for neuropsychological testing. Your difficult child could have anxiety or a learning disability, for example, with the symptoms you describe. Please make sure you get a thorough evaluation before "deciding" it has to be ADHD. Good luck.

    Right--that's another reason I want to have him evaluated. My mother has been suggesting for years that I have him evaluated.
  6. EB67

    EB67 New Member

    I'll tell you that my husband would not hear the suggestion that his (perfect) son had ADHD. I saw the signs for years and for years he scoffed at me. When the school brought it to his attention, he listened. When the neuro psychiatric gave it a name, he listened. When everyone suggested ways to help him, he listened. It was a process. In our case it took a series of people in agreement (i.e, not me) to make him pay attention. I have heard that often times husbands are initially resistant to the suggestion that something is "wrong". If my stubborn husband can come around, anyone can.

    Good luck!
  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    initially resistant.. hahhah. husband has denied anything wrong forever! When he was in day-care probably only a year old we were told he was "Strong Willed". We have had some really awful years. difficult child seeked out the counselor himself in elementary school. He remains so close to her still today. They see each other and if he is upset, panic attacks, scared, he will call her. Even though husband went to some meetings early on, and to conferences, he still refuses to beleive there is anything wrong. He finds some reason to justify what ever it is difficult child has done. I did the research, I did the dr. appointment's, I do the school meetings, IEP's, teacher meetings. So many times through the school year I am struggling because I just am overwhelmed. I tried to send it to husband, but he is unavailable for phone calls when he is at work. So..I deal with all of it. difficult child NEEDS me. So, regardless of whether husband wants to acknowledge it or not, I cannot let difficult child sink.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Something to also prepare yourself for - don't expect it to be mild, OR fixable by diet. It may be, you could be lucky, but don't count on it. Do make sure you go in prepared for what you will be told.

    We tried diet. We tried all sorts of non-pharmacological help. We did find a couple of things made the boys worse, but nothing changed for our daughter. She did seem mild, but has still needed medications. Only a very low does, and it was almost magical, but medications she still needs, at 20.

    And as you've also been told - it may not even be ADHD. Although from your description, I agree it is more likely than not.

    But my daughter had the same weird 'memory problem' in maths, she would forget stuff I KNEW she had been taught and had been able to do. It is part of the ADD in that her brain simply wasn't passing this knowledge on to her long-term memory banks, and so when she tried to recall it, it was gone. It was in short-term and mid-term, but not long-term. On the medications - it went into long-term. She now coaches maths and did very well in it at school.

  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My husband didn't think it was a big deal, either. He finally woke up when the principal and 3 teachers called a mtng and said our son had to be held back. They also said that he should be evaluated by a professional. If the teachers and principal are the ones who contact your husband that will take the burden off of you... but it sounds like you already have an appointment.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I so agree with seeing a neuropsychologist, and that it could be something other than ADHD. My son's first diagnosis was ADHD, but he's on the high functioning autism spectrum. There are tons of disorders and problems that mimic ADHD. ADHD is mentioned most often by laypeople because it's all they know. I hope you do have your son evaluated. Something is going on and it will ease your mind if you find out how to help him. I wouldn't even mention ADHD--I'd let the neuropsychologist do the evaluation and tell YOU what he thinks it is. NeuroPsychs tend to do the most intensive testing of all professionals and I highly recommend one.
  11. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Definately go the neuropsychologist! Not only do they do the most intensive testing, but they also point out things that could be lacking later on if the problems go left untreated. This could prove to be a "wake up call" for husband. I wonder if the "d" in "husband" is not for "dear" but for "denial"?

    Make sure that the "teacher" pointed out that:

    1. he's going into the grades that will determine his attitude for school for the rest of his life. If he's turned off to school at this early an age, education will be an uphill battle for him and both of you throughout his academic career.

    2. after a while, ADD sparks a sense of failure that eventually manifests as frustration and then anger. You don't want to go there if you can head it off at the pass.

    3. sooner or later, he's going to get an unofficial reputation of being difficult or uncooperative or lazy, and without any type of diagnosis, you won't be able to secure any services that could help him.

    Start the wheels turning, worse comes to worse, you'll be wrong and still end up with peace of mind!! The only drawback is: aaagggghhh...he'd be right!!!


  12. Kathrine

    Kathrine New Member

    Marguerite (I love that name!),

    My son has the same math memory problems. He does perfect on counting money, telling time, geometry, and story problems. But put 6+8 in front of him and he shuts down, even though he's learned 6+8 a long time ago. I used to think he was just trying to get out of doing it, but I've been working with him so much this summer I'ver gotten to see that there's more to it. It doesn't matter what rewards you promise him or what punishment you threaten him with, he honestly can't think after a little while of work. I have an appointment on Monday. I haven't told my husband yet, but I think I'll just tell him that my son is going for his back-to-school physical. Then, if the doctor agrees that he needs to be seen by a neoropsych, I'll have both the teacher and the doctor on my side. I think the best argument should be "What will it hurt? Even if he is diagnosed with ADD we don't necessarily have to drug him up with ritalin." At the very LEAST it would be nice to learn some behaviorial therapy and how to help him succeed in school a little more. At the very LEAST, it would be good to eliminate any other causes that might not be ADD.
    Last year (1st grade), the teacher literally had to be right next to him or he would not do his work. Several times he had to miss recess and sit with the principal to do his work. When he finally completed it, it would be entirely correct. But if left to himself, he would sit there and daydream for 7 hours straight if you'd let him. I just think that he's going into the next level, where he'll be expected to complete even more work in shorter amounts of time, and where the teacher is not going to continually remind him to stay on task. Fortunately, he goes to a small private school, so the teachers do have time to give him some extra attention. But there comes a point where he needs to progress a little more behavior-wise.
  13. blb

    blb New Member


    My oldest daughter has been diagnosed with adhd (inattentive type) with Aspie traits and I can tell you that putting her on medications was the absolute best thing that could have happened to her.

