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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wasn't sure where to post this but... here goes:<br><br><br>
I received a call today to have my son evaluated for ADD/ADHD. I knew this would eventually happen and really I'm not shocked. But, anyone else ever been through this evaluation process before? What should I expect? Plus, are there other treatment options besides Ritalin? What about allergies?<br><br>
Just wondering if there have been any other parents that have gone through this and could offer some advice.<br><br>
Peace,<br>
Shelbi
 

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I'm about to go through this, though I haven't gotten the school involved at this point. Also, since my dd doesn't have the "hyperactive" component, its not as noticable/disruptive to the classroom. It's just disruptive to family life!!<br><br>
I've recently heard about the Feingold Diet (cutting out artificial stuff and certain catagories of natural foods too) but I haven't implemented any changes in her diet yet.
 

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Hi hippiemom. Did the school call you? If they are going to evaluate him in school, there are several stages to the process. The first is a meeting called an "evaluation plan." At this, the team working with your son (or being called in to evaluate will sit down with you and go over the process. The point of the meeting is to "ask the questions" that they hope the evaluation will answer. For example: "Does the child's activity level, distractibility, etc. affect his learning?" "What is child's learning style?" etc. Then the team will identify which evaluators will answer which questions. They have to follow this process to comply with federal law. You can ask your own questions too, that the eval. team has to answer. (i.e. 'why is it so hard for him to complete homework?') The team then completes the testing and comes back to discuss the answers to the questions. OUt of this process, an IEP or individualized education plan will be developed. It should be noted that the psychologist will perform testing related to ADHD, but should NOT make an official diagnosis. (You should probably pursue this on your own, from a mental health clinic or outside physician or psychiatrist.) School psychologists are not supposed to diagnose children, but they can state that the child has traits that meet criteria for a certain diagnosis. When they are making recommendations for your child's IEP, they should be creative and 'outside the box' since that is how most ADHD children function best.<br><br>
It would also be a good idea to cross post on the Parenting w/ Special Needs (subforum of Parenting Issues) re: the alternative health remedies and strategies. There are lots of mamas there with experience on treating children w/ ADHD non-medically. There is also plenty of support if you choose to treat it with medication (which many choose to do).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much. I will try and cross post after I finish this one. We went to the parent/teacher conference and discussed it. They are going to bring in the school psychologist to observe him. They tried to implement some things to help him out. They tried a vest with weights in it (without my prior permission) and some balls that feel differently so he can have something to keep his hands busy.<br><br>
I understand they are trying to help him but I said absolutely not to the vest. It seemed mean and I don't want the other kids to pick on him for wearing a vest that was bright orange and blue (extremely noticeable). The balls were fine. I just wished they had asked first.<br><br>
I am attempting to do some research but I am heading into finals week for my mircrobiology class and it hasn't happened yet.<br><br>
I made an appointment with our doctor. We will see where that leads. He has begun some mannerisms that are disturbing to me and I think needs to be checked out. He is constantly rubbing his fingers together and rolling his eyes (excessively, really excessively). I have asked him why he is always rubbing his fingers together and he says it is comforting. He doesn't even realize how much his eyes are rolling. Maybe there is something else going on but I would like to get to the bottom of it.<br><br>
Once again, thanks for the help. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rocks.jpg" style="border:0px solid;" title="mdc rocks"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/thanks.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thanks"><br><br>
Peace,<br>
Shelbi
 

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The weighted vest and the balls sound like sensory integration strategies. Many children who have ADHD traits also have sensory integration isssues. There are a couple of good sensory integration threads going on in Special Needs Parenting right now that may be of interest to you.<br><br>
It is a bit strange that they would try these things without talking with you first. BTW I think there are more 'low key' weighted vests available if this actually turned out to be helpful to your son.
 

