Showing posts with label ADHD symptoms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ADHD symptoms. Show all posts

Thursday, March 14, 2019

ADHD and Reading- The "Aha!" Moment






Looking at this picture, you'd think, "What a good brother! He's reading to his brother and sister." When I look at this picture, I see more than just that. I see a miracle. I see a blessing. I see answered prayers and opened doors.


Why does this picture mean so much to me? You might think that I'm overreacting, but there is a different side to this story.

My son has ADHD. Last year, he was in second grade and could barely read. I never even knew he was so far behind, I just thought he hated to read. It wasn't until my daughter was in Kindergarten that I learned she was expected to be able to read what my son was doing in the beginning of second grade at the end of her school year and heading to first grade.

I thought that what my son was doing was normal, after all, I didn't know how to read until I had my "aha!" moment, either. I thought that one day it would just click.

After learning how far behind he was, we got him started on his diagnosis journey. We had gone through many rough patches before we found a good solution that worked well for him. The change was almost immediate. With help from a sight words wall, he was finally picking up on his sight words and then easily learning the rest.

Related- An Easy Way To Teach Your Child To Read





By the end of the school year, my son had learned three years worth of reading and writing because he suddenly understood. 

He wasn't having tantrums anymore because he wasn't embarrassed to be called on at school. 

He doesn't need me to read captions and titles for him anymore. Because he can do it on his own.

He helps his sister with her homework so I can cook dinner and he enjoys reading to his siblings.

We haven't ventured very far into chapter books without pictures, yet, although we've been trying to read the Box Car Children. It's ok, though, because I know he can do it.





He really likes to read the Dog Man and Captain Underpants comics. They're easy for him and they have pictures. He read this Dog Man book from cover to cover in one day. That was A LOT of practice and it's ok! Because he's doing it!

One day, he wasn't even trying and then the next day it just clicked. He KNEW what he needed to do. It was so awesome!

So yes, when I see him reading to my other kids, it feels so sweet and amazing because he couldn't do it before and now he can. We don't struggle to get him to try it because he just does it. If you knew what it was like before, you'd see that miracle and this blessing.

Free ADHD Blog Resource of 5 different websites for parents of children with ADHD

Here is a list of his favorite books if you're interested:






Did your child have and "AHA!" moment?
What are some things that your child struggled with?
What worked for you to get your child to learn?

Related Posts- 





Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Why We Chose To Medicate Our Son





When your child has ADHD, there are many forms of treatment or remedies that you can do to get them to calm down and focus.

I have friends who have their kids on a special diet, other friends who use essential oils, and others who chose to try everything else to combat the symptoms of ADHD.

 In my son's case, we chose to medicate him, first.

Right now, I'm hearing the nay sayers in my mind saying things like, "You're a terrible parent." "How dare you medicate your son" "His body, his choice" "You're lazy and didn't want to try anything else" "Your son deserves the chance to be who he is without you changing him" and so on and so forth.

I've been on mommy boards and I've seen the ways that mothers tear each other down. However, there are always different sides in every situation and you shouldn't judge until you've been in another's shoes.

In my son's case, I believe it would have been a disservice to him and negligent on my part not to medicate him. Here's why: You can't correct a behavior that's been learned over a long period of time without some changes first.

By the time our son was diagnosed, we weren't surprised. We had already had him on a behavior plan for school, but by the second grade, things were getting out of hand. 

My daughter had just started Kindergarten and we had just had school curriculum night where I learned that the goals the school had in mind for her for reading was what my son was doing at that moment. 

I was so confused. I said, "You want her to know how to read all of these books by the end of the school year?" My son wasn't even doing that in second grade. 

So when we went to his meeting afterwards, I asked his teacher about it and she told me exactly what was expected of him. I was dumbfounded. "Why has no one told me that he's not doing what he's supposed to be doing?"

She had shrugged and told me that many of her students were behind where they were supposed to be, but they should know more than what they did. 

