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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

I so Desperately need info on Speed Processing


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Joined: Sep 12, 2006
Posts: 4
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Posted Sep 13, 2006 at 12:04:47 AM
Subject: I so Desperately need info on Speed Processing

It's so much more than that but I think that could be a big piece of what's going on. Background: I have a very bright 2nd grader who is struggling. He is ADD/Inattentive but we've always suspected something more. He took at IQ test this summer and the big A-HA for me is that he scored very high in Spatial something or other (95%) but scored in the 14% for Speed Processing. The tester chalked up the Speed Processing score to Perfectionism or Anxiety and suspects that it impacted his overall score.

I just got home from Back to School night and he is struggling. He cannot complete work within the time frame. So, my big question is can anything be done about speed processing? Can it be improved or is he going to spend the rest of his educational life feeling terrible that he's a "slow kid" and can't finish what other children in the class can. Does he need to be in a different school/smaller classroom?

He's a great reader, speller and does well on other subjects but we are so crazy worried about him. It never occured to me that he has a learning disability. Please let me know if you have heard of this before and if anything can be done. Thank you.

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demarti
Joined Jun 15, 2005
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Posted:Sep 13, 2006 11:12:57 AM

There are several programs out there that help improve processing speed - these include PACE, Interactive Metronome, and sound therapy.

Was just curious on your ADD diagnosis? I have heard that slow processing speed is a common symptom of ADD Inattentive. But what was the reason for ADD diagnosis? Gifted kids can have similar ADD symptoms.

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kelly
Joined Sep 12, 2006
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Posted:Sep 13, 2006 12:02:17 PM

I'm not ruling out gifted but his IQ test was 112 although the speed processing problem I'm sure supressed his test results. The ADD became apparent as soon as he started K, although we didn't get the diagnosis for a year after. He has a severe attention problem in that he cannot stay on task, hold a conversation, etc. without being "brought back to earth." We've ruled out sight, hearing problem, fine motor. He's been to OTs, learning consultants, psychologists, psychiatrists. It wasn't until last night that I considered a learning disability. Is there a name for this? I get the impression that speed processing can't be "fixed" and he's going to struggle with this for the rest of his life.

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Nancy3
Joined May 12, 2005
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Posted:Sep 13, 2006 10:08:19 PM

ADD-Inattentive can interfere with processing speed. Some ADD-Inattentive children do much better on medication.

Cognitive skills training programs work on improving processing speed in a variety of ways. The best ones for this are probably PACE (http://www.processingskills.com ) and BrainSkills (the home version of PACE, http://www.brainskills.com ). In my opinion, these are best suited to children functioning on about an 8yo level or better. Your son would probably be a little too young yet for optimal benefit. These are quite intensive programs and maturity on the part of the student helps keep the training on track. (It usually takes 40 to 60 hours of one-on-one work to begin seeing improvements, and some children require more.)

If the ADD-Inattentive is being caused by chemical imbalance in the brain and nothing is done to correct that chemical imbalance, though, cognitive skills training probably won't help. The child has to have the basic physiological ability to pay attention. Some attention skills are trainable and some are not, so there can be great variability in results from cognitive training also. For a child who simply has weak skills development, the improvements from training can be dramatic. For a child whose primary problem is organic, the training program can be frustrating and not yield the desired results.

Have you considered Interactive Metronome? It has an excellent track record for improving symptoms of ADD, and your son is old enough for it. IM is a great program to do prior to PACE or BrainSkills also, if you decide to do one of those later on. Website is http://www.interactivemetronome.com . Again, though, IM will not yield results if the ADD problem is basically physiological in origin, such as a chemical imbalance.

I think basically you cannot know the underlying cause of the ADD without trial-and-error therapies. Most people start with medications. A gentler approach is to try developmental therapies first, such as IM and PACE, and save medication trials as a last resort.

In case you haven't found it yet, Dr. Amen has a website with lots of information about different types of ADD (and natural treatments he recommends for them). This website is http://www.amenclinic.com

Nancy

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kelly
Joined Sep 12, 2006
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Posted:Sep 13, 2006 10:56:02 PM

How do I find out if he has chemical imbalance ADD? He is on medication for the ADD which helps but something else is going on. Unless I don't understand ADD and that's "all" it is.

Thank you for the advice. I hadn't heard of those programs -- we're in Missouri and it doesn't look like there is a lot in our state. I guess there are home-study type things. Thanks again. One more question: who knows about this stuff: doesn't seem like psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers know anything about this? Am I looking for an ADD expert or a learning disability expert and do you think they'll know about speed processing?

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demarti
Joined Jun 15, 2005
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Posted:Sep 14, 2006 2:28:35 PM

If he is in the 95% for spatial, then he has some gifted qualities(do a web search on Visual-Spatial and/or The Gifted Development Center). The IQ test should have 2 parts - a performance IQ(PIQ) and a verbal IQ(VIQ), which they blend to get your overall. Since you state he had a very high visual spatial, I'm assuming you may have had alot of subtest scatter. Was there a gap in the PIQ vs. the VIQ? If your VIQ is lower than PIQ by more than 5pts, you might want to do a seach on this site and the web on Central Auditory Processing Disorder(CAPD).

