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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

kid needs help with writing


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Joined: Jan 31, 2010
Posts: 8
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Posted Jan 31, 2010 at 8:30:43 PM
Subject: kid needs help with writing

well he's like in 5th grade and he tells me that he worries about failing because he's still having a hard time writing summaries for his social studies class. And also has problems with writing an answer to questions that say explain this (based on story). I'm starting to think he has adhd because i asked him if after he reads the story if he remembers it or what happened and he said not really. I just want to figure out some way to make it easier for him, thanks

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supremeone
Joined Jan 31, 2010
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Posted:Feb 01, 2010 5:09:23 PM

Okay well i asked him about the writing thing. He said it's easier for him when he listens and says something. At first he thought the one exercise was stupid, but than he didn't even know what auditory mean't at first. I don't know if he has adhd or not, but he's hyperactive a lot of times, and has problems with focusing. I always thought those were the signs of adhd but i'm not that knowledgeable about it. Okay so let's just call it a learning disability, besides figuring out if he's an auditory learner, what else can i do? I'm looking for any strategies to help him do better. He says he does the best when he figures out ways to think about things.

And is there a way for him to deal more with the visual stuff? Seems like with a story you'd want to be able to handle it visually and not be reading the story out loud.

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
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Posted:Feb 01, 2010 5:13:56 PM

So do you think the difficulty is related to comprehension and not to written expression? Has he been evaluated for a learning disability through the school?

If you decide to allow the school to evaluate -- make sure that you make your request in writing.

If he is identified with an LD, you may want to consider membership of either of the following:

www.rfbf.org
www.bookshare.org

Best wishes.

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
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Posted:Feb 01, 2010 9:25:55 PM

Sometimes often it is possible to teach the auditory stuff by also repeatedlyh presenting the visual correlation also. But that is a rather looong term project.

For now it might be best to read him the stuff and then ask him the questions and write it for him.

Ask him if school stresses him out... Are his teachers complaining about his behavior?

All children are excessively hyper. For it to be ADHD it has to be long lasting and affect atleast 2 major areas of his life. Does he behave the same at school as at home?

All children have trouble focusing. These things are an innate part of being children. Which is why i find the diagnosis of ADHD alarming and disturbing. So next question is describe his hyper behaviors and how they get in his way. Really technically what it boils down to is ADHD is anything and everything that annoyhs the parent/s in a child. So you feed your kid a pill most probably not designed to be used in children and the kid is too high to act up. But acting up is what childhood is for and is all about.

Next thing that is interesting he says he must figure out how to think about it.... That statement, smacks of dyslexia. Maybe his trouble with his letters is that he doesn't have an easy time spelling or writing his letters as his brain is turning them around on him?

Befor eyou turn to LD which is a very life long dangerous diagnosis to make. It effects him for the rest of his life. It follows him forever. He has trouble getting jobs in the future for example as a result of this diagnosis. He possibly can never join the military etc.... First, look at his diet. He might be hyper cuz his system is full of crap? Next, get a full and complete indepth physical including blood tests. Check for everything. There are ovwer 400 physical organic ailments that can present as ADHD or LD. First rule that out before you go making decisions that will be on his record forever and cause him problems later.

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supremeone
Joined Jan 31, 2010
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Posted:Feb 02, 2010 9:48:34 AM

hmm he says he behaves fine in school. And i'm not really his parent, i'm his uncle. So I'm not going to try to do anything like take him to a doctor to be diagnosed for adhd. And probably won't be able to do those blood tests because of that and also because i'm guessing it would cost a lot of money.

