Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Looking for thoughts, advice...

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Joined: Apr 10, 2006
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Posted Jun 23, 2010 at 10:48:13 AM
Subject: Looking for thoughts, advice...

I am really wondering if my son has a learning disability. My son is 10 now but I will start off with traits of his younger toddler years. When he was very little he would just look at how things work. He would study his hands for hours just trying to figure out how exactly it worked. Same with doors. He seems to be a very visual person. He had difficulty holding pencils, riding a bike, eating simple things like hamburgers. He would say "I can't do it". Some days were better than others and we just figured he was whiny. As the school years approached he still had difficulty with pencil grip and learning in general. He started speech at four and is still in it. Around the middle of kindergarten he started to develop tics. Around the same time there was questions as to whether we should holding him back. I did a lot of researching and learned that if it was a learning disability hold him back would not help. I also read that sometimes tics can be caused by food intolerances. I cut out all artificial colors and high fructose corn syrup. He improved greatly with both tics and academically. I eventually got things narrowed down to corn in general and actually had him tested by an allergist to confirm. He still needed help catching up on reading and now is on track. Now going into fifth grade he is struggling with math and writing. I have been working on both with him since the start of summer. He is stubborn (as he has always been) about doing homework. He struggles with both and can not handle it if his siblings talk. He has difficulty coming up with things to write about and organizing thoughts. His writing is still really sloppy and we are working on that too. He is also very argumentative with his siblings and overly sensitive. I would say he cries at least once a day because of his sensitivity.

So now with this background do you think this could be some kind of LD? I am at my wits end. I just don't know what to do. I might add that when he was first going through all this we took him to a psychiatrist. I took him there twice. Both times there was so much drama with the other patients in the waiting room. I knew it was not the right place for us. Not to mention the psychiatrist was taking personal calls during our appt. I should also add that his teacher didn't really have many concerns. He was,however, in a class of 34 which I feel just wasn't a good fit.

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Joined May 05, 2008
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Posted:Jun 23, 2010 2:37:42 PM

First, let me say to you that you should be proud of your fabulous parenting. Before jumping the gun as most do in a panic you stopped. You looked for the physical issues that could be creating the problems. And low and behold, as i always tell people if not all of it is something very physically real, rather than a subjective LD, many of your problems severely lessened and disapeared. So i aplaud you for doing that. Great job.

Now, Yes, i think he has an LD or something neurological. You say he has trouble writing. His handwriting is horrible. It's commonly called an output problem. For example, someone may know the answer to all the questions on a test, but they have trouble holding their pencil and writing it all out for some reason. And their writing looks very sub par. This is a very real LD. You should most definately get him tested for it. That could be a crucial component to his future success in life. If he has this, then there are things they can do for him, like a lap top in school, or like unwritten tests or homework where he verbally takes his quizzes and such.

As for organizing thoughts, many of us must be taught to organize our thoughts and structure papers. I suggest using some sort of software of which i dunno any but i know such software exists. Or something and it will take some repetition and you can get him using that and learning to map his thoughts out probably quite well.

Would you want to do your homework if you knew that you would get a bad grade just cuz your writing was messy? Especially if you had tried your absolute hardest?

Your next issue with him, you think he is combative, yet his siblings must fight with eachother now and again and they are also fighting with him too quite frequently. So why is it then that you choose to focus on his fighting with siblings rather than their fighting with him and with eachother? As i am certain they are hardly entirely innocent. Why make this fighting all about him? to me, this sounds like an issue of family dynamics rather than anything learning based. You might want to have him see someone for some sort of *TALK* therapy.

You have a very sensitive child. This is just a characteristic trait. I am sorry you don't find it to be to your liking. I am sorry you feel it causes chaos and problems. But part of the issue is probably because he feels you like him least as you probably spend a lot of time making him do stuff he hates doing, "punishing him." You definately don't seem to like certain personality traits that he has. Which is really too bad. This is part of what makes him who he is... Sorry if it is inconvenient.... But umm, think of the wonderful things that will come from that kind of high sensitivity. Do you think Ghandi was not highly sensitive as a child? Obviously The Buddha was and many other great people who taught humanity a great deal did so because of the sensitivity they felt and the empathy they developed as a result of that sensitivity. Perhaps the whole family needs to be in *talk* therapy together to work out family dynamics issues. And perhaps you should spend a little bit of time doing stuff with him that he DOES like, so he feels not constantly punished but like you want him to enjoy living. Have you stopped to consider, and i am not saying this is so, and i am not saying this is not so, i am simply throwing the question out there... For the sake of asking it and considering the notion, that maybe he is not overly sensitive, maybe the rest of you are a bit... insensitive?

Smaller class size is what is best i believe for all people LD or not.

You should find a better psychologist rather than a psychiatrist, one that works primarily on family related dynamics issues. Taking a 10 year old to a psychiatrist is generally a poor idea however well intended it might be.... Because psychiatrists live by the code "Medicate all!" A 10 year old shoul not be put on mind and brain altering drugs generally speaking. But a psychologist who can listen and observe family interaction and discuss the issues with ALL of you might be worth while. You may learn things about his perspective of everything that you never knew you never knew. That understanding could be very useful.
Good luck!

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Joined Apr 10, 2006
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Posted:Jun 24, 2010 4:03:08 PM

Thanks for your reply. I hate that my message came across negative about my son to you. I was only listing traits that I thought may indicate a LD. I could go on about the wonderful qualities he possesses too. He is sensitive which can be a very wonderful thing. He is so very caring and in tune with others feelings. He is my little mischievous boy and I say this in a positive way. The things he does are not harmful just humorous. He's my little comedian.

He's smart beyond belief. I'm not one to compare my boys but I will just say that while my oldest is very book smart this one is very logical smart. He's great at figuring out how things work. I never compare this openly with the boys. As a matter of fact this year he had the same teacher for fourth as my oldest son. The teacher was quick to point out that he had a long way to go to catch up with his older brother. I politely informed him that I don't like to compare my boys and ds1 is ds1 and ds2 is ds2. He agreed in a later conversation and actually said his kids were the same way. Grades don't matter much to me as long as I know and they know they are trying.

We chose a psychiatrist office because that is where our pediatrician referred us. We would never choose to medicate. That is just not an option for us. Actually that is why I am researching to find answers so we can help him. I do NOT believe in quick fixes. If he does have a LD, I'm looking for ideas on how to help/teach him so his middle school and high school years are easier on him.

Thanks again for your input and thoughts.

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Joined May 05, 2010
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Posted:Jul 07, 2010 10:51:03 PM


Sounds like you are definitely on the right track. You may also be interested in a program that specifically helps with fine motor skills and dexterity (handwriting) as well as some cross-laterality and general coordination exercises (this will help in bike riding issues, sports etc.) See http://www.betterlearninginstitute.com They provide online exercises and activities that you can easily integrate into your daily routine.

All the best!

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