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When you have the problem child . . .


Ananda
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My ds 6 has great difficulty paying attention, following directions and focusing on an assigned activity.  This has been a pervasive problem more problematic in group settings than at home.  I couldn't attend library storytime with him because he couldn't follow the behavior expectations.  He has attended children's music classes since he was a toddler, he has always enjoyed them but struggled with disruptive behaviors.  Generally I have been keeping him in classes designed for younger children, so he attended toddler music class at 2-3, preschool at 4/5 when most of the kids that age were in pre-kindergarten.  

 

I put him in preschool when he was four for a variety of reasons.  Through preschool I became aware that my child was not just a late bloomer or over-exited by groups of children as I had hoped.  After trying everything in their bag of tricks, the preschool recommended an evaluation through the Public Schools.  It seemed thorough but had the disappointing diagnosis of "Developmental Delay in the areas of Social/Emotional and Adaptive Behavior".  He qualified for services and received them in his preschool.  I don't think it helped.  My mommy diagnosis is ADHD for what that's worth.

 

The pressing problem right now is soccer.  He loves soccer; he is genuinely trying so hard to focus.  But his ability to follow the coaches instructions & pay attention to the drill are so behind his peers.  The coach is good, but he is clearly out of his depth.  He just keeps repeating himself while ds isn't listening.  Everyone is getting frustrated.  To make matters worse, when ds got frustrated with his best not being good enough he turned whiny.   Also, not that this should matter at 6, but he isn't very good at soccer.  I don't know what to do.  

 

The first half of yesterday's practice, I tried to let the coach handle it.  Every one of the frequent water breaks, I told him that I loved him no matter what, but he really had to listen to his coach and do what his coach said.  As the situation deteriorated, I got up to stand next to ds and redirected his focus, and tried to keep him on task.  This worked well enough, but . . . it doesn't seem sustainable.  Can I honestly do that every practice?  What about drills where it would be entirely inappropriate to do so?  What about games?  Usually I would handle this by having him play with younger kids, but that isn't an option in soccer.  

 

My immediate problem is soccer, but really the problem would be present no matter what the activity was.  As he gets older people are less patient with his behavior, and are more uncomfortable with my direct participation.

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First :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:  I had and still have a kid that has trouble with focus, although he has gotten better. At this point my boy just needs to listen. I can say he comes by it honestly. I still have focus problems too.  I really have no great advice for you, except that I would talk with the coach and see what he thinks is reasonable given the circumstances. If he's willing to let you be there to help refocus your son's attention I think that would be great. 

 

Honestly, he's six and I can't imagine he's the only kid with a focus problem. I have video of my son talking with another kid mid-field while the other kids were down at one of the goals. You may feel alone, but I bet you aren't.

 

I have a soft spot in my heart for unfocused, young boys and their moms. It can be hard.

 

Can you keep getting help from the school system? I know you feel like it didn't work, but is that because he's still so young? It sounds like PrairieWindMomma has practical BTDT advice. 

 

More :grouphug:

 

Kelly

 

 

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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First :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:  I had and still have a kid that has trouble with focus, although he has gotten better. At this point my boy just needs to listen. I can say he comes by it honestly. I still have focus problems too.  I really have no great advice for you, except that I would talk with the coach and see what he thinks is reasonable given the circumstances. If he's willing to let you be there to help refocus your son's attention I think that would be great. 

 

Honestly, he's six and I can't imagine he's the only kid with a focus problem. I have video of my son talking with another kid mid-field while the other kids were down at one of the goals. You may feel alone, but I bet you aren't.

 

I have a soft spot in my heart for unfocused, young boys and their moms. It can be hard.

 

Can you keep getting help from the school system? I know you feel like it didn't work, but is that because he's still so young? It sounds like PrairieWindMomma has practical BTDT advice. 

 

More :grouphug:

 

Kelly 

 

 

They are all boys born in 2009 and ds has a December birthday, so he is one of the youngest on his team.  I agree that many (all?) of the boys had to by redirected a few times, but ds needed to be redirected more than all the other boys combined.  
 
I am seriously considering pursuing private evaluation.   I was waiting until he was 8, thinking they might be able to get a clearer picture after some of the childish behaviors had dissipated.  Looking at his evaluation from the PS when he was 4, I am noticing a lot of the behaviors  discussed have dissipated.  I think he was too young to get an accurate picture of the core issues. When I get him an evaluation I want it to be fruitful.
 