I think on this site in the LD In Depth, they have a section on understanding test scores that links to the Writeslaw article. A must read!

I'm reading a book right now on 'The Highly Sensitive Child' by Elaine N. Aron. She writes a small section on HSCs and ADD, as they can have very similar traits and can be misdiagnosed. "HSCs have more blood flow to the right side of brain (i.e. visual spatial is a right brain function) and blood flows more to left for ADD. HSCs can be easily distracted because they notice so much. If in an overstimulated environment, they can become overwhelmed by outer distractions and behave as if agitated or 'spacy'. "

It's hard to find just one expert who knows how to pull it all together and give you the right direction. We are fortunate in our city we found a neuropsychiatrist, who follows a more homeopathic approach and has helped us put alot of the pieces together w/o having to go on meds. But we have paid big $$$$ for that.

Just like any other medical condition, you have to be your own advocate and reseach and read. LD Online has ALOT of great information, SchwabLearning is also another good resource and once you pinned down what you think you may be dealing with, you will find more and more information. (ex. When I read about CAPD, I knew right then that is what my dd had.)

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Beth from FL
Joined Jun 15, 2003
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Posted:Sep 14, 2006 4:19:32 PM

My son has had processing speed issues. It is a tough one to deal with. We had major improvements using The Listening Program, followed by Interactive Metronome. Prior to this combination, my son couldn't write at any reasonable speed at all.

The Listening Program can be obtained over the internet. It is an auditory processing program. For some reason, it makes other programs easier. We also saw some motor improvements with it. You need a provider with Interactive Metronome and it isn't cheap. You pay the going rate for therapy in your area (about $70/hour here) for at least 15 hours of therapy. But it is quite a bit bang for the buck, in our experience.

We also did PACE at age 7. Not a good idea, at least for our son.

Many processing speed problems, including my son's, have a motor component. Interestingly enough, we have been able to recently isolate exactly how slow my son is. We have done a program called Neuronet (excellent but not widely available) off and on for a number of years. We can see using the metronome that his processing starts to break down at 80% (of normal speed). We're working on it but it is important to note that he used to be at about 50% functioning. At 80%, he functions normally at school (B student) but works harder than other kids. At 50%, he was not learning.

Beth

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Nancy3
Joined May 12, 2005
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Posted:Sep 14, 2006 9:54:44 PM

One thing I didn't think to mention is that some children are sensitive to certain foods. When this is the case, their symptoms are very much reduced when on controlled diets. I don't know much about this area, but I think a good place to start researching is with the book, "Is This Your Child?" by Doris Rapp. Check your library. Amazon has it too.

I don't think there's any definitive way to figure out whether a child's ADD symptoms are due only to chemical imbalance. The symptoms can come from a variety of sources -- chemical imbalance in the brain, sensory integration disorder, auditory processing disorder, poor neurological wiring, etc. A child can have just one of these underlying causes or several. About the best you can do is try something and see if it helps.

Nancy

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kelly
Joined Sep 12, 2006
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Posted:Sep 15, 2006 10:01:35 AM

This has been unbelieveably helpful. I've never heard of anyone who has a child with something similar. I read the capd description and while parts of it sound right, overall it doesn't. He got an A+ in spelling, reads really well. He just can't complete his paperwork. His teacher told me an interesting story last night. When it's time to line up for something fun (recess, etc.) all the kids jump out of their chairs to get in line and jack is still sitting in his seat almost like he didn't hear her. (we've had his hearing checked and there's not a problem.) We're trying to get into a Learning Disabilities expert through the local association. I'm not seeing the categories you describe for the IQ test. I think he hasn't taken some of the subtests that may help us figure this out. He scored in the superior range for Perceptual Reasoning and in the low average for Processing Speed. the rest of his scores were high average. He is sensitive and bossy and self righteous but he's also fun and smart and sweet as can be. Our pyschiatrist, a pyschologist and another therapist we saw a few years ago REALLY want us to medicate him for anxiety. We just can't bring ourselves to do it b/c we don't think he's anxious. You don't medicate a kid for a learning disability. It seems insane.