Tbh he isn't as hyper as he used to be. I don't know if this means anything but when he was little my brother used to pick him up and throw him like a few inches or more up in the air and than catch him and kid would always laugh. He was somewhere in the age range of 2-5 back than. And they used to do play fights while jumping on the trampoline. So i think he finds any type of aggression funny, and used to laugh and push at me. But he's mostly stopped that now. The biggest problems for him nowadays is his anger and his learning problem. I actually posted about his anger in this other forum that deals with supplements looking for some advice, but maybe i could ask here about it as well? I didn't get that much advice besides behavior therapy and some vitamins, eating right and setting limits. Well to just address the anger first. He basically hates it when people don't listen to him or things don't go right. I guess he has a low tolerance? Probably gets a little stressed and just can't handle it. Usually if he gets really angry or stressed out he says his head hurts. But anyways i think the problem comes from the fact that early in his life when he started to play games, brother would play and tease him when he won and kid would say stop it and brother wouldn't stop. And also if his mom got him the wrong food or didn't get the right toy or this, he would get mad too, because i guess they weren't listening to him. And if someone goes wrong where it's definitely his fault and someone blames him he gets mad right away. Like recently i had this cheeseburger i was trying to hand him and he reached for it so quickly that it ended up knocking the sandwich out of my hand and i blamed him for reaching so fast and he got so angry. And than i called grandmother to talk to her about addressing what he was going to eat but she was thinking i was mad and she called for his grandfather, and basically just made the situation worse with people saying what's going on with him blah blah. Anyways i'm thinking of buying a multi vitamin or some fish oil, or something to do with the b vitamins. I think fish oil is the best bet. Oh someone also recommended zinc.

But about his learning problem, maybe it is dylexia. I actually had to do his homework last night for him, because he couldn't read this 10 page book and write a introduction, body and conclusion for it, which was like 4 sentences per paragraph. He said when he read it he couldn't remember it. Now i understand that finding ways to think about things could be dyslexia, but i don't get how he can't remember stuff, unless maybe it's the dyslexia that's really happening? Basically though i'm stuck in a neutral observer type place you know? I can't really do too much as far as doctor or behavior therapy type stuff, but i want to figure out which supplements can help, and also what learning techniques can be beneficial. Or if some form of therapy is really essential but i mean there has to be something i can try at home. I just hate when people say go see a doctor and get diagnosed, or to see a therapist etc. Just because it's a drastic move without trying some small steps first.

Thanks for all your info so far mandi, it's really helpful. Just really need to figure out some solutions because this problem is kinda coming to a head right about now, i guess cause the workload for him is getting harder and his anger has gotten worse the last year or so.

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
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Posted:Feb 03, 2010 5:15:41 AM

I had another thought too.... About the agression and the anger and stuff.... I can not believe i didn't think of it sooner. But i was reading this book called Men, it is a history of how the male half of the species of homo sapien evolved. Anyway, it was a chapter about hormones. He should be at roughly the age when male hormones take off? Part of what the male hormone does is make male members of the species very volatile and often agressive. In nature this is not a bad thing, but in our society, when the hormones begin to be introduced if they are hitting his system hard.... Or something, or alot is coming in not entirely unheard of in kids his age, then this could be the cause of some of his behaviors. I suggest you read about male hormonal imbalances. It could be an issue. You see, the levels don't level off till one really hits their 30s or so. 20s is when it is supposed to be at it's super height. But it starts early and agression is not wholy unheard of or unlikely.

Again good luck

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supremeone
Joined Jan 31, 2010
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Posted:Feb 04, 2010 8:16:02 AM

well we have a situation where like, a year or so ago there was a fire at our house so what ended up happening is we stayed at our uncles and than finally worked on the house enough to make it okay to live in for the most part but still wasn't completely fixed, and my sister who's his mother, got an apartment that was close. He sleeps there and stays there sometimes but mostly likes to come here where my dad/mom/brother are. He gets into more arguments and stuff with his mom though which is why he doesn't like to stay there as often.

I would say our family is pretty violent if you consider yelling a violent behavior. I mean dad screams a lot and turns on people when something goes wrong, and brother overreacts to things, and mom always screams at pointless things, like if the kid is playing with something she doesn't want him to be playing with even if it's not really effecting anything.

