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ADHD, OD, SI and giftedness

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi!

My child, age 7, shows characteristics that indicate ADHD, OD, SI and giftedness. The most consistent diagnosis is giftedness as he has almost all characteristics at all times. This is my "diagnosis" as I have never had him tested. The symptoms of ADHD, OD and SI vary.

I went with him to an intake appointment for counseling/therapy and the counselor decided on a diagnosis of OD and ADHD. Although I brought up gifted and SI, she didn't respond to these points. I can understand her wanting to focus on the immediate concern of getting his behavior under control - it's also my priority - but I don't consider her diagnosis the final say and full story. I think it's an informed diagnosis in some ways, yet uninformed in other ways. I consider it more of an opinion. She also indicated that medication was on the horizon if there wasn't increased compliance, saying, "of course" twice and indicating that all the parents say it's like night and day. I am already familiar with the whole Ritalin issue. I am only interested in natural treatments, behavioral therapy and physical therapies. I would only agree to medication if the problem turned dangerous.

My main concern is his impulse control. He will push and hit or otherwise physically smoosh or hurt someone if he is overwhelmed by his drive for something to be as he wants it to be or thinks it should be. I think (and his (Waldorf) teacher and a mother of a gifted, SI child) think it's an impulse control problem stemming from a feeling of injustice, frustration or anger - not really that he wants to hurt the other person.

I need advice on how to help my son with this impulse control or intolerance when something isn't as he wants and what you think is causing it - ADHA, OD, SI, giftedness, etc.

I am beginning to give him flax oil for Omega. I am also going to get a food allergy test for him. I don't know how much they cost - I have Medicaid and I don't know if they cover that kind of thing. After doing some cursory research online, I am frustrated that the counselor wouldn't suggest gifted evaluation/testing, and an in-depth physical evaluation. My child did recently have a physical, but it was a 5 minute school physical. The doctor wasn't really looking for anything. I am also going to talk to the doctor again.

Thank you!

zen.gaffa
post #2 of 20
Have you read this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Misdiagnosis-D...0591305&sr=8-1
It talks about both dual and misdiagnosis and it sounds like it might be helpful to you right now.

It might help if you tell us what sorts of things you've tried so far - including lifestyle changes, discipline, etc. What has the school tried so far?

If you are looking at omegas for hyperactivity/mood control fish oil tends to be more effective than flax oil.
post #3 of 20
You shouldn't have to pay for a proper testing, though there may be a long waiting list.

IMO ADHD is way over diagnosed. I'm not saying it's the wrong diagnosis for your DS, but it isn't one I would accept from a single visit with a counselor who is not listening to all your concerns. Though you DS might have several issues going on that includes ADHD it is also quite possible that he has a single issue like hyperlexia, aspegers, dyslexia, etc.

I would request testing for learning disabilities and spectrum disorders. The testing for these is harder for the system to turn you down for, since they fall under the protection of the Americans with disabilities act. The tests involved are very comprehensive and include IQ.
post #4 of 20
You can request testing through your school district, even if he isn't in school (age or homeschooling). Then they can provide some support that you may not be able to get otherwise.

I wouldn't worry about a full blown allergy test for foods. I have kids with allergies, and only the biggies show up. the more subtle reacting foods don't show up on a skin test. You can just start dropping one or two food groups at a time and see what happens. Some of the biggest offenders are dairy, soy, corn, wheat. Also food colorings can have a big impact on some kids.

You can also join our twice exceptional thread and ask questions over in special needs.
post #5 of 20
Wow. Two threads in one day that are soooo timely for me. The emotional OE's and now this.

I have a 5 1/2 year old dd (nearing 5 1/2).


I keep going back and forth over things like ADD, asperger's, SID..... but so far the ONLY thing that seems to fit is giftedness. That is my diagnosis.

Does that line of thought sound familiar.


I just got a referral from my pedi for a psychologist. I haven't called and probably won't, though, b/c I believe unless the person is highly familiar with gifted behavior, I won't be able to trust the eval.

The dual-diagnosis/mis-diagnosis is a good book.

