My son is ADHD I need help.

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by desperate dad, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. desperate dad

    desperate dad Rookie

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    Hello, I have an 11 year old son (Shawn) he was diagnosed with ADHD in the first grade.He is now in the fifth grade & failing . Shawn has been living with my wife &, I for the past thirty days, His grades have since improved , because we are consistent not only with his homework & studying , but also his medication(Concerta). My biggest fear is that Shawn will go back to live with his Mother after Christmas break, & things will go back to the way it was no consistency,& no meds.
    I have contacted an Attorney to file for permanant custody.But this could drag on for awhile. what do I do until then?
    I would appreciate any input I could get.
     
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  3. teacherchick

    teacherchick Companion

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    Do you have the power to speak to the school because maybe they could help you keep on top of his grades and work. Explain the situation to them most schools will be understanding. What does you r ex think the problem is, and why is she not giving the medication to him???? That is neglect, he has a documented medical need and she is negelcting him by not medicating him per dr. orders. It is hard to give better advice when I do nto know what her side of it all is. But GOOD for you I am glad you are taking steps to get him straightened out and in a better enviornment!
     
  4. desperate dad

    desperate dad Rookie

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    I stay in contact with his teachers, & they are all very supportive
    I'm curious to know if any teachers have seen this situation before.
    Shawn's mother will agree to the medication, but is only supportive for short periods of time, & then things always go back to square one.
     
  5. luvmykids

    luvmykids Companion

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    Make sure you keep in contact with his teacher. She should be documenting anything and may be a help to you if and when you push the custody issue.

    I have seen this exact situation before in my school. There isn't a whole lot you can do to make her give him his meds when he is with her. Just keep detailed documentation of everything so that when it does go to court you can show that there is a history of neglect. Make sure that you ask his teacher for grade updates while he is with you.

    I guess my only real adivice is to document, document document. And ask the teacher to be doing the same if she isn't already.
     
  6. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Is she against medication? I have met many parents who don't like the medication route and have chosen to homeschool their kids and have had much success in that. I would tell her unless she plans to homeschool him, then she needs to be supportive for your child's sake. Nonetheless, if she does not properly discipline your child and there are no consequences for actions and no proper authority figure, medication will only do so much. I think this is way more than just her not giving him his medicine. You can give a child medications all you want, but proper discipline has to occur and there needs to be consistancy, with or without medication.
     
  7. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    She actually isn't doing anything illegal. Many parents choose to not medicate their children when they are disgnosed with ADD or ADHD. It's a parents right to refuse them and the doctor can't make a parent give the meds to their child. However, if it's not doing any good and the parent is failing, or in this case probably not even trying, I can see where someone would think it's neglect.
     
  8. desperate dad

    desperate dad Rookie

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    You are right it is more than just the meds. We have to spend at least two to four hours a night doing homework, studying, & doing extra credit work, & it has payed off, But without the meds. Shawn cannot focus,& he also distracts other students.
     
  9. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Maybe his mom should consider some parenting classes on how to deal with his behaviors. Is she a pushover, just lazy,?
     
  10. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Dec 15, 2005

    The school nurse should be able to give him his meds at school. If the mom won't drop them off maybe you can. I'm taking it as it's not that the mother doesn't want him on meds more of a forgetful thing.
    Also have you looked into diet? Sometimes the right diet will help calm a child down.
     
  11. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Is she possibly giving him a lot of foods with sugar? I agree with Jaime, diet can do wonders as well, even if you are still giving him the meds.
     
  12. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Sugar is part of it. But make sure he is drinking plenty of water (not soda, gaterade, fruit juice). Try giving him foods high in protien, low in carbs for breakfast (60%/40%). Then a even mix for the rest of the day (50/50).
    Also I have read that Omega 3 can help, also flax seed oil.
    Anyway sorry to get so off track. Good luck!
     
  13. desperate dad

    desperate dad Rookie

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    just lazy she gets the kids up at the last minute for school & rushes them out the door
     
  14. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    From the way you talked I had thought she was like that and it was an issue. Your child is lucky to have a parent like you who sees those things on the other side and can offer the opposite.
     
