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Not sure where to start-Possible Diagnosis

I am not sure where to start. Our son is amazing. He has always struggled with his handwriting (see an OT), but has always been a very sweet child. So much so that he has been student of the week multiple times….fast forward to late last fall and now. He has been to the principal’s office 2 times, yells at the teacher regarding finishing his work, easily distracted, tells us he hates school, the list could go on and on. When we work on homework at home it is a struggle, he is doing a thousand and one things. He can do the work but needs no distractions (even an eraser on the table can become a play object).
I have tried multiple “focus” vitamins, etc…nothing. I don’t understand what happened to my sweet boy. He now says he hates school, it is not fun, etc. My husband and I agree something has to be done. We completed a Conner Scale today and will see the pediatrician tomorrow. Has anyone else seen such a shift in their child once the school work increasingly got harder?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Replies

I was going to suggest the Connors and the Dr. You’re on the right track, and yes, as the work gets harder the frustration will build. Once you have answers regarding a diagnosis, it will be easier to figure out where to begin to treat and how. Good luck!

Posted by Speduc8r on Mar 07, 2014 at 2:24am

How old is your son?  There are some ages/stages where kids struggle more than others.  Grade 6 is a big one, I’m finding.  Apparently their brains are really growing at this age and if you add in the harder work and bigger expectations, plus maybe multiple teachers and new school, well it just becomes too much.

My son was diagnosed mild/moderate ADHD in grade 4.  He’d had some incidents here or there before that and after that, and needed a few accommodations in class, but otherwise was doing ok.  (Or so I thought.)

Once he hit middle school though (grade 6) things took a nose dive.  His grades dropped, he was unhappy a lot and fighting me in the mornings.  He was even walking out of class and refusing to do work!  By Christmas I was frantic to find some help.  He had so much stress and anxiety I seriously thought he was going to have a mental breakdown.  We’d had the diagnosis, but because he’d been so mild and his grades had been good, the paediatrician had dismissed medication.

My son is now on medication (and seeing a psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD) and his teachers tell me they’ve seen a huge difference in him.  He can sit longer… he’s a part of conversations and class discussions… he’s not standing out as a weirdo to his peers. 

Unfortunately, things are still a struggle.  He’s a bright kid, so he got by by paying attention for just a few minutes in class because he could pick it up or do work in his head.  He’s in grade 6 now and work is harder.  You have to know how to do this step, then that step, then another one to get the right answer, and he just never learned that.

I wish now that we’d pushed for medication last year, but I had no idea.  His grades were fine and there’s such a push against medication in some circles here that I thought it was only for the most extreme cases.

In any case, yes, I’ve seen a massive shift between grades 5 and 6.  It’s definitely something to look into because it will only get worse if left untreated, and he may already be behind.

Posted by Rai0414 on Mar 07, 2014 at 2:39am

I also vote YES, sounds very typical ADHD to me.  It doesn’t have to be a school year where the difficulty level goes up for all, either.  I have identical twins (both high IQ) so they could have EASILY slid right under the radar but I always insisted they were put in different classes with different teachers all through elementary school.  Each year there would be something (or a lot of things) that one teacher did that was so incredibly un-ADHD friendly so I always had the comparison of But His Twin Is Doing Fine—further investigation would reveal that the only difference was the one having problems got Mrs. Nit Picker this year or got Mrs. Thou Shalt NOT Quietly Do Origami & Distract Nobody But Me Whilst I Lecture Ad Nauseum.

Posted by BC on Mar 07, 2014 at 6:28am

COMMENTS REPOSTED BY MODERATOR TO COMBINE DUPLICATE THREADS

It’s pretty typical to see worsening symptoms as the expectations and difficulty at school increase. My son is 9 now, but in Kindergarten he started out well and then started hiding under his desk in the Spring when things got tougher. We had always seen the behavioral aspects of ADHD in our son though. He was always hyper, impulsive and emotional. He was still sweet too, just pretty difficult to discipline and always got into trouble for not being able to control himself.
So, it’s possible the increased workload and stress of not being able to easily focus and meet expectations has built up for your son which is why you have seen such a change. OR….it’s possible something else entirely is going on such as a learning disability. Many things can cause symptoms similar to ADHD. You should definitely pursue testing though. No child deserves to suffer through school. When kids struggle in the way you are describing your son is, there is usually a reason or cause.
My son has ADHD combined type. He was diagnosed at 7 years old and has been medicated ever since. He is just now being evaluated for learning disabilities though. Even adequately treated for his ADHD some things in school are such a struggle. He’s extremely bright, but his grades and work don’t really show it. Hence the additional testing. I guess my point it…..the process can take awhile. We are still finding pieces to the puzzle 3 years after diagnosis with ADHD.
Good luck! If as a parent you educate yourself and advocate got your child it will all work out ok in the end. 😉
Posted by JS on Mar 06, 2014 at 10:49pm

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 07, 2014 at 6:22pm

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