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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Family Balance - Help


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Joined: Jan 09, 2010
Posts: 8
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Posted Jan 09, 2010 at 12:16:31 PM
Subject: Family Balance - Help

We have 2 sons - one in 5th grade, the other in 1st grade. After years of struggles, the older son is finally being tested for LD. Having read articles on this site, we are certain the results will come back confirming what we have suspected for too long now. One of our biggest struggles as a family is finding balance. The younger son is gifted - testing at 3rd grade levels. The older is slightly behind 5th grade level even though he was held back once already. The younger gets little of our time as homework for the older son can take 3-4 hours per night. Starting to see self-esteem issues as little brother is starting to catch up/exceed big brother.

Veythankful for all the great info we found here, but would like to hear from other families on how you balance the individual needs.


Thanks

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 22, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Jan 10, 2010 1:48:58 AM

These additional articles may be of additional assistance:

Family Basics by SchwabLearning
http://www.iffcmh.org/A%20Parents%20Guide%20to%20Family%20Basics.pdf

Learning Disabilities and Sibling Issues:
http://www.ldonline.org/article/Learning_Disabilities_and_Sibling_Issues

It can be challenging at times t find the correct balance. Best wishes.

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
Posts: 267

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Posted:Jan 10, 2010 2:03:20 AM

This guide may be of especially relavent in that it specifically addresses several issues related to siblings:

http://www.greatschools.org/pdfs/EGuide_SiblingIssues.pdf

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patrick & beth
Joined Jan 09, 2010
Posts: 8

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Posted:Jan 10, 2010 1:41:38 PM

Thanks for the responses - will check out the references supplied.

We are at that stage where we are trying to let go of the anger over this taking so long to be idenified (we first told the school that we suspected a problem in 1st grade - 4 years later...you know the story) and looking forward with a sense of urgency to learn as much as we can, as quickly as we can, to help our son. In the past year or so, it has become much more of a family issue as his learning issues have become all of our issues. We both read most of the core information available on this site and only wish we had found it much sooner.

Thanks again!!

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patrick & beth
Joined Jan 09, 2010
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Posted:Jan 11, 2010 8:00:33 PM

Thanks to the earlir responders - your input was helpful and some of the articles were really exactly what we were looking for.


[Modified by: patrick & beth on January 14, 2010 01:30 AM]

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
Posts: 267

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Posted:Jan 11, 2010 10:27:48 PM

I might also recommend the book by Pete and Pam Wright, "From Emotions to Advocacy":

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=from+emotions+to+advocacy

We went through the same process of taking years to get the school to acknowledge what we knew in our hearts to be true. I wish I had had this book to help us use the facts to our best advantage and let the facts speak for themselves.

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patrick & beth
Joined Jan 09, 2010
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Posted:Jan 12, 2010 5:52:19 PM

dhfl143, Thanks - the earlier article you rcommended was extremely helpful. Met with the district office today and he will be tested next Tuesday. Not sure how long after before we hear any results, but this is a big step following a couple of years of repeated frustrations. Patrick

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
Posts: 267

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Posted:Jan 13, 2010 1:19:08 PM

Glad to hear it was helpful. Glad to hear he is being tested. It is a good step in the right direction. Hope the results provide some insights that will be of value to helping your child.

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patrick & beth
Joined Jan 09, 2010
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Posted:Jan 14, 2010 1:38:52 AM

After several weeks now of research and feedback from folks like you'll here, we are feeling much more hopeful. The one real hesitation I still have is having him 'labeled' by the school district, by society. Some things I have read suggest just having him tested will be forever on his record and could impact future life choices from possible acceptance at schools, acceptance in the military, to future hiring considerations. I hired literally hundreds of people over my career and never saw LD show up in any form in screening processes. Is there any basis for concern here or are these more red herrings?

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Leo
Joined May 26, 2007
Posts: 28

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Posted:Jan 14, 2010 7:47:55 AM

Identifying and defining learning problems could be seen as a stigmatizing label, but this is due to lack of information and lack of understanding. Part of helping your child will be to help learn how to cope with whatever learning difficulties exist. This will be helpful. What is the alternative? Not identifying your child's problems, and thus avoiding any possible labels, will leave your child in the same situation, with chronic difficulties in school.

There is a grieving process that both parents and a child go through when learning difficulties ae identified. I was told this by a wise mom on the millermom web site. It is so true.

You do not know what will happen in the future, but it will be brighter for knowing and coping with more information and appropriate help. Many students, say, in college, cope pretty well with their LD's and only the office of LD's at the college knows about the problems if the student needs accommodations, for example, more time for taking tests, or class notes. If a student gets appropriate help early on, s/he is better equiped to cope with it and it may not arise as a problem in the future workplace.

