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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Help! My 6 yo is failing kindergarten again!


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Oct 22, 2004 at 7:21:16 PM
Subject: Help! My 6 yo is failing kindergarten again!

I would like to get some of you guys opinions. Here's some background. My son is 6 (will be 7 in April). He is repeating K this year b/c last year he did not do well. He would not sit down in class. Talked excessively. Just didn't pay attention. His teacher did not know if it was just immaturity or what. So, we decided to retain him, and try again.

So, this year, the first half day of school he is sent to the office b/c he would not be quiet, and was constantly disrupting class. I take him to our local nurse practitioner and she prescribes Strattera 18mg for 4 days, then up to 25mg. He was very sick, and tired alot. I requested that we try the 10 mg. That's what he is taking now. I think it may not be strong enough though.

Yesterday I went for parent teach conf. The teacher said that he is doing OK in everything except his phonics. If you tell him the sound, and then ask him what it is 2 minutes later, it's like he's never seen or heard it before. He acts as if he has no clue. He also gets letters like f & t, l & j confused. He is also going to speech therapy b/c he doesn't say his letters correctly. He is a bright child. You would never know from talking to him that he is having trouble. He knows all about bugs & things he's interested in.

I talked to a friend of mine who is a school conselor and she recommended having his vision & hearing tested first to rule those out, and then seeing a pediatric neurologist. The problem is that we live in a rural area, so to see a neurologist I would probably have to drive to Memphis which is about 1.5 hours from our house. Of course I will do what I can to get help for my son. I just really don't know what to do. I appreciate any suggestions.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 02, 2014
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Posted:Oct 22, 2004 9:40:41 PM

taking him to a primary care doctor who can prescribe Concerta or Adderall. Strattera was an absolute bust for my ADD sons. Concerta, adderall and metadate have worked.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 02, 2014
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Posted:Oct 23, 2004 7:46:25 AM

Strattera was a bust for us, too. Adverse reaction to Ritalin but Adderall has been going very well for several years. We went back to Adderall after trying Strattera.

I would be looking to maximize that 1.5 hour trip to Memphis. Do a lot of homework on who does a good assessment -try local IDA, adovacy groups, ask LD schools-and look for a multi-speciality clinic or children's hospital. Someplace that can do a thorough investigation. someplace that has experience in exceptional children. Multi-specialty because you want an overall picture-the speech pathologist, the neurologist, the psychologist, the pediatrician. Getting a good diagnosis is actually quite difficult, in my experience. You have lots of areas to rule out.

This kind of testing is not done often. So it won't be weekly trips to Memphis. But I would certainly make the trip to get a good baseline understanding of what area's are not working well. it will take time to get an appointment.

good luck. keep us posted.

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victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 1784

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Posted:Oct 23, 2004 8:43:09 AM

I am somewhat disappointed to hear of a nurse practitioner just handing out medication prescriptions like that. Not terribly surprised, but discouraged. In theory, there is supposed to be a complete workup of tests etc. before even considering medication.
Definitely, go for a proper and complete evaluation before just throwing various pills at the problem. Then if you do need medication, try to work closely with an experienced doctor. This is not something to fool around with.

As far as teaching the letters, you can email me for my "getting started" outlines -- long and detailed description of a multisensory approach that is generally very effective. I have other stuff for later if you want it too.
advance.tutors@sympatico.ca

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 02, 2014
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Posted:Oct 23, 2004 11:19:07 AM

Check out the Teaching Reading board. There is a parent who intervened with her child who had repeated kindergarten and what she had done.
I would get a Developmental Optometrist evaluation and check into a listening program first before looking into more medication. Problems in these areas can appear to be ADHD.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 02, 2014
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Posted:Oct 24, 2004 9:08:58 AM

The very first thing you should do is have this child evaluated by a professional who is expert in diagnosing LD and ADHD. Your child may well have ADHD -- the symptoms you describe are quite consistent with that diagnosis. Nonetheless, as others have pointed out, there are other conditions that mimic ADHD and those should be ruled out before medication is prescribed. Assuming that you do receive an ADHD diagnosis, it may be that your child has not been receiving a high enough dose of Strattera. The side effects you described are common when beginning Strattera and should abate over time. It might be that increasing the dose would bring improvement. It might also be that your child would do better with a stimulant. But don't do anything until this child is evaluated properly.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 02, 2014
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Posted:Oct 28, 2004 1:40:26 PM
Subject:L

First, promise me you will do a lot of research into the areas of ADHD, medications, reading disabilities, and all other LDs, IDEA law, retention, assessment tools and your local resources. Be informed. It will help you along the way.

Strattera dosing is based on a child's weight and you should ramp up to the right dosage. It is not like the stimulant medication where you can try 10mg today and 20 mg tomorrow and go back to 10 the next day and where 20mg works the same for a 65 lb child and a 130 lb child. It is based on weight and your nurse practitioner should have told you that. (I hope she did!)

Your child needs a full psycho-educational evaluation. Have it done away from the school and pay for it yourself. If you request that the school do the eval put your request in writing and send it certified mail. This school eval won't tell you a lot but it's better than a sharp stick in the eye - well sometimes it's better.

The school's response to any struggling child in K, 1st is to retain. It's a short-term solution to a long-term problem. It's very often not the right choice. The child needs specific intervention. He needs a scientifically-based multi-sensory reading therapy program.

Remember, just because some school employee is standing in front of you and words are coming out of her mouth, it doesn't mean what she is telling you what is in the best interests of your child. You have to do the research on your own.

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