New here

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by byebyemind, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. byebyemind

    byebyemind New Member

    Hi all,

    I stumbled upon this site and am so glad to be here! Just wanted to introduce myself and tell you a little about my situation so you kind of know me for when I ask for help!

    I am a mother of one and a custodial stepmother of two more children. I have a wonderful husband.

    My oldest stepchild was diagnosed with adhd years ago. Has had learning problems since preschool. When she was younger her behavior was atrocious. Now she is a sweet girl but very immature for her age (13). She is also a year behind in school because she was held back at a young age. She has an IEP and homework is a struggle everyday as it will take her about 4 hours a night to do a few things. Everything she does is so slow. She has a hard time staying focused on things, so that is why it takes her so long. We tried medication and it did not work. Made her sad and like a zombie. School said she would concentrate for about 15 min at a time more when on medication. We made the decision to take her off medications and she has blossomed into a happy girl.

    My son is 11. Never been diagnosed with anything, but he is so difficult at times! His teachers have hinted at ADHD, but he has never been diagnosed. And after seeing what medications did to my sd I am not sure I even want him to be diagnosed. My son is very smart, but homework is a daily argument. He cries about studying for tests and whines so much it takes us hours instead of a normal amount. He throws temper tantrums when he gets something wrong and I make him fix it. But somehow we have managed to make it through and his grades are all A's and B's in school.

    When it comes to chores he rushes and does it horribly. When I make him fix it with me it is a fight. He argues about everything! He plays rough with my younger stepson even if I tell him 10 times that day to keep hands to himself. I can say something to him and he will not do it and claim he did not hear me...though when I am having a private conversation he can repeat it to me later.

    I am a stay at home mom for the most part. I used to be a full-time teacher. Now, I substitute teach on occasion and babysit during the summers.

    I could go on an on but I think I will end here. It did make me feel better to get it out!

    Thanks for listening!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome.

    A few quick questions. Has either child ever had a neuropsychologist evaluation that has no connection to school? As far as your son goes, how is his socialization and eye contact with peers? Did he have any early delays?

    ADHD is one of those diagnosis. that hardly ever stands alone. It can, but usually does not. And schools often tend to hint at ADHD because educators don't really know the different things it could be. I know you're a teacher and I mean no disrespect, but teachers are NOT good diagnosticians. They shouldn't be--it's not their field. We took our son to a private neuropsychologist. It was extremely helpful! Does your child seem different than other kids his age? Any obsessive interests? Is he emotionally up to speed? Does he get upset if anything changes--his routine, the way his room looks, anything? Did he have any sensitivities to noise, textures, food, etc.

    Welcome again. Good people come here.
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Welcome. I wish I could provide you with some answers, but choosing to medicate or not is a very personal choice. One thing that often worked for me was dividing homework into chunks. For example, we would have 15 minutes set aside for math---and if we completed we got a break with some sort of reward---outside play, a snack, computer time, favorite video. Then we would take another 15 minutes for another task. Again, another reward.
    Break bigger assignments into smaller tasks----for a report---15 minutes to write a paragraph--then a break.
  4. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hello and welcome. I have no suggestions at this time just wanted to welcome you to the board. -RM
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Adding my welcome!
  6. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Hi I'm new here too, isn't this a cool site! I guess the only ? I would have at this point is how are the kids sleeping? The reason I ask is when my kids were doing the most poorly was when they weren't getting adequate rest at night.

    For what its worth I fell for the old "it's adHd thing too, unfortunately Angel's reaction to the stimulants put her into a psychiatric hospital when she was 6yo. The advise to get a neuropsychologist exam is a very good idea. I think you are right not to give the medications until you find out whats going on, sounds like they gave the wrong type medications. 4 hours seems like a long time to do homework for a 13yo, I would be sad too. I would discuss with the school getting an IEP because even if not medicating for Adhd they could still classify her as OHI (other health impairment) and give her an accomodation like limiting homework to 1 hour or one subject a night, or if all the excess homework is in one subject - offer a resource room for that one class so she can get more of the work done at school. She could probably use some help getting organized if she's anything like my kids.

    For your son if a teacher says they think he might have adHd I would thank them for their concern and ask the school to do psychological testing. Our district uses ASEBA - Child behavior checklist the copywright is held by T Achenbach (consists of checklists for parent, student & teacher to complete) I have the schools do them on both my girls every 3 years as part of the routine before the IEP meeting. When Ms12's psychiatrist tried to say adHd I pulled out the 5 page report from the school and showed him on the graphs yes she's in the borderline range for attention but I'm much more concerned about the clinical range for affective disorders & depression. I knew she needed some kind of medications I just wanted to avoid the mistake I made with her sister and start with the right type medications. Whether to medicate or not is a personal decision; I feel its nice to know what is going on so proper accomodations can be made.

    Again welcome
  7. byebyemind

    byebyemind New Member

    Hi again.
    To answer the questions neither child has ever had a neuropsychologist evaluation. I had my sons teacher fill out some forms last year from my pediatrician but nothing really stood out on the forms. I do notice that when he gets into a big story his eye contact is poor. But socially he seems to do well. Plays with neighborhood kids daily after school and has a few friends from school that he plays with outside of school. He has also been in sports and has been fine with the kids. No obsessions or anything. He just lacks much patience. Emotionally he seems the same as all the other kids his age. And when he was younger he was always ahead of everyone else in school. Was not till 3rd grade he started struggling a bit. Part of it was due to the material getting more challanging and not coming so easy to him. Part of it was he actually had to sit and study. And part of it was he had an awful teacher who had no patience and thought kids should sit still for 7 hours a day without talking and just watch her write on the board.

    As for my stepdaughte she does have an IEP. She gets help from resource teachers. She does not have a large quantity of homework..she just takes forever to do it. She will sit and think about the sentence she is going to write for like 10 minutes before writing it! This year it is getting better though. First year she is able to sit and do homework by herself. I only have to monitor to get her moving quicker, not help her with it all. When I first came into the picture she was in 2nd grade and her teachers were saying she daydreamed a lot. Well the girl could not read..what else did they expect her to do?? Nobody was addressing that and the teachers were filling out her goals as met at 80% accuracy on them all!! I told my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) that I smelled a rat. He kept saying how nice they all were and how much they were working with her...bla bla bla. I figured his daughter---he can deal with it then.

    After marriage we bought a house together in a new school district and the teachers there confirmed what I had been saying...the old school was just passing her along! husband felt awful...but he was not an expert. He was trusting the people who were supposed to be. In the meantime I kept working with her at home like crazy on the basics and she is only about a year behind now...where as she was almost 3 years behind when we met.

    So that is where we are all at.

    As for our youngest, he is wonderful. The most well behaved of them all! And he loves school and does wonderfully.
  8. byebyemind

    byebyemind New Member

    And I almost forgot the sleeping question. They both get between 9-10 hours of sleep per night. And all of our kids take a kids daily multivitamin. We also watch their sugar consumption.
  9. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Sounds like you are on top of it, very good that you were able to help 13yo with some of the instruction she wasn't getting at school. I'm so glad they are sleeping - that is the thing that had me where it was so hard to function or think straight myself was when Ms12 was only sleeping 4 hours a night.