I work with a physicain who has dyslexia. She has to take more time to study for her internal medicine and infectious disease board exams. But she is quite successful.

I am a parent interested in helping my 19 yo dtr, newly dx with dyslexia and working memory problems, start and be successful in college.

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:Jan 15, 2010 6:47:47 AM

You are right to worry about the future. I think it is important to start setting aside some money for your child just in case they need it in adulthood. Because life will be a great deal harder for them.

Think about it this way, when you hire someone, why did some people make it past the screening and not others? Most ld people do not tell their future employers they are ld. Most who are able to work at all tend to be fairly reasonably functioning people. All the same ask yourself why the ones that didn't make the cut didn't make the cut. If it wasn't a disparity in education level when they applied for the job, then what was it?You may open your eyes and say "WOW! I didn't realize i was encountering this phenomina!" Another frequent problem for people with LD is not even getting jobs. It is keeping jobs. Because should employers find out about their ld, they are usually summerily fired for dishonesty or for being LD. Many put up- with really crappy jobs that they don't like in minimum wage because they have to do something.

If the LD is very minor and is having a small impact rather than a serious one on a child's life i think getting them labeled is over kill and there are far better ways to manage it so as not to complicate the rest of his life. However, in your case that is a little more than mild. I would be very clear with who ever is doing the tests to look for the things specifically the ones you think he has and request that they ignore anything else. Like for example you can not go for an evaluation for LD today without being told you likely have very real X Y and Z learning disabilities but on top of that they always say the kid is ADHD so that they can get moneyy from the drug companies for dosing him up. I have met countless LD kids in my life. I have never seen a 1 labeled that doesn't also alledgedly have ADHD. If your kid is just exhibiting minor to moderate symptoms of ADHD, i also would not take them in for testing. In your case, not having him tested would be a mistake. Screening the doctors for a rational one would be a good idea to do first and when you talk to them make it abundantly clear you are not going to medicate your child even if they say whatever he has will turn into ebola and then into full blown AIDs. i once had an expert tell my mother that to terrify her into medicating me for something 2 weeks later a second expert said i didn't even have... Based on viewing a tape of that original meeting of me and that first doctor who playeed his favorite game "scare the mom."

The report you will get would be very interesting and in some parts very useful as long as you are really careful with who gets to know about this and how you aproach the subject with your son. The other thing i would do, is not take anything in the report as holy and sacred truth. It is an over analysis of behaviors these people think your son exhibits rfine fair enough. Such an evaluation has it's merits. But, they are going to have him trapped in this clinical environment and he will likely be rather intimidated. And they will torture him for literally hours. I don't think a police interogation can last as long as these tests can go without a break. It is a grueling process for the child. And usually the result is a very negative one that tells all about what a messed up kid the kid is based on these exhibited behaviors while they are confined and tortured in such a fashion. So if i were you i would read it to your child and have a highlighter pen handy and ask your child when and where they dispute the findings and then ask them to explain themselves so that you can better know how to help them.

Here is a good example....

Child behaves in a hyper fashion.... Child fidgets. This is an ADHD kid as his behaviors are eradic and impulsive. Well, the child is 4. he has been trapped in the evaluation room for over 6 hours straight without a break. The finding of this evaluation is ADHD.

Why might this kid be exhibiting these behaviors? Could it be cuz he is 4 and little children should not be held like that against their wills for so long? Yes it might. Could he have ADHD, sure it is possibble, Might he miss his mom who is waiting for him? Maybe... Could he be bored? Definately. The ways they might read a single behavior they could read it in a million ways but instead they will always choose or nearly always choose the most negative way as possible to interpret it. Which is why you must ask your kid how much of it is accurate or how long he had been in there when he feels he started behaving that way. By that same toke, your child would never have seen himself through someone else's eyes. And that is a valuable opportunity. And though they are often wrong they also have moments of great correctness and those are really valuable for everyone including the child.

It may mess up his ability to be in the military i am not sure but i think it does. It definately poses more challenges to him in the future. But if there isn't an intervention, his future is pretty bleak probably anyway. ADHD most kids out grow. Without medicine. Stuff like dyslexia and out put problems can be well and even easily managed in adulthood once you know how. But to learn how you must first have that evaluation.

