Any advice for hormonal AND learning disorders????

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by ma2sevn, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. ma2sevn

    ma2sevn New Member

    My daughter is 12, has hx of anxiety disorder and used to pull her feeling inward but now they are really coming out! She was given the diagnosis of learning disorder not otherwise specified...she is difficult to really figure out. SHe is social, attractive and popular. Which she is most interested in. School has always been challenging, and I must admit it is in the last 3 yrs that I did the research and testing and realized she wasnt LAZY like even I was begining to think. Now she is just doing work in the classroom and chucking the rest. She does try some homework but she is soooo distractable she doesnt last long on hmwork and gets tired of it. Here is the deal, for the last 3 yrs we sit with her for hrs trying to keep her on task and get the work done. SHe used to wander off to other parts of the house if we didnt. She just has a million things running in her mind. So we were sitting there basically being her external boundry. And she would fight us (verbally) and I am not kidding we would be up till 11 doing school work. So we kept adjusting her IEP, the school really is trying to work with her but they also say she has to do her part. This year she dosent want our help but cant stay focused on it and gives up. The reason she is having so much hmwork is she dosent get it done in class, and she has a special study hall even that most other kids dont have. She isnt hyper so yes I do think she has ADD. In fact she has been diagnosis with ADHD and anxiety disorder. We tried alot of ADHD medication and she reacted worse with each of them. Then she would get so worried about her school work NOT getting done she would and still does peel skin off her fingers and toes, and just become sick to her stomach with worry. SHe told her psychiatrist that and we started her on Prozac. She is...or was... happier I noticed. She seems really immature in some ways. I am not in a hurry for her to be mature though so I am ok with staying in childhood awhile longer. Tonight she returned home from an overnight youth retreat all in a panic cause the youth pastor wanted to talk to me about her behavior. SHe has never had bad behavior outside of home like this (at home she is mouthy, swearing, trying to get reactions and defiant) so I hear her side and the youth pastors side and it does sound like her at home...but difficult child says they are lying and difficult child cant understand the things they ask of her because they were in rapid succession and difficult child felt pressured. ANd she forgot things they were telling her and the pastor was a big fat liar. Youth pastor was so surprised at difficult child behavior thats why she even said anything to me because she was concerned. difficult child was anxious that I believe only her side and when I talked to pastor, difficult child fell apart first mouthing then bawling, refusing to eat, emotion. Later tonight she crawled in bed with me and jsut wanted me to rub her hair, still puffy eyed from crying. She is pretty good at telling the truth, she will flat tell me "I did this wrong" but she is admament that this time she was a victim. And if I didnt know the people she was with I might believe her more. I really thinks she is so scatterbrained and un aware of where she should be and what she should be doing that she feels like a victim because she gets in trouble so much. THEN, she gets defensive and that makes things worse.
    Going Monday to ask to try yet another ADD medication. SHe is on the Prozac and Lamictal, but Lamictal isnt doing anything and dont think she is bipolar. I think she had some processing disorder. She is a messy kid..physically and emotionally, she seems to spill things and her thoughts all over. There is so much more but this is way too long already. Any advice?
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will help us point you in the right direction for help.

    What kind of doctor diagnosed her with anxiety and learning disorder-not otherwise specified? What kind of doctor is prescribing her medications? Is she in therapy?

    How long has she been on Prozac? What dose is she taking? Has her behavior worsened since she started Prozac?

    What accommodations are in her IEP concerning schoolwork and homework? Is she in a mainstream classroom?

    Has she ever had private neuropsychological testing?
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    It sometimes happens that an effective ADHD medication can’t be found for a student but if efforts haven’t been exhausted and you’re not adverse to medicating, it would likely be a good avenue to pursue.

    In an instance such as this, it’s difficult for a child to learn without the ADHD and anxiety symptoms being controlled, but not impossible. It just takes a lot more time and effort by parents and educators to get the job done.

    Learning Disability (LD)-not otherwise specified doesn’t given one an idea if this diagnosis is a result of language Learning Disability (LD), math Learning Disability (LD), processing Learning Disability (LD), etc., or a combination thereof. What are the underlying problems that resulted in the Learning Disability (LD)-not otherwise specified diagnosis?

    Is the IEP addressing remediation of the Learning Disability (LD)(s)?

    Unless your child is unique, I think requiring homework to be completed at 11:00 pm at night may be counterproductive. The mental exertion required of our kids at school exceeds that of the typical student. They are often mentally fatigued when they get out of school. If they arrive at school already fatigued from lack sleep, it can compound the problem, e.g., they wouldn’t absorb as much as possible during the school day as when fresh.

    I’d find out how much time difficult child should be spending on homework at night, and after that amount of time had passed, let it go. If your difficult child needs a smaller class say in Language Arts to learn, that what the IEP should call for.

