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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

ADD + Illness


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Feb 11, 2002 at 3:44:53 PM
Subject: ADD + Illness

My son has ADD and is in the fourth grade. In October, he came down with "benign positional vertigo" which causes him to get room-spinning dizziness and headaches. These episodes start in the morning and can last anywhere from 1 to 3 days. He is under a doctor's care for it but has missed many days of school. This is a very debilitating condition and the school doesn't understand why he can't attend anyway on the days he is sick. They still expect him to perform like any other student, including the amount of homework they give.

Both of these problems together has me running in circles trying to keep things on an even keel - especially with his teachers. His grades have gone down because he's missed so much school. They expect him to test and do as well as a healthy child. He does not have learning disabilities and is of average intelligence. Has anyone had a child with both ADD and an ongoing illness? If so, how did you handle it and what steps did you take with the school?

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Feb 11, 2002 6:06:44 PM

I had two students on my caseload at one point who said that sometimes they saw things upside down. It went away after they started taking meds. Did this by any chance start after he started meds? Is he on meds? Has he been checked by a Dr. for the dizziness, it can be related (some even think vestibular issues cause things like ADD - look up Harold Levinson online) but one should always check it medically. An allergy type drug might help.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Feb 11, 2002 8:19:23 PM

I have vertigo... and when I am in a episode I can not work let alone walk.
I am literally seasick on land. One question though... Is he on meds for
this? Motion sickness medicine is what I use. (Bonine, not sure of the spelling)
I used to get meds from the doctor but I find this works just as well.
Also when I am sick, as much as I hate to, I do the excercises. I don't like
them because it makes me feel terrible sick. But is suppose to help in
a quicker recovery. Here is a good site www.tchain.com/otoneurology/
disorders/bppv/bppv/html#treatment Alot of people do not understand
vertigo. I've had it so bad, I had to crawl to the bathroom and hold on
to the counter to keep from falling off the toliet.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Feb 11, 2002 8:29:21 PM

oops......omitt the #treatment on the web address.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Feb 11, 2002 9:42:48 PM

Sadly this is a now common problem in schools. Many schools seem now to be expecting sick children to perform like well children my own school among them.

It baffles me as a teacher and as a parent. Also having suffered from vertigo at a point in my life, I understand why your son isn't in school on those days. I was prostrate on the floor when it came over me and couldn't move until it passed.

Maybe give your intermediate unit a call. when a child is out sick for months, they are entitled to home tutoring. What would happen if it's likely a student will be out 2-3 days of every week?

I wish I had an answer for you. I hope somebody out there has one.

Good luck to you and your son.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Feb 12, 2002 1:39:01 PM

He started Ritalin when he was 5 and never had problems before this year, so I don't think it's the meds. He is taking a vestibular test at the end of this month so we'll see what those results are. He just had an episode of vertigo yesterday but is back in school today. It always takes him a few days to get back on track after an attack. I will check out Harold Levinson.

On top of all this, we are moving in a month and I'm very apprehensive about starting him in a new school with the ADD and this vertigo problem. I'm sure they will be thrilled to get a student who misses at least 1-2 days a week because of illness. I'm really concerned about this. He was on meklazine (sp?) for awhile but it didn't do much good. Then the doctor thought it might be migraine related so put him on a mirgraine medication. He took one yesterday but it seemed to make him sleepy. The next thing is the vestibular test. He is not on any Ritalin right now which is also creating havoc with classwork on the days he is there!

But my main concern is moving him in another month with this major problem hanging over our heads and no real solution in sight.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Feb 12, 2002 4:33:51 PM

I knew a child in Texas who had a chronic bowel problem, he was home tutored because he missed a lot of school. School district paid teacher not mom schooled. Seems like if this is a chronic problem with no real end in sight wouldn't this qualify under other health impaired, along with services needed? Just a guess.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Feb 12, 2002 6:26:43 PM

Right now I would focus on preparing him for the move. TO be honest, knowing that, the stress may be exasperating an underlying problem. ADDers (I have ADHD) hate change. Change is very stressful for us and shows up in all sorts of fun physical ways or makes pre-existing ones worse. It might help to take him to the new school or show him pictures if possible and do activities that are relaxing for him.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Feb 13, 2002 2:31:05 AM

I don't have any solution for you, but we're going through the same thing. My son has been out with migraines 1-2 days a week for the past several months. And like your son the medicine makes him sleep all day. His teachers have been good about not piling on make-up work, but just getting regular homework done when he's out half the week is really hard.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 13, 2002 11:32:30 AM

I was reading all of the posts and this seems to be pretty common(vertigo). I was wondering if this is common with ADDERs because my kids and I have had this experience from time to time. We all have ADD. The only other explanation that I have for this is an ear infection or fluid in the ear that can cause the unbalance. This happened to my father-in-law and low and behold he had an ear infection. I have a terrible cold right now and I have vertigo presently, I know though that it is related to the fluid. This sometimes happens to me after a plane trip also. I mention that this is common with ADD because I was told that ear problems were more common in kids with ADD. Maybe we are more affected by fluid changes in our ears?

