Thinking of getting DD evaluated for ADHD. - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-04-2012, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm scared. What if she has it? Will I feel like an outcast (since nobody in my IRL circle of friends has a diagnosed child)? I already know that DH won't want to medicate (he doesn't believe in chemical assistance for PPD or even regular depression, since he doesn't believe those conditions are "real"), so I don't even know what a diagnosis would "do" for us.

What if she does NOT have it? Today, again, I'm at a breaking point and near tears trying to get her to have even ten seconds of self-control. If there's not something else going on, then it just reflects on me as a parent, and the past few years with her have already made me feel awful about myself in that way.

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Old 10-04-2012, 11:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Harmony96 View Post

 I already know that DH won't want to medicate (he doesn't believe in chemical assistance for PPD or even regular depression, since he doesn't believe those conditions are "real"),

 

 

I can't address the other issues in your post right now, but your husband sounds like a controlling jerk. He doesn't believe depression is real? If this guy won't let you take care of yourself or provide appropriate treatment for you child, at some point, you might need an exit plan.

 

I've no idea what appropriate treatment might end up being for you child -- there are A LOT of things to try before meds. Some of the moms here will be better at helping you sort that out (my kids issues are different).

 

The diagnosis doesn't change your child in any way. There are specific things about my DD that are isolating for me, but not the fact that she has a diagnosis. It was just the a step on the path to getting her real help and support and figuring out what works for her. My friends and acquaintances only know if I tell them. It has introduced to a lot of really amazing people -- special needs moms are a pretty awesome group of ladies, and I have built some really wonderful friendship with other moms that I've gotten to know through my DD's school.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 10-05-2012, 06:35 AM
 
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Linda is correct.  I can tell you that growing up with ADHD with no assistance, being told I was stupid and lazy, is not the way to go.  There is more to ADHD than medication.  Your child also needs to understand how to organize themselves, how to set themselves up reminders, how to study (because it's different for us), etc.  You need to find a specialist - someone who will address both yours and your husbands concerns and will take it at a slow pace.  If it is ADHD, no amount of holistic remedies, nutritional changes or screaming and yelling will help your child focus.  She will need medication.  That being said, there are many things that look exactly like ADHD that are not - food sensitivities (dyes, gluten, cassin, etc.) can cause hyperactivity and inattentiveness.  Auditory Processing Disorder is a disorder where a person can hear fine but their brain doesn't process the information correctly - that also can cause inattention.  

 

You are at the very start of your journey.  Take a deep breath.  It will be okay.  Your daughter has an awesome mother who will obviously do the right thing for her.  The easiest step is to start journeling.  Keep track of her diet, her behaviors.  If she wigs out after eating a piece of candy - remove food dyes and see if that helps.  If it's a constant thing - maybe look at removing gluten.  Look for a pattern.  If there are no patterns or removing foods doesn't help, it's time to see a specialist.  In fact, now that I think about it - get on a waiting list or three now for a developmental pediatrician (they can take up to a year to get an appointment).  If you find the cause between now and then you can always cancel.

 

Just remember - a diagnosis is nothing more than a word (or two or three).  It's a key in opening the door to helping your child learn and be successful.  Your daughter will be the same adorable child she is after the diagnosis as she is right this minute.  If your friends cannot understand, then they aren't your friends anyway and good riddance.  My son's diagnosis(es) have shown me who I can trust and who truly loves us and who doesn't.


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Old 10-05-2012, 10:15 AM
 
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I'm in the same place.  My husband is also against meds and so am I generally except as a last resort, but after all the reading I've done these past couple of weeks and talking to my DD's teacher, if she needs meds to help her so that she doesn't end up hating school, then that is what we are going to do.  She just doesn't seem to be able to function at school -- in her case, no behavioral problems but she can't and get started on her work, follow directions, show the teacher what she is capable of, and she distracts the other kids with her distraction.  It is frustrating everyone.  If I could homeschool or get her a full-time tutor (because she does okay one-on-one), I would but that's out of reach for most people, including us (my husband is at home but he does not speak English or have academic focus himself well enough to homeschool).  At this point I within public or private school/therapy whatever I will do what it takes, but if the biggest difference will come through pairing with meds so that she can function, then that is what we are going to do.

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:47 AM
 
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You can treat the symptoms without having a diagnosis, you know. I'm sure it differs a lot by state, but here in MA my son has been receiving accomodations through the public schools for four years without a diagnosis in place (he did get an ADHD diagnosis this summer but we haven't shared that with the school yet). My son, without a diagnosis, is on an IEP and gets speech and occupational therapy through the school, as well as a number of common sense type behaviors to keep him on track (it's in his IEP to make sure the teacher makes eye contact with him when giving instructions). We've also seen good results with a social skills group for him, and karate twice a week.

 

I guess my point is, you can start doing things to help your daughter NOW, without a diagnosis. We only sought a diagnosis in the hopes having one would cause insurance to cover more treatments, and sadly that has not worked out.
 


