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Old 04-24-2013, 04:20 PM   #16
100AcreWood
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Honestly, not meaning to sound snarky but you just don't buy foods that have them in it. Cut down on most processed foods. When you do buy processed products, look in the organic and health food sections of the grocery stores. There are tons of options you might not be aware of including cereals, granola bars, cookies, frozen foods. My boys have autism and it had made a huge difference getting the fake stuff out of their systems.
Not snarky at all. Please educate me. I love to cook so I'm happy to make stuff. Do you have any suggestions for the types of ingredients I need to avoid?
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:31 PM   #17
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I agree that diet can make a huge difference. It's good to try that approach now, before formal school starts and the pressures that come along with that. It can be overwhelming to tackle the whole world of colors and preservatives, so if I could suggest a stepping stone, I'd say start by eliminating red dye (usually appears on labels as FD&C Red #40 or something similar). I've seen quite a few specific red dye allergies popping up in the last few years, so it's a practical test as well as easier as you begin the process.

For us, my guys were celiac before ADHD, so we had already totally overhauled their diets, getting rid of 95% of colors and preservatives in the process of eliminating all sources of gluten, so they turned out to be true ADHD. It happens!

I second/third/etc Additudemag and CHADD! I also learned a lot from help4adhd.org ...for me this was a great resource to learn about schools/504/IEP. You're not there yet, but it's good to have information in advance so you're prepared with what your options and rights are when it's time for school.

addforums.com is a massive message board... it can be overwhelming, but with a great variety of topics and perspectives, it's another great resource. DizzFrizz's corner has some really insightful information especially for parenting/understanding your ADHD child.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:54 PM   #18
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I'm looking for suggestions on books to learn more about ADHD or websites that are helpful. There is so much information out there I am overwhelmed.

My 4 year old went to a neurologist recently and she said he was showing signs of ADHD. She told me that he will probably get a diagnosis in 1st or 2nd grade. So I want to learn more and see if there is anything I should or can do now to help him focus.

But there is so much information out there and the one thing I'm learning is not all children show the same symptoms. I guess some kids have certain symptoms (like hyperactivity) and some don't?
Please also read about "The Edison Trait" and books specifically on boys. They tried to say my now 19 year old had ADHD and ODD in first grade. No other teacher/doctor since that time has thought that (military so we moved after that year). He had a severe allergic reaction to the meds they tried on him so I have refused medication ever since. This kid is so amazingly smart and an impressive young man today.

If no one has mentioned this yet... take out all foods with red dye $#40 to see if that helps. http://www.red40.com/
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:27 PM   #19
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Something else to watch out for is the amount of screen time your child gets. (smart phone/tablet/computer/t.v.)

This is true for all kids but those prone to ADHD especially.

As it was explained to me, the over stimulation (even in small amounts) is just too much for smaller brains and can increase the ADHD issues.

Having grown up with ADHD myself there are a few things that will help to make everyone's life a little easier (Even if your child turns out not having ADHD)

1. When large multi step tasks need to be completed break them down into mini tasks and give them out step by step.

(E.X. Instead of "go clean your room" break it down into the steps needed to get the room clean. "Pick your clothes off the floor." "Okay great! Now put your toys in the toy box" etc.)

To many with ADHD the larger a task is the harder it is to find the starting point. By breaking it down into the mini steps you are giving your child a starting point. The task won't seem as daunting.

2. Use timers and turn tasks into beat the clock games. (Make sure time set is a realistic time frame for the task to get done. Don't set them up for failure)

Many have found that having a set time helps to keep the focus on the task at hand. When the attention starts to drift they see the timer and are reminded of the real task at hand.


I once heard someone describe ADHD the following way and have always thought it was probably the best way for someone without ADHD to get an idea of what ADHD feels like to the ADHD person:

"You are driving down the highway trying to get somewhere, say Disney world. Now in a normal car you sit behind the drivers seat and are in full control of the direction your car travels. SO you drive straight there.