I have decided to approach the PS and see what services they are able to offer a homeschooler.  As I understand it, he has a legal right to services.  It is worth discussing.
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This sounds like my son. We hardly ever went to story hour. I would probably consider pulling him from soccer and finding something else to do, but I don't know how much money is invested. In the end, is it worth it, though? We kept our kid in a year of martial arts because we had committed to a year (paid) when ds was 4/5. He didn't have to pass a ball to people but he did seem lost and was probably a distraction to others in the class. If there were two teachers present then one was often having to help him. He would whine in the car because sometimes he just didn't want to go or he'd fall asleep and be cranky when we arrived. For me it was not worth the hassle, I had to have dh finish taking him to the remainder of the lessons. Does your ds enjoy it? Will he complain if you don't go or be relieved? I would probably rely partly on his reaction to determine if this is something he can work on. And I would practice soccer drills and such at home. We would practice martial arts at home between class.

 

In the end it might be best to develop a skill at home before joining a group sport. Like ideally I will have ds practice basketball before he joins a basketball camp. And then see how camp goes before committing to a season. Had your ds practiced soccer/showed interested at home prior to joining the team? The other kids may have more experience which adds to the imbalance on the field.

 

We just had our son evaluated and was told he fit criteria for ADD/ADHD but I think I need to investigate further. But either way, I understand it is frustrating when your child has trouble focusing or behaving as the others in a group setting.

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This sounds like my son. We hardly ever went to story hour. I would probably consider pulling him from soccer and finding something else to do, but I don't know how much money is invested. In the end, is it worth it, though? We kept our kid in a year of martial arts because we had committed to a year (paid) when ds was 4/5. He didn't have to pass a ball to people but he did seem lost and was probably a distraction to others in the class. If there were two teachers present then one was often having to help him. He would whine in the car because sometimes he just didn't want to go or he'd fall asleep and be cranky when we arrived. For me it was not worth the hassle, I had to have dh finish taking him to the remainder of the lessons. Does your ds enjoy it? Will he complain if you don't go or be relieved? I would probably rely partly on his reaction to determine if this is something he can work on. And I would practice soccer drills and such at home. We would practice martial arts at home between class.

 

In the end it might be best to develop a skill at home before joining a group sport. Like ideally I will have ds practice basketball before he joins a basketball camp. And then see how camp goes before committing to a season. Had your ds practiced soccer/showed interested at home prior to joining the team? The other kids may have more experience which adds to the imbalance on the field.

 

We just had our son evaluated and was told he fit criteria for ADD/ADHD but I think I need to investigate further. But either way, I understand it is frustrating when your child has trouble focusing or behaving as the others in a group setting.

 

I did consider pulling him.  Yes, I have paid quite a bit all told.  Also there is the issue of letting down the team (although they might be better off without him).  I could easily let the money go, and apologize to the team but, two things:

 

He LOVES it.  Absolutely adores it.  He did micro soccer last year which was much more casual and he did fine.  When the season was over he was so disappointed and nagged me all summer about how he couldn't wait ALL summer for soccer to start up again.  I don't know what I would tell him if I did pull him.  He is trying so hard to behave, he would be crushed.  If he didn't like it, I would pull him in a heart beat.  

 

Also because the problem isn't unique to soccer, it would reoccur in any activity I tried.  Am I to keep him out of ALL activities?  For how long?  Without group activities how does he develop the lacking skills?  It feels like avoiding a problem that will only get worse.  

 

We do practice soccer at home every day.  He enjoys this time, and it has helped immensely with his ball handling skills.  He isn't abysmal, just lacking in any natural talent.  I almost didn't mention it, but I do think it contributes to the coach & teammates frustration.  He will have to work hard, and is willing.

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:seeya: That's me!  Yup.  DS10 was expelled from gymberee, private preschool, and my own aunt's daycare/preschool.  All before age 5. Then came the diagnosis.  ADHD.  

 

Groups are hard because people don't "get it."  It's always a joke.  I stopped talking to teachers/coaches before the first lesson because they would assume that just because he has ADHD, it would look like XYZ.  :willy_nilly:  After the first class or two they come up and say, "DS really needs to learn to *insert NT behavior*." 

       "I know. With his ADHD, his therapist and I have that as a goal for the next six months.  In the meantime, we can..."  