I don't think the greiving process is so much about the LD as it is about being declared other than everyone else. Parents greive and children see it. They feel it. Children want to please. And when someone comes back and tells a mother her little cookie cutter child that she wanted she will never have... OUr society has a totally messed up view of parenting i think. It is almost like our children are a testament to our success as adults rather than our parenting skills being the testament. It's kinda like the man with the trophy wife ina way. Most parents have these little kids and they are cute and they make the family complete and everyone loves their kid. But so often when it comes to making all the sacrifices they take the view that whatever is best for them as the parent is best for their child. And it really should be the other way around. You have far less LD in europe you are more than 10 times less likely to be diagnosed even if you go in for evaluation in europe. And more than 30 times less likely to be3 medicated for an LD in europe. Because they realize alot of this is in the parenting and alot of this there are other and better treatments for. And this is very general i am not saying you are a bad parent i am saying our society in the usa doesn't value children or treat them in the same way that they do in asia and in europe. And we have a far higher rate of LD. I would say having seen it both ways that the disparity is atleast the reason for LD becoming more and more common.

If you have your child tested and they come back with something which i suspect he will. Atleast ADHD if nothing else. Not because he actually has it. But because they live for the sound of their cash registers every time they medicate a child. But then there are modifications that can be made. More time on tests. If he has something like dyslexia that is important because he can not read the question as fast. Nor can he get the written word out of his brain as fast. If you are a parent of a child with an oput put or fine motor difficulty again, more time is good he doesn't write as fast as someone else so he can not answer all the questions properly in the time frame allowed. There are many other things that can also be put into place that will not allow him to not learn but will allow him to work around any LDs he may have. But you are going to have to get creative with him when it comes to solutions and how to get around these things. People with LD are some of the most creative you will ever meet. Most of us have had to be for survival. We have to use our strengths in unusual ways to circumvent our weaknesses and stuff. Your son will learn to do that too. But first you need the basic tool kit to be able to do that. Once you have that.... Then you can begin to overcome LD. But the jumping off place is that evaluation.

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Christine
Joined Jan 28, 2010
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Posted:Jan 28, 2010 2:33:50 PM

With older kids who have LD, one thing I've learned is that so far - none of his peers know anything. They don't know he's been in speech twice, once in 1st grade now again from 6-8th grade. No employer checks your school records thankfully. Either you get a HS diploma/GED or you don't =)

I wouldn't worry about the school record - I'd push for services. My oldest had a lot of us fighting for him early on, and now he's 13 and doing fabulous and 100% mainstreamed. In fact, his current school has no idea he has PDD-NOS. I'm happy to keep it that way for now.

It won't follow them for life - I promise. Get the help now, worry about the rest later. Hugs, the siblings do learn to be extremely empathetic but they do suffer sometimes by feeling like they don't get enough attention. Work hard to find one-on-one time with the younger sibling. My gifted 11 year old is emotionally/school wise miles ahead of his 13 year old sibling. He has taken the lead as "oldest brother" in the house and actually the other two just fell in without a hitch. It just seemed to work that way and they are OK with it.

Good luck!

Christine ~ mom of 3 boys (A~PDD-NOS, J~Gifted, V~LD?)

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patrick & beth
Joined Jan 09, 2010
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Posted:Feb 07, 2010 1:44:02 PM

As a quick update:

Past Tuesday, evaluation completed and he qualifies based on gap between IQ (slightly above normal) and acedemic testing scores (which have been behind normal and sliding). Evaluations suggest primary LD as Dyspraxia, with some associated secondary non- verbal issues. Having read everything on both topics, we agree that the Dyspraxia is very much in-line with our observatios - not as much so with the NVLD, but there are some traits that match.

This Tuesday we meet with all parties (district, counselors, evaluators, teachers, etc) to define an initial IEP. So we are trying to cram for that...lol. His current classes include all the basics + music, art, fitness, PE, computer lab and Spanish. Dusty hassaid he does not think he is getting anything from most of the + list. So one issue may be can that time be redirected to better mastery of core subjects or spent on other things - like typing skills.

Again, Thanks to all for your posts...it has been as much helpful to our mental state as to our knowledge state.

pa and beth

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
Posts: 267

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Posted:Feb 08, 2010 6:32:44 PM

This bookmark might provide some valuable resources in preparation for your meeting:

http://delicious.com/dhfl143/EdLaw

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
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Posted:Feb 08, 2010 6:37:40 PM

In addition, this article is one of my favorites:

http://www.harborhouselaw.com/articles/hearts.bollero.htm

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patrick & beth
Joined Jan 09, 2010
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Posted:Feb 12, 2010 1:51:45 PM

dhfl, thanks for that last link...absolutely related to every comment and approach.

our meeting went very well. we did "bite our tounges" once or twice to maintain positive progress. the school will place Dusty in some addtl sessions. they are also going to do a OT/PT evaluation. and they are making several accommodations for his core classes. and finaly, they have offered to provide some home PC-based tools. overall, we were very satisfied wih the outcome.

We feel very thankful we found this site and so many folks who are willing to share their experiences. Collectively, you helped us significantly get up to speed on the language and substance of LDs. More importantly, you provided the moral support that quickly showed us we can do this.

Heartfelt thanks to all!
pa & beth

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