  15. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I would really see if the school nurse can give him his meds. How many times a day is he suppose to take them?
     
  16. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Numerous studies have shown that diet is not a factor in attention deficit disorder.

    We see this all the time - one parent won't give the meds, the child goes to that parent on alternate weeks or weekends, vacations, etc., and the whole stabilization is disrupted. Drugs like Concerta work best with consistent dosage.

    Some people do think it is abuse to deny your child medication he/she needs to learn. What you can do is to reassure your child that you support him in his attempts to do his best, that you will help him to manage his assignments, and that you will communicate with his mother about this. You might want to help him set up a good organization system (if you haven't already) that he can maintain even when he is not with you. Make sure he has a checklist and a calendar for both long and short term assignments. Include things like - brought home assignment book, has appropriate homework materials, completes homework, etc. Could he call you each night and review his checklist with you?
     
  17. teacherchick

    teacherchick Companion

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    I owuld def. talk to the nurse about it I have a kid right now whose mom can not et her act together enough to medicate her son on a consistent basis. The nursegives the doses and tho it does take a bit to kick in it is worth i. Also mom mom may see this as a relief off her shoulders.
     
  18. hanvan

    hanvan Connoisseur

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    The checklist thing is a neat idea. He would still have accountability with someone at the end of the day. Although the mom might get offended. Something to maybe talk with her about---good luck
     
  19. BethMI

    BethMI Cohort

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    I once wrote a "recommendation" letter for a dad and his wife explaining the benefits of the girl living with them-I saw calmer behavior, support from home, she was on time to school, well dressed, etc...you may want to ask his teacher for help.

    Good luck.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    In some areas, teachers CAN'T write those sorts of recommendations.
     
  21. desperate dad

    desperate dad Rookie

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    I appreciate all the feedback. I like the checklist idea, & the school Nurse could possibly give him his meds.I am meeting with his mother & stepfather over the weekend, to discuss his progress, & I am going to ask that Shawn remain with us until the end of the school year. If they say no then maybe we can all come up with a gameplan that will work in both homes, we live within a mile of each other, & the school.It seems that it would be a simple fix, but unfortunately they're priorities are not the same as ours, & alot of time pride keeps people from doing the right thing.

    Thanks again for your input
     
  22. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    When you met with the other set of parents make sure you keep your voice calm and level. Don't accuse the mom of anything that will not help if she gets on the defensive. See if you can work it so it seems like their idea that Shawn stays with you.
    (ok you probably already know all that lol).



    Daisy,
    I still believe the right diet helps to calm these children down. One of my former students would start to escalate and if I gave him a snack (he was on a organic diet, with minimal sweets) he would calm back down. He also was on meds. I wasn't saying no meds, I was saying diet on top of medication helps.
     
  23. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I agree with you Jaime. It maybe isn't a proven fact, but because all children are different, I am sure the studies can not be done on every single child.

    People use to tell me this same thing about my son when he was teething. I would know when he was teething because he would get a high temperature of about 101. I told the doctor and he said that studies haven't proven that theory. Well, have you done a study on MY child? NO! It's just how his body is. Now, after so many times of him teething, they believe me and say "that's just his body"...gee, go figure.
     
  24. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Well, the studies showed that individual children will be more or less reactive to foods, but that there was not a statistically significant finding that certain dyes or sugar actually provoked hyperactivity. Obviously, blood sugar levels are affected by diet and those levels affect behavior. (I'm a diabetic and used to be hypoglycemic and have felt serious affects of those conditions.)
     
  25. hanvan

    hanvan Connoisseur

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    There is a dr. out here who will tell parents to try certain things before prescribing meds. I like that! He has the parents cut out video games, many tv shows, certain foods (processed, sugery, fast foods) It is suppose to work really well that many of these kids don't need med. Oh and also he has them keep the kid on a very strict routine.
     
  26. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    That's why I like my son's doctor that he has now. He's just like that. He doesn't even like to prescribe other medicine until it's really needed. It lets me know that he is very cautious and he is so thorough!
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    desperate dad, how long ago was the divorce, and what's the custody arrangement been since then?
     