    I fought the homework battle for years. It accomplished nothing but to make a bad situation worse. It’s not that I don’t think it’s important – it just has to be put in the proper perspective for our child. If his medication has worn off, there’s just no way to “make” him sustain attention. If he’s fatigued, it is what it is. If he’s not up to it, he’s not.
  4. ma2sevn

    ma2sevn New Member

    Thank you both for responding. She was diagnosis Learning Disability (LD), not otherwise specified by a pediatrician psychiatrist at a university teaching hospital. SHe said she and her collegues had a hard time distinguishing where her disability lay, she deffinatly thought difficult child had major learning problems. thus the not otherwise specified. I have the report filed away it was about 3 yrs ago. ANd we saw that doctor because difficult child was having so much stomach trouble and the pediatrician gastro wanted to add the psychiatric side to the equation. SHe has been treated for dyspepsi (stomach) since then also. We see our military pediatrician and she is great about sending us out for everything except obvious medical stuff she handles. So we have tried alot of differnt avenues. difficult child has a pyschiatrist whom is pretty good and listens to she and I. He diagnosis the anxiety disorder due to her stomach stuff, combined with skin peeling and mainly because she verbalized that she worried so much at school and was actually scared quite often. By the way , he and the pediatrician have also allowed us to try several ADD medications (Adderal, Ritalin and Dexadrine? and Strattera) Her psychiatric says there are only two actual classifications for ADD ADHD drugs and all the different ones really are in one of these two groups...a few differences but mostly the same thing. He feels like if we have tried these and it didtn improve,(she got whiney and moody and mean on them) we dont need a n ADD medication, we need to treat from a different angel so we started the Lamictal. The Prozac came about 8 mo ago and I do think it helps. She takes 20 mg in am. Then he also added Lamictal 50 mg and recently upped Lamicatal to 75 daily . I see no effect from the Lamicatal. She was in individual therapy for about a year and a half and therapist said she felt like difficult child was at a good place and we dicontinued(difficult child was doing great was ending and to be honest I was glad for the chance to try another therapist. But summer was prety good and I didnt start her back until just last week. SO we are with a another therapist that I really like (and actually see myself) who has difficult child's herself. One great thing is that difficult child is pretty honest she tells therapist what she really is struggling with and is active with the therapy. As far as achool goes its a mixed bag. SHe has an IEP, and I had to fight for that. The school believed she is just lazy and too focused on her hair and social life. And I have to be honest, they have been accomadating and are trying. But now I am seeing her not trying, and I have had a few talks with school and they are begining to say well if she wont even try....I had said I would just pull back and let her an attempt to motivate her that this is her work, and her responsibility, but school said not to do that. But I am there anyway, not cause I am tired of helping her but because now she has put the breaks on and simply wont do it. SHe does what she can in the classroom but thats the end of it. I am a believer in school work belongs at school, personally. And you are right, she isnt gaining anything being up till late at night doing it. The truth is 'I' feel pressured to make sure she gets it done at home and I WAS driving her to get it done to avoid her having repercussions. SHe had a horrible yr last year....ISS often for missing assisgnments ( yes I reacted quite neg to that). I hope I am not making it hard for you to understand and pick through all this info.
    I just got off phone with school. They are going to see what they can do on their end to help her get it done at school but also talk to her about making choices...either get it finished at school or get it finished at home. She has an afterschool help program but difficult child says she isnt going to do homework there cause she was in school all day doing work and then has to again when she comes home so she is not going to do it in afterschool program too. I can go with that. But there are tutors there. She also usually has v-ball practice after school(at least that is a pos. self esteem builder). Sorry so long and confusing.
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Regarding the LDs, you all are trying to work in the dark, e.g., is it a processing problem, a memory problem, a language problem, a math problem, and/or visual motor skill problem, etc? Without knowing, an effective IEP can't be developed.

    If it's been 3 years since your daughter was evaluated, it's past time to have it done again in my opinion.

    Your daughter was 9 when the evaluation was done. It happens that some students' Learning Disability (LD) are not even pickup until 7th, 8th or 9th grades. Very subtle problems noted in elementary school can become a "big deal" as students advance through school. Without appropriate remediation and accommodations, she'll likely fall further and further behind in school and anxiety issues may get out of hand.

    I'd request that the school district perform the evaluation, and if you don't feel that gives correct and adequate information about the LDs, get a private evaluation or ask for an IEE. (In writing and via certified mail. There are some sample letters in the Sp Ed Archives if you need them.)

    There is a difference in remediating and accommodating. For example, a couple of my son's accommodations were an extra set of books at home and highlighting text. That's good, great and fine except:

    An extra set of books at home helps with his forgetting to bring them home, but in that his language skills were so delayed that he couldn't comprehend what he read, what was the point? What was really needed? Remediation via extensive, intensive language therapy.

    Highlighting is a great strategy to teach, HOWEVER, when I asked them if he would be allowed to highlight both sets of text books they looked at me like I had lost my mind. The answer was "no!" Soooo, the point of the accommodation was what? It didn't teach my son the language skills he needed to be successful in school nor the future job market.

    Teaching a student to compensate for weaknesses is a good thing, but it should not take the place of remediation if remediation is possible.