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Old 10-05-2012, 11:51 AM
 
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In our case, I think getting a diagnosis is a prerequisite to an IEP and anyway the diagnosis will hopefully take a shorter time -- apparently it takes months to get an IEP.  Fortunately her teacher is willing to try different things.  It could take months also for the diagnosis just because it takes weeks/months just to get an appointment.  It took an hour and half this morning just to find where in a two hour radius there was a developmental practice accepting new patients.

 

My question is for those with highly inattentive kids who were not getting anything done at school or following directions/classroom routine before getting treatment -- what classroom strategies worked best in the meantime while waiting?  We're trying specific rewards for getting things done and I suggested moving her out of the group seating arrangement and putting up dividers every time she has to do an assignment -- not ideal from a social standpoint, she will be the only kid in the class doing that, but she already is singled out for not following along and slowing down her table team, so at least this way she might get through more assignments without taking so much of the teacher's attention (and I honestly think the teacher is doing the best she can to help her, considering she had 20 kids)  Any thoughts?

 

Thanks.

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Old 10-05-2012, 12:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aprilushka View Post

 Fortunately her teacher is willing to try different things.  It could take months also for the diagnosis just because it takes weeks/months just to get an appointment.

 

 

one of the reasons for the formal diagnosis and IEP is to ensure that as you and the teacher figure out what actually works for her, it becomes an official document that the NEXT teacher has to follow. A flexible teacher is a huge, huge asset, but making everything formal plans for the future.

 

(sorry I can't help with specific ADHD stuff -- my kids has autism!)


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Old 10-05-2012, 01:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aprilushka View Post

In our case, I think getting a diagnosis is a prerequisite to an IEP and anyway the diagnosis will hopefully take a shorter time -- apparently it takes months to get an IEP.  Fortunately her teacher is willing to try different things.  It could take months also for the diagnosis just because it takes weeks/months just to get an appointment.  It took an hour and half this morning just to find where in a two hour radius there was a developmental practice accepting new patients.

 

My question is for those with highly inattentive kids who were not getting anything done at school or following directions/classroom routine before getting treatment -- what classroom strategies worked best in the meantime while waiting?  We're trying specific rewards for getting things done and I suggested moving her out of the group seating arrangement and putting up dividers every time she has to do an assignment -- not ideal from a social standpoint, she will be the only kid in the class doing that, but she already is singled out for not following along and slowing down her table team, so at least this way she might get through more assignments without taking so much of the teacher's attention (and I honestly think the teacher is doing the best she can to help her, considering she had 20 kids)  Any thoughts?

 

Thanks.

 

 

While I don't like to rely on the schools too much, you can ask the school to evaluate him.   There are other specialists that can evaluate and diagnose ADHD - psychologists,psychiatrists, developemental neurologists, neurologists.  If you go to www.psychologytoday.com and click on "find a therapist" - you can select ADHD and pediatrics and find a local therapist who can assist (probably fairly quickly) with diagnosis.

 

Just an FYI - some schools will tell you that you "have" to medicate if your child carries that diagnosis.  If they pull that nonsense on you (they can't force your child to take medication) - say fine, put it in his IEP - if they do - then the school will have to pay your copay (or if you don't have prescription coverage, will have to pay for the medication).


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Old 10-08-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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one of the reasons for the formal diagnosis and IEP is to ensure that as you and the teacher figure out what actually works for her, it becomes an official document that the NEXT teacher has to follow. A flexible teacher is a huge, huge asset, but making everything formal plans for the future.

 

yeahthat.gif

 

 

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Originally Posted by aprilushka View Post

In our case, I think getting a diagnosis is a prerequisite to an IEP and anyway the diagnosis will hopefully take a shorter time -- apparently it takes months to get an IEP.  Fortunately her teacher is willing to try different things.  It could take months also for the diagnosis just because it takes weeks/months just to get an appointment.  It took an hour and half this morning just to find where in a two hour radius there was a developmental practice accepting new patients.

 

No. The school may choose to accept a private evaluation without doing their own but that is very, very rare as the evaluation they use obligates them to address the issues found in that evaluation. You need to submit a letter of request and consent for the school to do a comprehensive evaluation (it is important to keep copies of letters/contacts with the school/ and other documents and to keep track of deadlines as to when the school is supposed to have certain things done). You need to "start the clock" in your letter of request; the school has 60 days from the date they received parental consent for evaluation to do one; your written request should note that this letter is the consent for evaluation. (And, if you did not do it in writing, it never happened!). I highly recommend printing out your state special education law as the states have some leeway in implementing IDEA.

 

I also recommended getting a copy of "Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy"; the information from the book can be found on their site as well (and "Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition". All About IEPs and The IEP from A to Z is also a good book to read at the beginning of the processes. The first book is a how to in dealing with the school and organizing your child's information. The latter two reference different diagnoses but there are some ADHD specific IEP goals and you may find useful info in goals from other diagnoses. ADDittude Magazine has a website with a lot of their articles on it but subscribing to the magazine to a year may helpful since you are just starting out. You may find accomodations and IEP goals there; CHADD may have some, not sure. You can also google "ADHD IEP goals/accomodations," and "ADHD child executive function" to come up with some.