I would then present a list of applicable adaptations that have worked in the past, and if they aren't aware that ADHD is so life encompassing, they are at the end of the very short 30 second educational schpeal. So, it became, "I have to be involved or DS is not involved."  We just find activities/classes that allow for it.  It isn't usually needed now that we have found the lifestyle/diet/supplements/medications combination that works.  But it's hard.  Somethings we or DS dreamed of doing just can't/won't/shouldn't happen, no matter how much he dosn't like it.    :sad: Whether we like it or not, it isn't fair to other kids that he needs so much instruction in basic following directions in specific situations.

 

ADHD can have it's funny side.  DS10 looked in the review mirror today.  "objects in mirror may be handsomer than they appear."   :huh:  :lol:   

Random comments due to his very different view of life.

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I would recommend getting a full evaluation. My ds had one at that age a children's hospital. It was an extensive physical, intellectual, psychological evaluation that took a day and a half. Then we sat down with the MD learn about what it all meant. I referred to that report several times for a few years after. It was expensive, but worth it for us. 

 

There are many things that lead to ADHD type behaviors in young children, including ADHD. You need to look at his diet and make sure it is clean and does include anything he is actually intolerant to (people often crave something they really shouldn't have because their own body can't handle it-milk and wheat often turn up for this issue). Sensory issues (touch, sound, light ) can all trigger behaviors. Sleep. My son never seemed to sleep. He probably should have had a sleep eval at that young age. Sleep deprivation definitely causes attention and behavior issues. 

 

My ds does have ADD. He also has NVLD with related sensory and motor skill issues. He's also highly gifted, which I think makes it all harder to understand (that kid is so smart he shouldn't be behaving like that). If I'd just stopped at ADD, we would have not served our ds very well. 

 

Anyway, get a full psych and med eval, so you can really begin to understand what you are looking at. 

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Why not speak directly to the coach about what accommodations are reasonable? He might be quite happy to have you be his assistant coach, very strongly focused on one player, lol. If not, well, then you know you need to come up with something else. 

 

Unless he's a brand new coach, he can also tell you whether your son's behavior is fairly common or pretty unusual. That's helpful information to have. 

 

We have a playground right by our house, and I have seen many young teams and players. They are goofy as heck and have to be refocused often, but they are able to refocus and pay attention when directed. Coaches are used to this. If he's getting frustrated with your son more so than other players, and your son isn't responding to redirection, that would make me think, yes, something is going on. 

 

I would definitely pursue another evaluation. You might be able to have some more specific strategies if you have a better idea of the underlying issues. 

 

And keep him in soccer for now, because many evaluations have forms that need to be filled out by coaches or teachers! Call right now, because there is often a long wait to be seen. 

 

 

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Sounds a lot like my son.  Things have gotten a lot better as he's gotten older but when he was younger, we had to pick very carefully what activities he did, and where he did them.  It meant running a lot of programs ourselves (like 4-H clubs) or assisting with sports.  When we attempted soccer and t-ball, dh signed up as a parent volunteer and basically shadowed ds and one or two other kids, keeping them on track and paying attention.  Addressing behaviors as soon as they started and frequent reminders helped quite a bit.

 

We gave up on team sports.  It's just not my kids thing.  They do Tai Kwan Do, swimming, and have done archery, fencing, gymnastics and bowling in the past.  All of those were a much better fit than soccer, which moved too fast and required too much attention, and baseball, which moved to slow for my easily distracted kid.

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They are all boys born in 2009 and ds has a December birthday, so he is one of the youngest on his team.  I agree that many (all?) of the boys had to by redirected a few times, but ds needed to be redirected more than all the other boys combined.

Check your league's rules. They may allow a kid with a December birthday to choose to play down, especially if he has a school district special ed designation. If your league doesn't, look around at the other local leagues. If you have Fun Fair Positive Soccer, I know that they have this rule (or did 7 years ago when Geezle played).

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It sounds like most people think that an evaluation at six would be wise.  I delayed because 1. I already had an evaluation.  2. I really felt he was too young to give a clear picture.  I will yield to the wisdom of those who have gone before me, that it is time.  I knew I would have to have him evaluated eventually.  I will get that ball rolling.

 

I would recommend getting a full evaluation. My ds had one at that age a children's hospital. It was an extensive physical, intellectual, psychological evaluation that took a day and a half. Then we sat down with the MD learn about what it all meant. I referred to that report several times for a few years after. It was expensive, but worth it for us. 