With my oldest, I've seen her characteristics get highly exacerbates when she is tired, hungry, or on a spurt. The items you describe set her off too....

anger, frustration and justice.... she needs to be able to control those areas, but the OE's are sooo strong, I think it becomes very difficult to handle those emotions.


I JUST started dd on nordic natural cod liver oil. I've also started carrying around food with me, since during the last spurt/current spurt... she was a bear when snack time approached.

I did get a blood screen paper for dd, to help rule out blood sugar issues, BUT I've recently seen the behavior when she is full, and just tired... so I probably won't get that done either.

For those that do cod liver oil, how much do you give?? My bottle states 4 tablets a day... do you do a full four tablets? This is nordic naturals for kids.

So.... you/I are in a similar boat, and I also think our is giftedness. I'm also looking for advice... so not much help there. :-)

Tammy
post #6 of 20
Are they the little Nordic Naturals gelcaps - the round ones? Yes, I would use four but I would move up to that dose over the course of a week or two.
post #7 of 20
Op, you are in a tough situation. I strongly urge you to consider finding a psychologist who is familiar with/specializes in gifted kids. Our dd1 was having similar impulse control problems at her preschool and her teachers and director began demanding evaluations etc. We started seeing a psychologist who specializes in gifted kids and she did not diagnose dd with anything. She called our school director who was still insisting the school district evaluate her and together we made the decision to pull her out of that school. Now she is at a new school and doing great. All the hitting/aggression we were seeing has stopped. For many reasons, I think, her old school did not work for her. I know she was not getting much from the teachers before and now she is, and she loves them. Not only has the aggression stopped but she is also blossoming in other ways. Gee, I hope I am not jinxing myself.

We also tested for food allergies and it is expensive. I would recommend, if you can, try finding a chiropractor who is also an applied kinesiologist. You will get more accurate, comprehensive results and it will cost less (unless your insurance covers all of the testing). We have known for a while that our dd is sensitive to all artificial ingredients, high fructose corn syrup and food dyes, like red dye #40. She would get really aggressive and out of control after consuming these. You might look into that to see if it applies to your ds. Searching in this forum is a good place to start, there was a thread that included some great info. on food dyes not too long ago.

We also do fish oil, we use Nordic Naturals ultimate omega. I snip a capsule and put it on a spoon for dd. She has never minded the taste and she is the pickiest eater in the world!

Hope that might help.

Good Luck.
post #8 of 20
thanx roar- those are them


I forgot to mention.... try keeping a food diary... that may help to see if there is any food correlation/sensitivity.
Tammy
post #9 of 20
Our son has rage and aggression, inability to hear and consider other's needs when he consumes dairy. When ds was first introduced to dairy at about age 3.5-4, he would have very aggressive sensory seeking behavior for 1-6 hours after consumption, depending on amount consumed. He'd head butt us for the sensory input if we were standing still, run with arms wide open through the house bumping things, inability to hear other's needs, auditory blocking, loud vocalization, short term memory impairment, impulse control deficit, etc. He'd have huge jumping and bouncing needs for an hour or longer. After continuing more of the of "Healing the Gut" dietary stuff (CO, CLO, probiotics, Mg, etc), he is able to tolerate most any food, except additives, without huge increases in sensory seeking behavior. But, the "dairy dance" is common with dairy, ime.

Oh, we use raw milk now, without issue though. We also have found it doesn't cause the aggression that we'd experienced with processed dairy. Something about how the proteins are denatured in the pasteurizing, I believe.

Here is the link to the "Healing the Gut" Tribe-Cheat Sheet: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=434071

Essential fatty acids, magnesium, and calcium all are related to mood balance. Check out The Feingold Diet www.feingold.org for information about salicylate loading concerns. Salicylates are naturally occurring chemicals present in some foods which cause some people difficulty. We avoid them in large doses.

Oh, and high fructose corn syrup never comes in our house!! : It causes aggression and sensory seeking behavior in ds, also.

Here are links to other posts with sensory activities:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...7&postcount=16
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...9&postcount=17
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...8&postcount=18
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...3&postcount=19


Dairy is not meant for human consumption, imo. It takes about six weeks to completely eliminate the dairy proteins from your body.