    We did all the behavioral mod at home, but until she got the medications, the follow through was marginal at best. Staying on task was her biggest issue, IF it was a subject she wasn't interested in...if she loved it she could have stuck with it all day (and night!)

    Fact is, without the medications, she couldn't have organized her way out of a paper bag, and she was the brightest in her class. My favorite story was in Kindergarten, during story time she used to literally roll around on the carpet while all the other kids sat there quietly. The teacher would occasionally ask questions, and there would be my "spinner" and the teacher would ask her a question which she would answer promptly, all the while never missing a beat from her rolling.

    Now part of that we believe is from the Aspie traits, in that she is always stimming to an extent, but the before and after medications taking as it related to her schoolwork and homework was HUGE.

    I have some links on adhd that are fairly good if you want to pass some along to husband here (1), here (2) and here

    Of course, as other posters have said, it may not be adhd but something else, but having him evaluated is a great first step. And remember, YOU are the professional when it comes to your child, don't let anyone make you feel otherwise...if they do, find someone else!
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Good luck with this. I hope you get some answers. It took us a long time seeing doctor after doctor, before we found someone who would continue to see the kids AND who could help.

    He really sounds like difficult child 1, in his problems coping in class. difficult child 1 would just 'zone out' in class because there was too much noise, too much distraction and to be able to concentrate on anything, he had to "narrow down" his perception window to such an extent that it shut out almost everything. Once something got through into his long-term memory (HIS worked!) then it stayed there. I was reading an old favourite book of our today as he arrived home and I began to read it to him to share a funny bit. He went on to quote several pages, word for word.

    Before you see the specialist, have a look at the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire on http://www.childbrain.com. You can answer the questions yourself and there is a guide to help you know exactly how to interpret the options, so you can give as accurate an answer as possible. You can't diagnose using this online test but if you have concerns you can print it out and take it to the doctor for HIS opinion.

    And thank you for your kind words about my name - my parents liked unusual names but it did mean we came in for a lot of teasing at school! It was the name of the heroine in "La Dame aux Camélias" by Alexandre Dumas. I often wonder if my parents thought the name would make me as beautiful as that heroine - but alas! It was not to be...

  15. Kathrine

    Kathrine New Member

    We saw the family doctor (general practitioner) yesterday and he agrees that my son exhibits the symptoms of ADHD. (My son was just right--he didn't sit still the whole time we were talking to the doctor. I was afraid he'd behave for 15 minutes.) He referred us to a child psychologist who handles the most ADHD cases in the next town over. Apparently, there is no neuro-psychologist anywhere near here.
    Our doctor said there is a non-stimulant drug called Stratera available, which doesn't have the side affects that stimulant drugs have. Does anyone have any experience with Stratera?
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child did not do well on Straterra, but a friend of mine had great success that last for a couple years, but no longer is working.

    I am glad you got a referral!

    It is always nice when difficult children show up for the doctor appts. I recall calling my difficult children pediatrician in tears many times saying I could not handle my child - and he chalked it up to young single mom. Until difficult child showed up for an appointment not to long after that. He was going bug eyed at my difficult child in the exam room. He finally said something and I reminded him of how many times I had called him for help and he did not help me. He immediately referred us! LOL!
  17. MelissaH

    MelissaH New Member

    I am guessing that from your title your hubby isn't on board with getting your son checked out for ADHD. When my son was acting up and before he was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD I had a really really really hard time accepting what people were telling and suggesting to me. Ever since the diagnosis and establishing a routine that works for both of us things have been much better. I wouldn't say that we live on easy street but we did manage to get through all of grade 4 without me having to leave work to go and pick him up from school because he was out of control.

    I suggest that you do a lot of reading and encourage your hubby to read up on it to. Once everyone is on the same page is makes things a lot easier to deal with.

    Good luck!

    PS--just wanted to mention that for the first little while we tried strictly behavior modification and because that didn't work for us we ended up going to medications. However, I do know some people who behavior modification has worked for so that may be a route you want to look at!
  18. Kathrine

    Kathrine New Member

    Well, our appointment is for Sept 11 at the psychologist. I still haven't told my husband. I guess I should get around to it soon. His answer to all our problems is always "more discipline."
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Kathrine, if he says, "he only needs more discipline," tell your husband you're wanting an expert's opinion on exactly how to implement the "more discipline" with consistency and effectiveness. It doesn't hurt to get an expert's advice; and if the expert happens to agree with husband, then he should feel vindicated. After all, you're only getting a second, more professional opinion after husband has given you HIS assessment. husband should be OK with that. if you 'sell' it to him the right way.

    And if the expert says something totally different to husband - well, the expert has spoken. Maybe husband would like to attend the next appointment to share his expertise with the professional, see if they can reach a useful consensus which can lead to you having a better understanding of how husband wants discipline applied.

    Eventually, something will have to sink in to husband's skull. Unless he turns out to be correct, after all. Hmm, did I just see a pink squealing thing fly past my window?

  20. Kathrine

    Kathrine New Member

    husband does not think ADHD is a real illness. He said it's all a matter of will power and if we can convince our son make up his mind that he WANTS to do his work, then he can be able to do it. I would write more, but I think I'm going to go to my room and cry a little now.