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ADD: diagnosis or skills?
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Apr 07 2021, 2:34 pm
We think that fun, bright, imaginative DD9 has ADHD. It runs strongly in DH family and besides for noticing lack of focus at home, recently there’s been feedback from her teachers, too, each saying there’s a lack of focus. While BH she’s smart and it’s not affecting her academically (yet), I do want to tackler this sooner than later. I called Relief and discussed with someone there and also talked to my kids’ pediatrician.
At Relief they told me that a pediatric psychiatrist will mainly diagnose and then prescribe and monitor medication.
The pediatrician felt that if we aren’t considering medicating (which at this point we aren’t because there aren’t indications that it’s necessary right now) then we don’t need to get an evaluation and diagnosis, that we should send her to a psychologist to work with her and focus on teaching her skills (which we would need to do regardless).
We don’t know 100 it’s ADD but the pediatrician didn’t think it’s relevant.
Can anyone shed clarity on this?
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amother




Hotpink
 

Post Wed, Apr 07 2021, 2:56 pm
okay, what I'm gonna say now might be a bit controversial; but I believe that food has a huge impact on focus. You can try cutting out sugar and gluten and see how that goes. I personally believe that I have undiagnosed ADD. What happens to me is that when I eat pure and healthy foods I feel so focused, When I don't I'm literally floating and losing stuff the whole time. There are vitamins that are also great for improving focus such as omega 3.
best of luck
check out these links for more info on the connection between food and focus
https://healthynestnutrition.c.....ning/
https://psychologycompass.com/.....tion/
https://www.webmd.com/food-rec.....ation
https://www.sciencedaily.com/r.....3.htm
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amother




Jade
 

Post Wed, Apr 07 2021, 3:02 pm
As a parent of a kid with a host of disabilities, including ADHD that needed medication (couldn't focus well enough even in a special ed school with various interventions in place), my belief is that at age 9, leave her alone. It's not a problem so don't make it a problem. I have a 9 year old daughter, too (not the one with special needs). I can't imagine giving her study tips, focus tips etc to help her so that she won't hypothetically fall behind one day.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Apr 07 2021, 3:09 pm
amother [ Hotpink ] wrote:
okay, what I'm gonna say now might be a bit controversial; but I believe that food has a huge impact on focus. You can try cutting out sugar and gluten and see how that goes. I personally believe that I have undiagnosed ADD. What happens to me is that when I eat pure and healthy foods I feel so focused, When I don't I'm literally floating and losing stuff the whole time. There are vitamins that are also great for improving focus such as omega 3.
best of luck
check out these links for more info on the connection between food and focus
https://healthynestnutrition.c.....ning/
https://psychologycompass.com/.....tion/
https://www.webmd.com/food-rec.....ation
https://www.sciencedaily.com/r.....3.htm

Thank you for that information.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Apr 07 2021, 3:11 pm
amother [ Jade ] wrote:
As a parent of a kid with a host of disabilities, including ADHD that needed medication (couldn't focus well enough even in a special ed school with various interventions in place), my belief is that at age 9, leave her alone. It's not a problem so don't make it a problem. I have a 9 year old daughter, too (not the one with special needs). I can't imagine giving her study tips, focus tips etc to help her so that she won't hypothetically fall behind one day.
Thanks for your perspective.
Her teachers do seem to think it’s starting to become a problem (slight but they each separately mentioned)
You can’t imagine giving her tips so if she has to take a shower she doesn’t wander into the bathroom and space out for half hour forgetting what she’s there for and what to do next? Why not?
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amother




Hotpink
 

Post Wed, Apr 07 2021, 3:14 pm
[/quote] she has to take a shower she doesn’t wander into the bathroom and space out for half hour forgetting what she’s there for and what to do next? Why not?[/quote]
lol she sounds like me or at least how I was when I was 9 Smile
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amother




Jade
 

Post Wed, Apr 07 2021, 3:14 pm
So give her a checklist with things to complete for each day or a schedule etc but this is parenting stuff that you can come up with on your own. The issues you have are too minor to warrant a visit to a psychologist or therapist.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Apr 07 2021, 11:21 pm
amother [ Hotpink ] wrote:
she has to take a shower she doesn’t wander into the bathroom and space out for half hour forgetting what she’s there for and what to do next? Why not?[/quote]
lol she sounds like me or at least how I was when I was 9 Smile[/quote]
DH says this was him as a kid and these things gave his self-esteem a real beating. He says he felt like he didn’t have life figured out.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Apr 07 2021, 11:22 pm
Why on earth would you medicate a child when it is not affecting her???
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Apr 07 2021, 11:23 pm
I am a SEIT, and I don't think it is possible to get a diagnosis if it is not affecting her.
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amother




Azure
 

Post Wed, Apr 07 2021, 11:40 pm
I am not sure who and how to approach (maybe an OT or play therapist) but as an adult with adhd tendencies I think training her in executive function skills is important. I would have not qualified for meds as a child but as an adult I am struggling. You need someone to guide you or set up a program for her that she uses in daily life. For example a chart with a detailed timeline and breakdown of when and how things get done and give her rewards, support, and motivation along the way. Also you can buy the book Smart but Scattered I think the author gives courses to the community through the Gutman sisters, but you can get insights from the book without spending tons of money.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 10:10 am
#BestBubby wrote:
Why on earth would you medicate a child when it is not affecting her???
I don’t want to Medicate. Maybe my OP wasn’t clear. I am asking if an evaluation is worth anything if I don’t want to Medicate. I would have thought it’s important. Apparently others think not.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 10:12 am
amother [ Azure ] wrote:
I am not sure who and how to approach (maybe an OT or play therapist) but as an adult with adhd tendencies I think training her in executive function skills is important. I would have not qualified for meds as a child but as an adult I am struggling. You need someone to guide you or set up a program for her that she uses in daily life. For example a chart with a detailed timeline and breakdown of when and how things get done and give her rewards, support, and motivation along the way. Also you can buy the book Smart but Scattered I think the author gives courses to the community through the Gutman sisters, but you can get insights from the book without spending tons of money.