Also, artificial food colors yellow and red make him hyper and less able to control himself. You might find some information at The Feingold Died, about diet and behavior. But, diet is HUGE in our family. When ds doesn't eat dairy, or artificial colors, flavors and preservatives he is considerate and respectful of other's body, patiently waits, sits and attends to things. With dairy he invades other's space, pushes, hits, kicks, etc. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...9&postcount=14


And in this old thread about diet and behavior:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...highlight=post



HTH, Pat
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

ADHD, OD, SI and giftedness - Long reply

Thank you everyone for your posts!

I don't think he has hyperlexia, Asperger’s, or dyslexia. That's my feeling just from quickly reading their symptom descriptions. However, I will be carefully reading over all of these conditions in my effort to understand his behaviors and confidently rule out certain conditions. Maybe there’s some nonverbal learning disability, where he misses social cues. But my gut feeling is that it’s more impulse control than inability to sense cues. Hmmm … If he tries telling me about his cool game he’s playing while the baby is screaming and having a fit in my arms – is that impulse control, nonverbal learning disability, giftedness, or all of them?

I’ve started a reward system with a lot of input from him. I never considered a reward system before because they are generally frowned upon from the attachment parenting and holistic education perspective(s) – at least that has always been my interpretation. I’ve always tried my best at authoritative parenting (not permissive, not authoritarian). We’ve done 1-2-3 Magic, natural and logical consequences, involving him, honoring him, protecting him. We go extremely light on media (no tv, etc.) But somehow our family dynamics and our natures have developed this situation.

I read the book How to Handle a Hard to Handle Kid which describes the reward system and it sounded doable - so we’ve implemented it and WOW! He has always liked little schedules we’d make at home for chores and (previous homeschool) lessons. He is really into his list of tasks, analysis of how he did, counting the points he earned or lost, wanting to know exactly why he earned or lost so he remembers next time, etc. The reward system has shown him how much he can do - all the good things he does everyday. It’s been a confidence booster and he seems a lot more relaxed and happy.

I think I was too cynical about the counselor’s input and position because, after all, I AM asking her to help with his hitting and impulse control. I don’t weep because he’s completely brilliant! I’m not waking up in the middle of the night dreading his genius qualities!  I don’t need her to tell me he’s gifted – or even for her to care. I need her to help him obey at home and be gentle at school, no matter what his characteristics are. I really don’t care if she thinks he has ADHD or anything else because if symptoms magically change or disappear or if he’s able to control them for something he values, she can change that diagnosis and won’t pressure us on a medication issue – or who knows – but I will not care, because our family will be peaceful again!

I am going to request testing from the school district – thanks for the info on that! Ejsmommy, if I don’t continue to see major improvement and a thoroughly happy child, I will definitely get a counselor who works particularly with gifted children.

Although he is in a Waldorf school now – for a month so far, we previously homeschooled because that had been our plan since I was pregnant. He has hit and had horrendous tantrums off and on since he was 4. He hadn’t hit for a long time because I have kept him away from most kids who I know are going to annoy him (and probably vice versa!). He is totally smart and creative and alive and excited about everything. So I am still going to see to it that his intellect is fed as when we were homeschooling. He is absorbing and loving so much at his Waldorf school too. At this point, it has/had become urgent that he (and I) find some rest from the intensity of the behaviors we’ve been dealing with. Even for gifted children, the gifts should not be overshadowed by imbalance or inability to adjust and cope. I feel like our relationship and his self-esteem and happiness was just saved from total destruction – all because of this nifty rewards system and I am completely blissed out!!! Even for the few days of peace in order to evaluate everything else I’ll need to do to help him sustain his joy.

I have also created (improvised from within my mommy heart) some little personal therapies with him such as a feelings tool box (to see, feel, handle and use the feeling in the mind/heart as opposed to letting it instantaneously fly through his elbows and hands!); and hand therapy (to practice what it feels like to hold imaginary objects like feathers, stones, a ladder he’s climbing, a classmate’s hand in circle time!). He really likes our hand practice and has said that he wants help on feelings. I know he needs to move, stretch and compress and I am going to start some of the sensory games listed by WuWei. Thanks!

