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Questions about my GT/ADD Asthmatic Son

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I usually post on the Accelerated board for this child... but since my questions are more about his lacks I'm thinking you ladies may be more knowledgable.


A little back ground since it's been a while. My son will be 13 at the end of April. He hit all his milestones way early. When he was able to crawl he started lining his toys up by color, shape and size. He was way organize for such a little guy. If we messed up his order of things he would cry (or throw a fit) and then put it all back exactly the way it was before. Then came along little brother who is Autistic with SPD and ADHD. They shared a room for years and organization went out the window for him. He has his own room now and is slowly going back to being that organized boy I once knew.


We've always homeschooled him. We started slow-fun-school with him when he was 3 just after he conned me into teaching him to read. But anything to do with numbers has been a bane to his existance. After trying several programs and years of tears with math we finally had him tested at age 7. He did slightly below average in math (1st grade level work). Which actually surprised me with how much he hates it. His other very low scores were Processing Speed and Working Memory. He was diagnosed as Giftd/ADD at that time. But I never saw the "attention" issues that are supposed to be the hallmark of ADD. He can focus on things he enjoys and even on things he doesn't. He just takes longer to process them.


My Autistic son is ADHD and I see that inattention/distractabilty in him big time. But my oldest is nothing like that. He is very creative and does his own animated show online once a month. He makes a script, does the animation, and sound all on his own and usually gets it out on time without my husband or I even asking him to work on it. He can do art projects that span weeks without us ever reminding him of the next step in the process. Of course, these are things he enjoys.


If we give him anything math related, his attention is out the window. He can not remember simple addition at times. Even though we drilled them to perfection in the past and have continued review of previous lessons over the years. He has taken over a year and a half to finish his current math book MUS Zeta. He has three chapters to go and has averaged a low C in the book throughout. Often forgetting and having to redo previous lessons.


He is unorganized when it comes to writing projects that are more accademic in nature. Yet he is excelent with grammar and machanics, and all things literature. Ask him to write out a term paper and you get scatter. Ask him socratic questions about what he's read and he'll talk your ear off. Ask him to write a short story and you get amazing work well above grade level, but it will take some time to get it done.


At the beginning of this year we decided to have him do his work on his own. But two weeks in we realized that he was not capable of staying on a schedule. He spent 15 min. out of every hour just wondering around the house. If I lay out work for him, he will do it, but he takes an hour to do two pages of math, or write a few paragraphs about his non-fiction reading. Yet he can read for hours and retain all that he has read. The output seems to be the biggest issue this year and in years past. If I hover he will do the work well and quickly, if I leave him to the work he will sometimes do it and sometimes not. Lately he spaces out... and when I look at him his eyes seem funny, kind of glazed over, and his hair on his arms are sticking out like when you get goose bumps. It takes him several seconds to respond when trying to get his attention. He has done this in the past, but it has increased over the last few months since he has been on Asthma meds.


So my questions are:

Does this sound like ADD to you or maybe something else? I know that it is not him being lazy. We've ruled that out. I'm just thinking maybe this isn't ADD but something similar?


It has been a while (6 years) since we last tested (he did WJ & WSCIV) and a questionaire about ADD at that time. We were planning on having him do the WJ &WSCIV again before high school, but should we be doing furthur testing considering my other son's nerological issues?


What can I do to lead my son toward more independent learning in the next year? My youngest two have really suffered accademically these last few years with me spending so much time with my older two.


Lastly, could his issues be related to diet? With my Autistic son we've removed gluten and most dairy from his diet with great improvements in his stems and attention. I'm wondering if this diet could help with his ADD (if that's what it is) and his increasing Asthma issues?

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Processing speed will cause your math and composition output problems. My Ds can understand algebraic concepts, but can't pull up simple math facts on command due to processing speed issues. I'm sure others will have more information. But in my experience you will definitely need to take processing speed into account when teaching your DS.

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In your ds's case, perhaps it's time to update his IQ testing. Sometimes these things change over time. WM and PS would be something I'd look for being low with ADD, but relative weaknesses in those areas could also be something else or be non-specific. I totally agree with the PP that you need to take PS and WM into account in your schooling.

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If you think that ADHD doesn't sound right then I think you should keep looking. My gifted dyslexic has similar issues with recall due to processing speed issues. Have you looked into dyscalculia. It's related to dyslexia but effects just math.


As far as diet goes you might just give it a try. My son has been helped by removing gluten (gluten makes him "edgy") and he stopped dairy for awhile (now he sticks to yogurt and cheese since it seems to be mostly a lactose issue). This helped his asthma. Make sure you give it enough time (at least a month). If you are already feeding one child this way it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to try this with your other son.

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Thank you ladies. I think we'll work toward gluten free for a few months and see if there's any change. And he is mostly dairy free already as we only buy cheese, butter and sour cream... easy enough to drop. He said he's willing to give it a try, if it means he will be spacing out less. It really annoys him that he can't keep his focus.

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