I think he does get upset about how things come easier for other people than him. A lot of our family had really high grades in school and never had much problems with our work. He can read, but when i really think about it he seems to always read out loud. Even when he sees words on my screen i never really see him know what it is without him reading it out loud, but he might have been able to do it, im not too sure. What i'm really worried about is his math skills seem to be lacking too at times. Like he was having problems with comparing fractions, to see which one was bigger, like 3/4 or 7/8. I tried to explain the common denominator method, and i think that made sense enough to help him. But like yesterday he was asking me what 6x6 was. And he's so used to trying to use a calculator. I remember in the older days when he tried figuring out math stuff he'd use his hands or fingers a lot. I guess anything besides addition or subtraction provides new challenges for him, he can still do it but idk, maybe he just can't stay focused on the assigment or problem long enough, like i'm sure substraction or addition type stuff is quicker to solve.

Btw what is orton guillingham? I might google that or something later ;o. But anyways what i don't get is, before when you were explaining how it's hard to diagnose adhd, what i don't get is, what do you call it when kids have problems focusing or paying attention. Are you telling me it could be either adhd, behavior problems or force of habit, or a learning disability? I mean i'm no expert on adhd or anything but i'm pretty sure not being able to focus is one of the biggest signs that someone has adhd. But anyways what sucks is i'm sure something like ritalin would help him focus but if he has a learning disability it wouldn't help completely, and also i think it's not good for kid's who's brain is still developing.

Oh ya also i don't think it's anything related to testosterone. I think it has to do with being around a lot of negative situations of people yelling and not listening to him, and he can't handle the stress. I think like each time he got into stressful situations his ability to handle them got weaker. And eventually he started using anger as his way to cope, and it's mostly just a habit. But i know he says when he gets angry a lot of times his body gets all tense and he says his head hurts.

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supremeone
Joined Jan 31, 2010
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Posted:Feb 05, 2010 5:34:53 PM

hmm well idk what you can do about the family aspect. That seems just about irreversible, and i know none of them would want to do group therapy. And when i think about it now he seems to have copied a lot of people's phrases in the family and said he got yelling from his grandmother.

The thing is, I understand if everyone turned nice, he might eventually turn nice or something. But uhh i think it has more to do with how he perceives situations, basically he cant control his emotions. And his brain can't handle the stress. So i'm thinking of ways to try to control how he thinks about stuff, maybe could do some type of hypnosis even or emotional therapy. I don't think behavior therapy will work out as much because i mean while he may be copying how easily other people get angry, it's still mostly how he can't handle the stress, or other people's anger.

Also i tried out this demo of Orton-Gillingham, and idk what to make of it yet, just seems to show a lot of syllables and sounds them out. Maybe hooked on phonics is better, idk but i did a search and found a lot of possible options like the Association Method.

Btw can you recommend anything for stress besides omega 3 or a multivitamin for him? I was trying theanine but he said it messed up the way he thinks when he was on it, and i heard things like that or 5htp or st john worts is too powerful for messing with a developing kid's thinking.

Also i'm not his dad, i'm just his uncle, and we share the same room currently.

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supremeone
Joined Jan 31, 2010
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Posted:Feb 05, 2010 5:39:19 PM

I forgot to mention that he said he feels the pain on the top of his head and he also pointed at the corner of his nose, and somewhere in his throat.