But the ADHD car has a small quirk to it. It will choose to vere off the highway forcing you to take exit after exit. As the Driver of the ADHD car you don't have full control to stop the car from taking these exits. Will you eventually get to Disney World? Most likely but the Driver and passengers stuck in the ADHD car are going to take a lot longer to get there and if everyone stuck in the car isn't working together its going to be one very LONG frustrating ride."

As a passenger in the ADHD car its your job to help your child the "Driver" to cope with the quirky car and help him/her do their best to keep the car on the highway as much as possible and to help him/her get the car back on the highway when the car does take a side trip.


With the right coaching and counseling ADHD is very manageable. The key most important key is structure and organization. The more organization there is the better of your child will be.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:37 PM   #20
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Along the lines of what 4kids4karen said, I don't know your child, or your situation, but I would also add to think about whether your child has been exhibiting signs of giftedness. You can find things on the internet about signs of giftedness in young children. Gifted children are very commonly misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD. They can focus for long periods of time on things they are interested in, but if they are bored or not interested , you better watch out. They also will retreat into their own minds and tune other stuff out, or rush through stuff and ignore the directions or details when they are bored or not challenged. Their little brains are constantly thinking up new ideas too and they can pretty much be bouncing off the walls constantly because of it, especially when they are really young and everything is new to them. They also tend to be dramatic. Also, I'm not sure why you saw a neurologist, but it is common for gifted kids to have motor skills that lag behind a bit (probably because they spend so much time inside their heads!) None of this may be your situation at all, as I know you said your child doesn't really exhibit the active behavior that you often see with both type of kids, but it is something to keep an eye out for and consider. I haven't read the book she directed you to, but I have read some articles that talk about if Thomas Edison, Einstein and others were kids today in our society, they may very well have been classified as ADD, drugged, and kept from all the creativity they ultimately exhibited because they were square pegs that society tried to fit into a round hole. I'm guessing that may be what the recommended book is about?

I would say the best thing for you to do, is to do all the research you can on any possibilities based on the behavior your child exhibits. There is a ton of stuff on the internet, a lot of books etc. Don't just trust what someone who has seen your child a couple of times tells you. Your own instincts in being with your child every day, may be better than someone who has seen them a few times at figuring out their issues. Your child may have ADD, or there may be some other reason for the behavior entirely. You also may find that you have to be your child's advocate at some point. We were really worried about having to do that based on some of the stuff I had read about other's experiences and on a friend's experience. My DD has always been kind of exhausting to handle. We knew from a very young age, that she was a bit "different". I was pretty worried about what might happen when she hit school, so I did a ton of research. When we went down those gifted signs lists, there was pretty much no doubt what we were dealing with (although she exhibited the kind of behavior that we pretty much didn't need the lists). We were very worried that when she got to school they might misdiagnose her with ADD and we might have issues, but we were very lucky in that from pre-school on up to 1st grade her teachers quickly recognized what they were dealing with. ( I have a friend in a different school district who wasn't so lucky and really had to advocate for her gifted son because they wanted to classify him ADD and tried to convince her to get him on drugs. She didn't and demanded a teacher change, and it was night and day with the new teacher.) This year in 1st grade, our school was able to test and classify DD so now it is documented in her file and we actually have a liason we can contact and work with if there are issues. We have been lucky enough that we have teachers that take the time to try to keep DD challenged. Again, it might not be your issue at all, but it is something to look into, before just accepting a diagnosis.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by 100AcreWood View Post
I'm looking for suggestions on books to learn more about ADHD or websites that are helpful. There is so much information out there I am overwhelmed.

My 4 year old went to a neurologist recently and she said he was showing signs of ADHD. She told me that he will probably get a diagnosis in 1st or 2nd grade. So I want to learn more and see if there is anything I should or can do now to help him focus.

But there is so much information out there and the one thing I'm learning is not all children show the same symptoms. I guess some kids have certain symptoms (like hyperactivity) and some don't?
I would STRONGLY suggest a sensory assessment by an Occupational Therapist who specializes in sensory integration. My son was so out of control movement wise from the time he was born (rolling over at 2 days, crawling at 4 months, walking across the room at 8months, etc.). He had very little reaction to pain, or over reaction to pain, and was always in constant motion. I took him to our pediatrician because it was obvious something was up at 2.

