ADD from a Mother and Daughters View
I know what ADHD girls are like and I know ADHD boys are very different in that the boys are less able to express themselves hence the behavior problems happen more often with boys. I said all that to explain that my ADHD Dd starting talking very early and can express herself and her problems in terms that I as a Normy can understand.
What she has told me since she was 2 yrs old is she NEEDS me to be on her side. Period. To stand up for her when she is trying her best because she trys so hard ALL the time even if it doesn't look like it to me. It took till 5th grade for me to become fully aware what goes on at school, what an anti- teacher she had that year. That teacher did years of damage to my child and because she was a TEACHER Dd believed her over us her loving parents and her truely concerned Dr. It took another AWESOME TEACHER to convince Dd that the first teacher wasn't anywhere near right about how much Dd could do and learn.
So I become my childs Best Advocate I stood up and fought for her rights and Fought the system to get her what she needed to learn.
This is what she told me goes on in her head. You see if you could PAY ATTENTION and get All the info you would need?
All the file drawers are open spilling papers everywhere in her brain, 3 radio stations are playing a different type and kind of song at the same time plus 1 more station has only static on it. The other students in the class sound very loud and she hears each conversation seperately but at the same time and can follow all of them at once.Through this din she has to pick out the teachers voice and try to hear and follow directions. But she can't find the buttons to turn off the radios they are stuck on. The music isn't so bad but the static station is way too load. And the niose of the other students is horrible hard to make queit. So, she has to have the teacher or Me repeat things 3 times so she is sure she got all the info, as a mother I got use to this.
What the medication does for her is to make it so she can tune out the other students somewhat and turn down the static and music enough that they are a low roar in the background. And can concentrate more on the teacher.
Ritalin worked but it made her over emtional with her girlfriends. So beware of this with your child!
But Teachers immeadate are offended by having to repeat things 3 times and of course it is the childs FAULT. The spilled files are all she has learned, but because they are unorganised it takes her longer to take out the info to do homework or take tests. Plus she is a perfectionist everything needs to be done just EXACTLY as the teacher taught it or she is totally lost. Oh yes she has a photographic mind. But where Dd's learning difficutilty comes in is that she learns it, retains it, But then can't get it back out of her head on to paper. Which is what our state says teachers must grade on!!!!!!! If they could grade on oral work the child would get straight A+'s because she can tell what they learned that day and explain to me so I understand it.
An IEP is great IF teachers will do what it says, most won't!! Because they would have to teach all the other students one way and then come back and teach your child differently and they can't be bothered!! Or if your child only does part of the work I HAVE to dock her grade because the other students did it all. How I hated that system!!
Dd is now in Comm College where she is learning ASL -American Sign Laugage as a foreign laug. And although her 1st love is Theatre Tech[no acting, but all the behind the scenes work.] She has decided to become a Sign laugage Interpeter for Medical offices[That so,so teacher should see Dd know! She is working extra hard to learn all the medical terms! She impressed her LPN father tonight with some of her new knowledge. He beamed!!] and Legal offices with a certificate. She can work now without a certificate and be paid $35. an hour but it is more dollars with the certificate and she will be able to work more places. She goes to the Deaf church and loves the silence at their services. She says it is a relief to be there where it is so utterly quiet. She has many deaf friends now,too. And she chats as much in sign as she does with her hearing freinds,and is a lot!!
This is a book that really helped my husband and I find our way with ADHD and how to pick our fights well. I learned that if your child needed glasses that of course you would take him to get the best glasses for him. Well, ADHD needs to be looked into and treated with the same concern and care you would take with his precious eye sight!! Only in this case we need special communication skills to help our children. Dd gave me the sight to see what each and every day was like for her. And that she was trying hard and that is what we ask her to do, try hard and do your best. Which is all any of us can do.
This the book.
I know this long. But I so wanted to share our on going story with you. We are going to work on teaching Dd how to Organize her room, she has finally ask for this. And maybe it will carry over to the file drawers in her brain. Sometime it works.
We will see.
I hope this will of help to you and your child and may, it spark some, one on one quiet chats about what he lives with in his head. It has ALWAYS been the queit mother/daughter chats when I have been able to teach Dd the lessons that have stayed with her [don't take drugs,smoke, drink because it is way harder to stop than it is to start.and so on.]and have become part of the wonderful person she is. Now I can you tell that those quiet talks were sometimes preceeded by loud fighting matchs. But most were in that hour after school when we had a few minutes before homework and Dad's arrival home.
One more important thing. Dd would never learn certain things from me such as manners, to wear proper clothes or homework. But she flurished when she went to modeling school,and after payng $1500.00 She said oh I guess you did know!! But it took that extreme for her to see that maybe Mom might know a thing or two.But to me it was money well spent. Know if you have this problem I suggest, asking friends to help, or do what I did and pay someone. But do all you can to help them in spite of themselves!! It will pay off.
please feel free to pm me if you want to.
