Possible ADHD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Va'Nessa, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Va'Nessa

    Va'Nessa New Member

    Hey All, I'm a newbie here and I'm hoping I can get some advice. My son is about to be four next week. I've been noticing that things aren't quite right with him for about two years now. He is very very hyper. I didn't think a human being could have this much energy naturally!!! He never stops. He is very clumsy and is constantly bruised and banged up because it's like he runs and runs around with no direction and doesn't know how to stop. Constantly talking and can't concentrate on anything for more then a few minutes. Which is making things super difficult. I can't seem to potty train him because it's like he can't pay attention to his body signals. I can't even try to explain things to him because he doesn't pay attention to what I say. He always has to be moving. We are having trouble teaching him his ABCs and he can count up to ten but doesn't recognize numbers or colors. His head is always turning and looking around some times it seems like he can't control it and when I finally try to get him to focus on one thing or just to look me in the eyes he bursts into tears. I took him for a check up yesterday and the Dr. referred us to a developmental specialist because his motor skills aren't were they should be and she said he might have ADHD. He does some other odd stuff too like grabbing strings or shoelaces and waving them around and just watches them wiggle. He is constantly doing that. He is also very very destructive. I almost hate to get him new toys for fear he'll break them as soon as he gets them in his hands. It could be months before we get an appointment with the specialist and I was just wondering if anyone out their new some methods I could use to teach him basic things like colors and letters. Or how to make him use the potty. Or just any advice on how to get him to focus.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Although he's young, in my opinion he also has symptoms of high functioning autistic spectrum disorder. Have no idea if he's on the spectrum, but he could be. When young, it looks a lot like extreme ADHD and "strangeness." Can he socialize with his peers? Make good eye contact with strangers? My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kid was first labeled ADHD/ODD. He was like your son, never still. We used to say he hung from the rafters. I couldn't take him anywhere because he'd take off like a shot and I'd be running after him. He had a fascination with watching lightbulbs and his hand. He babbled a lot and echoed, but didn't speak in sentences until he was five. He didn't potty #2 also until five. He needed a lot of interventions from the school and community, but he's doing great now at fifteen. I would keep evaluating your child. The first diagnosis is usually just a "working" diagnosis. They tend to change with time, as more stuff comes up. Have you checked your school district for early intervention? Your son sounds as if he would benefit from that.
  3. Joeman

    Joeman New Member

    Hi VaNessa,
    My difficult child is now 4 and diagnosed with ADHD/ODD. Some of what you describe sounds similar to my difficult child and some of it seems to fit more in with autism spectrum. I'd skip the colors, numbers and alphabet for now and focus more on trying to provide him with a structured day, a variety of play experiences including high sensory type activities that he enjoys and mix in some calmer things like listening to music or reading to him. I usually have to hold our difficult child with deep pressure to get his attention, plus get down on his level, eye to eye. Our potty training was accomplished by providing M&Ms for the successes. Good luck and I hope you find the answers you need from your upcoming appointment.
  4. karif

    karif crazymomof4

    My difficult child was diagnosed recently with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), ODD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), and pica. He is only 3 but we had to take him to a psycologist and neurologist before we got those diagnosis. Take it from me if you think something isn't right then it isn't . I wouldn't worry about the potty trainging and abc's as of yet. I would really find out out what the docs think first. Hugs and hang in there.:D
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I strongly urge you to move towards an assessment so you can have some sense of direction. You need to have some idea of his difficulties, so you can begin to help him.

    Whatever the diagnosis he eventually gets (if he gets one), he is already who he is. The label can make it easier to get support services at school, but he is your son, first and foremost. That doesn't change. The label often does.

    difficult child 1 was originally diagnosed as ADHD when he was 6. When he was about 13 it was suggested he had Asperger's. This was at the same time as difficult child 3 was diagnosed as"mild to moderate autism spectrum disorder", now relabelled "high-functioning autism". The labels do shift a bit. Some people refer to Asperger's as being equivalent to "high-functioning autism" but we have one of each and they are NOT the same thing!
    The distinction as applying here to us, has been "Is there a history of language delay?" A "yes" response" put him in the category of autism, while "no" puts it in Asperger's. For us.

    difficult child 3 definitely had serious language delay issues. A big headache. But crikey, he's sure caught up now! He sounds like a walking thesaurus. But it's the HISTORY that is important here, not how he seems now.

    We had an idiot school counsellor who said to me once, "Look how well difficult child 3 is doing! You must be so pleased that he's no longer autistic!"
    I pointed out that the label doesn't go away, he is autistic because all the factors, including his history, confirm it. However, he has adapted well and is very good at masking his autism. As difficult child 3 said himself when he was 8 years old, "I'm getting very good at pretending to be normal."

    In the earlier days we had people who treated the autism label as a tragedy. Family acted as if he had a terminal disease. difficult child 3's scripture teacher actually prayed with him for his autism to be healed. I was very angry about that because it sent a message to difficult child 3, that his autism meant that he was flawed and this was a bad thing. It also sent a message that all he had to do was pray and the autism would one day be magically all gone. I had a lot of work to do to explain to difficult child 3 (and his scripture teacher) that God doesn't necessarily work like that - he isn't a magic wish fairy. And also that autism is an integral part of difficult child 3's makeup.

    difficult child 3 was diagnosed at 3, but it was really obvious by then. His prognosis then was not good - we were told he'd never go to a normal school, he would be uneducable, that his prodigious reading ability was pure savant skill, not reflecting genuine ability but simply something freakish that mimicked genuine intelligence. Crikey, were they wrong!

    But then - if they had promised us that he would be fine, it would have set us up for failure.

    Our journey with difficult child 3 has been an education. We have learned that you use every bit of help you can get. Work on the positives. Focus on encouragement, avoid punishment. Be consistent, challenge your child but not too hard. Support your child's apparently irrational fears, phobias and fads, but try to encourage them to try something different, as they can handle it. Don't yell. Teach by example. Avoid ambiguity - if they ask a question, you answer, "That's correct" instead of "That's right" because "right" is also a direction.

    There were so many other aspects to this that we never realised - I wish we had. Over the years we have learned this ourselves, rather than been informed by health professionals. Often we've been the ones to educate the doctors.

    We also raised the kids to embrace their autism, to view it as simply a different way of thinking and learning. They have found for themselves some benefits which they value. difficult child 1 is currently working for a carpenter, his job is to supervise the final sanding process of the furniture to make sure the job is done properly. His Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (a facet of his Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)) is helping him do this part of the job to perfection. He enjoys being in control of a high standard of finish to the company's furniture.

    I hope you can get some definitive answers for your son, but it can take time.