My oldest was having an assessment at the Occupational Therapist, and during the assessment my youngest was out of control movement wise. Could not sit down, could not stop moving, etc. The OT strongly encouraged me to have my youngest assessed, and we were floored with his results. He had major Sensory Integration issues, and was immediately started in OT twice weekly. Sensory issues in young kids, especially boys looks a LOT like ADHD.

Both of my kids have differing sensory issues, and the two pediatric neurologists were so quick to want to drug them. We refused, and instead kept on our path with OT and we now have two kids who can function. We have a variety of other therapies as well, because my youngest was eventually diagnosed with high functioning autism, and my oldest was diagnosed with Asperbergers (ADHD is thought to share a spot on the spectrum).

I honestly wish we had our sensory assessment done much younger than it actually was, because once kids hit a certain age the neuropathways are less pliable. The therapies still work, but are much more effective in younger children. My youngest loves his OT time, it's like playing in a huge gym for 2 hours a week.

Kids don't develop ADHD as they age, just as they don't develop autism as they age. If your child has it, he has it now. I would recommend finding an amazing ADHD assessment at a local children's hospital, and make sure they do an impulsivity screening. Our initial diagnosis was ADHD and once we brought him in to the autism clinic, the first thing they did was disprove ADHD through an impulsivity assessment. That assessment showed he was nowhere near ADHD, and sat and attended for the entire assessment. Once they pulled out the autism assessments...it was on like Donkey Kong and it was so obvious we were dealing with something way different than ADHD. It also helped that we went in with language (expressive, receptive, pragmatic) assessments, OT assessments, and a behavioral explosion.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:31 PM   #22
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Along the lines of what 4kids4karen said, I don't know your child, or your situation, but I would also add to think about whether your child has been exhibiting signs of giftedness. You can find things on the internet about signs of giftedness in young children. Gifted children are very commonly misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD. They can focus for long periods of time on things they are interested in, but if they are bored or not interested , you better watch out. They also will retreat into their own minds and tune other stuff out, or rush through stuff and ignore the directions or details when they are bored or not challenged. Their little brains are constantly thinking up new ideas too and they can pretty much be bouncing off the walls constantly because of it, especially when they are really young and everything is new to them. They also tend to be dramatic. Also, I'm not sure why you saw a neurologist, but it is common for gifted kids to have motor skills that lag behind a bit (probably because they spend so much time inside their heads!) None of this may be your situation at all, as I know you said your child doesn't really exhibit the active behavior that you often see with both type of kids, but it is something to keep an eye out for and consider. I haven't read the book she directed you to, but I have read some articles that talk about if Thomas Edison, Einstein and others were kids today in our society, they may very well have been classified as ADD, drugged, and kept from all the creativity they ultimately exhibited because they were square pegs that society tried to fit into a round hole. I'm guessing that may be what the recommended book is about?

I would say the best thing for you to do, is to do all the research you can on any possibilities based on the behavior your child exhibits. There is a ton of stuff on the internet, a lot of books etc. Don't just trust what someone who has seen your child a couple of times tells you. Your own instincts in being with your child every day, may be better than someone who has seen them a few times at figuring out their issues. Your child may have ADD, or there may be some other reason for the behavior entirely. You also may find that you have to be your child's advocate at some point. We were really worried about having to do that based on some of the stuff I had read about other's experiences and on a friend's experience. My DD has always been kind of exhausting to handle. We knew from a very young age, that she was a bit "different". I was pretty worried about what might happen when she hit school, so I did a ton of research. When we went down those gifted signs lists, there was pretty much no doubt what we were dealing with (although she exhibited the kind of behavior that we pretty much didn't need the lists). We were very worried that when she got to school they might misdiagnose her with ADD and we might have issues, but we were very lucky in that from pre-school on up to 1st grade her teachers quickly recognized what they were dealing with. ( I have a friend in a different school district who wasn't so lucky and really had to advocate for her gifted son because they wanted to classify him ADD and tried to convince her to get him on drugs. She didn't and demanded a teacher change, and it was night and day with the new teacher.) This year in 1st grade, our school was able to test and classify DD so now it is documented in her file and we actually have a liason we can contact and work with if there are issues. We have been lucky enough that we have teachers that take the time to try to keep DD challenged. Again, it might not be your issue at all, but it is something to look into, before just accepting a diagnosis.
There is a huge overlap between ADHD/ADD, giftedness, and autism and they can look very similar. We were told so many times before our autism/Aspergers diagnosis of our boys that it was giftedness, or ADHD/ADD. I knew it was something else, not just kids who were gifted. I have one child who is 2E and can blend in quite well, and the other who is extremely 2E.