I decided against the food allergy test because our diet is very simple, (pretty much all whole foods, lots of organic) and I can easily do an elimination diet to test a few things like dairy (first!), etc. But even now, for instance, I haven’t changed our diet and (from what I understand) he hasn’t had enough flax oil in his system for long enough for it to impact, but there’s a huge change with the reward system. My husband jokes that it’s just the first week.  I also know he’s not manipulating or abusing the system because I’m being matter of fact about lost points and he is so NOT arguing with me!!! Also, I said, “When you are respectful to little brother all day, you earn 20 points.” (I know that sounds stupid!!!) His reply was, “Mostly, I earn his love.” (YAY!)

By the way, we’re vegetarians, so I would only do fish oil as a last resort before pharmaceuticals. (It’s funny how we strategize based on our values …)

His teacher does redirecting, righting the wrong, plain old consequences (sit in the hall on a bench) and all kinds of nice Waldorfy things to guide him. She is totally committed to making it work. She thinks he will relax and enjoy himself more if he can understand it’s ok to be 7 and not know and control everything. I agree! But how to help him not have to know and control. I wish I was better at this myself!!!

Another helpful book for me is Kids in the Syndrome Mix. It sorts out symptoms and explains how and why there’s so much misdiagnosis and dual or multiple diagnosis – how symptoms play off each other. It does have a lot of info about meds and the author does promote them as a lifesaver for kids who do actually need them. I don’t remember him mentioning giftedness.

Thank you everyone!!!
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by zen.gaffa View Post
By the way, we’re vegetarians, so I would only do fish oil as a last resort before pharmaceuticals. (It’s funny how we strategize based on our values …)
We're veggies too. Try stuff with flaxseed.
post #12 of 20
I'm just throwing this out there. You may find something useful, maybe not.

Could be that he is simply in need of more structure? When you know what is expected to happen (and what happens next), and it's the same every time, there is great comfort in that. Picture charts often help with keeping a rhythm to the day. While I personally thought schedules stink, I really think I'm lost without one, since I became a SAHM I'm all over the place and often think I have adult add. I just think I don't have the routine I need.

When I worked as a bench analyst, I could get into this really comforting rhythm when I was involved in a test procedure. I knew the steps inside and out and kept moving things along and almost got into a zen-like groove with it. I knew exactly what came next. I could almost do it in my sleep. And I also liked having my work giving directly observable results. Basically, I got concrete answers and was very satisfied by that. But when I had to choose between the 30 cases that sat on my desk to work on, I would shut down a bit (too many choices and it threw me a bit into indecision).

Now, at home, I don't really have that structure, nor do I have really observable results that give me satisfaction. For instance, when I clean up the house, it doesn't stay clean.

Gifted individuals often enter into math and science fields because they want to understand the world around them. But at the same time, without some structure, without some way of knowing "when I do A, B is always going to follow next", it can be hard to focus. That could be why the reward system works for your son. He follows a behavior, he is rewarded.

I think the potential problem with reward systems, is that it's an external motivator. There needs to be at some point a movement from external motivation to internal motivation. I'm not criticizing it at all, just cautioning you that at some point, your son will need to find internal motivators, otherwise he will be doing things only to get that reward, and as he ages, he may not develop his internal reward system.

Maybe, possibly, if you introduce more structure to his days (or if you don't like the word structure, call it rhythm), you will have to rely less on the reward system.

If I'm not mistaken, some have said that the Waldorf education is not structured enough for some children. Perhaps you have a budding scientist on your hands, that may need a bit more rigid routines to keep him focused.

I hope some of this could help you.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

ADHD, OD, SI and giftedness - My part of the thread - evolving into family dynamics, ADHD, etc.

Hi, again.

As far as structure goes, we were pretty structured during our homeschooling. But as far as the family situation going on around our attempts to homeschool – that’s something of an ongoing struggle, which I think is at the root of the behavior issues than any inborn characteristics in my son.