A short time after that, I had been picking my son up from school during the middle of the day because he kept having meltdowns and disrupting school. One day, I had enough of it and demanded a meeting with his social worker and whoever else he worked with. 

After the rather unsuccessful meeting, I asked the social worker, who seemed to be the only person who wanted to help, if he thought my son had ADHD, and he told me that he thought there was a great possibility and helped us get an assessment started right away. 

Related Post- Why Our Son's ADHD Diagnosis Didn't Surprise Us


After we had him assessed, it was determined that he did indeed have ADHD. The question of medication was raised and we had our doubts about it. After all, all I had ever heard about medicating kids with it was that it turned them into lifeless zombies. 

We ended up having another meeting with the social worker, my son's teacher, and the school nurse. One of them had ADHD, themselves, and the other two had very close relatives who had the same thing.

The person who had ADHD themselves said that they wished that this medication was available when they grew up. It's made differently now.  The parent of the child with ADHD said that their son's transformation was amazing and the other person said that their niece had admitted to being thankful for taking the medication because she was able to focus on a task at hand and was even more creative than before because she was able to finish her art work instead of being sporadic.

So, my husband and I listened to what each person had to offer for advice, asked them questions, and researched. In the end, we decided to give the medication a shot and it has been the best decision that we had made.



Why We Didn't Use Other Methods

Choosing to medicate our son wasn't an easy decision. We knew something needed to be done and before he was diagnosed, I had actually already tried a few different things to see if they helped.

Vitamins- There are many vitamins that have been made for the sole purpose of focusing... In fact, one of them is called "Focus". We tried several different kinds to see if they would work. Unfortunately, according to my son, the vitamins all tasted like garbage.

Essential Oils- I ordered some essential oils that were for kids with attention issues. I have a couple of friends who use these oils for their kids and they were very successful, but for my son, they were not. I tried roll ons, sprays, and even diffusers, but the smell of them bothered him. I diluted them and even tried to sneak the oils on him some how, but he always knew and would try to rub his skin off or change the clothes I'd spray them on. I don't really blame him because many of the oils have a woodsy/mothball scent and when I tried them out on myself, I didn't like them either.

Diet Change- This was going to be a very difficult one to do. When he was a baby, he ate everything that I gave him, but once he started school, he became a very picky eater. He didn't want to eat anything that was good for him unless it was snuck into food in a very creative way. I did this for a while, but unless he was willing, he'd put up a fight and eventually our house was more hostile than homelike. 

Exercise- My child is never short on it. He's a very imaginative, rough and tumble boy. We walk to school and back every day and he moves around plenty at home. Exercise has been huge in treating ADHD, but unfortunately, schools have lowered the time for recess. I feel like as a kid, we played for such a long time, but now, kids are lucky if they even get 20 minutes of recess. If it's a rainy day, recess becomes indoor and I learned that my kids are supposed to have tablet time for indoor recess. Once I found that out, I spoke with my son's caseworker and  together we won that fight and now the kids get to walk around and fidget during that time, but it's still not the same as when we were kids.

School officials have lost focus on many of the important aspects that come with educating our students and have focused more on the numbers because it brings them more money. As parents, it's our job to advocate for our kids, so when you see something that you don't agree with, please find a way to stand up for your child.



So We Decided That Medication Would be Worth a Try

We went and saw my son's doctor. She was very impressed by the research that we had already done and helped us find a good dosage and treatment for our son.

After many tries, we found one that worked with a method that worked. With just a few side affects, (dry mouth and loss of appetite- both that he got over) my son has finally learned to read, write, and has caught up with his class. He learned two years of schooling in one year and the symptoms that we feared, never happened. 

My son didn't become a zombie, instead, he was the same boy that he always has been, except now, he listens better and he's able to have conversations without going off onto tangents. With his medication, he'll sit down and draw or write a story instead of bouncing off the walls or constantly trying to wrestle with his siblings. Instead of getting into trouble, he'll create a play that he and his siblings will act out. 