Now My Darling Daughter
02-05-2006, 05:49 PM #9
Earning My Ears
Hi, I'm the A.D.D. daughter of Tink2dw. My mom told me about your frustrations with your son. I can understand what you and your son are going through. I've had to struggle all my life with being ADD. I also understand your concern about giving your child a label. One thing that I've had to fight and prove to people is that ADD does NOT mean retarded or stupid. It just means that we [ADD Kids and adults] just think different. We will come to the same answer as you, but we will get there a different way and the journey there may take us a bit longer. Everything in an ADD child's brain works completely opposite compared to a normal person. For example, if I were to drink coffee in the mornings, you would think that I would be awake and up and on my caffeine buzz, right? Wrong! Caffeine does the opposite. It will make me feel more tired. That's because chemically, my brain is wired differently than a normal person's. My advice to you is don't be afraid of labeling your son. Yes, it will be a struggle and some people will look down on him, BUT he will get the help he needs. He will go from being labeled as a lazy, unmotivated student with behavioral problems to a boy who is struggling with a learning disability, that is not only in school but at home, with his friends, in his every day life. There will be teachers who disagree with the system and believe that ADD is a cop out, that it's not a real disorder. But trust me, believe me when I say that it is a real problem that kids and adults have to struggle with every single day. It's not just a class room issue, it's something I have to deal with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single year. There is no break, but there are ways to deal with it. For me, I was on Ritalin from the time I was about 7 until I was 13, then I was on my own for a while.
When I was 15 I tried some holistic ways to help myself, now that I'm an adult in college, I've gone back to a prescribed medication. Your son is lucky, now there are more options of ways to treat ADD. When I was a kid, it was pretty much some kind of holistic method or Ritalin. I'm glad my parents put me on Ritalin, until I hit puberty when I was 13, it worked. I still struggled, but it made things easier. I went from having the attention span of a 5 year old when I was 10, to having the attention span of somebody more my age. During the time when I was taking no form of medicine I learned how to do things so that it could work for me. Also I'm not ashamed of being ADD it's just a part of who I am. The more I understand the way my mind works, and the kind of learner I am the better off I am, as will be your son. Once I was able to verbalize the way my brain worked to my mom, she better understood my frustrations. If you can open up a dialogue with your son by asking him how he feels when heís trying to do his school work and ask him if he could think about how his mind works you will be more in tune to your son and why he does the things he does. You will become a better advocate for your son. For me, the way my brain works, like my mom described, is very chaotic. I have about 50 million songs running through my head all at once, plus random facts thrown about, plus Iím thinking about all the things I need to do for that day or the next day, all of the information stored in my brain is just thrown about in no specific way and is very disorganized, and if Iím in a class room setting, Iím unwillingly paying attention to every little conversation around me, and in between all that Iím trying to listen to the teacher, take notes, and do my class work. Itís very frustrating to say the least. But in elementary school, middle school, high school and now college, I have been able to get the help I need so all those internal and external ďbackground noisesĒ are quieted down and I am able to have the extra help. In elementary school, I had to go to special ed for math because I was behind my peers. Now I am good with mathÖI still have some trouble with it, but I am at the same level as my peers. I am what I like to call C.D. ÖÖ Calculator Dependant lol.
In Middle school, I was able to have modified class work and home work. I was to do only the starred items. Just to let you know, everybodyís paper had the stars next to the questions, so it wasnít like the teacher made it a point to single me (or any other special needs kid) out and embarrass me in front of my peers. In high school, I was given extra time on things if I needed it and if I asked for the extra help from the teacher, they were expected to help me. Now I will be honest, I did have some teachers unwilling to give me that extra help, but I have also had teachers that really cared and devoted their time and effort in helping me to achieve and do good in their class. My 5th grade teacher was horrible. At 10 yrs old she told me I was dumb, stupid and shouldnít even try because I am ADD. That really has affected me over the years. I took what she said to be true. I had to over come that. My freshman English teacher had one way of teaching and would not bend at all. Her idea of teaching was to lecture about the subject then have you do the class work and if you have a problem ask your classmates BEFORE you go to her. Thatís all fine and dandy if the student has friends in the class, but I didnít. I would raise my hand and ask her for help and she would respond with ďHave you asked your peers for help first?Ē Of course I would say no, and then she would tell me to ask them first and if they couldnít answer my questions then raise my hand and ask her. Now, Iím not telling you that to scare you, itís just a part of my reality. Iím not saying those exact situations will happen to your son, but as is life, we all will have our Nay-Sayers. Thatís just part of reality unfortunately. But rising above and proving the Nay-Sayers wrong is how we become stronger.