I highly suggest the following resources: Hoagies Gifted, Eides Neurolearning Blog, Gifted Development Center, Summit Center, and the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. They are all excellent resources for all things gifted, as well as twice exceptional (or 2E).
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:40 PM   #23
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Kids don't develop ADHD as they age, just as they don't develop autism as they age. If your child has it, he has it now.

YES!!! Something a lot of people forget. ADHD is from birth. However if usually takes until school to really diagnose it because that's where the issues really come forward.

It should also be stated that you don't "Grow Out of It" either. You can learn coping and adapting skills but if someone ever talks about how they "Grew Out of it" Its a strong bet that they never had true ADHD to begin with.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:32 AM   #24
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Not snarky at all. Please educate me. I love to cook so I'm happy to make stuff. Do you have any suggestions for the types of ingredients I need to avoid?
This lists the things you should avoid......

http://www.virtualmedicalcentre.com/...er-adhd/191#C3

Everyone, even those that don't have any problems, should avoid all those chemicals listed. We should not be eating petroleum, flame retardant and all those other things they put in processed foods.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:39 AM   #25
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OP Here. My son goes to preschool three mornings a week. His preschool teacher and the director mentioned several times to me this year they are concerned with how often he falls. We've noticed it at home too but he has been like that since he was 2. We assumed he was growing so fast he just fell a lot (he is big for his age).

So I took him to an ENT to see if he had an inner ear problem. Nope. Then the ped sent us to the neurologist who concluded after asking him to do a series of motor skills tests that he has ADHD. She said he isn't paying attention to the world around him and doesn't see the toy he trips over or the door jam he runs into. He doesn't notice how close he is to the edge of the chair while he is fidgeting. Then boom, he falls.

We are seeing her again in 6 months. In the meantime she is sending him to an OT and we start next month. They are going to evaluate and work on his fine motor skills which the neurologist found to be behind for his age. I have thought about whether he could be gifted. He seems very smart for age but the Dr. said kids with ADHD are often very smart. They just can't focus.

Thanks for all the advice. I plan to read some of the books you mentioned. They look very interesting. I also plan to decrease the amount of prepared food he eats to see if it helps. I think eliminating all preservatives might be harder than I realize. If I can decrease that might be a good start. I do make a lot of food so I'm partway there.

I am curious about the screen time comment - how much TV/tablet/video game time do you allow per day? Not to pick on my neighbor (she is an awesome mom) but her child with ADHD plays video games a lot. My child also would play all afternoon if I let him but I don't. He does love the ipad and he plays games my kindergartener plays which are very educational and teach phonics, math, etc.

Other things he does that might indicate ADHD - he ignores his body (gets so consumed by what he is doing he doesn't go potty). He can't follow multiple directions.

What is the impulsivity component? My son will randomly shove his sister or sit on her. Then he looks surprised when she gets mad. It's like he isn't thinking when he does it, then he is either surprised at her for being mad or maybe surprised at himself for doing it. I don't know.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:15 AM   #26
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Other things he does that might indicate ADHD - he ignores his body (gets so consumed by what he is doing he doesn't go potty). He can't follow multiple directions.

What is the impulsivity component? My son will randomly shove his sister or sit on her. Then he looks surprised when she gets mad. It's like he isn't thinking when he does it, then he is either surprised at her for being mad or maybe surprised at himself for doing it. I don't know.

Thanks again!
We dealt with both those issues with our son.

He had accidents all the time. We were always having to get up in the middle of the night to change his bed. That was no fun!! Or during the day when he was busy playing he would have accidents.