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I agree with both of Lauren's posts...as a school psychologist and a parent, I too think it's inappropriate that they put the vest on your child without your express permission, and I always make sure parents know that ADHD/ADD is a medical diagnosis, not an educational one. I think in your place, I'd call the psychologist myself and start some conversations with her. I think I'd start asking the teachers how they are accommodating your ds' needs. Even if he is diagnosed, this is not necessarily a reason to put him in special education. He would more likely be considered a student in need of a Sectin 504 plan--which puts the responsibility for ensuring that he receives an appropriate education in the general classroom with the teachers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He is only in kindergarten. But, I know the issue will not be going away anytime soon. The first grade is much more desk work than stations like he is in now. I think that is where the concern lies.<br><br>
The vest was a bit surprising to me. But, after talking to ds tonight, he says he liked it and thought it looked cool. So, I guess it was me who didn't think he should wear it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
I will check out the threads. Thanks.<br><br>
Peace,<br>
Shelbi
 

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Hippiemom, just wanted to share that my ds looked very much like ADHD and/or SID. He was having a lot of trouble in preschool w/speech, attention, impulsiveness, & social skills. Through a lot of exploration we eventualy discovered that he is allergic to dairy & citrus. When those are removed from his diet, he is a totally different child who functions at age appropriate levels. I know this is not the solution for every child, but it is definately worth lookng into. The book "is This Your Child?" by Doris Rapp is a great place to start.<br><br>
Good luck to you. I know how stressful it is.<br>
max
 

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The "ADD diet" or whatever you want to call it is to eliminate sugar and artificial colors and artificial flavors. These things don't "cause" ADD, but they make even non-ADD/ADHD kids jittery, so they should be eliminated from the diet. I don't have a link because I didn't read about it, I heard it on the news recently.
 

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A Mind at a Time by Mel Levine is a good book on different learning and behavior problems with lots of suggestions for dealing with problems in ways tailored to the specific child, without resorting to unwarranted medication.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have begun the long journey of reading and researching. I have started reading "The Out of Sync Child". Definitely some things are describing his behavior patterns. I have set the appointment for his review. This needs to be done before the evaluation. I have mixed emotions right now about how I feel about having him evaluated. I am just trying to educate myself about some of the possibilities so I can move on from there.<br><br>
Thanks for all the support ladies.<br><br>
Peace,<br>
Shelbi
 

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My son (Ian) has Asperger's. I remember thinking that he had some ADD traits, then some SID traits also. It was a surprise to sudddenly realize he was "textbook" Asperger's--a definite diagnosis. I had barely heard of it, and it can easily be misdiagnosed ADD.<br><br>
I have no reason to think your ds has Asperger's, but it can be good to look up so you know what it is and whether it's even a possibility.<br><br>
We are amazed right now at the effectiveness of a gluten-free diet for our ds. His ability to engage and be tuned in to others has increased unbelievably.<br><br>
I thought it interesting that I too have a son named Ian (11-14-99) and a daughter with the middle name Luna. Hi there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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As a teacher (on childcare sabbatical) I agree with the previous posts. You are doing the right thing by reading and getting a medical opinion. The teacher should have contacted you right from the beginning and had you included in the process of coming up with what teachers call interventions for your son. The school is venturing down the lawsuit path (not that I mean from you) by taking on the process of deciding interventions by themselves. Also, I cannot imagine that they would make a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD on their own, even with the psychologist. You might even want to look into talking with the principal or even the administrators at the school board. They should not be making any decisions by themselves about your son other than what to teach him.<br><br>
I would also consider the fact that a lot of kindergarten classrooms are becoming more and more focused on academics which is particularly difficult for little boys. There is a real controversy about whether it is developmentally appropriate for 5 year olds to be sitting all day focused on learning and not focused for half a day on exploring and centers. Boys are less mature than girls on the whole (at this age) and they seem to fare worse in this environment. You might want to also look into a different type of school program for him, one that is more suited to his needs.<br><br><br>
Good luck!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Benji'sMom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The "ADD diet" or whatever you want to call it is to eliminate sugar and artificial colors and artificial flavors.</div>
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Not quite.<br><br>
The diet is called the Feingold diet, and it doesn't call for eliminating sugar. You eliminate all synthetic (artificial) colors, flavors, and preservatives. And for the first six weeks you also eliminate all foods which contain naturally occurring salicylates.... which means most fruits, a number of vegetables, coffee, tea, and a few other things like oil of wintergreen.<br><br><a href="http://www.feingold.org/" target="_blank">The Feingold Association</a><br><br><i>Some</i> Feingold families choose to eliminate corn syrup (which is sweet, but is not the same thing as sugar) if they find their child has sensitivities to food items which include the ingredient.<br><br>
Our family had no success with this diet, personally. Of course, after we tried the diet, our "target" child was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in addition to the ADHD, so that may be why.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have never heard of Asperger's syndrome so I will have to check it out.<br><br>
Depporgarten that is really weird!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/twins.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="twins">:<br><br>
We went through the evaluation. They recommended we see a therapist and our intake session is coming up in a couple of weeks. I called the lady to ask what to expect and she said we will be exploring options and how we feel about those options. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> So, we will see what that means exactly. I don't really care much about the diagnosis and the label given to him as much as I want for him to be able to regain some control over his own impulses and emotions. I have been trying to teach him that but find there is a barrier that I am not getting past.<br><br>
I would love to put my child in an alternative school setting but lack the resources to do it. So, I am accepting the fact that he is in the public school system until I can graduate from nursing school. But, the school system isn't really the problem (in this case except perhaps for the expectation of forcing little kids to sit behind desks doing busy work but I won't go there). He is having difficulty doing even the simplest of task without much supervision and he is six. So, it is time that something be done before this creates a social barrier between him and others.<br><br><br>
Plus this affects me and my dh as well. It is difficult taking him out in public and on his "bad" days we don't leave the house except to go in the yard to play. His behavior is so loud, obnoxious, and out of his control that it is rather embarrassing and we are finding ourselves not going to places based solely upon his behavior. The 1-2-3 Magic system works somewhat but its effectiveness is definitely wearing off and he won't stay in time-outs anymore. Or, if we send him to time out then he cries "why am i such a loser?" That makes my heart break because I can hear the desperation in his voice. I know he doesn't want to be getting into trouble all the time. I know that he tries to control himself but seems to lack the ability to control himself or his emotions. I hold him, give him a massage, and try to talk to him about what a loser is and how he definitely isn't one but still it doesn't change his use of language the next time around.<br><br>
Uh, oh got to go kids fighting<br><br>
(No matter how many times they hear the lecture about good decisions, safe bodies, yadda, yadda, yadda they still resort to hitting over toys <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> )<br><br>
Peace,<br>
Shelbi
 