Terry

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 13, 2002 2:24:37 PM

I too have ADD. One night I woke up with a terrible case of vertigo. The whole room was spinning terribly. I had to hold onto the bed, I thought I was going to fall off. So maybe there is something to a connection between ADD and vertigo. But I don't get it too often.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 13, 2002 3:04:28 PM

Lizb,

...it sure is scary when it happens. Did you happen to notice if you had a cold or allergy going on? Just curious. I had it recently where even if I was lying on the bed if I turned my head to the right, the room spun. This is why I think it has to do with fluid in the ears....who knows?

Terry

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 13, 2002 10:04:37 PM

I don't recall that I had a cold at the time. That is why it was so puzzling. It came on for no reason at all, went away, and that was that. It could have been fluid in the ear, I don't know. I have a friend who has ADD and she told me that she has had vertigo too.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 14, 2002 12:37:00 AM

I have vertigo too. Have battled it off and on for about a decade. I was told by an ENT that it was probably the result of a virus that attacked my inner ear. The initial bout of vertigo lasted for about 1/2 year but gradually improved so that it was nowhere near as bad in the last few months as initially. Virtually all the meds for it make me drowsy so I don't use them.

Since that initial bout, I get it badly about 3 or 4 times a year and it usually lasts a couple days. Dr. says the virus probably permanently damaged the inner ear and that subsequent illnesses make it act up.

I know that migraines can also cause vertigo although in my case that was ruled out. Regardless of the cause, it's incapacitating. Like many of you, I literally have to crawl on the floor when I'm going through a bout of vertigo because it's too dangerous to walk. Reading is out of the question. There's no way your son should be expected to get any work done while going through this and his dr. should write a letter to the teachers telling them so.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 16, 2002 2:05:50 PM

When his vertigo happens does his hearing acuity decrease? Does he feel any fullness in his ears, like he is hearing things muffled and underwater? There can be many variables that are causing the vertigo. Some of them can be related to low blood sugar from skipping meals or having a fast metabolism and having to eat small frequent meals, stress, allergies to dust, pollen, endolymphatic hydrops which causes fluctuation in hearing sometimes accompanied by vertigo and Meneire's disease which is severe attacks of vertigo. Meneire's disease runs in my family. My uncle takes a Niacin supplement every day to keep his attacks of Meneire's vertigo at bay.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 18, 2002 10:01:44 AM

Yes, he does get a fullness in the ear...complains that his ear feels hot. He also complains of feeling like he has a fever but when I take his temp it's normal. He will be taking a vestibular test next week so maybe we'll get some answers. Interesting that niacin helps. I'll keep that in mind. I've also noticed that his symptoms are much worse during the week than on weekends. We've been trying to pinpoint why but haven't come up with anything. Could be stress during the week. His ADD is being reevaluated by his pediatrician (for meds) so he's been off Ritalin now for over a month. It has been a stressful time at school dealing with the ADD and the vertigo problem. He'll probably go back on meds next week (hopefully).

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 1:21:49 AM

My vestibular problems are triggered by allergies, stress and when I am away from home and forget to eat. I can literally feel my ears humming and then my hearing acuity drops and I realize oops...I forgot to eat but it is too late to reverse the symptoms. It gets really frustrating as it can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week for my vestibular system to calm down again and for my hearing acuity to return to normal.

Hopefully the tests will show something. Let us know how it goes.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 12:06:40 PM

I suffered with vertigo, along with disorientation, speech problems in reversing sounds, using antonyms, and being unable to recall common words/names. This went on for about 2 years before it was diagnosed and treated. My friends and family were understanding, but it limited what I could do. The possiblity of ear problems, despite childhood ear problems and a deaf brother, turned out to be a dead end. After exhausitng that possiblity, I was eventually referred to a neurologist.

I have a combination of migraine and ADD. The migraines had apparently started generating a lot more electrical activity in the brain over the last couple years. I basically short-circuited! While I'd apparently had ADD for years, I'd managed ok. But with the extra electrical load, it was too much extra to cope with. Balance and speech went by the wayside.

I was given medication for migraine, only to be taken at the onset. I was put on Adderall for ADD, which cleared up my vertigo for the most part. My speech is mostly back to normal. Of course when the Adderall wears off, things go back to the way they were.

It appears that this combination isn't as odd as I thought. I wish I'd known about it earlier.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 27, 2002 12:19:17 PM

c,

Here is a sea sick trick that couldn't interfer with anything else you are doing. There are wristbands that have like a button on them I guess boating stores would have it.

I went on a fishing boat with a guy who was sicker than I have every seen anyone the Capt. put this band on his wrist and it stopped his sickness.

The Capt said that the wrist band does something to your brain impulse that redirects it from being sick.

I am not crazy and have no clue why it worked but I would try it on my kid.

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