We always knew that he was smart, but now his work and grades show that, too. It no longer takes us two hours to do his homework and I rarely have to ask him to do it because he hops right to it when he gets home.

Now that he listens and behaves better, we might be able to try the other methods as ways to get him to focus, because now he eats what is given to him and he does as he's asked. The bad behaviors that he picked up when he wasn't able to focus have been done away with, so perhaps he'll try those vitamins or try those oils. He most certainly eats better than he used to. 

The medication has never hindered him in any way. In fact, it brought out the best in him. It's made us so proud to see the charts where his academic progress was once below the below average line and has now skyrocketed to the average and above average line on his reports. It would be like your child having all Ds in school and then within a year's time them going from a D student to a B student. How awesome is that?!?!?!?

Conclusion

I'm not going to tell you how to parent your child. I'm not a doctor and I won't give you any medical advice. Ultimately, the choice of how to raise your child is up to you, but I will say, don't knock medicating your child because of how medicine used to be. 

We almost decided against it because of the horror stories that I used to hear about kids with ADHD. Unfortunately, having ADHD has had a negative connotation about it and it shouldn't be so. I think it's because it's still a newer concept and when it was being treated before, years ago, doctors and drug companies were still figuring out the ups and downs to every medication being made. Just like how we know that some medications and foods are bad for pregnancies, doctors have now found new ways to make medication so that it targets what it needs to in the brain and leaves the rest of it alone. Now we don't have kids hyped up or drugged out on Ritalin. Things have changed and for my son, it has definitely changed for the better.

So do your research. Find out what works best for your child, and if it doesn't work out, try something different. 


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Why Our Son's ADHD Diagnosis Didn't Surprise Us




My beautiful baby boy was born just like any other baby. He was healthy and just the most beautiful baby you'd ever seen with a full head of hair like Elvis. He behaved like any other child and my husband and I were doing our best to raise him to be an awesome little individual.



When he was almost three years old, I went back to work full time. Before then, I had been working part time, but between that job and my husband's full time job, we weren't making enough for us to buy groceries without some kind of assistance, so I wanted to get a full time job to help out.

That meant that my son and daughter would have to go to day care for the day. We chose one close to where we worked so they would only be there eight hours a day versus the ten they would be in if we had them somewhere close to home.

Things Began to Change

When my son turned three, he was kicked out of day care because he was still biting and at three, they expected all kids to stop at that moment. We were baffled that they expected him to change overnight, but we had him evaluated for preschool and my gracious grandma who had just retired said she would watch him for us and get him to and from preschool every day.



Guys- not all grandmas are the best, but mine really is. I don't know why she never went into teaching because she's always been good with us and my children. However, I suppose it's different when the children belong to you.  My grandma always encouraged my son to use his imagination. We'd come and pick him up and they'd be strapping on their "scuba gear" ready to do a deep sea dive in the kitchen or unrolling a treasure map and counting their paces to reach the buried treasure. She really kept his mind fueled all day with imagination and learning.


My son is so smart and we got compliments about his vocabulary, but we started to notice differences between him and other kids.

As a parent who went to church, I was wrangled into watching the preschool aged children. Most of the kids were just the sweetest and then there were the terrors and my son was right in the middle. He misbehaved the worst with me, probably because I'm mom, but when it was someone else's week to watch the kids, it was always my child that created the drama. He didn't want to sit still during story time or work on crafts with the other kids and when he didn't get his way, he'd bite or hit- things that he didn't do at home.

We'd tell the worker that we were sorry and that we'd work on his social skills with the other kids and we would, but it was always the same each week.

He began having problems in preschool. He didn't know how to judge personal space. He had no concept of it at all and kept getting in trouble with the other kids because he would be in their space and he also spoke loudly.

We Took Action


It really became an issue and we ended up having to have an in home meeting with his preschool teacher, one that we didn't want to schedule, but she had insisted. She watched my son interact with his sister and with us.

