or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Special Needs Parenting › school thinks 8yo has adhd, but im not convinced. Help!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

school thinks 8yo has adhd, but im not convinced. Help! - Page 4

post #61 of 89
A Neurologist is a medical doctor who specializes in conditions of the nervous system and the brain. Some conditions require brain imaging and some don't. Our oldest child had CT scan and an EEG to test the electrical workings of the brain and to rule out epilepsy or organic brain problems. Our youngest did not have these tests because we already had a family history of TS.

We've had good luck with neurologists treating both myself and our kids. They diagnose every thing from migraines to Tourette to epilepsy to MS and more.

Children require a Pediatric Neurologist as the immature and developing neurological system is very different than treating adults.

They are more highly trained than regular Pediatricians in dxing and tresting neurological disorders.

Your best bet is to see one at a Uni Teaching hospital if possible as they have the best experience and training and see a variety of situations.

It may take a while to get an appointment but the results are well worth it.
post #62 of 89
Like I said I have no idea if your son has TS or not. The meds used in treating TS are not used to "keep the child quiet" When TS is severe enough it prevents the child from functioning properly and can cause pain and cause the child to be stared at teased and tormented. The meds if they are necessary only help the ticcing calm they NEVER eliminate them completely. And a lot of kids who have mild TS never take meds at all but you'd want to know if this type of situation is going on with your child. Plus Ped Neuros can diagnose many things. Our Neuros are one of the best allies in our life with a neuro atypical family.
post #63 of 89

I would be leary of just getting a brain scan to get a scan.  CT's can give a lot of radiation and should not be used unnecessarily.  MRI are better in regards to radiation, but are more challenging for kids that fidget in anyway.  I do not think a doc/neurologist would be willing to recommend unless there was a credible concern.  

 

Neurologists really treat issues that are medical.  Psychologists and psychiatrist are the ones that deal with the mental aspects of the brain.  Our neurologist has struggled to help us with any of ds's issues that are not medical and therefore he has made a connection and works with ds's psychologist to give more effective over all treatment.  

post #64 of 89
Our oldest child had scans because of the Tourettes and also because she had seizures from some vaccines and they had to rule out epilepsy and organic brain damage. Most Ped Neuros don't do CT scans for uncomplicated ADD dxes.
post #65 of 89

MaggieLC, CT would not rule out epilepsy, unfortunately.  If that were true, ds would be in the clear :(   It would however show areas with brain damage.  They use to look for tumors, injury (bleeding, swelling, fluid, clot), and lesions as causes of seizures or other symptoms.  EEG will show seizure, if someone has one will having the EEG.  My understanding is that although EEGs can do more, they are generally only used in regards to seizures.  A similar set up is also used for sleep studies. I think may see more EEG for adhd dx in the future.  

Some tics can be very similar to simple partial seizures.  So hard sometimes to identify what is going on.         

post #66 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieLC View Post

Our oldest child had scans because of the Tourettes and also because she had seizures from some vaccines and they had to rule out epilepsy and organic brain damage. Most Ped Neuros don't do CT scans for uncomplicated ADD dxes.

No add dx yet.

post #67 of 89
Thread Starter 

My interest in the scan side of things was because i heard a talk  on  theglutensummit.com. One of the speakers was a  psychiatrist who used scans for many unconventional things, claiming, that if you cant see it, how do you know whats going on?

This is his website, and adhd is one of his specialties.

http://www.amenclinics.com/conditions/adhd-add

 

ps. thankyou for the useful information in your above post.

post #68 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
 

My interest in the scan side of things was because i heard a talk  on  theglutensummit.com. One of the speakers was a  psychiatrist who used scans for many unconventional things, claiming, that if you cant see it, how do you know whats going on?

This is his website, and adhd is one of his specialties.

http://www.amenclinics.com/conditions/adhd-add

 

ps. thankyou for the useful information in your above post.

