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  • At what age was your child diagnosed with ADHD?

    19 posts, 12 voices, 1326 views, started Feb 4, 2009

    Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 by Jean Walter

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    • Garnett
      Offline

      My son, Zach was diagnosed when he was 8 years old. At first I was in denial. I didn’t want to believe it. My son was falling through the cracks in school. He wasn’t focused in class. His reading was below grade level and so were his scores in Math. My husband and I met with Zach’s teacher and she suggested that we talk to our pediatrician about Zach and the possibility of ADHD. She also had a son with ADHD and recognized the signs right away. I was so nervous at that first doctor’s meeting. I was scared to think of my child as having a learning disability due to ADHD. Would he be on medication for the rest of his life? I didn’t even understand what ADHD was all about!
      That was nearly 2 years ago and I am still coping with all of these fears and questions. I sometimes wish I could trade places with Zach for one day, just so I could feel what is going on inside his brain and what he is thinking!
      My patience wears so thin some days but I say a prayer and hold my little boy tightly hoping tomorrow will be a better day!



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          (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Feb 4, 2009
        • My has has problem since kindergarten.  Then 1st, then 2nd, and 3rd.  It took a teacher at third grade to encourage us to test him out.  

          One greatest thing was I knew the principals SO WELL.



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          Onevision wrote Feb 4, 2009
        • Officially in 3rd grade, but I knew since he was 3.



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          Julied61 wrote Feb 4, 2009
        • Well, my son wasn’t diagnosed until 7th grade and even then it was due to other LD’s that led us to it.  No teacher ever suggested anything.  

          I, too, sometimes wonder what goes on in his head.  Just looking back & his comments, I guess it was like being bombarded with way too much info & noises that I might not even notice, but he couldn’t “turn off” all the other stuff to focus on the task at hand.  Someone chatting at the back of the room was as “loud” as the teacher.  Must be very confusing.



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          (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Feb 4, 2009
        • Oops, sorry.  I did not know it is already in a group.  Either way.  Thank you.



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          Linni wrote Feb 4, 2009
        • i have a son and a daughter that are ADHD, and a daughter that is ADD, and has attachment disorder..

          my daughter with ADD was diagnosed in high school, and my 2 other children were diagnosed in elementary school..

          i know there are foods that effect this, and when the foods are taken out of thier system, the symptoms leave.. but you have to read EVERY lable...



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          Jean Walter wrote Feb 5, 2009
        • Hey Doll!

          I know you have created the group Mental Health which covers a wide range of subjects.  That is why I created this support group specifically for ADHD. After the post made yesterday asking if anyone has a child with ADHD, I felt the need to create this group!

          I hope others going through this experience will join!

          =)
          ~jeanie



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          Feathermaye wrote Feb 5, 2009
        • Jonathan was diagnosed when he was five years old. He’d entered kindergarten early (after passing a battery of school tests) but then his exuberance wasn’t appreciated by the teacher.  

          To this day I don’t know if the diagnosis was right or not. We’ve had several doctors who’ve said “this child does not have ADD. He has {this} and {that}, but not ADHD.” Other doctors have said, “Oh, he most certainly does!“. I don’t feel like any one diagnosis ever hit the nail on the head with my kid.

          It’s a long road. Jonathan is now 18 and still a source of upheaval—and he doesn’t even live in my home anymore. Sometimes I think the labels make it worse, because we put so much hope into the solutions assigned to them.



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          Jean Walter wrote Feb 5, 2009
        • Heather~ How have you managed all of these years??  I get so frustrated with it all!
          Zach just seems like a train and a loose track sometimes! I just want to shake him and ask, “What is going on in there???”
          What meds was Jonathan on?  I still don’t feel as though Zach has benefited from the Focalin that he is on and we are going back for a re-evaluation soon!



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          Karyn Olson wrote Feb 5, 2009
        • My grandson is almost 9 and we just found out a couple of months back that he is ADHD and also has ODD...it is hard at times but I have lots of support...doctors, school and home support worker...so it helps...



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          Feathermaye wrote Feb 5, 2009
        • To answer you question how did I manage? Barely !!

          The train wreck that was our life was riddled with meds that would change Jonathan’s behavior, but rarely for the better.

          When he was 5 they put him on Ritalin. It definitely calmed him and allowed him to sit still through class and all that, but he was such a zombie at home that I couldn’t stand it! The medicine didn’t allow for an ounce of his personality to come through, and I couldn’t take it.

          I took him off of Ritalin after a few months and started researching natural alternatives: adjusting his diet, focus exercises, herbal supplements, etc. I don’t know what worked and what he just grew out of, because as he got older the labels/diagnoses changed and other medicines were prescribed.



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          Jean Walter wrote Feb 5, 2009
        • Heather ~That’s a little like what Zach is going through!  It seems as soon as the meds hit his system, he get’s this haze about him!  Sure he seems to be focused a little bit and maybe he isn’t as distracted during class but the afternoons and evenings are sometimes just crazy!  It’s almost as though he has this loud band going on inside his head.  He is loud and constantly moving around, even to the point of being disrespectful and mean!
          I want to help him so badly and I don’t know how to get through.
          You mentioned your son “grew out” of this or was it that your son just learned how to manage it??
          This is all so confusing and wearing on my nerves!