After the meeting, she suggested that we start him with speech and occupational therapy. While he was incredibly smart and had an amazing vocabulary, there were social cues that he was ignoring and most of it, she said, could be linked back to not being able to completely communicate his meanings because there were some speech barriers that we thought were age appropriate holding him back.

So, we agreed to get him into speech and occupational therapy, which they did at school. Things began to improve.

Triggered

Then we moved and then had another baby. Things that we thought were going well like him using the potty and his acknowledgement of personal space went right out the window.

My son had met another classmate, we'll call him Klaus, and meltdowns started to ensue and things were crazy. We learned that Klaus had a ton of social behavior issues. He was a bully. If Klaus wanted a toy and didn't get it, he'd hit my son. If Klaus was told not to do something, he'd start to throw chairs.

Unfortunately for us, my son picked up some of those behaviors and my husband and I had to learn a whole different way to approach parenting because things weren't going well the way they had before.

We were glad when my son began Kindergarten and Klaus and he were in different schools. Unfortunately, some of those behaviors that he had picked up the year before transferred over to the new school and it was so frustrating because my son didn't behave the same way at home as he did in school. It's not easy to correct a behavior when the behavior isn't always displayed.

By the grace of God, I got a phone call, one day from the social worker at the school. My son had been suspended on his very first day of Kindergarten because he stuck his tongue out at the principal in front of the other kids during lunch and there was the possibility of another one for him for disrupting the lunch room again and once again, embarrassing the principal. I was already angry, frustrated, and feeling a plethora of emotions, so the phone call wasn't welcomed and I know I was snarky, but the social worker was calm and understanding, the whole time.

Putting Together a Behavior Plan

For the first time, I felt like there was someone who was on my son's side. This social worker wanted to create a behavior plan and put it on file, so if some of my son's naughty behaviors emerged, he wouldn't be suspended or in as much trouble because different protocols would be in place.

If you don't know what a behavior plan is, it is a plan that is put together to help your child behave better. If something were to set him off, then the teacher or staff member who was with him at the time would follow the steps put in place for an easy transition. They were also protocols that needed to be followed before getting him in trouble or suspended.

For my son, this entailed seating him somewhere where there wasn't a window or a door to look through. It also meant that instead of calling him out for something, there would be visual cues.

Ex: When he was speaking loudly, the teacher would hold up two fingers so he knew to lower his voice. Another is when he's doing something he shouldn't, he'd have a stop sign taped to his desk and the teacher would discreetly walk over and point to it. His behavior wouldn't be brought forth to the whole class and he could easily correct it without being embarrassed for being called out.

When it was time to switch from one activity to another, he would get a five minute warning, then two, and then time's up.

If he were to begin to feel anxious or argumentative, he was also allowed to leave the classroom to visit the social worker or put himself in a timeout somewhere that was designated for that reason.

Things Got Better, Again

Things got so much better and when it came time for Kindergarten graduation, cheers from the staff members rang out when they called his name. It was very emotional.

After the graduation, the social worker wanted a picture with my son. He was getting married and was moving away and wanted something to remember him by.  He told me that of all of the students he's ever worked with, my son was his favorite. He also said that normally, the staff wouldn't all show up, but they wanted to cheer for my son when it was his turn.

It was a very emotional day. We were stopped by the janitorial staff who told us that my son is the sweetest boy they'd ever met who helps them when he sees paper on the floor and lets them know if someone makes a mess. On our short walk home, a lunch lady who was retiring, pulled over her truck and started crying. She told us that my son was her favorite part of her mornings because he would sit with her and tell her stories. She said she would miss him.

It was amazing to see the transformation; to know that others were seeing my sweet baby for who he is and not for what he had done.


First grade went well and it was almost smooth sailing until he entered the second grade.

Chaos 

It was like a light switch had flipped at school and at home. It was becoming harder and harder to get my son to listen. He'd get in trouble at school, and then even more trouble at home. 

