Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD


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Joined: Jan 30, 2011
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Posted Jan 30, 2011 at 1:11:49 AM
Subject: LD?

Hi, I'm looking for a seed to start some research regarding our ds15. He seems to have a problem with math (at least, that seems to be the only place where I'm seeing any manifestation of an issue.)

The problem we see: he understands conceptually, but then messes up the problem because of a very minor thing.

Background: In 2nd grade we put him in a private school. It was a very poor match for him. The teacher's style was militant which was a horrible fit for him. He would come home crying most everyday. He felt picked on not only by the other children, but by the teacher in particular. When it came to math, he felt so much pressure, that he didn't do well when it came to times tables. This is obviously the very short story - but after some research we chose to pull him out of the school after a few months and homeschool him the rest of the year. We ended up moving to a different state and got him into a school/program that really fit his needs. Regardless, I almost wonder if he experienced (a minor form) of PTSD because of the incredibly negative experience in the private school, and then it has continued to manifest when it comes to math. Is this even possible?

In 6th grade, his teacher pulled us aside and told us that ds was probably one of the brightest students he's ever had, but then showed us a couple of his most recent math tests. He told us that DS understood the concepts, but messed up because he forgot to carry, or forgot a "-" sign, etc.

We thought that he had gradually moved through the trama of the 2nd grade experience through the years, but he still seems to have the same issues with math when it comes to conceptual understanding, but lack of "attention to detail" when challenged. He is the kid that all the other kids go to for help in understanding, but he doesn't do as well as they do on the tests. He is a very confident, self-aware person, but is also a type A personality. Could he have an LD? If so, what should I start to research? Is it possible that this is simply a matter of (a minor) PTSD that we need to still work through with him? Is this just a part of his personality that he will need to grow through? If so, when will that development start to happen? He's now in the 10th grade.

I'm particularly concerned because he takes pride in his work and associates much of his worth (I wish he didn't do this so much) with his grades. He beats himself up over test scores because he understands the concepts, but the tests don't seem to truly reflect his ability. It's beginning to make him question himself, and since he seems to tie much of his esteem to his intellect, I'm worried that he is going to hurt his spirit because he doesn't believe he is "good enough."

Thanks for any help or suggestions!

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Joined Jun 12, 2009
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Posted:Jan 30, 2011 2:58:12 AM
Subject:Re: LD?

Hi Happymom and welcome here,
I run a forum for the maths disorder Dyscalculia, though this is different from a PTSD maths disorder.
Where it is important to identify which is actually causing his maths difficulties.
The effect of PTSD more generally, is that whenever confronted with a similar situation, that the trauma is automatically recalled. Which might be just a 'fleeting thought'?
Though mental maths involves a sequential process of thinking. Where this 'fleeting thought', which can also be a 'feeling'? Simply intrudes and disrupts the sequential process. Which could very much relate to him forgetting to carry, or forgetting "-" sign.
That he was distracted, at just that point of the mental calculation.
The only recognised way to address PTSD, is cognitive behaviour therapy, which looks at these automatic responses a 'mental scripts'. Where one recognises that their mental script was written by someone else, in this case the 2nd grade teacher. So that one then works on writing a new mental script, for themself. Which removes this automatic response.

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Joined May 05, 2008
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Posted:Feb 11, 2011 6:49:26 PM

When i was 5 i was hit by a car. My pelvis was shattered, i had to be treated as a burn victim over large portions of my body, Numerous operations....

I suffer from PTSD. I also suffer from educational PTSD. It is i think way more common than people realize. School, is a completely unnatural thing for children in that humans are designed to live in small hunter gatherer groups of typically around 20. Family groups in which children are taught by their small community. This is how we are designed so there is nothing natural about school. So when a bad match happens, it is a traumatic event. And, it follows a child all through their school carreer and beyond. I think many children have some horrible experience early on and simply never recover from it as theya re not designed by nature to even deal with it.

PTSD, does cause me to forget things. It causes me to freak out or feel anctious about things i can't even place. It is horrible, but i know now when my reactions are beyond what is normal something is triggering the PTSD. So i look for the memory. Sometimes it is easily accessible and sometimes it isn't. A perfect example, recently my husband bought us a blanket because we needed one. He got the cheap one it was not the one i sent him to get and he knew which one to get. I had reason to be annoyed. I did not have reason to scream at him and hit the roof as soon as i touched those stuffed paper temporary blankets.... He went out to avoid me. Smart move or one of us prolly would have hit the other not sure which would have been the one doing the hitting. While he was gone i sat down to think and i realized how crazy my reaction was and i sat there wondering why. I went into the room where the blankets were and i touched them and i felt so sick. And i realized, it was the same kind of blanket they had used in the ambulance the same paper texture stuffed with a little bit of cotton and i almost threw up. When my husband came back i just broke down and this time anyway i was able to explain the problem. But sometimes i can't place a memory, or a feeling but i know it isn't irrational because i am not irrational. There is always a reason i just can't bring back the memory.

I get forgetful. You wouldn't believe the kind of things i used to do they were completely psychotic and yet on some level they made complete sense. I was so unhappy living every day constantly reminded of the horrible event similarly to your son. Every time he walks into a classroom, he is back there again i would suspect. His focus becomes more on protecting himself and suddenly stupid errors begin to happen due to the split of focus. Or he is looking for the reason he has such a bad feeling entering the school building and he has to figure it out and can't remember the memory connected with somethign similar though completely different going on around him in that moment. If it were my kid i would pull them out of school and homeschool. You have to take away the environment that causes the intrusive thoughts. in my case it was the blankets. After i explained it my husband immediately was horrified and sickened at bringing those things into the house. He took them out and he threw them away so i never had to see them again. Your son, may need a similar handling of his math problem by removing the environment in which the initial trama took place, such as a school.

Good luck. I wish you and him all the best.

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