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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Questions regarding ADD/ADHD... im confused and need some direction!

    Hi there mammas and dads,
    I have a health question regarding adhd.
    My son is a beautiful gentle young man. Hes just turned 9. Up until he was about 6 he was a very easy child/baby. Much easier than my daughter lol.
    Once he entered year 1 approx. he became very busy/active. I never thought anything of it except, 'he's just being a typical boy'. Always moving, busy and wiggly.
    In year two we had our usual interview with my sons teacher and she mentioned to me that he could/possably/maybe have adhd.
    I was devastated. I always pictured children with this were crazy, wired, abusive, violent children (ignorant...I know!) but I didn't have a lot of knowledge on the subject all except of what ive seen on news reports etc.
    The reason she said that was because he would do things like, instead of sitting in his chair and listeng (like the rest of the class) he would be hopping on one leg standing next to his table, and karate chopping the air as the class walks in to class neatly.
    I admit, I did giggle a bit when she said it... but I get it, it is a problem.

    I think I was in a bit of denial as a lot of parents said 'no...all boys are just like that. boys are boys. They are all busy little bees' etc etc etc...

    I also know he has had a lot of allergy issues. He has a constant blocked nose, which makes him sleep with his mouth open. Im almost 100% certain he wasn't getting a good nights sleep as he was also tired and had dark circles under his eyes (despite the 8pm bed time everynight).

    Anyhoo...I ignored the teacher dismissing her as 'silly' and 'what would she know?'

    So, last year his year 3 teacher raised some of the simular problems, 'easily distracted, distracting to others, not listening, not focusing, forgetting instructions etc'...She was really lovely and felt it had to do with all his allergy issues.
    She was such an amazing help as she too just had surgey on her nasel passage for a simular thing. She told me its trerrible not being able to breath/sleep etc and that can definitely affect his performance in school.
    She kindly gave me the number of her specialist and we booked in for an appointment. It turned out he needed to have his adenoids and turbinates removed. It was causing sleep apnoea.
    He had his surgey done in early January, prior to the new school year starting. I was happy as thought he will start the new year afresh and have a better year this year.

    Anyhoo, Last week we had our scheduled parent/teacher interview with his new teacher for year 4.
    Im so sad!
    She again mentioned his lack of concentration and is disruptive to the 2 boys sitting beside him.
    She was really lovely and said 'as a person, he is a beautiful boy...very polite and well mannered but very absent minded'.
    I asked her "do you think he has ADHD?" she said "well....I didn't want to say that but.......um...yes, I think he may have. The teacher next door has also picked up on it"
    I guess now im at a point where I have to admit that my son may have it.
    He is very fidgety, and simple task like washing the dishes, clearing the table or dusting IS....SOOOOO....PAINFUL!!! My daughter complains but still gets on with it. For my son, anyone would think we were trying to pull his fingernails out.

    My husband took him away for a couple of days this week and even he said 'he really is so absent minded' he would ask his simple things like 'grab your surf board from your room before we go'...he would respond by saying 'sure dad'. 2 mins later he would be sitting in the car waiting to go and my husband would say 'do you have your board?' and he would say 'oh...forgot, sorry'. That's just one instance., This sort of thing happens ALL THE TIME!!!!

    So, Ive booked in with the doctor who is putting a referral through to get him tested for adhd.

    NOW...YOUR THOUGHTS...
    what my plan was is to get him properly/officially diagnosed then take that diagnoses and get my natropath to treat him with that info.

    Should I do this?

    Should I waste the money on the specialist ... is it obvious and clear he has this?
    If so should I save my money and put it into getting him help at the natropath?

    OR get the proper diagnosis...
    and get proper meds for him?

    I have a strong feeling most here will say DONT GO THE MEDS, but I don't know what direction to take here.

    Has anyone got advice on what to do.
    Im sure some of you have children with this on here, and any advice on the matter would be truly appreciated.

    Im currently seeing a natropath myself and I have just found out I have Pyrrol... as this is a genetic thing, perhaps this is playing a role in it?
    Anyway,
    I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
    Thanks all for reading xo

  2. #2
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    Honestly go see the specialist now as soon as possible.

    I have a boy who is kind and a pleasure to have around but can not concentrate for more than a minute or two without meds. His teacher can tell if he has missed a tablet. He is now in grade 9. He struggles every single day. He started meds in grade 5.

    It is my biggest regret and parenting fail that I didn't get him help sooner. If I had his reading skills would be so much better and he wouldn't struggle as bad as he does now.

    Please I beg you get him tested for his sake. Don't be like me and live with the regrets I have.

    What harm will it do to get him tested. NONE

    What harm in not doing it. A HE'LL OF A LOT.




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  3. #3
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    Definitely go ahead with your doctors appointment. There could be lots of reasons your son behaves the way he does, and your doctor can investigate all options. If he is diagnosed with ADHD and meds are recommended, I honestly would go with it. If a child has ADHD, they misbehave as a result of a chemical imbalance in their brain, not as a result of a decision to be naughty - and meds can address this. ADHD meds are safe to use. Of course some people might experience adverse side effects, that's a risk with any medication, but it's worth trying at least...I think of it as, if your child had a different illness eg diabetes, you wouldn't hesitate to give your child insulin instead of seeking alternatives, and this should be no different.