Impulse control was a BIG issue. He would hit us for no reason and like your son act surprised when we got on to him about it. It was like he had no control over what he was doing.

After changing his diet ALL that stopped. No more accidents, no more hitting. He now has control over what he does.

I am such a HUGE advocate for diet changes after seeing what it did for our family. I will tell you that changing a little isn't going to help. You have to go all in or you will not see a change. It does seem very overwhelming at first. It took me a couple months to get into the groove of it all. Now it is super easy. We know what we can and can't eat. My only regret is that I didn't learn about it sooner. I hate we ate that stuff for so long.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:33 AM   #27
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I am curious about the screen time comment - how much TV/tablet/video game time do you allow per day? Not to pick on my neighbor (she is an awesome mom) but her child with ADHD plays video games a lot. My child also would play all afternoon if I let him but I don't. He does love the ipad and he plays games my kindergartener plays which are very educational and teach phonics, math, etc.


What is the impulsivity component? My son will randomly shove his sister or sit on her. Then he looks surprised when she gets mad. It's like he isn't thinking when he does it, then he is either surprised at her for being mad or maybe surprised at himself for doing it. I don't know.

The things you describe pretty much puts the nail on the head. As far as screen time, the vague answer would be as little as possible. For a more specific answer I might bring it up with the OT or Neurologist. I'm only certian of the screen time for my own daughter (who is genetically at risk of inheriting it from me) that our ped that happens to specialize in ADHD said that for all kids until the age of 2 zero screen time should be allowed and that after the age of two minimal exposure. (I'll be honest here, there is a level of what is practical and what is ideal. I won't say she never watches T.V. But its rare when we do turn it one and we save it for the emergency distraction measure.)

As far as the impuslivity that you discribe, As one who has grown up with ADHD I can tell you that there are often times where my body would react a half second before my brain would. Gentle but firm reminders to think he acts can be helpful.


Also something to keep in mind that I as an adult am ever grateful my family drilled into me is this, "ADHD is a reason, not an Excuse" Being forced to deal with the consquences of my actions regardless of my ADHD status helped me to deal with it myself and not through my ADHD around forcing others to pick up the pieces. Your son may find it harsh at the time but when he grows up to be a functioning adult he will recognize and be grateful for such discipline growing up.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:14 AM   #28
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I have a son who has Autism as well as ADHD.

His ADHD was "diagnosed" about 6 months ago, at the age of 8.5. He has been diagnosed as Autistic since age 29 months, officially, but we began with speech and ABA therapy around 16 months. All his ADHD screenings from the age of 3 indicated "high risk" for ADHD, but toddlers/young boys are notorious for appearing as though they have ADHD until they are a little older and the "normal" attention span sets in. We pursued a diagnosis/medication at this time because the ADHD symptoms were starting to become a real issue, both at school and home, and they were causing a lot of frustration for my son. He is on meds now for it and I have no regrets about it at all. He isn't "drugged up", and I hate this misconception. ADHD is a problem in the brain chemistry. The medications correct the problem and allow the chemicals to uptake the proper way, which improves attention and the ability to function more normally. They do not in any way affect your child's creativity, intelligence, personality, etc. If your kid is a genius with ADHD, he will still be a genius if he's medicated for ADHD. I promise. We only medicate our son on school days. The meds are out of his system in 10 hours. Weekends and school breaks, no meds. It is working well for us. For what it's worth, he has the "Inattentive" type of ADHD. He is not hyperactive at all.

Most ADHD medications are not approved for children under 6. There are a couple approved for kids 3 and up, but there really is no need to medicate such young kids, as the demands placed upon them at school are not worth it. This might be why the doctor said he might be "diagnosed" at a later age. Diagnosis means nothing if you are not planning to do anything about it.

OP, how is your son's social behavior compared to other kids the same age? Does he act/talk/play normally with other kids? This is something you should be very aware of because while terms like "sensory issues" and "ADHD" are thrown around a lot lately, it often comes down to being on the Autism spectrum. Know the differences so your son doesn't go misdiagnosed for a long time. The new DSM5 is coming out in May, and I think it will result in a lot more kids being diagnosed with Autism, as the criteria have been broadened.