We had been giving my son time outs when he was in trouble. It usually worked when we would set a timer that he'd get to see, but those time outs wouldn't work. It was a very difficult time. 

I had tried to send him to his room when he'd get into trouble, but he'd scream that he had to go to the bathroom and then one time, he looked at me through his door (our bedroom doors all have windows covered by curtains) and wet himself... on purpose... I cried.

The homework that he had would take him up to two hours to do each night, mostly because he didn't want to start it or work on it. 

I made a time out chart and hung it up on the wall. That began to work better because I included his brother in sister on it and put an x next to their names every time one of them had a time out and he soon realized that those xs would show whenever grandma came over for dinner. 

I tried to enforce a positivity chart where after they did so many good, positive things, I would reward them with a piece of candy or something else that they liked at the time. Movie rentals on the weekend were a huge hit.

Getting the Diagnosis

As things got better at home, they were sill getting worse at school. My son was getting sent home almost every other day for disruptive and dangerous behavior. The last time it happened, I was fed up.

I had gotten my son to behave better at home, why wasn't the school able to do it, too? I marched into that office and demanded a meeting. With only 15 minutes of the school day left, the awesome librarian that my daughter thought was a fairy princess was kind enough to take all three of my kids to the library to hang out while I hashed things out.

The principal was just like Professor Umbridge in Harry Potter. Sickly sweet and passive aggressive with nothing worth while to pitch in. When she left the meeting, I looked right at the newer social worker and asked, "Do you think it's possible that my son has ADHD?" and he basically said, "yeah".

Right away, he got things put in order for us. He gave me the name and number of a doctor who specialized in ADHD, convened a panel with the school psychologist, school nurse, first grade teacher, second grade teacher, the case worker from the year before and the case worker from that year, and together, we all filled out a questionaire and after the psychologist tallied it all up, the results, although staggering in some places, all agreed that he had ADHD with anxiety and aggressive behaviors. 

Treatment

There are many different ways that we could have used to treat him, but we started off with medication.

Related- Why We Chose to Medicate Our Son

After a few trials and errors, we came up with a dosage that worked best for him.

In just a few short weeks, that loving, caring, creative boy came back.

I never knew how far behind he was in his academics until I saw that my daughter was expected to do the same things and more than what my son was doing at home. 

My son was having difficulties in school because he didn't know how to read like he should. I didn't know that. I thought he was just being difficult.

If you could see how much his learning has skyrocketed, you'd be floored.

Today

Today, you wouldn't know that he has ADHD or that he was so far behind. He is reading where he should and he's amazing at math. He can add and subtract faster in his mind than I can. 

The frustrations and behavior issues that he had was because he couldn't comprehend what he was supposed to do. His mind was moving too fast to remember sight words or to remember how to do a certain problem. It caused him to become embarrassed and act out. Now he's not. 

Getting him to do his homework has never been easier. In fact, he sits down and does all of his homework for the whole week on Monday and then just does the corrections for the rest of the week. 

About the only thing he struggles with is social cues when he's off of his medicine. Since it's a time release and we only give it to him once a day, it's practically worn off by the time we get home. 

When we don't give it to him over the weekends or on break, he likes to go overboard on wrestling with his brother and sister and doesn't know when too much is too much, but that is something that he'll learn to do one day. 

Did the Diagnosis Surprise Us?

No! Absolutely not. There were warning signs the whole time he was growing up. In fact, his diagnosis was a relief because if he didn't get it, I would have believed that I was just a bad parent. If it weren't for my very well behaved daughter, I would have believed that all the bad was because I didn't know how to discipline my son. After all, I sometimes had temper tantrums when I got anxious. All of the bad behaviors my son had were similar to the ones that I had as a kid. 

Now I know that it wasn't my fault. Things are so much easier now. (Knock on wood)

Fortunately and unfortunately, ADHD is hereditary. If you know that you or someone in your family has ADHD, it's easier to get the diagnosis and to start early prevention whether it be medication or some other way like oils or healthy diet.