 

I do not know, if this is possible.  http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/neuroimaging-and-mental-illness-a-window-into-the-brain/index.shtml   I think spect scans are not adviced for children.  The only real difference I see in the dx process between the clinic you linked to and the psychologist my ds went to for his neuropsych exam was the spect scan. I would discuss the pros and cons with the doctor you decide to work with.  

post #69 of 89

Contact Maya, Dr. Amen has done some interesting work, to compare scans of brains of people with certain disorders, to those without, to scan the brains of those taking certain supplements and compare them to those who do not.

 

Like most things that can be learned about from books and online (I have his books and he does PBS specials as well) there's a difference between the kind of cutting edge work he is doing and well established best practices for diagnosis.  I am not a skeptic by any means.  I think he's a visionary.  But, he's also the kind of MD who sells books, supplements and hope.  Be careful you don't get swept in and invalidate in your mind a best practices diagnosis because no scan was done to confirm what his brain looks like.   If I were you I would read his book on supplements.  The name eludes me right now....I'll remember at 3am ;)  His premise is we can change the health and functioning of our neurological make up through herbal and nutritional supplements, an approach that is not unlike many others discussed here...that dietary changes, gut health etc can improve neurological and nervous system functioning. 

post #70 of 89

Not much new to add here, except that with a diagnosis like ADHD or ADD, the behavior has to occur in ALL SETTINGS (home, school, community).  If it's only happening at school, it's not ADD/ADHD.

post #71 of 89

ContactMaya, I feel like such a rookie to this compared to some of the others on this board, but I really feel for you.  Our daughter (1st grade) had neuropsych testing in July that was very supportive of ADHD.  That was NO surprise to us or her grandparents, even though she had always been a quiet kid in groups and had no problems in kindergarten.  That is, we had heard of no problems, but when we asked her kindergarten teacher if she had seen anything consistent with ADHD, she thought about it, then it was like gears meshed in her head and she said she had seen exactly what we saw.  But other people who know her peripherally?  A lot of confusion.

 

ADHD is a big-time, popular-press diagnosis.  Everybody has heard of it, and everybody imagines the talkative little boy who can't stay in his chair.  It's as if the only animal you had ever seen was a big white furry Great Pyrenees, and you knew it was a dog, so dogs are animals who are big, white and furry.  Then if you see a polar bear, you'll call it a dog.  If you see a dachshund it's not a dog.  That way, kids who fidget all have ADHD and kids who don't look like the stereotype are missed by people who don't pay attention to them as closely as parents.  So maybe you have a polar bear and we have a dachshund?  It seems related.

 

Our family is very early in this process of finding specific ways to help our kid, but we have found a few things very helpful so far.  1) The neuropsych testing was #1:  it identified not just her challenges, but some big strengths.  2) My partner has volunteered in both classrooms.  We have the luxury to do this because she doesn't work full-time, but it did take some sacrifices.  Completely worth it.  We have a much better idea what her teachers are seeing or missing.  3) We have pursued every local lead we could find, which has led to a lot of conversations with a lot of types of specialists.  Some of them have been nuts.  But we did discover that our daughter has some vision and motor issues, and therapy is helping those in leaps and bounds.  4) We are in a small city, and while our local public schools provide all sorts of therapies, the therapists (I know some) are spread thin and waits are long.  We have found it worth our money to go outside the schools.

 

Finally, I think this is true of any profession - some people are better than others at whatever thing they are doing.  I know this from my own job.  I cross paths professionally with a lot of mental health providers, including about 15 psychiatrists.  "Psychiatrist"?  Means nothing to me.  Tells me somebody did a residency in psychiatry after getting an MD.  From my everyday work I know that some of them are really bright and some of them are dumb as stumps; some of them are passionate about their work, and some are bleary and burned out.  I really wouldn't trust any psychiatrist to spot subtle clues in a 5 minute visit.  That's an awfully quick snapshot, and what it would suggest to me as a parent is that the psychiatrist is  there to rubber-stamp, or possibly he/she is burned-out or not so bright, and just trying to make a living.  The best psychiatrist we've been in contact with about our daughter has has been an unbelievable source of information and strategy.  If you don't feel like your son's evaluation was done with intelligence and thoughtfulness, then move on, find someone better.   