For instance, my husband agreed to wake up at 9 to watch baby so I could start lessons with the boy. He works till 8:30 pm, eats, reads, sometimes has insomnia – and has ADHD pretty bad, plus other dysfunctional stuff. It is/was severe but he’s been working on himself for a while, so there’s been improvement. Anyway, so 9 o’clock happened about twice a week and our lessons were not progressing at an adequate pace. Long story short – I did not want my son to see his dad mozy out of his room at any d*mn time, and experience frazzled, freaking out, on the edge mom every single day forever, so I put him in school. Now I am happy in the morning when I take him and when he comes home. And his dad is more aware of time when he can see us, so he takes advantage of that in a good way. Also, we were Waldorf homeschooling, so it was a harmonious fit that way.

My husband has had a difficult time understanding my son’s issues and my attempts to get on top of them because he sees my attempts as not accepting my son as he is, which is always his complaint about me toward himself. Or that I’m too stern, perfectionist, which I am in a certain context, BUT I do keep this under control when it comes to accepting and helping my son!

I noticed a few months ago that my son was surpassing my husband in his ability and willingness to self-regulate, organize, plan and help me at home. That’s when it really clicked that there are some things that I am going to have to change in order to get my son what he needs to continue to develop his skills and keep his life open to possibilities. I needed to involve other men in his life – not to replace dad at all. He is loving and has some really winning qualities. But his self-esteem is so low and he is explosive sometimes. [I recently checked out the ADHDnews discussion boards, and yikes!!! That is a lot of what I’ve dealt with over the years with my husband.] I want my son, whether or not he was gifted, to have a broad and healthy understanding of manhood – not stereotyped crap like “husband doesn’t help wife and is resentful of her nagging.”

[By the way, in the syndrome mix book, the author stated that if someone is able to organize, they pretty much can not be properly diagnosed as ADHD.]

One huge aspect to all this is that I have to keep my rage at my husband separate from my concept of my son. My son’s “ADHD” is something different than my husband’s. It’s hard because having to see my son acting certain ways, having to research and look inside for reasons why, having to plan, strategize and WORK to balance and heal these behaviors in my son – ugh! I get post traumatic because of everything I’ve had to deal with with my husband. And on top of that, I have to try to not add more hatred toward my husband for contributing so much toward inconsistency and discord. It will be a triumph for me if I am able to keep these things from completely melting my brain.

Regarding internal/external motivation, yes, that is one reason I never considered a rewards system before. The author of the hard to handle book stated that certain kids are NOT doing stuff for the right reasons ANYWAY, so might as well get them doing the right things first, then gradually increase the time that passes between the action and the reward, to help with internalization. And with rewards, I am trying to keep them logical and natural. It's like the points he earns are currency. He does *this*, he gets *this* which goes toward *this*.

I won’t use the reward system any longer than I need to. It’s funny because I have been experiencing this dilemma for a while of wondering, “if our lives are filled with books, arts, cuddles, healthyandyummy foods, and not artificial stuff and tv, etc., privilege removal is kind of weird” – “No reading for the rest of the day!” Don’t worry, I’ve never said or done anything like that! So, having the reward system is like creating a bunch of extra, harmless rewards for doing things that make himself and other people happy. He is very aware of the fact that he is just caring for himself and others. He is just all smiles and manners. He’s his old self and real self again. I am still concerned about the sensory issues that lead to the physical smooshing and stuff, but I do have a hunch that the sensory integration practices are going to help. I’m starting more of that today.

My understanding is that Waldorf education is quite structured. Even the arts aspects are structured. It doesn’t emphasize conventional-looking academics in the lower grades, but is still structured. My son’s gifted characteristics vary from academics to arts – awesome creativity, deep analysis, he can hold super logical ideas and then blow logic to smithereens, mentally very active, physically active, graceful, emotional ... I think Waldorf education is great for him because it’s eternally spiraling, building, going deeper, rising beyond, incorporating, weaving, balancing ...

Sorry for the totally long post again. I have been dealing with all this pretty much by myself for a long time. I’m just now connecting with some warm, helpful ladies – his teacher, his counselor, and you all … so thanks a million. I really appreciate your input and presence.

zg
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
We're veggies too. Try stuff with flaxseed.
I was hesitant to try fish oil because I've been a vegetarian for most of my life and the kid is vegetarian too. We tried flax and several different vegetarian oil combinations. None of them worked at all. Fish oil was a DRASTIC improvement.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by zen.gaffa View Post
Hi, again.