Unfortunately, more than one child can have it and one child may display it differently from another one. My youngest leans towards ADHD, too, but he's only four. We are on watch for him, since he can't be officially diagnosed until he's older because kids do change. 

It's just once you know about ADHD, you see ADHD everywhere. Try not to become too paranoid.

For more information, read this related post- Signs Your Child Might Have ADHD

Monday, December 17, 2018

Signs That Your Child Might Have ADHD

Medical Disclaimer- This article is not meant for diagnosing purposes. If you suspect your child may have ADHD talk to your child's pediatrician before self diagnosing and treating your child. Only a medical professional can give a diagnosis.
Disclaimer- This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you purchase something from a link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help to keep this blog running. Thanks for stopping by today!
Having a child with ADHD has become more recognized in the last few years, but still seems to have negative connotations around it.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, doesn't have to have the negative impact that it has. In fact, getting a diagnosis for my son had changed our lives for the better because my husband and I were able to understand what my son was going through and were able to make a game plan.

Related Post- Does Your Child Have ADHD? It Isn't the End of the World

How Does ADHD Present Itself?

One of the reasons why it seems that ADHD seems to be getting diagnosed more regularly is because it's being more and more understood. It also doesn't present itself in the way that people more commonly associate it with, which is hyperactivity and lost attention. 

This scene is from the movie "Up"



So what are the symptoms that you should look for? 


  • Hyperactivity- While not all kids with ADHD show this sign, this one is the biggest indicator. Kids are going to be fidgety and want to play, but if your child is constantly bouncing off the walls and can't sit still for more than five minutes constantly and seems to do this more than other children, your child might have ADHD. In this scenario, though, a teacher, doctor, or someone who knows kids with ADHD, probably have already approached you.
  • Inattentive- Do they pay attention to things? My preschooler is expected to be able to follow three step instructions. Children who are older and have ADHD, have trouble doing all of those steps because they didn't pay enough attention when given the instructions. Also, children who are inattentive may not always present this behavior. If there is something that they really enjoy, they can focus on that for as long as they want. It's more common in school work. Things to look out for are:
    • You need to ask them several times to do something.
    • When you talk to them face-to-face, you might see their eyes glaze over or shift their attention to something else.
Unfortunately, many of the signs of inattentiveness are also part of being a child.

  • Forgetfulness- Children with ADHD might forget things more often. Part of this is because they can be inattentive and didn't pay attention enough to remember. Clues are:
    • How often do they leave homework at school?
    • Do you have to tell them something more than once?
    • Do they lose things?
    • Even though they've grown up with rules, they still seem to not follow them.
  • Excessive Talking or Fast Talking- Girls get accused of this all of the time, especially when we're excited, mad, or have something that we think is important to say. However, it eventually evens itself out and we speak at normal speeds from time to time. What makes it different for kids with ADHD is:
    • Not knowing when is a good time to talk. Does your child interrupt you or others all of the time?
    • Does your child talk so fast that you can't understand them?
    • Does your child take longer than other to tell you story? Do they tell you the story straight through or does it always take twists and side courses before you get to the end.
Part of this is just because they're kids, but if it seems like its more than usual, you might have a child with ADHD.
  • Excessive Volume- Sometimes this gets mistaken as your child yelling. Both my son and I got in trouble a lot for this because we weren't aware that we were talking louder. Now that I know and understand, it's easier to stop and think, "Is he being loud because he's yelling and being disrespectful or is he being loud because he can't help it or doesn't realize he's yelling. One thing that helped us out is visual cues. We asked him if there was a hand gesture that we could do to help him realize that he needs to lower his volume. The peace sign is what he chose. So when he starts to get loud, we just flash the "We're number two" sign and he knows to adjust his volume. 