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
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Posted:Feb 05, 2010 7:15:39 PM

The thing is, this situation is high stress. No matter what you do as long as this environment stays the same he will not be able to actuallt be helped by any help you try to give him because he will still be living in this volitile environment. I think, when a child suffers the adults need to clean their house. That is first. If they won't then no matter what you do it will not help really. He is handling his anger and anxiety the only way he knows how. The way that was modeled for him by the adults in his life. So you all need to set a different example or this kid is quite screwed. Maybe you should have him talk about this stuff with his mom and dad or have a family meeting to discuss how this environment is effecting this poor kid. A child is forced to live in this environment and bawsed on what you say about it, i would go so far as to call it abusive. Not deliberately abusive, but accidentally abusive. No one means to do harm. But clearly, this is really messing up this kid and he is learning bad ways of expressing and acting out his anger. Which means that every adult that he lives with needs to take a hard look at themselves and learn some skills themselves to help them express anger without getting abusive in their rage as it seems clear to me too that you all love eachother deeply no matter how angry you all get with eachother. But hurting eachother weather it be hurting eachother physically or psychologically, it has to stop for this child to be helped by anything.

You can't control how another person perceives the world. All you can do is teach them how to express themselves apropriately. You can try to help them view it differently, but this is very hard with children as the reasoning portion of their brains is not really particularly developed. Therefore such rationalization is clinically beyond their brain's capacity.

Yes Orton Gillingham is for Dyslexics people who need that. When i recommended it i was not sure if he was reallyh reading or not at all. I don;t think as he can read it seems just fine that this is apropriate for him now that you are sure he can decode words without difficulty.

Yes i can recommend stuff that is good for stress. But you have to understand it gets worse if you relax and get unanctious and then someone comes in screaming at you and you get shocked by it and not just abused by it and stressed by it.... So it doesn't really do any good unless you bring certain things down a few notches in this environment and if he doesn't start to respond to that in a while, then it is time to clean his hous e and to have the evaluation and to find out what is going on and to get him every aide that you can but first y ou need to set him u p for success rather than failure. Which this family is not doing as he is living in what you seem to be saying is like a poweder keg that is constantly going off.

I recommend a good cup chamomile tea with a spoon or 2 of honey. Or valerian tea. Also i recommend meditation. That can be very helpful to people. Look up Yogi Tea Blends, their stuff works quite well. I believe they have a calming tea and a bed time tea both of which may be helpful for what you are looking for. I also tyhyink if you don't start discussing this with other family members that you all need to get help in order to help this child, then you are not doing your job as his uncle. As an adult family member, You have an obligation to protect this kid. Even from behaviors exhibited by other members of your family. It is that simple. This help will help you all and it won't be like living in a mine field anymore for anyone. Think about how great that will be.

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supremeone
Joined Jan 31, 2010
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Posted:Feb 06, 2010 10:40:10 AM

ya but okay the situation is, at this house we have my dad and mom (his grandparents), and my brother. And at the other house we have his mom, and my sister, and that house is his official home since that's where his mom is and he sleeps there. And my mom is a constant yeller and gets nervous a lot, dad is more relaxed but when he gets angry he can become really stubborn and even threaten to hit him or take away something. Brother has very little toleration so he's kinda one of the worser ones, and he can get very angry and violent quicker than everybody else. And at the other house, his mom has a lot of anxiety and sister is more or less normal, has okay tolerance but when she can't tolerate it anymore, she'll get angry fast and say mean things. I don't see any of these people changing at all, it's just so ridiculous to even imagine it. I don't think his life will be completely screwed if there are ways to mitigate the overall effect on him.

Anyways i've been trying to help him with his anger for like the last year, trying to find ways to help with his boredom, which is why i helped him get a psp and a new xbox (old one broke). The primary reason started out as me seeing him as a good kid most of the time with just some issues. But now he's starting to become too much of a "problem child". And it's a bigger distraction for me than it used to be. So now my primary reason is to reduce his impact on my life, i feel like i get so much less done nowadays. And his mom and my sister are moving back in this house in like 2 months. I think it's going to be a disaster. His mom is going to drive people nuts and her being here is going to get the kid into more arguments since they those usually happen at her house.

