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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter, 6, going into 1st grade, has just been diagnosed. There may be some visual processing issues too - we're waiting for the final meeting with the person who did the testing. This isn't a surprise to us. She's a wonderful, bright, sweet, kid, and not unusually energetic or active, but she can't concentrate on something that doesn't interest for even 10 seconds, and she is a whole lot more impulsive than her little brother, 5.

It's also a transition time for us because although we really like the charter school where she did kindergarten, it's far away and all her friends were from the complete other side of our little city. It doesn't feel right to be creating a social network totally dependent upon the car. We have been working for months to create other options.

That school works really intensely and individually with kids, mixed age classrooms. She did great there. Our other two options now are a good local elementary school (bike ride away, we had to transfer in because the one on our street is awful), with a dual language program, or another charter with a dual language focus. We are not a dual language family, but we live in a part of the country where not-knowing Spanish is a hindrance.

Now I'm just so confused. I really wanter our kids to be in a dual language program, and I really wanted to be able to do a lot of our commuting on bikes. I really don't know what we can and should do to help our daughter yet. I know nothing about ADHD except drugs, drugs, drugs, and I am not hot about that idea. She stayed at grade level last year, and excelled in math, so she didn't have a hard time academically. She's pretty bright. But was that just because of the type of school it was? I just don't know.

My daughter had a horrible birth - nearly bled to death and had respiratory faillure - so we knew she was at risk of neurologic problems, although she has generally done well. I don't know if this is because of that, or if maybe I had some similar issues. When I was a kid, my teachers would allow me to set up my desk to do a big drawing every day, although my 3rd grade teacher told me to be discrete because she wasn't going to let any other kids do it. Then we moved, and school just sucked and I hated it. I don't want my daughter to hate school. That's the most important thing, but if there are other things I should know I really would appreciate it.

Any advice appreciated.

I'll cross post this in a couple places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for the replies.

I guess I made the original post sound more anti-medication than I meant to. I don't want to jump right to that route, but I couldn't say we wouldn't ever try it. I have concerns about it. I worry, "Oh no, she's going to think there's something wrong with her if we tell her she has to take medicine." I so much don't want her to label herself, or for other people to label her. And ultimately, she's going to have to learn how to manage herself the best she can. I don't want to do something to address the current problems that doesn't help her build for the future. Not that medication would mean that she can't do that, I just hate that the meds are the first thing I ever hear about. How do kids learn to deal with it and become productive adults? Where does a family get information about learning other strategies?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
EandA's mom - thanks, that's a very helpful way to reframe it.

It's my understanding that ADHD is actually one of the best researched and most defined "mental" diagnoses. While what people see is behavioral, there are specific blood flow patterns on PET scanning. There's also testing like my daughter had, which isn't based on observations of her behavior. I don't question whether it exists or not. I just see references to people learning how to deal with things without the meds over time, and wonder how they do that, what we should be starting now.

We already eat a very low-sugar, no processed foods diet. We really do cook everything we eat from scratch, except bread, which is mostly store-bought. She's not hyperactive, and we've never seen big bursts of behavior issues following certain foods, but I guess to be totally sure we'd have to do an elimination diet. Ugg.
 
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