  • Aggressiveness- Does your child get into fights at school or is just unruly at home?
    • A child with ADHD can also have anxiety and depressive disorders. Many times when they get in trouble for fighting or arguing, they just can't help it because they have all of these feelings and emotions that they can't process and just eventually have melt downs and explosions. Ways to stop that:
      • One way to really help your child is to have a schedule or order of things in the house. Changing things up can confuse the child and they need to have consistency.
      • Avoid distractions- If you have a child with ADHD in a classroom, don't sit them next to the window or a door way.
      • Give a warning if something will change. Examples:
        • Give a 5 or 10 minute warning if you're going to go from tablet time to dinner. That way, they aren't surprised when the tablet has to go off. 
        • If you're going to time something, let them know the new time every three minutes or so. So if you start with 10 minutes, then announce when it's 7 minutes, then 4 minutes, and then one minute left.
        • Include them in making plans. If you have to run to the store that day and have to take them along, tell them earlier rather than later. When kids are caught off guard, that's when their moods can change. 
  • Compulsive- This is again, very characteristic of kids, especially young ones. However, children eventually learn that if I do this, then this other thing will happen. Children with ADHD don't always learn from their mistakes and will do it again. Example:
    • Does your child cross streets without looking?
    • Do they always say whatever is on their mind?
    • Do they take things without asking?
    • Do they tend to follow the kids in class who misbehave?
    • Do they tend to not follow the rules?
  • Messy or extreme cleanliness- Did you know that OCD, Hoarding, and ADHD all have similarities? Some of these orders can actually be treated with similar medications. Messiness or even cleanliness can be contributed to compulsiveness and are the result to how each person has been able to channel it. 
  • Learning difficulties- Children who have ADHD can be behind in other subjects that children their age are average in. Some things may include:
    • Reading- Does your child have a difficult time reading?
    • Speech- Is your child difficult to understand? Part of it is because they may speak to quickly or that their mind is moving so fast that they don't realize they aren't putting the emphasis on the correct annunciation of words.
    • Motor Development- Is your child's handwriting atrocious? Can they pedal a bike?
    • Socializing- Does your child play well with others? Are they always dictating what others do or miss social cues? Do they play with other kids at all?


    My Child Doesn't Display All of These, Can They Still Have ADHD?

    Not everyone who has ADHD presents the same way. In fact, men and women display them all differently. 

    My son is hyper, lacks focus, talks loudly and quickly, is forgetful, is compulsive, and presented with aggression. However, before he was diagnosed, many of those signs also just seemed like regular childlike behavior.

    My daughter, on the other hand, is going to be screened for ADHD, this year for different symptoms. We never thought to have her screened for it because she always seemed to have her stuff together. Unfortunately, that's what happens many times with girls. 

    The reason's that she will be screened is as follows: 
    • Instead of having her eyes on her teacher, she's often found fidgeting and playing with things in her desk. However, if the teacher asks her a question, she can give her the correct response or repeat back to the teacher what she said.
    • Although my daughter knows what's going on in class and is learning, she has a difficult time getting started with her tasks. 
    • When asked to do something on their own without the help of the teacher, most kids can get things done within a few minutes, but my daughter can take twice as long. However, if she's working alongside the teacher, she can get it done if the same amount of time as others because she's constantly getting prompt to do so.
    • She's difficult to understand. We started off with just getting her speech intervention because she talks so quietly and mumbles, but really she's just talking too fast.

    So What Do You Do if You Suspect Your Child Might Have ADHD?


    If you suspect that your child may have ADHD, talk to your child's pediatrician.

    If you don't want to start off with them, talk with your child's teacher. If you suspect your child has ADHD, their teacher may have noticed the signs, too.

    The school was a big help in getting my son's diagnosis. 

    In his case, my husband, family, and I just thought that my son was behaving like any other child. In fact, if you read my older blog posts from when I first started blogging, you'll see that there were days when I thought that my son just like to play rough and was naughty from time to time. 

    When he started Kindergarten, he really began to get into trouble. Tablet time was a HUGE contributor to his outbursts. He didn't transition well and would throw things or slam chairs on the ground. It was actually something that we thought he had picked up from a student that he had class with in Preschool. We had talked with him and disciplined him, but nothing worked.