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hippiemom2, I just realized that you are in Bellingham. I am in Seattle. I did my student teaching in Bellingham. Washington state law says that teachers and other school officials are required to contact you before they do any interventions with your child. They are not even supposed to do simple things, like giving him a ball to squeeze. They should have scheduled a meeting with you, your dh if available, and various school employees like school psych, classroom and other teachers, counselor, etc. They should also have access to a social worker who is charged with helping you through the process. This is all mandated by law before they do anything. The social worker can also help you find resources outside of school. If you are in graduate school and money is an issue, the social worker may be able to find resources to help your son. The bottom line is that you should not have to wade through this process alone and the school should never have made any decisions without you. I am really surprised they did. The school should schedule an immediate meeting with you and the family to make a plan that includes your son's medical doctors or whoever else takes care of his health needs. They all need to work together to come up with a plan.<br><br>
Asperger's is a form of autism that has recently become more popular as a diagnosis for school aged children. It is difficult to explain in a message like this. Do an internet search and look for information on sites you think are reputable or visit your school's (WWU?) library and look it up there.<br><br>
If I were you, I would call the principal and ask for a meeting to be set up to come up with a plan for your son. In my school district, Seattle, this is the first step we do after the teacher and parent have tried to work together doing minor interventions that have not worked. If you do not get answers you like from the principal, call the school district offices and ask to speak to whoever is in charge of that school, the principal's boss. The school is accountable to you and not the other way around. You are your son's advocate and you can make demands and they have to listen.<br><br>
As for school alternatives, there are always alternatives within the public school system. If your son is not eligible for special education, he might qualify for a 504 plan which mandates interventions but is not as all encompassing as special ed. I have had students with 504 plans who get the school district to pay for an aide, a laptop, special tools, physical therapy, and transportation to a school in the district which better meets their needs tham the one they currently attend. Be aggressive about asking for things to be done but always make sure they keep you posted.<br><br>
Good luck,
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the advice. I wasn't really angry about them giving him a ball to hold during rug time but the vest with weights threw me a little bit. It sounded a bit cruel to me to actually weigh someone down. But, I read in the "Out of Sync" child this can help some kids. Ian liked it but it bothered me.<br><br>
We are still going through the process and we don't have a diagnosis yet. I think I will speak to the principal and his teacher once there has been a label assigned.<br><br>
But, for now it has been a REALLY REALLY REALLY frustrating day of trying to get them to clean their rooms. Ani didn't take long but Ian is another story.....<br><br>
I will try and look up some info on the Asperger's syndrome but for now, I am going to make myself some hot chocolate and read the newspaper in peace and quiet.<br><br>
Peace,<br>
Shelbi
 
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