As far as structure goes, we were pretty structured during our homeschooling. But as far as the family situation going on around our attempts to homeschool – that’s something of an ongoing struggle, which I think is at the root of the behavior issues than any inborn characteristics in my son.

For instance, my husband agreed to wake up at 9 to watch baby so I could start lessons with the boy. He works till 8:30 pm, eats, reads, sometimes has insomnia – and has ADHD pretty bad, plus other dysfunctional stuff. It is/was severe but he’s been working on himself for a while, so there’s been improvement. Anyway, so 9 o’clock happened about twice a week and our lessons were not progressing at an adequate pace. Long story short – I did not want my son to see his dad mozy out of his room at any d*mn time, and experience frazzled, freaking out, on the edge mom every single day forever, so I put him in school. Now I am happy in the morning when I take him and when he comes home. And his dad is more aware of time when he can see us, so he takes advantage of that in a good way. Also, we were Waldorf homeschooling, so it was a harmonious fit that way.

My husband has had a difficult time understanding my son’s issues and my attempts to get on top of them because he sees my attempts as not accepting my son as he is, which is always his complaint about me toward himself. Or that I’m too stern, perfectionist, which I am in a certain context, BUT I do keep this under control when it comes to accepting and helping my son!

I noticed a few months ago that my son was surpassing my husband in his ability and willingness to self-regulate, organize, plan and help me at home. That’s when it really clicked that there are some things that I am going to have to change in order to get my son what he needs to continue to develop his skills and keep his life open to possibilities. I needed to involve other men in his life – not to replace dad at all. He is loving and has some really winning qualities. But his self-esteem is so low and he is explosive sometimes. [I recently checked out the ADHDnews discussion boards, and yikes!!! That is a lot of what I’ve dealt with over the years with my husband.] I want my son, whether or not he was gifted, to have a broad and healthy understanding of manhood – not stereotyped crap like “husband doesn’t help wife and is resentful of her nagging.”

[By the way, in the syndrome mix book, the author stated that if someone is able to organize, they pretty much can not be properly diagnosed as ADHD.]

One huge aspect to all this is that I have to keep my rage at my husband separate from my concept of my son. My son’s “ADHD” is something different than my husband’s. It’s hard because having to see my son acting certain ways, having to research and look inside for reasons why, having to plan, strategize and WORK to balance and heal these behaviors in my son – ugh! I get post traumatic because of everything I’ve had to deal with with my husband. And on top of that, I have to try to not add more hatred toward my husband for contributing so much toward inconsistency and discord. It will be a triumph for me if I am able to keep these things from completely melting my brain.

Regarding internal/external motivation, yes, that is one reason I never considered a rewards system before. The author of the hard to handle book stated that certain kids are NOT doing stuff for the right reasons ANYWAY, so might as well get them doing the right things first, then gradually increase the time that passes between the action and the reward, to help with internalization. And with rewards, I am trying to keep them logical and natural. It's like the points he earns are currency. He does *this*, he gets *this* which goes toward *this*.

I won’t use the reward system any longer than I need to. It’s funny because I have been experiencing this dilemma for a while of wondering, “if our lives are filled with books, arts, cuddles, healthyandyummy foods, and not artificial stuff and tv, etc., privilege removal is kind of weird” – “No reading for the rest of the day!” Don’t worry, I’ve never said or done anything like that! So, having the reward system is like creating a bunch of extra, harmless rewards for doing things that make himself and other people happy. He is very aware of the fact that he is just caring for himself and others. He is just all smiles and manners. He’s his old self and real self again. I am still concerned about the sensory issues that lead to the physical smooshing and stuff, but I do have a hunch that the sensory integration practices are going to help. I’m starting more of that today.

My understanding is that Waldorf education is quite structured. Even the arts aspects are structured. It doesn’t emphasize conventional-looking academics in the lower grades, but is still structured. My son’s gifted characteristics vary from academics to arts – awesome creativity, deep analysis, he can hold super logical ideas and then blow logic to smithereens, mentally very active, physically active, graceful, emotional ... I think Waldorf education is great for him because it’s eternally spiraling, building, going deeper, rising beyond, incorporating, weaving, balancing ...