    Eventually, I got a call from the social worker at his school and together we had worked up a behavior plan and addressed other concerns like speech and Occupational therapy. That's when my son's Education Plan was made. ( A topic for another time) The behavior plan had worked for the rest of Kindergarten and First Grade. 

    Because we had that plan in place, I was able to talk to the new social worker when my son was in Second Grade. He was a huge help for us and put together a team to get this diagnosis. He contacted the school psychologist and she worked up a survey and it was determined that he had attention issues, hyperactivity, and even anxiety. We then showed those results to the doctor we switched to who worked with children with ADHD and that was that!




    My Child's Been Diagnosed With ADHD, Now What?

    If the verdict after speaking with the doctor is that your child has ADHD, don't be dismayed! One thing that my son's doctor recommended was to go to counseling. Learn what you can about ADHD and learn coping mechanisms. 

    Also- chances are, someone else in your family does, too. That's right, ADHD can be genetic. 

    Even though I haven't been formally diagnosed, I also have ADHD tendencies that were missed when I was a child. I was loud, fast talking child who often got in trouble for being mouthy or sassy when really, I was just passionate.  At school, I was a social butterfly and I also had a difficult time focusing, but it wasn't something that anyone took much concern over. 

    Guess what! I overcame it for he most part and I grew up to be a mostly functioning, well adjusted person, who could have her forgetfulness and fuzzy brain contributed as mom moments.

    Ok, so that was probably an unnecessary bunny trail brought to you by an ADHD "over explaining" tangent moment, when I could have gotten straight to the point. 

    If you're still reading, then know this- There are ways to get help:

    • You can teach your child to work through it. Teach them ways to learn to focus. There are fidget spinners and other different devices to work through hyperactivity and inattentiveness.
    • Exercise! There are many studies that show that exercise can eliminate ADHD. A school in Texas has tripled recess to test the theory. Read about it here. 
    • Diet Change- There have been studies that suggest that changing your child's diet can help them refocus and quite possibly help with ADHD. You can find books all about it online or at a book store.
    • Medication- Medication has a negative connotation about it because of how the drugs for it used to make children behave. Things have changed this day and age. My husband and I were very wary about having my son take the medication because of all of the horror stories that we heard about it, but we decided to have my son try it and the change in my son was miraculous. I can tell you about everything in a different post because there would be just too much to write about, but all of the negative side effects that we thought would happen, never did. We didn't lose him, he is still the same creative and happy boy he always is with or without the medication. 

    You're Doing Everything Right.

    Before my son's diagnosis, I felt like such a terrible parent. I felt like I was doing it all wrong and that's why he behaved the way he did. 

    I felt like a failure. I thought that he would purposely not listen to me or try to get into trouble, but it wasn't that at all. I thought that the way I had disciplined him, only made things worse.

    Once I had realized how far behind he was in school, I thought that I just wasn't doing a good enough job teaching him at home for him to move ahead. I also wanted to blame the school because how could he be so far behind if they weren't teaching him well?

    I was so wrong! Since his diagnosis and his medication, his learning growth has tripled and he's right where he needs to be on the learning curve. He's so sweet and helpful in school and a great pal to all of his friends. 

    Your friends and family may not understand. I still have to explain to my family why my baby needed the intervention. To them, he was just a normal boy, why would he need any extra help or medication? Once I explain to them and show them the results, they understand. 

    It's just that when people hear ADHD, they have a specific picture in their head about what it means to have it. They more often think of Dumb and Dumber, but really, many of the most well known masterminds of the times had some sort of disorder like ADHD, but they channeled it into their passions and were just brilliant about the things they loved.

    You're doing it right. You can breathe, you can relax. Things are going to change and everything will be alright.

    Has this post helped you in understanding ADHD? Did you or your child get diagnosed with it? What were some things that you learned? What did you have to adjust?

    Comment below and don't forget to share if you enjoyed what you read!