Even though I had a few bad teachers, I had more teachers that I loved and adored. My weakness is English class because of all the essays required for the class. My sophomore year my school introduced a new way of writing essays. It was called chunk paragraphing. The concept was simple enough, Topic Sentence, Concrete Detail, 2 commentaries and then a concluding sentence. And that equaled a 1 chunk paragraph, it could become more complex by adding more concrete details and commentaries but thatís beside the point. When that system was introduced, I was completely lost and confused. I was sure I was going to fail. But my teacher, she was the most wonderful English teacher Iíve ever had. Every single day, Monday - Friday, she stayed after with me helping me write my essay. Thatís the first and only time in high school I passed English withÖif memory serves me correctly a B or C. Before that it was Fís and Dís.
My math teacher has got to be one of the best teachers ever. She understood that kids learn in different ways. Some kids learn by listening, some by watching, some by doing, and some by feeling. Also, nobody learns in just one way. Itís usually a combination of all of them, but one or two will be stronger than the rest. With her every day teaching she would teach in a way that would cover all the ways you can learn. And if a student still did not understand, she would sit down and teach the students individually until they understood then once the student understood she would tell that student to help somebody with the same problem they were having. So to sum all this up, donít be afraid to get your child the help he needs because of what others might say. Also learn to be your childís advocate. Open a dialogue with your son, learn from him how his mind and brain works and what his difficulties are. Once your son can understand how he learns, and how his brain functions the better off he will be. I hope the words of wisdom, experience, and advice will help you and any other parent struggling with an ADD child. If anybody needs or wants to talk to me please feel free to contact me. I am always willing to be a friendly ear to hear you and offer any advice I can.
As AlwaysÖTake What Ye CanÖGive Nothiní Back!
Capt. Sparrowís Lady.
Thanks for sharing that.
My youngest DD has ADD, in addition to Cerebral Palsy and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. The Psychologist we worked with up until she was almost 6 (we moved away then) gave us a good description of what it's like to have ADD. I think knowing what is going on in the person's head is very helpful - like you mentioned, they might NEED 3 repetitions to have the "message" (or part of the message) get thru once. My DD also likes things to be perfect and doesn't like people seeing her do things if she can't do them correctly (which is not a good thing for a person with fine motor skill problems).
Another thing to think about is that kids are ego-centric. They tend to think that whatever happens in their world/body is what happens in everyone else's. My DD could see that not everyone used a wheelchair, but the stuff that goes on inside the head is not visible. So, the child with ADD (or other invisible disabilities) is not only dealing with the confusing jumble of stuff going on at the same time in their head, but (until they get an understanding of ADD) they think that other people are experiencing the same thing and somehow dealing with it better than they are.
I don't have ADD, but I vividly remember "flunking" the vision test at school in 3rd grade. I was reading at High School level, but as I sat waiting for my turn, I realized that somehow even the little kids were able to do something that I couldn't do. The county nurse doing the test was nasty to people ("You're a big boy. You should be able to do this.").
Being a kid, I was used to learning things in school that you didn't always "get" right away the first time. I figured this was one of those things.
It didn't occur to me that my eyes could be the problem; to my thought, it had to be my brain and that people would be able to see that maybe I wasn't as smart as they thought I was (after all, even the kids in the 2nd grade could do this "test" and most of the kids I saw having problems with this test had problems with everything at school).
So, when it got to be my turn, I did what seemed to make sense to me at the time - I refused to talk to the nurse. About a week later, she came back. I refused to get out of my seat and refused to talk to her (plus I started crying). I got referred to an opthamologist - after the nurse made fun of me in front of everyone in the class, the teacher punished me for being uncooperative and the nurse called my mom and said I must be "retarded and mentally disturbed" (her exact words) because of how I had reacted to the test.
When I got my vision tested, it turned out that I couldn't even see the biggest letter on the chart without glassses. My mom asked me why I hadn't said anything about not being able to see, and I remember my reply was that I thought everyone saw like that and that they were just better at getting around it than I was. I only had a short period of time to feel so different, but even now (I'm not going to say how many years later), I vividly remember my thoughts and feelings. Someone with ADD or other invisible disabilities might have to go thru those feelings every day if they or the people around them don't understand.
:sunny: :sunny: :sunny: :sunny: :sunny: :sunny: :sunny: :sunny: :sunny:
Thanks for sharing, those were great "inside stories" :grouphug:
Thank you for sharing this info. I just did a quick search for "behavior disorders in children" and found this as I have a daughter that may be ADD. I have a DR's appt scheduled for next week with her primary care DR to start getting her evaluated.