I don't have time to post much specifically about my ds (ADHD/Aspergers) now but if you are interested I've posted our story on the board before so it should come up in a search. The short story is that ds has severe ADHD combined and had significant behavior issues, plus he's on the mild end of the spectrum. He has been medicated for ADHD since 1st grade; his second medication was "the one" and he has been on the second dose of the second med since spring of 1st grade and it (Vyvanse) works very well for him. I actually take the same medication as after I weaned my second my ADHD coping skills were shot. I just had an IEP meeting last week to see how DS' IEP is working for him and he's doing better than I realized. We did his IEP in May based on his second grade year but his difficulties (overall) have lessened over the summer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Determining Eligibility: How Many Days is 60 Days? - Wrightslaw

The Art of Writing Letters by Pam and Pete Wright - Advocacy ...

 

ADHD Doctor About Attention Deficit Symptoms and Treatment for ...

 

Under IDEA/IEP, if your child has a disability that adversely affects educational performance, your child is entitled to an education that is designed to meet the child's unique needs and from which your child receives educational benefit.

 

A 504 (from section 504 of the American's with Disabilities Act) is helping your child get the same education that everyone else is getting--more for a student that needs accommodations to help them learn (like sitting next to the teacher) or for behavior, and that they are not punished for things that they cannot control due to the ADHD (like needing to work standing up or not sit inside a group).

 

[A IEP or 504 is not an escalation or punishment for the teacher/school. It's more about getting all appropriate parties involved and on the same page. The student, parent/legal guardian, teachers, principals, Pupil Services administrators, support staff (i.e. nurse, counselor, psychologist, language/speech pathologist) as well as the student's physician or therapist may be involved in the placement process including the 504 meeting.]

 

State Parent Training and Information Center - Education Resource ...

Eligibility under IDEA for Other Health Impaired Children

Key Differences Between Section 504, the ADA, and the IDEA.


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Old 10-08-2012, 09:19 AM
 
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In reply to the question about teacher accomodations, my older ADHD son (both kiddos have it, we're a busy household!) has an awesome 2nd grade teacher this year. In conference with her, she admitted her eldest daughter was undiagnosed ADHD in school, although she knew, so she understands what my son needs. He got a teeter-totter to stand on at a yard sale recently, and he is one of 2 kiddos who stand at a counter, teeter-tottering away all day! She says he is very good with it, and she often takes away the other kiddos one because she messes away,but my son is ok with it. Which amazes me :) At this point he isn't medicated, but we are getting closer. His grades have really slipped this year and I know it's because he can't concentrate, not that he doesn't know the answers! Younger son has alot more issues, and he recently started taking a non-stimulant for his ADHD and the reports from pre-school are night & day - his teacher didn't know he was on meds and asked me where this calm child, who was sitting through circle time came from :)
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I looked through my other post in this thread to make sure I hadn't mentioned it before, but I talked with DH tonight again about it (on the phone since he's out on his biweekly business trip), and he still maintains that "more attention" is all she needs, and that there's nothing else going on with her.

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Old 10-10-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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Your husband is in denial.  You need to do right by your child with or without him.  Em - I do agree - however, we are in CHOP's back yard and our district has accepted all of their reports and recommendations as the gospel because you simply don't get better than them.  Our first IEP (pre-school) meeting - the speech therapist was so excited when we walked in - she had never seen such an amazing report as the one done by CHOP and wasn't going to re evaluate - just taking their word as gospel.  I think if you are able to get your child into a place that is well respected in your community - it definitely helps.


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Old 10-12-2012, 09:46 PM
 
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A school evaluation will be academically focused, not a medical diagnosis. Although they can and should support each other, they are different animals. In my county, the schools insist on doing their own evals, regardless of how much documentation and diagnoses you bring. From the day you request (in writing!) an IEP, the school has 60 days to schedule it. See the Wright's Law links and books above for all the details.  They should be using that time to do the evaluations they need. From those evaluations, eligibility for special ed services will be determined. Sometimes the specific planning will be done that day, sometimes a second meeting is scheduled. In my state at least, they can not require the family to get the testing done privately, although they can consider any results you bring. IEP accommodations agreed upon should be implemented immediately (unless they have to order specialized equipment or something like that). An IEP will address accommodations in the classroom to facilitate your child's learning. It will not directly address medications. A doctor, from the health system, not the school system, would want to evaluate, diagnose, and possibly prescribe, independently of the school's opinion. Not that those evaluations couldn't be considered, but like I said before, the medical and the academic definitions, standards, and processes are different.

 

There are many points of view regarding medications for kids with ADHD. A search here should turn up some interesting discussions. Please learn as much as you can, and then advocate for what seems best for your child. I am sorry you are feeling resistance from your husband. Perhaps you could print and share some especially pertinent posts to open the discussion between you two.


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