Life with Fast Boy

The Challenges of Raising Our ADHD Son

Archive for the ‘ADHD symptoms’ Category

Academically and Intellectually Gifted

Posted by One Tired Mama on November 2, 2007

Fast Boy has an IEP and was previously placed in the “Exceptional Child Program” for behavioral and emotionally disabled children.  We get feedback regarding his behavior on a pretty consistent basis.  We see reports on what goals have been set for him and what he needs to improve on.  So,  I’m sorry that I was completely confused by the “Nurtured Student Letter” that came home from school earlier this week.

I thought it was just another politically correct way of requesting that my son get some more individual attention to help him with his school work.  Well, I was right… but not in the way that I thought.  Fast Boy has been recommended by his teacher and invited into the “Academically and Intellectually Gifted Program” (AIG) at school.  Apparently he is demonstrating mastery of his grade level curriculum, at least in reading. 

I’ve always known that ADHD children can be very intelligent (which is what helps him find so much trouble) and that they can become hyper-focused on things they enjoy, but this just stunned me.  When the AIG specialist told me that he was interpreting Carl Sandburg poems, I didn’t know how to respond.  You just never know what will interest him. 

More discussion has to be done before we decide to put him in the program.  The AIG classes take place one hour a week outside of the regular classroom.  Fast Boy is already out of the classroom twice a week for the EC program.  He doesn’t like being removed from his normal class.  He is used to that being associated with some disciplinary action.  I guess we’ll just have to talk it over and see what he thinks.

I have a call in to the EC program Coordinator to get her opinion as well.  I’d like to see him excel and take advantage of the AIG program, but I need to make sure that everything jives together and that Fast Boy’s other special needs are met.   For example, if Fast Boy is loving the reading, but is going to lose control because he is asked to write about what he read, can special accommodations be made so that he can type instead?  (Handwriting is a frustration point for him that would make him give up.)  I want to know that someone is there looking out for him.

I’m so pleased!  I hope this works out. 


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Incessant Behavior

Posted by One Tired Mama on July 17, 2007

It’s not that Fast Boy and Princess have been doing anything particularly terrible over the past few days. I have learned to choose my battles. However, this incessant behavior of running back and forth, in and out, screaming, asking for things, and poking at each other is making me want to tie them up with duct tape and throw them in a closet!

in·ces·sant  – adjective – continuing without interruptions; unending; ceaseless, constant, continual, continuous, endless, eternal, everlasting, interminable, interminate, monotonous, non-stop, perpetual, persistent, relentless, timeless, unbroken, unceasing, unending, unrelenting, unremitting…

I think you get the picture.

I guess I’ll take them to the park now so they can burn off some more energy…

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Our Son’s ADHD Symptoms

Posted by One Tired Mama on July 15, 2007

People often ask me when I first noticed my son’s ADHD symptoms.  My answer is that I suspected before he was even born.  He was a pretty wild kicker and I’m surprised I didn’t get any broken ribs.   He was a difficult baby.  He didn’t nurse well.  He was often fussy.  Then again, he was often a sick baby with chronic ear infections, high fevers and reoccurring bronchial problems, so I can’t point that at ADHD.   

There are plenty of stories that I could tell about things that have happened in the past years.  There were many, many incidences of disobedience and aggression.  He couldn’t transition from one activity to another without a fit of rage.  He was unable to play with anything without crashing and throwing.  He couldn’t sit still to listen to a story.  And we couldn’t even cuddle without his activity level getting someone physically hurt. 

I have a folder of medical evaluations and reports from daycare providers and teachers.  He was the child that bit, that threw excessive tantrums, that was obsessed with monsters and fighting.  He didn’t focus, didn’t pay attention, couldn’t stay still and didn’t play well with others. 

We have had multiple incidences of shop-lifting and destruction of property.  No matter what consequences we impose, he never seems to learn from them.  He will eventually repeat the behavior as if it had never happened before.  There is no fore-thought of the consequences of his actions. 

No matter how much people told me that his behavior was just “normal boy” behavior, I knew something wasn’t quite right.    I believed that if what we were experiencing was normal, a lot fewer people would be having children!  (To this day, I still wonder how we were brave enough to have another child.)

I don’t know when, or if, he was ever officially diagnosed.  But I do know that he meets the DSM IV requirements for the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with Impulsivity (314.01).  He would need to meet six or more of the following symptoms.  He meets all of them!

  • fidgets
  • leaves classroom desk
  • runs excessively
  • blurts answers
  • interrupts or intrudes on others
  • unable to play quietly
  • acts “driven”
  • talks excessively
  • difficulty awaiting his turn

He also meets the DSM IV criteria for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Inattentive Type (314.00).  Six or more of the following symptoms must be present.  Some symptoms must be present before age 7, with impairment present in two or more settings (school and home).

  • poor attention to details
  • doesn’t listen
  • poor follow-through
  • poor organization
  • trouble keeping attention in task and at play
  • avoids tasks requiring sustained mental effort
  • easily distracted
  • forgetful

Actually, the only deviations I have seen from these patterns are when he is playing a video game, watching TV or reading.  In my understanding though, the calming response to video is typical of the ADHD child as the screens run at the same high speed as their brains do and give them the stimulation they thrive on.  I’m not sure why reading calms him, but I don’t think I will ever have all the answers.

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