All these dietary suggestions are all well and good, but if your child has TRUE ADHD, no amount of dietary changes will make a difference. Trust me. The food additives are not causing ADHD. People are born with ADHD. You can't get rid of it. It can be managed, though.

On the screen time issue, don't stress about that. Do what you feel is right. There is no "magic number" of how much screen time is "right". My son spends hours on the computer, every day, but every minute that he is on there, he is LEARNING something that he wouldn't learn if it was presented in a "traditional" way. He doesn't play games. He watches You Tube videos on a plethora of topics. He Google searches things he wants to know more about. He has learned all about topics that weren't even on my radar as a college student, and he's 8! He knows several different languages. Screen time is my son's way to "unwind." He comes home from school and goes straight up to the office and sits in front of the computer. Last night, he read the entire tutorial for our graphic design computer program and spent some time making some amazing replicas of company logos. I honestly thought he had just screen grabbed them, but he made them from memory, and made them PERFECT! He also has a Nintendo DSi and has been spending a lot of time with the Flip Note Studio program, making animations the "old school" frame by frame way. His little cartoons are amazing! Most of those take a long time to make. You think that deserves to be limited? Rather than blanket statements about "screen time", you need to be aware of WHAT your kid is doing in front of screens and decide how valuable you think it is. My son is a visual learner (like many with ADHD) and since he doesn't get a lot of that at school, he doesn't actually learn much at school. We joke that he goes to the University of Google and his favorite professor is Professor You Tube. I might have a different opinion of "screen time" if my kid was spending hours playing Candy Crush saga or something like that, though. My son doesn't watch even one minute of TV. He has never had any interest in it. We feel that his "screen time" is the most valuable time he spends every day, so we don't limit it unless he is being punished (it's his currency, obviously.)
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:10 AM   #29
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All these dietary suggestions are all well and good, but if your child has TRUE ADHD, no amount of dietary changes will make a difference. Trust me. The food additives are not causing ADHD. People are born with ADHD. You can't get rid of it. It can be managed, though.
Not totally true. There have been studies done that show a link between ADHD and food. Yes, there are some children that diet changes will not help. I have seen people try diet changes and the child not get better. It will not work for everyone but it is worth a try!! I have seen it help more than not.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:38 AM   #30
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OP Here. His preschool teacher and the director mentioned several times to me this year they are concerned with how often he falls. We've noticed it at home too but he has been like that since he was 2.

So I took him to an ENT to see if he had an inner ear problem. Nope. Then the ped sent us to the neurologist who concluded after asking him to do a series of motor skills tests that he has ADHD. She said he isn't paying attention to the world around him and doesn't see the toy he trips over or the door jam he runs into. He doesn't notice how close he is to the edge of the chair while he is fidgeting. Then boom, he falls.

We are seeing her again in 6 months. In the meantime she is sending him to an OT and we start next month. They are going to evaluate and work on his fine motor skills which the neurologist found to be behind for his age. I have thought about whether he could be gifted. He seems very smart for age but the Dr. said kids with ADHD are often very smart. They just can't focus.

I am curious about the screen time comment - how much TV/tablet/video game time do you allow per day? Not to pick on my neighbor (she is an awesome mom) but her child with ADHD plays video games a lot. My child also would play all afternoon if I let him but I don't. He does love the ipad and he plays games my kindergartener plays which are very educational and teach phonics, math, etc.

Other things he does that might indicate ADHD - he ignores his body (gets so consumed by what he is doing he doesn't go potty). He can't follow multiple directions.

What is the impulsivity component? My son will randomly shove his sister or sit on her. Then he looks surprised when she gets mad. It's like he isn't thinking when he does it, then he is either surprised at her for being mad or maybe surprised at himself for doing it. I don't know.

