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Homeschooling w/ADD... Questions... HELP.

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I have a friend whose 7yo daughter has ADD. They tried medication, but even 1/2 a patch seemed too much (daugher seemed to "come down" off of medication, very emotional, didn't handle the transition well).


Anyhow, she is no longer medicated and there are concerns at school about her progressing to the 3rd grade.


1. Handwriting. Friend's been told that w/o the medication there is nothing that can be done regarding dd handwriting. It will be messy. They are concerned that the 3rd grade teachers won't be patient with dd's writing issues and simply mark everything wrong. Typing isn't considered an option in this school (wasn't part of the IEP meeting).


2. Speech & Spelling. DD spells how she hears/says it. So Rabbit is Wabbit, and tooth is toof, saw is sall, etc. Reccommendation is Speech Therapy (which I don't disagree with), with the expectation that this will correct the spelling issues.


3. Reading Comprehension. DD can read, but is so focused upon reading the words that she doesn't seem to comprehend what she's read.


I get the feeling the DD is a bright girl, but her ADD (and not seeming to be able to use the medication) is holding her back.


The dd has asked to be homeschooled... I'll be showing my friend what we do, but I also would like to make sound reccomendations for her dd based upon the needs of an ADD child. They haven't committed to homeschooling, but the mother is very torn up about what she should do.


Some friends are saying "hold her back." My friend isn't convinced that's the way to go (dd is already one of the older children, has friends, etc. -- isn't "dumb" -- just struggles due to her ADD). I'm definitely not convinced holding her back will "fix" things -- and could wind up creating self-esteem issues very quickly, causing her to think she's "dumb" and perhaps giving up on herself.


Looking for any advice & suggestions -- curriculum and otherwise for my friend and her daughter. I think she'd make a wonderful homeschooling mom, and that she'd really enjoy it -- even if it was just for the elementary school years.


Thank you in advance!



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Re: holding her back: The research is very strong that holding a child back is detrimental. What they need is to be promoted and given the services they need to succeed. Detrimental is big detrimental, and it is long term: more likely to drop out of high school, get pregnant, use drugs, et. This is research that has used cohorts of kids with similar academic issues who were NOT held back. The kick to the child's self-esteem and social interactions just never heals. So cross that option out. Your friend can google the research on retention.


If the child cannot tolerate meds, I'd recommend an OT evaluation for sensory processing issues by a private (not school) OT. The occupational therapy treatment enormously cuts down on a lot of ADHD symptoms. OT catalogs are full of equipment to help the child regulate without meds. Examples are inflated seats that allow (or require) some movement, rubber pencil toppers to chew on, etc. Fish oil has been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms, but not dramatically. Choline (which is in egg yolks and supplements) helps concentration. The protein in eggs plus the choline makes a good breakfast.


The child does need to learn to type. They can go back for an additional IEP meeting and ask (insist) on that. No reason on earth why that can't be added to a child's IEP in this day and age. Additionally, the IEP can state that the child will not be marked down for messy writing, spelling,etc.


If she homeschools, she can use Handwriting without Tears, developed by an OT. It will help the handwriting as much as possible. She can get started with some basic keyboarding skills.


Most importantly, she can design dd's day: 10-15 min per subject with a break that includes physical exercise and/or nature. This schedule cuts down on the stress the ADD child has trying to concentrate, and which some theorize is the reason that ADHD kids are likely to also have anxiety, depression, other mood issues, oppositional behavior, etc.


If her comprehension is negatively affected by decoding, then a focus on achieving automaticity in decoding is essential. Additionally, a focus on fluency, through repeated oral readings, is essential. (you can google this technique, or search past posts on dyslexia.)


The mom can tailor the curriculum more to the child's natural bent, follow the child's interests to some extent, etc. This is very helpful for ADD kids. (If their interest is captured by butterflies, do a unit on butterflies. As long as the 3 R's are being covered, this is fine!)


Additionally, the mom should focus on helping her child to learn coping strategies for organizing herself, which won't come naturally due to the executive functioning problems. She should read books on ADD organization, not impose "normal people" organization, which doesn't work for ADD kids. However, it's important to think of organization as one of the subjects to be mastered in school.



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I would like to "second" a lot of things just offered!

If ps'd, insist that handwriting, grammar usage, ect is marked

seperately from all subjects.


My ds has Sensory Processing Disorder which I'm told is a lot like

ADD (he may have ADD also, results not in yet). I'm just learning

how to help him focus better. A therapy ball (we use my yoga ball

which I've never used for yoga:blush: ) for him to sit on and he's more

apt to sit and focus longer.


We use handwriting without tears. I've gone to the cursive program

cause that may be easier than print.


I have read everywhere to teach him keyboarding. We are using Spongebog Squarepants keyboarding and he's off to a great start.

Ironically, the OT at the public school said that we needed to

write, write, write. I understand building up his hands due to fine

motor skill deficeits, however, I will be doing that with fun activities.

I will not make him write, write, write. Think for a moment what the

future of handwriting will be in this modern world in 15 years. Keyboarding is the key.


We do a lot of things orally with narration. We read and he narrates back to me what he understands and go from there. We'll be using Writing With Ease this year.


We use a 15 minutes break between short subjects. He jumps on the trampoline or plays outside, whatever. He also does TKD .


Homeschooling has allowed me to totally tailor his studies to his style of learning (visual, hands on).


We continue with speech and OT through the local schools.


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My ds, age 11, also has SPD/fine motor delay and everything Southern Mom has outlined -- we've done here as well. He now uses the keyboard for nearly all his writing and it has helped tremendously.


Another thing that has benefitted him -- therapy horseback riding -- hippotherapy. We're fortunate to have a facilty just a few miles from here, especially since our insurance won't pay for any OT and the ps system said he didn't qualify for it. (Too long of a story to go into here ...) When he rides -- there is at least one person walking alongside and guiding him through OT exercises. You could try googling hippotherapy, etc to see if there's any facilities in your area.





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Not to drone on, but I just read this great article about kinesthetic

learners and how they are dx'd as ADD. It's point is that everyone can be a successful learner if given the right environment. It talks alot about learning while moving or even standing. It encourages a hands-on approach for learning. It may be that she's a kinesthetic learner. The

link is above.


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