 

My daughter's not on meds now, but she's also making progress in leaps and bounds with other strategies.  I can't say she'll never be on them, we just have to see.  It's hard, but I do feel pretty good about the team we have to help us sort out that kind of decision.  

post #72 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sageowl View Post
 

Not much new to add here, except that with a diagnosis like ADHD or ADD, the behavior has to occur in ALL SETTINGS (home, school, community).  If it's only happening at school, it's not ADD/ADHD.

Thankyou for  repeating this important point, which the many specialists seem to forget.

post #73 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Letitia View Post
 

ContactMaya, I feel like such a rookie to this compared to some of the others on this board, but I really feel for you.  Our daughter (1st grade) had neuropsych testing in July that was very supportive of ADHD.  That was NO surprise to us or her grandparents, even though she had always been a quiet kid in groups and had no problems in kindergarten.  That is, we had heard of no problems, but when we asked her kindergarten teacher if she had seen anything consistent with ADHD, she thought about it, then it was like gears meshed in her head and she said she had seen exactly what we saw.  But other people who know her peripherally?  A lot of confusion.

 

ADHD is a big-time, popular-press diagnosis.  Everybody has heard of it, and everybody imagines the talkative little boy who can't stay in his chair.  It's as if the only animal you had ever seen was a big white furry Great Pyrenees, and you knew it was a dog, so dogs are animals who are big, white and furry.  Then if you see a polar bear, you'll call it a dog.  If you see a dachshund it's not a dog.  That way, kids who fidget all have ADHD and kids who don't look like the stereotype are missed by people who don't pay attention to them as closely as parents.  So maybe you have a polar bear and we have a dachshund?  It seems related.

 

 

I love your metaphor. As for volunteering in the classroom, i am not sure how open they are to that. I have often considered it.  But they have never once mentioned the possibility....it doesnt seem like parents are really welcome anywhere near the kids once they start school, ime. They want parents to  volunteer for trips...

 

Quick update- the IEP revue has been scheduled, and the FM system will be given to us at the meeting.

 

Also the speech and language evaluation revealed mild to moderate  impairment in receptive language skills, and mild pragmatic language impairment....

post #74 of 89
Thread Starter 

My 8yo son (the subject of this thread) had a neuropsych but the results are not back. I just emailed the evaluator (M) a question, and thought i would post it here, in case anyone could help me understand the situation better. I just copy-pasted the email (minus the names)

 

I would be grateful to hear from anyone who could help me understand this situation better....thanks in advance for your time :-)

 

The email:

 

 

Hi M ,

I have been meaning to discuss one or two things with you and see what you think.

 

I have been helping A (my 8yo son who had the neuropsych and is the subject of this thread) with homework that involved my reading and his listening and answering questions. It doesnt take long for him to start playing up, wriggling, fidgeting, and when i ask him questions, he often doesnt remember or finds it difficult to answer. I do this work with his younger brother R  at the same time,  and the contrast is striking, since R  is gungo ho at answering questions, and doesnt have trouble listening to the text, even though he is almost 3 years younger.

 

Since school is mostly comprised of this sort of thing-the teacher talking, the student listening and responding, i can see why A  looks like he has adhd is that environment. I got a glimpse of what teachers deal with all day long but that i rarely see.

 

(It is R , who exhibits more the adhd type behaviors in the home environment, ie, needs to move around alot, doesnt seem to focus well on one activity. However, at school he seems to do well, and thrives with adult guidance, and in the listening/verbal environment. For that reason, i hope it never becomes relevant.)