Sorry for the totally long post again. I have been dealing with all this pretty much by myself for a long time. I’m just now connecting with some warm, helpful ladies – his teacher, his counselor, and you all … so thanks a million. I really appreciate your input and presence.

zg
I'm so glad you seem you do have a pretty good understanding of things. I'm actually learning a thing or two as well, wrt the reward system and Waldorf education. And since I know very little of Waldorf education, I'm glad that it seems to be a good fit. I'm so sorry that despite your understanding of your son, you have such a huge roadblock in your way (your dh). But even then, you are aware that you need to keep the issues you have with him separate from the issues you have with your son. I am really in awe that you have such a good handle of things. I'm really glad you are finding support. It totally sucks when you don't have that.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by zen.gaffa View Post

I think I was too cynical about the counselor’s input and position because, after all, I AM asking her to help with his hitting and impulse control. I don’t weep because he’s completely brilliant! I’m not waking up in the middle of the night dreading his genius qualities!  I don’t need her to tell me he’s gifted – or even for her to care. I need her to help him obey at home and be gentle at school, no matter what his characteristics are.
It is pretty much impossible to address a person's needs if you don't understand them. If being gifted is part of his experience in the world is something that needs to be understood. The purpose of getting help shouldn't just be to force him into obedience, but instead to help him understand himself and how he can get accomplished what he needs to. And, it is important to understand giftedness so it is not mislabeled as a disorder.

One thing I would keep in mind about rewards is that if you've decided to use them it generally isn't supposed to be a long term strategy, but a short term fix while you transition to other methods of improving behavior.

As far as Waldorf and structure...I would keep in mind that rigidity and intellectual stimulation aren't the same thing. It is possible for an environment to fail to be very structured and still lacking in appropriate intellectual stimulation and that often the case for gifted kids with Waldorf.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by zen.gaffa View Post
Hi!

My child, age 7, shows characteristics that indicate ADHD, OD, SI and giftedness. The most consistent diagnosis is giftedness as he has almost all characteristics at all times. This is my "diagnosis" as I have never had him tested. The symptoms of ADHD, OD and SI vary.

I went with him to an intake appointment for counseling/therapy and the counselor decided on a diagnosis of OD and ADHD. Although I brought up gifted and SI, she didn't respond to these points. I can understand her wanting to focus on the immediate concern of getting his behavior under control - it's also my priority - but I don't consider her diagnosis the final say and full story. I think it's an informed diagnosis in some ways, yet uninformed in other ways. I consider it more of an opinion. She also indicated that medication was on the horizon if there wasn't increased compliance, saying, "of course" twice and indicating that all the parents say it's like night and day. I am already familiar with the whole Ritalin issue. I am only interested in natural treatments, behavioral therapy and physical therapies. I would only agree to medication if the problem turned dangerous.

My main concern is his impulse control. He will push and hit or otherwise physically smoosh or hurt someone if he is overwhelmed by his drive for something to be as he wants it to be or thinks it should be. I think (and his (Waldorf) teacher and a mother of a gifted, SI child) think it's an impulse control problem stemming from a feeling of injustice, frustration or anger - not really that he wants to hurt the other person.

I need advice on how to help my son with this impulse control or intolerance when something isn't as he wants and what you think is causing it - ADHA, OD, SI, giftedness, etc.

I am beginning to give him flax oil for Omega. I am also going to get a food allergy test for him. I don't know how much they cost - I have Medicaid and I don't know if they cover that kind of thing. After doing some cursory research online, I am frustrated that the counselor wouldn't suggest gifted evaluation/testing, and an in-depth physical evaluation. My child did recently have a physical, but it was a 5 minute school physical. The doctor wasn't really looking for anything. I am also going to talk to the doctor again.

Thank you!

zen.gaffa
Hi, child would transform with lots of DHA - omega fatty acid from algae - found in supplement or liquid form.

Also highly recommend Aajonus Vonderplanitz's work on nutrition in his 2 books

Educate and give body fuel body needs to repair itself and it will.

Good luck
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the good energy, kmcmommyto3! I'm sending it to you, too!

