Books to learn more about ADHD

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by 100AcreWood, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. Christen99

    Christen99 Wet behind the ears

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    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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  3. Christen99

    Christen99 Wet behind the ears

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    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).
     
  4. Gracefulskinny

    Gracefulskinny DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  5. kalc12345

    kalc12345 DIS Veteran

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    This lists the things you should avoid......

    http://www.virtualmedicalcentre.com...on-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-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.
     
  6. 100AcreWood

    100AcreWood DIS Veteran

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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!
     
  7. kalc12345

    kalc12345 DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  8. Gracefulskinny

    Gracefulskinny DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  9. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

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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. :lmao: 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.)
     
  10. kalc12345

    kalc12345 DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  11. ktlm

    ktlm DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  12. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

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    I may be wrong, but most of those studies show a link between food additives and ADHD-like "behaviors". In other words, some additives cause children to behave as though they have ADHD, but it's not TRUE ADHD. Once you remove the offending foods, the behaviors disappear. This boils down to basic food sensitivity/intolerance. It's not organic ADHD.

    The only way to "test" whether your child has organic ADHD is to try stimulant medications. If you see improvement of ADHD symptoms, and an increased ability to focus, you are dealing with real, organic ADHD. If you see no change, your child has some other issue going on. We had to do this to differentiate between ADHD and "Autism symptoms" being the root cause of my son's focus/attention problems. Since Autism causes many of the same issues you see in ADHD, we had to tease it out and make sure that my son actually had ADHD in addition to Autism. Turns out, he does. We saw a dramatic improvement the first day he took medication.
     
  13. pjacobi

    pjacobi DIS Veteran

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    If your child has ADD/ADHD, then it is possible that one of the parents has undiagnosed ADD/ADHD. It can have a big impact on your marriage, so I recomend reading:

    http://www.adhdmarriage.com/


    -Paul
     
  14. ktlm

    ktlm DIS Veteran

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    Another thing to think about is how does he react to caffeine. That turned out to be our for pretty sure sign when DD was 3, that she was not ADD/ADHD. If you will research, you will see that studies show that caffeine is sometimes recommended to treat ADD/ADHD because for many kids with ADD/ADHD, caffeine often has the effect of increasing concentration and decreasing excessive motor activity. For those kids that do not have ADD/ADHD, it has the opposite effect. We had never let DD have caffeine. At age 3, my mother let DD have a coke icee because the other flavor the store had was broken. OH MY GOSH! I've never seen anything like it. DD was literally running in circles for 2 hours she was so amped up on the caffeine. It was crazy. Hyper is an understatement. We could not get her to sit down. We didn't get her to bed for over 2 hours after her regular bedtime. A few months later, my mother (who doesn't listen to us) gave her a Dr. Pepper because the machine they were getting a drink out of, was out of Sprite. Same type reaction- the kid went nuts. Caffeine definitely does not focus her or calm her down.
     
  15. kalc12345

    kalc12345 DIS Veteran

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    There have been kids that were diagnosed with ADHD by a doctor and put on meds. The meds did help but the parents did not like medicating their children so they sought out other options. They tried changing up the child's diet and saw the ADHD symptoms improve even more than what the drugs did. Diet changes can help!!

    I will bow out of this thread now. This is just something I am very passionate about. I did LOTS of research! Then we changed our diet 2 years ago and we are all so much healthier now. It not only helped my son with ADHD, it helped the rest of us. Just do a little research on chemicals in our food. It is disgusting! If we could clean up our food supply we would see less sickness!

    OP you have been given lots of great info from everyone! Good luck!
     
  16. 100AcreWood

    100AcreWood DIS Veteran

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    I appreciate everyone's imput. My husband and I don't have ADHD. I am adopted though so we don't know about the gene's on my side.

    Ds only hits his sisters. We haven't had any issues with him hitting the kids at preschool or any friends. So I see your point there - and that's probably normal sibling behavior.

    He is very social. He makes friends wherever we go. He is even more social than our girls. His preschool teacher said he is very well liked at school. The other moms even tell me their sons talk about him a lot.

    Perhaps the neurologist was quick to diagnose him after a 45 minute appointment. We see the OT next month and I will have more questions for her. Ds does wear glasses and just saw his Dr. in February. He is nearsighted in one eye but the other side is perfect.

    Thank you all! And I enjoyed the information about diet changes. It's amazing our country allows certain ingredients that other countries deem as dangerous and have banned. And we may go down that road at some point. But I already got the :rolleyes2 from my dh when I mentioned limiting ds's exposure to preservatives and screens.
     
  17. ktlm

    ktlm DIS Veteran

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    Again, that sounds just like DD. She is extremely outgoing. She kind of collects people wherever we go. When she was in kindergarten, it used to surprise me when we went to her new school because although it is good sized a ton of people always seemed to know her - older kids, other teachers, administrators, staff, other parents. No telling what has come out of her mouth because she is definitely a talker. She is pretty much not scared to say anything to anyone, and she certainly is not afraid to ask "why" or negotiate when she doesn't agree with something. EEK!!! Her teachers have always told us she is well liked. A 45 minute one time appointment is definitely not enough for any valid diagnosis. I would take what you were told with a grain of salt and keep your eyes open.

    If the falls just started this year which it sounds like they did, you might have his presciption in his glasses checked, especially if you got them in one of those mall type chains who are notorious for messing up prescriptions. We get DD's at the opthamologist's shop (lenses are ordered and mailed in), but even with that we had one time where after she got a new prescription in her glasses she started complaining she was seeing double. We took her back in and when the shop checked her glasses the lenses were way off of what they were supposed to be.
     
  18. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

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    There is also research saying screen time has no effect. While I can see that with these hyper cartoons, I don't see that with just internet and gaming.
     
  19. 100AcreWood

    100AcreWood DIS Veteran

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    That's the strange thing - the falls have been going on since he was 2. Sometimes worse than others but I started noticing them at that age.
     
  20. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

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    My younger son (7) was a BIG baby and toddler. He was super clumsy when he started walking at 13 months. Would walk right into walls, fall down a lot, etc. He outgrew it around 5 but he is still clumsy from time to time. He stumbles when he runs too fast and he is just not very body aware. He is really good at stuff requiring balance though, like bike riding. He went straight to a two wheeler at 4. But, if you demonstrate some body movements to him and ask him to copy you, he can NEVER do it right. I'm talking easy stuff too. He just has a big problem with visual perception. He reads and spells very well though. No issues there. He has been vision tested twice and his vision is actually close to 20/10! He is somewhere on the autism spectrum. He has a lot of sensory integration issues. He does NOT have ADHD. That is my other son.
     
  21. 100AcreWood

    100AcreWood DIS Veteran

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    I know something is definitely going on that needs to be addressed. Besides excessively falling down, he does have trouble focusing and paying attention, following multiple directions and he hides behind me when he is feeling overwhelmed. For example, when I drop him off at preschool he really wants to warm up to the room, taking his time to find something to do before talking to the other kids. I don't know if this is his personality or a symptom of a bigger issue. He will get upset and hide behind me if a bunch of kids charge towards him wanting to talk. He is fine once he has a few minutes to look around. He loves playing with other kids and like I said he is very social but he is slow to transition in the mornings to school. I know he is the only kid that has this problem at school so it seems unusual. We see the OT next month and hopefully she can help us out.

    I know the autism spectrum is very big. But I'm assuming since he is so social and outgoing around other kids (loves to play with new kids on the playground, never shy or withdrawn) that he wouldn't have autism. I assume this is something else - whether it's ADHD, Sensory Issues, Giftedness or something else.
     

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