Thanks again!
Some of this sounds really familiar, but as Christian99 said there is a big overlap in some of the the traits kids exhibit between ADHD/ADD, giftedness, and the autism spectrum. It feels to me like the neurologist jumped to ADHD/ADD pretty fast, but then I haven't seen your child so they may be totally right. Yes, kids with ADD/ADHD are often smart and just lack focus, but gifted kids can also exhibit signs that look like ADD/ADHD, but are not. I just know that if my child didn't particularly care for the doctor or wasn't in the mood that day when she was little, she wouldn't have "performed" on demand for the tests. In pre-school and kindergarten, she was also known to tell her teacher that something was "too hard" or she couldn't do it, when the reality was it might be something she had been doing at home for months, but just didn't want to do it that day because she was bored with it (once the teachers caught on, she had to give up that game). Also, I wonder about diagnosing ADHD/ADD solely on some motor skills tests. The fact you say you wonder if he is gifted because he seems "very smart" for his age, makes me wonder as well. Again, I think a parent's instincts can be the best measure, as the PP said, she knew in her gut she was dealing with something else when the doctor was saying it was just ADHD or giftedness. When you say "very smart", what kinds of things are you talking about? Was he talking extremely early? Is he starting to read already? Does he prefer older kids and does he carry on conversations better with older kids and adults than kids his own age? Is he a total perfectionist? Do things come so easily to him, that if there is something he can't immediately do he gets frustrated and doesn't even want to try?

As far as the falling, have you ever had him to a pediatric opthamologist and had his eyes tested? DD fell a lot when she was little too. She would walk into door frames, chairs, trip over things. It turned out that in addition to the fact that she would be thinking about other things and not paying attention, that she was extremely far sighted in one of her eyes and just slightly far-sighted in the other, and basically because her vision was so different in each eye, she had NO depth perception. She got glasses and while she still isn't exactly graceful (she takes after me), the constant walking into or tripping over things stopped because she could see where she was going!

DD's fine motor skills have always been behind for her age. At school, she excels in everything except handwriting (and gym). She still can't tie a bow, and has issues with small buttons and can be slow with the computer mouse and keyboard. Our GT coordinator says that this is extremely common in gifted kids, and while it is definitely something to work on, they usually catch up at some point and it is nothing to be overly concerned about. Actually, we've been told that we should let her play computer games and on ipads etc. quite a bit for this because that can really help get those skills going. Our problem with that is that DD has never been that interested in computer games, so it is hard for us to get her to spend much time doing them. She plays them some, but she would much rather be reading a book, or creating an imaginary world with her dolls, or playing with someone. They do testing mostly by computer in our school, and their biggest worry with her right now, is that she will not perform to what they know she can do or is capable of, simply because she doesn't have the motor skills to manipulate the mouse and type on the keyboard fast enough when the questions are timed on the computer program.

When DD was 3 and 4, she would constantly wait until the last minute and be running to he bathroom. She didn't really have many accidents, but it was often really close. It isn't a sign of ADD/ADHD, it is a sign that they are so highly focused on what they are doing that they don't want to stop and take the time to go to the bathroom until they can't wait any longer. Does he never follow multiple directions, or is it selective? DD could follow multiple directions, but that didn't mean that she would follow them at that age. It just depended on her mood.

As far as the way he acts with his sister, does he just do that with her, or does he do that to other playmates as well? If he does it to other non-family kids, that can be a sign of an issue other than giftedness. Is he social and does he like to interact with other kids, or does he withdraw from them or not like it when they get close to him? If it is just family he lashes out at and he is social with other kids, again that may not mean anything. When you research, you will see that gifted kids can be very emotionally intense and sometimes that means they act out, especially with family. We've had it described as they may have a "mental age" years ahead of their actual age, but emotionally they are still the age they really are. Further, because they are gifted their emotions may be heightened and intense as they are taking more in and understanding more, but they are so young they don't know how to handle it, so again they act out. Also, they want control because of their mental age, and get very frustrated when they don't get it and again act out. Sibling fights are a normal part of childhood, and if you have an emotionally intense kid (whether through giftedness or otherwise), it can be really heightened.

Again, you are with him every day, so do your research and see what your gut tells you are his issues. OT certainly can't hurt, I wouldn't think. You may also want to get another opinion from someone else that isn't in the circle of providers you are in now- i.e. that don't rely on each other for referrals.
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