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View Full Version : Having DS tested for attention issues, what should I expect?


mrsbornkuntry
03-13-2007, 06:23 PM
I'm going to post this here since I usually post on the budget disboards, I figured some fellow Disers could help me out.

First a little background: DS is 7, turning 8 next month. He has overcome SO much, he was diagnosed with leukemia (AML) when he was 22 months old, long story short he had a stem cell transplant in 2003 and is wonderfully healthy now. He also has "graduated" from speech therapy, he went from not knowing all of the letters of the alphabet at the beginning of first grade to reading at a 3rd grade level now in 2nd grade. We just see him improving constantly, he is growing so much. His muscles that wasted from steroids are building back up now and he's able to bowl in a league and do karate.

The area we are having an issue with is his behavior. He has always had some problems, I will be the first to admit that he's been spoiled more than our other kids (we have 5, he's in the middle), more by neccessity than anything. One major problem is that he gets distracted very easily. He works slowly, everything is at his own snail's pace, and this is interfering severly with his school work, even getting dressed in the morning and eating meals is a problem. At the end of this month he has an appt. with his pediatrician and I want to have him tested for an attention disorder. What can I expect? Are there any specific questions I should ask? Also, does anyone know of any good websites for information on this?

This is sort of a last resort for me, I really don't want DS to take anymore medication. We have tried adding vitamins to his diet, specific foods, routines and routine charts, rewards, although it's getting difficult to reward when it is infiltrating so much of his life. I just don't think he will be successful in third grade if I don't find a solution. TIA for any help or advice.

Michigan
03-13-2007, 08:58 PM
Only a doctor can diagnois ADD. The teacher will fill out a paper with a lot of questions about you child in school then you will fill out another paper about your child at home. Once both are filled out your doctor will determine if your child has an attention problem.

I knew my youngest one didn't have an attention problem but the school believed she did. However, the doctor agreed with me she didn't.

hematite153
03-13-2007, 09:43 PM
The area we are having an issue with is his behavior....One major problem is that he gets distracted very easily. He works slowly, everything is at his own snail's pace, and this is interfering severly with his school work, even getting dressed in the morning and eating meals is a problem....

Definitely look at attentional issues. However, what you describe could also be due to processing speed. You may want to have a full psych or pysch-ed assessment done if you can. (Lots more questions for everyone and testing sessions with your DS.)

crazykids
03-14-2007, 11:25 AM
I've found through my own experiences that a regular pediatrician is not experienced enough to diagnose developmental / ADHD problems, etc. The only way to now for sure is to have them go through the proper testing with a specialist.

KirstenB
03-18-2007, 11:57 AM
We've just completed the testing with our 8 yr old dd. First, our ped doesn't do this. We made an appt with a child psych. It took us months to get this appt, so you may want to be more proactive than I have been. As expected, dd was shown to have significant attention issues, but not hyper. As a pp mentioned, her teachers, and I filled out a lengthy questionnaire on her. Since we are going to try meds, we're now waiting 3 mths to get her in to the child psychiatrist, since the psychologist can't prescribe the meds. Other parents warned me to jump on this, since the doctors stay booked up, but I underestimated how long the process would take. My bad. Since you have older kids, you know 3rd grade is really tough.

The child psych said that if dd had been hyper, then we could have tried behavior modification. I know that folks try the biofeedback route too. Our insurance is crappy, so meds seem to be the most cost effective way for us to go. I know that sounds bad, but due to same crappy insurance, we're paying a goodly chunk for our 18 mth old's physical therapy.

Anyway, if you want to get this treated quickly, you need to jump on getting a child psychologist or psychiatrist. Best of luck.

mrsbornkuntry
03-18-2007, 12:08 PM
Thank-you all for the information. We have to start with our pediatrician, then they can put in a referral for a phsycholgist or phsychiatrist if they feel it's necessary. Now I know what to expect, though. I have never heard of "processing speed" issues, I'm going to research that. Thanks again :)