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          Marie Hempsey wrote Feb 5, 2009
        • Oh Gosh ladies...My son was diagnosed in Kindergarden with add and borderline adhd, auditorily and visually neurologically impaired ( nothing wrong with his sight or hearing...just processing what he saw and heard. All through school he did great on his meds with speech, reading, writing and Occupational therapy , a counselor and a psychologist. He had a battery of help and I was constantly involved in whatever he was doing and he excelled in school and sports , even graduated just short of honors with college prep classes and  was on the State Championship football team. Since he graduated he has refused meds and any kind of therapy. Just flat out refuses...and he is failing miserably as an adult...I hate to say it. He is a very good kid, has never brought an ounce of trouble to our door but has no sense of responsibility at all. Cannot keep a job and has had some wonderful opportunities, he graduated from EMT school and Firefighter school and had a great job with our county...a life time job with benefits, vaca...the entire pkg and just blew it. No apparent reason...just stopped going. He does not drink or do drugs...it is a hard situtaiona and he would do anything for me that I ask..he is a great help around the house so it makes it so hard to be mad at him. He just “does not get things’ and it sucks and it is breaking our hearts , but we are really at a total loss as to what to do for him...he just will not cooperate. Sorry for the long rant but...you asked...LOL
          have a wonderful day...God Bless!
          Ree



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          Feathermaye wrote Feb 5, 2009
        • Well, Jonathan always had (and still does, to a degree. Although at 18 they manifest in different ways) behavioral disorders as a kid.

          When he was entering high school we had a final ARD meeting (I completely forget what it stands for, but is a group meeting with counselors, teachers, LD specialists, etc) in which we all agreed that Jonathan was just a unique case and the doctors had, for the most part, been wrong the whole way through. In that meeting it was decided that all record of Learning Disability and Behavioral Disability would be removed from his file, and he was just another mainstream kid from that point forward.

          That's when the real problems began that resulted in him being a 16 year old sophomore with no signs of advancing to the 11th grade. Eventually I agreed to withdraw him from school and he pursued (and finally got) his GED. I believe that all the struggles ruined him for school success.

          Now that I am more removed from my son and his situations, I have come to believe that Jonathan’s problems were just as much the fault of genetics as anything else. He is very much like his father and the other males in his father’s family. Particularly as he gets older.

          I’m not sure if I answered your question, lol. Each kid is different and we can only hope that the doctors eventually get it right. Our kids suffer as much as we do through their challenges. And most of the time, knowing our kids are suffering only makes our job that much harder.



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          Marie Hempsey wrote Feb 5, 2009
        • Oh  just a post script about the meds...he was on Adderall and it was incredible. It totally completely helped him with out one adverse side effect, he had to have the dosage changed quite a few times over the years but...overall is was a big plus. I have asked him over and over WHY will you not go back to the doc and get back on this med....he cannot give me a reason...nothing...not one. I ask, did it make you nervous, jumpy , sleepy, keep you awake, keep you from eating, make you feel sick..etc...NO is the answer on every single question. I don’t understand.



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          Dana Arcuri wrote Nov 9, 2009
        • My son who is now 18 years old was only 4 years old when he was evaluated and diagnosed with ADHD.  Back in 1995, when my son was only 4 years old, he was very aggressive, defiant, misbehaved and too rough with other kids.  I was very concerned and extremely worried about my son.  

          For many years, my son was taking Ritalin, which did improve not only his behavior, hyperactivity and inattention, but also his ability to learn in school.  When my son was in 3rd grade, I decided to homeschool him and to wean him off of Ritalin.  

          I used a natural alternative method, instead of Ritalin, to address the ADHD symptoms.  For 8 solid months, my son was consistently using natural supplements, eating much healthier and I eliminated artificial colors, flavors, sweets, ice cream and junk food.  

          After 8 months, I determined that his behavior, attitude, ability to pay attention, his hyperactivity and his memory were NOT improved on this natural alternative.  I was disappointed and I discontinued the natural supplements.

          Eventually, my son was prescribed Concerta, which he took for many years.  Once he was in senior high school, he said that he did not like the feeling of being on stimulants and that he could not sleep at night.  We discussed our concerns with his doctor, who decided to discontinue all stimulant medications.  

          Ironically, my son has done wonderful in senior high school, he has been on high honors and he has matured into a very talented, outgoing, well-behaved young man.  

          After my son was initially diagnosed with ADHD, I did very much reading about kids and adults with ADD/ADHD.  Once I gained much more knowledge about adult females with ADHD, I was suspecting that I had ADHD.  

          Over 10 years ago, I went for an evaluation and I was diagnosed with ADHD.  (Amazing how many parents of ADDer kids end of having the same thing!) Presently, I am taking 20 mg Adderall, which does help with clearer thinking, concentration and trying to stay on task.  

          However, stimulant medication is definitely NOT a “cure all.” The best way for adults & kids to manage their ADHD is to write notes as reminders, set a time clock to keep you on task, to attempt to organize important information so you can find it easily, consider counseling for building self-esteem and address concerns and educate yourself to learn as much as possible about ADD/ADHD.

          In addition to my 18 year old son & I being diagnosed with ADHD, my 11 year old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD in first grade and my 14 year old daughter was diagnosed with “inattentive ADD” last December.  (Genetics do play a role.)

          If you are interested in connecting with more parents of ADDer kids or would like to learn more, I highly recommend an excellent website called ADDer World.  It is found at ning dot com.  I am a moderator/blogger on this website and love it!



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