Here is my latest email from one of my daughter's teachers. I changed her name to your daughter
"I read the e-mail that was sent about your daughter and did some observations this week on her. I am with your daughter from 8:00 - 9:00 for Math and 10:00-11:30 for Reading. On Monday in Reading, Mrs. ***** was teaching Reading and your daughter was looking around and wasn't focused on the lesson at hand. Then she started to play with the pencil and eraser that were in her desk. She looked back at me and noticed that I was watching her and then she looked at her book for about five min. and then started to fidget. On Thursday during Math Mrs. ***** was teaching division with dividing beans. Your daughter was playing with the beans instead of dividing them according to the instructions. I went over to show her what she needed to do and she did it for the example that Mrs. ***** was on, but when I moved away from her she started playing in her desk. I've noticed while working with her that it takes her awhile to arrive at an answer. When I've asked her questions even during a one on one situation, she will give me a blank look."
She had similiar problems in the beginning of last year, but I made a few small changes, like making sure she had a good breakfast and other small things. And she improved. The teacher was amazed how she was able to focus. She did so much better that I cancelled the appt with the behavior specialist. This year started out great but as soon as Christmas break was over (and I started working part time) things are falling apart again. That's the mystery of this whole thing....It comes in waves.
When I read the OP, it reminded me of the strangest thing with my daughter....How she HATES it when anyone sings. This is something she has strongly disliked since before she could talk. I would sing to the radio in the car and she'd start crying in her carseat. A minor annoyance when she was an only child, but when I had my second baby, and we'd try to sing lullabyes and "The Wheels On the Bus"...my older daughter (then only three) would have a fit. My youngest still loves to sing to herself, but it throws the oldest into bursts of rage. To go into all out sibling WAR over singing simple songs really makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Now I wonder if the two are related somehow.
And it's so hard to do any research and because so much seems to be stories of BOYS with ADHD. And I really don't think my daughter has a problem with hyper-activity. It's hard to compare their experiences with my own daughter's.
Anyway...I'm rambling now. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to see what the DRs say.
Great post I am printing this out thankyou soooo much!
That was great input, I know my son and I have struggled for years with this. He is 18 now and ready to graduate High School. He was in mostly all regular classes. He still takes medicine, but he would like to see if he can do with out it. It sometimes can make him really cranky and now we are worried about the new warnings of adderall. Are you on medication now? I would like to know more about being able to survive without it. He doesn't take it on weekends, unless he needs to. It is a hard battle keeping him focused.
I had read this,too. I had found a small ball that was a squeeze thing. DD loved it and it helped to settle some of the big fidgets in the car. I found another one but I paid top dollar for it because I wanted Dd to try it at school. So, the report about constructive fidgiting in hand and the ball, I headed off to Dd's school. The teacher listened said ok. I left feeling good till Dd got home.
When ask about how things had gone I was told the teacher had prompty taken the ball away from Dd and PUT IT IN HER DESK! Never to be used again as it was a distraction. I went back to the teacher and she said NO Dd could not use it in class. I ask for it back,thinking well at least she could use it at home,OH NO!! The teacher said she had throw it way at the end of the day and that the janitor would have disposed it by now.
HOT? OH that doesn't even explain how upset I was!! Not only did the teacher Dismiss the report but she with out even calling me she had throw out an EXPENSIVE item that we could have used at home.
I was livid!!
The Public school system at its FINEST, yah right :eek:
But The good News is Dd Graduated High school and is now in college Majoring in ASL sign laungage, with the hope to go on to be an Interpreter for Medical or Legal matters.
Wow, thank you SO MUCH for posting your story!!!!!! I am struggling with ADHD now, with my 5 year old DS. You explained how he is probably feeling PERFECTLY. He is on meds now, and last week I was really sick one morning. I FORGOT to give him his medication because I was so out of it. I get a call from school 45 minutes later from the school nurse. DS was aggitated since he got into school since he didn't take his meds. I went to school to give them to him (I felt like the WORLD'S WORST MOMMY :sad2: ). After he agreed to take them, he said to me, "Now I can have a good day, Mommy!" I said, "I am so sorry I forgot to give it to you this morning!" He said, "Don't worry, Mommy, it's OK. I know you are sick." That day, he came home with a hand made card to help me feel better. :sick:
I can only hope that my son can someday describe what goes on inside his head as well as your daughter did. Such insights are pure gold!
Would you please repair your link to Amazon, or post the title of the book?
P.S. for anyone fighting the IEP battle, remember that a school's failure to follow the IEP is a violation of your child's rights to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) under FEDERAL LAW. You may need to remind them of that.
Thankfully, we have a very cooperative school/system and have not needed to bring that up.
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