Exactly. I want to give her the skills now. Which I will do regardless. I am trying to figure out if an evaluation is helpful or just tackle what I see. I think you get it.
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STMommy




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 10:21 am
An evaluation is not necessary if you are not looking for medication. As you said, you can go to a psychologist and get strategies or find them online. Your mom instincts are good Smile
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frumama




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 10:30 am
Speaking as a mom with more than 1 child diagnosed with adhd, at this point a formal diagnosis isn't necessary. If your child is struggling with executive functioning skills the reason behind it doesn't really make much of a difference. Whether or not she has ADHD or not doesn't matter, you are still going to teach her the skills that she's lacking. You can always revisit and reevaluate the need to get a diagnosis at a later time if her situation changes.
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 10:36 am
I think an evaluation and diagnosis, if appropriate, is absolutely helpful. You don't need to medicate just because you diagnose.

We evaluated and received a diagnosis, but are not medicating at this time. But the clinician who diagnosed was able to refer us to other relevant and helpful resources and also to make recommendations for non-medical interventions at home and at school. We went to a clinical psychologist (PhD, not MD), not a psychiatrist.

Your intuition is absolutely right OP, that your DD will benefit from building skills and habits, and also potentially being accommodated. Just because your DD's intelligence allows her to compensate now, it will not forever. DH and I were both the same type of kid, so we know from personal experience and that is why we are doing it differently with our own bright ADHD kid.

For me, the cracks began to appear around 6th grade. That was the first year I had a different teacher for every subject and many competing assignments to keep track of. I still aced my tests, but I began to be late with assignments or sometimes failed to hand them in entirely. I still managed to get in to a very academically intense secular high school and graduated with a slightly above average GPA. This sounds OK, but it was the result of a mixture of outstanding work and failing or incomplete work. Basically, I would procrastinate and flake, then pull extreme all nighters to ace tests or papers to compensate. The end result looked alright, because these things averaged out. I never faced academic sanctions or failed a class, but the process was emotionally awful for me. I went to a top college and majored in STEM and did the same thing. With a roller coaster performance of F's and curve-wrecking A+ work over a semester, I would wind up with somewhere between a C and an A for the course, and graduated with a slightly above average GPA. Good enough to get a great job after graduation, but it took a major emotional toll. I won't bore you with the rest of my life story, but there was more of the same.

Compensating for executive function skills with intelligence and spurts of adrenaline is possible, but it is not something that I want my child to experience and certainly I don't want her to spend decades doing so. I definitely recommend that you do everything you can to build the right habits now. It will be easier with an accurate diagnosis.
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ora_43




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 10:51 am
I think a diagnosis is helpful even without meds, because it can make it easier to learn the skills.

Like, the standard advice if someone struggles to focus on homework might be to find a quiet place and get into a routine of studying at a set time - but with adhd, the polar opposite is sometimes more helpful (add an element of newness, add more noise and stimulation). There's a lot of overlap between how you'd handle, say, a general lack of organization and a lack of organization caused specifically by adhd - but it's not the exact same. Knowing it is (or isn't) adhd can make the process of finding helpful techniques faster.

There's also a big difference between not having learned a skill, and simply not having the mental tools to do something. At all, ever, no matter how long you work on it. Not trying to be a downer here, many many adhd-related issues can be improved through focused work on skills. But for some people, some things just can't. And knowing that the issue is a unique brain structure, and not just insufficient effort, can be helpful.

And finally - it opens up more treatment options. Maybe you don't want to medicate now, but will want to in another couple years. Neurofeedback is also a potential option (somewhat controversial, IIRC, but I know people who are huge fans).
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BHexhausted




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 10:58 am
As a therapist, I would strongly recommend having her evaluated even if you don't want her to be medicated at this time. In addition to the benefits listed by some of the other members, it will help her understand what is going on inside of her, which can resolve a lot of the guilt that many children with conditions like these carry for not being able to be like everyone else.
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professor




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 11:04 am
amother [ Hotpink ] wrote:
she has to take a shower she doesn’t wander into the bathroom and space out for half hour forgetting what she’s there for and what to do next? Why not?

lol she sounds like me or at least how I was when I was 9 Smile


Actually, this sounds like me right now...
I am multitasking: reading posts at the same time as a HP fanfiction, (which I convinced my brain is important cause I need to censor it - for the kids, k?) And thinking about the laundury.

It doesn't matter if she has ADD or not, if she can get skills to help her on a day to day living, why not?
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 11:38 am
STMommy wrote:
An evaluation is not necessary if you are not looking for medication. As you said, you can go to a psychologist and get strategies or find them online. Your mom instincts are good Smile

Thanks. This is what I was trying to understand.
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