I have called to make an appointment for an evaluation from the school district and have talked with an occupational therapist who works with sensory processing. I have also talked with our counselor's supervisor telling her 90% of the problem just disappeared so I really don't think it's ODD and ADHD.

I was highly offended that the counselor was going to start giving me chapters to study in a parenting book (I'm an awesome parent if I may be frank!!!) - not to mention that she called my son a "difficult child" right in front of him!!!!! He's not a difficult child! He is so amazing! Gees, I am done with her!

Yes, Roar, I agree - I'm only using the reward system as a transition strategy, only as long as needed to break the cycle of negativity and disrespect. And I do not want blind obedience. I'm not exactly what you'd call a conformist or a follower and it's certainly not what I want for my child - not that he'd take it anyway. The reasons I want to help him are just as you stated. I do understand giftedness.

I'm not really sure what you're getting at with the Waldorf issue. I don't understand why you indicated the presence of rigidity.

We have always homeschooled. The reason *why* we have always homeschooled is because, (second to love and service) pursuing our interests and enjoying the ecstasy of our intellectual and artistic drives is the reason we get out of bed in the morning.

For me, putting him in Waldorf school was not an academic decision. It was a decision I made in order to facilitate mentoring opportunities, and to give him a protected play environment where he can build his social skills. I think that, because my son has always been very adept in academics and we've never done "school", I've never worried that he would fall behind or not have enough stimulation. Now that he's in school, I don't feel that we are *not* homeschooling anymore. We still provide tons of stuff for his brain. (I just didn't know about the omegas!

I can see how Waldorf may not be for everyone, but I think gifted children could benefit from that environment. I really appreciate the constant movement toward integration of subject matter in Waldorf education. This happens within the subjects themselves. It also happens when, over the years, the student participates in their own journey through the universality of everything that is within each of us, toward the individuality of one's purpose in the world. It seems to me that gifted children and adults could benefit from, and contribute to, that exploration and understanding.
post #19 of 20
Thank you.

I truly, truly believe that the typical "experts" don't know much about giftedness and high sensitivities and the emotional/intellectual needs of gifted children. And so they send you off down the wrong path, claiming that your child needs more discipline.

No, more UNDERSTANDING is what children need. The typical "expert" doesn't have time to do a full temperamental workup of your child, just dispense the typical nonsense and say it's a lack of proper parenting (especially of the generic kind of parenting that doesn't take into account the individual - the one size fits most style that really doesn't address child-specific issues).

It's SO, SO NOT! What it may be is a bit of a lack of understanding of your child, but it looks like you are working on finding out what it is your child needs in order to thrive.

I was on the wrong path with DD2 for a while. I thought the problem was with her, and it's not. She has extreme introversion and she's highly sensitive (which can appear as SID, but only in the sense that the information coming in is being received too well, not that the information is coming in garbled).

If I haven't mentioned them, the books, The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child (gosh I can't remember if your child is introverted, or extroverted) and the Highly Sensitive Child both discuss issues that seem like SID. When you are introverted, you are highly tuned in to your experiences, so you feel things more strongly (not just through your senses, but emotions are stronger too). Same thing with being Highly Sensitive. In fact, there is overlap.

But the issue I have the most trouble with is teaching my child coping skills. I didn't really learn effective ones, or at least effective enough where I can easily translate them into what she needs to do to cope with certain stimuli. I find it difficult to cope with my sensitivities in order to help her with hers. This is important because when my kids are clamoring about (especially when they fight), I find it so, so difficult to not snap at them to knock it off. Not that this is what you face at all, just saying these sensitivities can be a pretty permanent part of the personality, and what is needed is the right coping skills. And in my case, a good pair of earplugs.

***

As you are finding out, once you address the needs of the child, some of the other troubling issues fade into the background.

Keep up the good work.
post #20 of 20
Have you seen this article

http://www.educationoasis.com/resour...eds_gifted.htm

It was very interesting to read. You might like what it said about the 11 year old boy who sometimes had some antisocial behavior. Basically by looking deeper into what was going on in the child and finding solutions, the negative behaviors disappeared. It makes so much sense. For instance, he was sensitive to too many people and too much space when out on the playground, and made him feel out of control.
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