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demarti
Joined Jun 15, 2005
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Posted:Sep 15, 2006 11:51:11 AM

re: IQ - Do you know which IQ test your school used? There are a number of different ones out there. Regardless, you want to look at the 'scatter'.

re: Anxiety - We learned with our DD that anxiety comes in many forms. When our dd was in 3rd grade, she would be like at a birthday party, sleepover, shopping or going on vacation (things she was really excited about) and we would spend half the trip or party in the bathroom because she thought she was going to throw up. Had all kinds of tests and could only attribute it to a type of 'anxiety'. She seems to have grown out of it some, but we still worry about it. But I don't blame you for not wanting to medicate for this.

re: processing speed. Interestingly, my dd doesn't have a processing speed issue, which is strange because most kids with her profile do. I believe all the sound therapy she did helped resolve this early in her development. However, my son, who is very high cognitive abilities in both auditory and visual, has only average/slightly below age level on processing speed. He does everything 'slowly' and he doesn't have good internal timing/balance. Never had a problem with finishing schoolwork and tests, but he had difficulty with timed math facts. He's in high school and has newly developed 'issues' that I wonder if this is all attributing too. Motivation in schoolwork and he has to work really hard to make his baseball and golf teams(which is effecting his self-esteem more than school). He is also highly distracted in his environment. The difference I see with him vs. an ADD profile is that he can pull himself back into focus on task at hand.

I mentioned this 'Highly Sensitive Child' book I'm reading. Both my kids fit this and 20% of the population are HSCs. From what you describe, sounds like maybe you may have an HSC as well. If you do a google on Highly Sensitive People - there are a number of web sites describing.

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My Boys' Mom
Joined Sep 17, 2006
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Posted:Sep 23, 2006 10:09:01 AM

Have you considered that your son might have dysgraphia along with the ADD?

We're going through something similar with our 4th grade son, although we've already addressed some of the issues you mention. My son would also remain in his seat reading, while the rest of the class would lined up at the door. The teacher had to work hard to get his nose out of the book & realize what was going on around him. He has had major problems with attending to lessons & staying on task. Takes him forever to write & he's extremely resistant to it. My son also tested in the gifted range for perceptual reasoning, but below average in processing speed. The school did some testing with our son last year, but we were dissatisfied so we went to our pediatrician who did some more testing. Everything was becoming too piecemeal for us, so we sought our own child psychologist who did a whole battery of tests on our son over the summer. My son met with her 8 times for an hour or more each time. We told our son that he is very smart, & he has a different way of learning things than most people do. We explained to him that he was having hard time in school & was disliking it so much because his learning style was not being matched to the right teacher. By meeting with the child psychologist, we would be able to learn more about his learning style & get him matched with the right teacher for 4th grade. That made perfect sense to him & he was very eager to participate. What we learned from having one very qualified person do everything is going to save our son's life. The testing is expensive, but when we looked at the cost of the self-loathing & low self-esteem that was beginning to show in him (he knows he's capable, but can't produce; he "gets" things quickly, but can't communicate them in written form; teachers were telling him he's lazy & unmotivated), we realized that we'd rather pay in money than pay in our son's life.

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hope
Joined Sep 26, 2006
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Posted:Sep 29, 2006 11:15:39 AM

regarding your concern about speed procesing, from my life experiences. modeling approache is a good way to teach your kids some new skills. what i learned from my studing and what i had apply to my kids is set schedeuales or plans for doing chores or home works or even in summer time the activities they have to do or things that you do them as a family always put them on a piece of paper and give them priority according to the issues and always time them. ask them that this activity has to finish at this time and next activity and so on. but remember for first time every thing it will be in same pace slow but when you time him automatically he will grow in more organized and tight manners and you will notice decreasing in the minutes of the timing. when it is time for home work try to set every day same spot at home for doing home work and at the same time. a place with no distruction by TV, telephone or snacks.i prefer feeding my kids after school so they have energy and gives them peace of mind that after that all they need to do is studing then they will have their free time for games and TV until is bed time. give them some privillage when you see differnts in following the plan or improving in time.try to spend time privatley with him with out his sibiling, respect his feelings and thoughts if he say i don't like doing my home work now say that is fine but ask him when he thinks he will be ready, dont leave the choice open widely. build a close relationship with him like friends show him your interest to his hobies and his likes, spend some time with him going out or doing some activities with him and of course time it,this will help him to build his self-esteem and show him that he is unique. encourage him for his positive attitudes, don't mention or don't let his sibilings pick up on his negatives, don't always call him unpleasent names because he will be that in his mind like (steryo type). give him responsibilities or chores to do and time it next time try to time him for shorter period. i have this real story from a friend to share it with you. her daughter would take her more than half hour to take a bath, this was a big issue in their family the best that the mom did was to time her one day for half hour then next bath time she timed her less and so on until one day her daughter end up taking bath only in 10 minutes. i hope it helps you. thanks

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squeeg
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Nov 03, 2014 11:51:02 AM

This thread is several years old now but I have problems with processing speed. I would be really grateful for if the original poster (or anyone else) could say whether any of these interventions helped with processing speed—or memory, which is another area of concern for me—with the benefit of hindsight.

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
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Posted:Nov 04, 2014 1:49:09 AM

Take a look at the attached article and thread and see if they help:
http://www.2enewsletter.com/article_2013_05_slow_processing.html

And

http://millermom.proboards.com/thread/12463?page=1


[Modified by: dhfl143 on November 04, 2014 01:49 AM]

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