Anyways here's an example of how bad it is, just from today. First of all he comes to this house early because his mom and my sister had to go somewhere. And he started to get mad at me for taking some of this green tea he had. I guess it was one of those 1 liter medium sized bottles, and i took a cup. He complained that he didn't have a lot left now. And when i tried to explain to him a few times it wasn't that big of a deal and he told me to shutup. And usually if i talk after that he says shutup louder and that i'm going to get him angry. Than he was trying to fix this one psp case and ordering me to find plyers. And it's like i have to do it because mostly on the weekend my brother is here all the time, as opposed to the weekdays when he's at school more often. If i simply refuse to do stuff too much he'll yell and brother will come down and make a big deal about the noise and kid might get hit or something. Anyways than he was messing with some wires that i helped him untangle, but for some reason while he was moving them they hit him in his temple, so he said i'm going to break you. And he slammed them a lot. He even got mad at a muffin for doing something later on. Is there anyway to fix this problem with laying blame on inanimate objects? Sometimes he gets mad at the psp like it's doing something wrong but it isn't. And he acts like he'll break that too. See i know you keep saying his environment has to change but he does think about things in a really weird way, which seems fixable. One time i gave him a really good argument for not believing that. But idk.

Hmmm the tea thing sounds reasonable. But i don't think he'd go for drinking that all the time. I was personally thinking of trying some magnesium or b6 but most people tell me to stick with a multivitamin or omega 3 oil.

I think the only way to help him is with a way for him to work on controlling his mind more. Or having supplements that make him too happy to get mad like (5htp), or ones that relax him enough like the teas, or magnesium, or b6 (to some extent). Please don't ask me to try to change the family around him because that really is impossible. Any other advice about controlling his mind or finding ways to think about things in a better way, or supplements is preferred.

Oh and this is just fabulous, like not even 5 minutes ago, kid yelled about the muffin, or hit the bag hard and brother heard it and told him to stop that and kid (as he usually responds a zillion times to this), says i wasn't talking to you, leave me alone, and brother says i don't care you better stop that, and kid keeps talking back and brother says, talk back or say something again and you're going home. And whispering to the kid to just don't say anything but he does it again so brother comes to doorway of room and says go home, and says if it wasn't for this kid he'd still be in the living room eating his food but the kid is a trouble maker. And kid says how brother is evil and brother just laughs. And than kid for a moment acted like he was going to leave and brother starts getting madder saying get the f*** out of here motherf*****, and says he might take the tv away, and than kid gave him a dirty look while leaving and said something and bro would have probably hit him if i wasn't right near the kid. And right when kid is leaving and saying about how bro might kill someone one day, brother says next time i'll take the tv away. Really happy family that loves each other deeply right? Not a chance.

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supremeone
Joined Jan 31, 2010
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Posted:Feb 06, 2010 1:52:40 PM

well i'm probably the nicest to him, I'm talking about how i can't tell my brother to act nicer or my dad. They're way too much set in their own ways. I've told brother to not make a big deal out of certain issues but he won't listen. I'm not saying that i have to make it so he never gets angry but i just want to improve things. I think you're thinking about a really big change. You're talking about changing the behavior of his mother, granddad, grandmother, my brother and to some extent my other sister. That's like 5 people to change. And i'll tell you one thing right now, everyone but my 1 sister would be impossible to get them to be nicer. And even trying to get that 1 person on board would be like pulling teeth too.

I know you mean well and want a more solid approach and i wish that was more possible but it just isn't. Thanks for all your past advice though, it has been helpful.

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GJPA1996
Joined Apr 17, 2010
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Posted:Apr 17, 2010 1:10:40 AM

I'll admit that I haven't read all the posts, but in my glancing I didn't notice anybody suggesting dysgraphia. My son has it and it's a disconnect between the brain and the hand. He can verbally answer but writing down answers is a struggle.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

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dhfl143
Joined Jan 25, 2008
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Posted:Apr 18, 2010 10:16:54 PM

Welcome GJPA1996! Good catch and potential area supremeone to explore. Hope you will continue to share your experience in other discussions.

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