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    I have being going through this process for the last two years. No one has mentioned ADHD yet but he has dyspraxic tendencies and low muscle tone which can look like elements of ADHD. They can also be interwoven but ADHD can't be diagnosed until 7. So even though you think it could be ADHD it could be something else. If it was me personally, I would get a word of mouth referral to a developmental paed. They should then refer you to a child psychologist who can do a range of tests. I would also think the paed would ask for a school psych to observe him in class and write a report for them. We have also been going to an O.T. She has being excellent and provided us with some other ideas and angles to work on. Once all is the reports are in (along with the teachers and your testimonials) your paed might administer there own tests and then make their initial judgment and the over time with new practises in place then make a final decision.

    What I have found is that is an ever shifting landscape. It is constant education on my part about different aspects (diet, supplements, new research, best practise therapy etc) and discussing these with the paed, therapists and teachers. In regards to medication, everyone will have an opinion but only yours will matter. It does truly amazing things for some kids and nothing for others. If you have a computer I highly recommend watching the doco 'Kids on Speed' on the ABC website. Those children are more on the extreme spectrum but it was interesting. My advice would be to trust your instincts and education!

  5. #5
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    As a teacher I agree with Anewme's urging you to see the specialist, pursuing a diagnosis and following up with medication if it is recommended. If this is the case expect that it may take a little while to get the medication right.

    As a parent with a child who displays ADHD-type behaviour when she eats a specific food additive, I urge you to also look in some complimentary approaches. You have already dealt with one underlying issue, the tiredness. There could be other factors which may also help.

    You mention allergies, have you tried the failsafe diet to identify it any foods or additives are exacerbating the behaviour? This can be a good starting point.

    Another to look at is the impact of deficiencies. Here is a link that may be of interest.
    http://behaveability.com.au/dr-alison-knight/
    I attended a talk by her a couple of years ago and it is very much not a one-size-fits-all approach. They do testing to determine if any external factors/deficiencies are altering brain biochemistry and thus impacting on behaviour. I believe this is an area that there will be a lot more research into and discoveries about. (You should note that Pyrrole disorder is mentioned on a list of potential issues on the linked page)

    A natropath may also have some other complimentary treatments but personally, I would not recommend taking their advice or diagnosis over that of a specialist doctor. (I have a friend studing natropathy so have a fair idea of the level of training they have)

    You may also want to have a look into if you think he could have a working memory problem. Changes to the ways you and his teacher communicate and structure each day can help with this.

    Whatever you do, don't do nothing. I have seen the heartbreaking impact on learning that undiagnosed/untreated ADHD can have on a child. I have also seen the leaps and bounds a child can make once they are on the right track.

  6. #6
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    Definitely go and see a specialist but keep in mind that very rarely does one person have all the right answers. There is a lot of info out there on the impacts of diet on behaviours, my youngest has an intolerance to salicylates which can have a big impact on concentration. Also have a look at seeing an occupational therapist, they can work wonders with focus and concentration.

  7. #7
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    I'd do both....make the appointment with the specialist. In the meantime, go to the naturopath (arguably the naturopath will be easier & quicker to get in to). Make the naturopaths suggested changes assuming he has ADHD & see if there is improvement. Get the "official" diagnosis, & then decide whether to medicate.

    I know a child whose behavioural problems are managed 100% with diet - no meds at all. So you never know.....I'm not saying this would be the solution for everybody -- some kids Actually need the meds -- but do you really want to go down the medication path without first trying all other options first? & then if the other options don't work, then resort to the medication?

    That's what I'd do anyway.

    Good luck either way, I hope he gets the help he needs! x

  8. #8
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    Oh the other complimentary medical professional I'd suggest seeing would be a dietician - as pp mentioned, things like salicylates & amines in the diet modify behavior - it may be worth investigating food intolerances too. Good luck!

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    Im only going to echo what others have said - go and get a diagnosis. We were asked to see DD teacher in pre primary for a discussion about "concentration issues".

    Twelve months later our total diagnosis is ADHD, Aspergers, SPD and profoundly gifted IQ.

    A fidgety child can be many things (as I have discovered) and the only way to nail down the problem and get the correct help is to go through diagnosis.

    Medication for ADHD and for anxiety has made a huge difference to my princess. It is not the one eyed monster I thought it was. We tried diet and fish oil and a whole bunch of stuff that really was just a waste of $$$$.

    In conjunction with meds we see a psychologist, OT and attend a social skills therapy group. Ive learned you cannot just pop in the pill and expect a cure. Take advantage of the calm the meds offer to provide your child with the therapy and skills they need to learn to cope and function.

    Good luck on your journey. The best lesson I have learned is that diagnosis is the best thing you can do - it sets you on the path to understanding and treatment.

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  11. #10
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    I'd get a diagnosis. My oldest has ADHD and it took a long time to diagnose, until I basically 'spelt it out'.

    He isn't on meds as he reacts badly to them, but I am able to manage his behaviour with diet, exercise and parenting techniques. I don't want him on meds his whole life, nor do I believe that it's a healthy option. The emotional ups and down of taking meds was affecting him badly.

    YOU need respite though to be effective. Often people say, he's such a calm, well mannered boy when I tell them his condition, but that is because I work tirelessly to manage it (clap for me).

    He knows that he has ADHD, but he also knows it's just wiring of his brain just like how some people have dyslexia whilst he whizzes through reading; I have compared ADHD to dyslexia quite a lot recently to help him come to terms as to why people my react funny when he's all twitchy; just like he once had trouble understanding how someone could have trouble reading once.


 

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