 

At home, A  (the subject of this thread) is the sensible one, able to sit still for long periods and focus on an activity he desires. He practises piano,  likes to work through workbooks,  has good table manners ( he always sat well behaved at the table from a young age, unlike his brother), he has good self control in general.

 

That is,  A 's behavior, when dealing with a  spoken language, looks like adhd. But as far as life in general is concerned, quite the opposite. He is sensible, mature,  thoughtful, and has good self control.

 

The contrast is so striking, as i said above, it deserves a mention and an explanation.

 

Im at a loss to understand specifically what it is about language that throws him. He was diagnosed with mild-moderate language receptive disorder, and  borderline auditory processing disorder. I suppose thats it.

 

I would be grateful if you could help me understand why A  is like this, and how he can be helped.

 

I know i have probably repeated myself ad nauseum on this subject, but i just want to summarize by saying

 

1) A  responds to spoken language, in its natural form, or from reading aloud, with adhd like behaviors, but such behaviors are not present elsewhere.

This is the situation all day long at school, and quite frankly, it must be absolutely exhausting for him (as well as the teachers no doubt, it drove me crazy in just 20minutes)

 

2)in a testing situation, so much is based on spoken language, that it might be hard to distinguish his adhd behaviors from true adhd, and how could this be taken into account?

 

Focus and attention is not necessarily his problem, its his relationship with language that is the problem.

 

I would be interested to know how the neuropsych results shed light on this.

 

Thanks for any clarification. (contactmaya)

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #75 of 89
I bet (based on my experience and that of my DS) that the APD plays a big part in his challenges at school.
post #76 of 89
Based on your description that does sound a lot like auditory processing versus ADHD. After all if you get bombarded with input that you don't understand you probably get nervous and fidgety too. The best analogy that I can think of is if you had to listen to someone talking in another language all day long. After a while your brain starts to tune out.
post #77 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sageowl View Post

Based on your description that does sound a lot like auditory processing versus ADHD. After all if you get bombarded with input that you don't understand you probably get nervous and fidgety too. The best analogy that I can think of is if you had to listen to someone talking in another language all day long. After a while your brain starts to tune out.


It must be the most alienating expereince, poor kid....

post #78 of 89

Ok, I have to admit I've not read previous responses, but everything you are describing about his behavior can certainly be attributed to Sensory Processing Disorder.  My biggest questions are 1. Has he recently been evaluated by an OT by doing a Sensory Profile and 2. Is he seeing an OT regularly for therapy?  

 

If not, those are definitely the first two steps to take. You can take him to an OT for evaluation and certainly pay for it out of your own pocket if you want it done right away.  The most recent one we had done was about $100, so its really not that expensive and you have immediate results.  The OT should give you a Sensory Profile to complete and he/she will spend time with your child in observation.  

 

If your son starts therapy with an OT, he can work on all of the issues that you mentioned him having in the classroom.  

post #79 of 89
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your input.  He has been evaluated and has OT. I still dont get how it is specifically with spoken language that the issues arise. If he does have sensory issues (other than auditory) it certainly doesnt impact his life in anyway that i can see at home. In a crowd/classroom, he has trouble following the teacher (APD) might be overwhelmed by too much stimuli (maybe, i dont see it at home). But its  when interacting with spoken language that th symptoms arise.

 

How does SPD affect language processing specifically? (other than APD specifically)


Edited by contactmaya - 1/30/14 at 12:15pm
post #80 of 89
SPD effects would be apparent in all settings, and usually in multiple domains. It can be a factor at times with attention, and affect what input is received by the brain, but it doesn't directly affect language processing In quite the same way that APD does. What you describe sounds more like APD symptoms to me...not that I'm any kind of expert on the subject.

Regardless of what it IS, I hope you find an answer soon, so you'll have the right tools/strategies to help your child succeed.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Special Needs Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Special Needs Parenting › school thinks 8yo has adhd, but im not convinced. Help!