  28. Azelia

    Azelia Rookie

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    Dear desperate dad,

    It sounds like you have a great game plan. My husband and I have a son who is ADHD. I know from experience about those 4-5 hours of homework and study every night. Constantly saying "okay, now do this, sit down, come here, stop playing." One of things that we started doing to help him is to set a timer. We give 15-20 minutes to write one set of spelling. Then reset the timer for each set or for each section of homework.

    Sometimes he completes a section before the timer beeps. Sometimes, he doesn't. He isn't punished for not completing within the time frame. Instead we encourage him to try again. If he only has a few words left, we set the timer for a shorter time just to finish that last part. When he does suceed, we give him great praise for what he has accomplished.

    We feel that by setting a timer, he can get a sense of how much time it actually takes him to complete his work. Often after 2 or 3 hours, he will say I haven't take much time at all. And he hasn't even finished his first set of spelling. He hasn't realized the actual length of time he has taken. So when it is bedtime, he is startled because he says, "But, Mom, I haven't taken that long. Look I've finished my work." To which I reply, "Look at the clock; it's 8:00 pm." So setting the timer lets him see how long it is really taking.

    Additionally, when he is grown, his job and many other things will require time limits for completion. So he has to learn now how do that.

    In reference to your ex-wife, she could also have ADD issues. If your son has the condition, it is possible that he inherited it from her. In fact, as a child, I was diagnosed as Hyperactive (that the lable from 30 yrs ago) which is quite likely the reason my son has the condition. Of course, my condition makes it easier for me to relate to the things that my son is going through.

    Since I have not used medication for 30 years, I have had to learn how to deal with my condition through trial and error. In fact, I had not realized the impact the disorder had on my own life until my son was diagnosed as ADHD.

    I'm not trying to make any excuses for your ex-wife, but those of us who have ADD/ADHD can start out doing really well in an area, but then it falls to pieces in the end because we have so much to juggle. So many things get in the way, and prioritzing (sp?) can be extremely difficult.

    If you step back from the situation for a second and take a good long look at her actions, habits, the way she does things, do you see her starting mutliple projects but seldom finishing them. Does she go into the kitchen to clean it, but sees that toy from the kids' room. She takes it to the kids' room intending to return immediately to the kitchen, but ends up working on the kids' room. Then the phone rings; she answers it. While talking on the phone, she picks up some dirty clothes and starts a load of laundry. Then she walks into the kitchen and realized that she has finished in there yet.

    Does she start watching a movie on the tv, but when commericals come on she flips through them and starts another movie. She then flips back and forth between 2 or 3 shows in one programming hour.

    Again, I'm not saying she should allow her son to go unmedicated. I am an ADD adult. So I have to create systems to follow. I keep some of my son's medicine in my purse so that if I forget to give it to him before we leave the house for school, I can give him to him in the car or during the day when I do remember.

    She may just need to setup a system that will help her to remember. For me the my son's ability to perform in school is extremely important, so I make it a point to make sure he has the medicine. However, there have been times that I have forgotten, and he usually gets in trouble at school because he starts to annoy the other kids, he won't stay in his seat, and he won't get any of his classwork done.

    I hope that things work out for your son. He is truly the one who suffers in this situation, not the parents.
     
  29. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Are you sure it's a man Dr? I went to a coference given by a women with her PHD that does all that.
    I can't remember her name at the moment.
     
  30. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    He did say him and the mom live only a mile from each other and school, so I'm thinking not.
     
  31. desperate dad

    desperate dad Rookie

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    Dec 20, 2005

    sorry, I have not checked back since friday. 12/16
    Shawn's mother was a no show over the weekend, to discuss the situation.in response to teacherchick. Shawns mother & I have been Divorced for eleven years. We have joint custody , & normally Shawn would come to my house on weekends & every wednesday.Until he came to live with us. I feel confident now that she will let Shawn remain with me because of her lack of involvement since he has been here, Shawn did not have to change schools because we both live in the same school district.
    Shawn definitely inhereited his ADHD from me. as for his mother I don't know.
     

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