 

There are many things that lead to ADHD type behaviors in young children, including ADHD. You need to look at his diet and make sure it is clean and does include anything he is actually intolerant to (people often crave something they really shouldn't have because their own body can't handle it-milk and wheat often turn up for this issue). Sensory issues (touch, sound, light ) can all trigger behaviors. Sleep. My son never seemed to sleep. He probably should have had a sleep eval at that young age. Sleep deprivation definitely causes attention and behavior issues. 

 

My ds does have ADD. He also has NVLD with related sensory and motor skill issues. He's also highly gifted, which I think makes it all harder to understand (that kid is so smart he shouldn't be behaving like that). If I'd just stopped at ADD, we would have not served our ds very well. 

 

Anyway, get a full psych and med eval, so you can really begin to understand what you are looking at. 

As far as diet is concerned; imo it is pretty bad, but not horrible.  He is a picky eater, without a consistent list of likes & dislikes.  He defaults to grains when making his own food choices and has a history of sneaking in this area.  He will eat vegetables & fruits if they are served, as long as they aren't on his current "no list".  We are vegetarian and he eats vegetarian proteins well, when they are served.  We eat a moderate amount of sweets and he doesn't sneak them anymore.  He mainly drinks water.  This is not a current area I am working on.  I think it is good enough.  I will consider your advice that his grain craving might hint at an intolerance.  I had never thought of that.

 

He doesn't have sensory sensitivity.  If anything, he seems less sensitive than I would expect.

 

He as slept well for the last few years.  He didn't as a baby & toddler, but by four he was sleeping well both at night and naptime.  

 

Why not speak directly to the coach about what accommodations are reasonable? He might be quite happy to have you be his assistant coach, very strongly focused on one player, lol. If not, well, then you know you need to come up with something else. 

 

Unless he's a brand new coach, he can also tell you whether your son's behavior is fairly common or pretty unusual. That's helpful information to have. 

 

We have a playground right by our house, and I have seen many young teams and players. They are goofy as heck and have to be refocused often, but they are able to refocus and pay attention when directed. Coaches are used to this. If he's getting frustrated with your son more so than other players, and your son isn't responding to redirection, that would make me think, yes, something is going on. 

 

I would definitely pursue another evaluation. You might be able to have some more specific strategies if you have a better idea of the underlying issues. 

 

And keep him in soccer for now, because many evaluations have forms that need to be filled out by coaches or teachers! Call right now, because there is often a long wait to be seen. 

 

I do plan to talk to the coach.  I just needed the advice you helpful boardies have provided to center my thoughts on a plan.  

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Well, I'm surprised they did an eval as young as they did. And six, may or may not be supported by the ped. or whoever. I inquired about things with mine at age 6 and was dismissed due to age and the practitioner's limited exposure/impression of ds. Then we had our eval done recently at age 8 and it didn't tell me much. So I guess what I'm saying is, yes, ask. But don't be surprised if you aren't given some elaborate, helpful eval. Yes about needing people for input. We didn't have that. I had no coach or teachers to fill out forms and didn't know that was a big deal til I was already in the office. I am glad others have had great extensive evals but I thought I went to the "right" place (referred there) and yet only one person met with him and the person was not an MD. So I guess I've learned the hard way that not all evals are created equal. I wonder what a "very extensive/good" eval should cost.

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It sounds like most people think that an evaluation at six would be wise.  I delayed because 1. I already had an evaluation.  2. I really felt he was too young to give a clear picture.  I will yield to the wisdom of those who have gone before me, that it is time.  I knew I would have to have him evaluated eventually.  I will get that ball rolling.

 

One thing to remember is that that ball might roll very, very slowly.  

 

At my DS's 3 year well child check, our pediatrician recommended we get DS in to see a behavioral pediatrician - wait time: 6 months.  The behavioral ped. recommended a psych consult, but the psych center would not do an evaluation until we were first seen by one of their counselors - wait time: 2 months for the counselor's appointment and then 9 more months for the evaluation.  The psych consult led to diagnoses of autism, severe anxiety and highly suspected ADHD and OCD, but we couldn't do anything with that info until we got in to see DS's appointed psychiatrist - wait time: 4 months.

 

When DS turned 3 years old, everyone (parents, pediatrician, teachers, multiple therapists, extended family, etc) agreed that DS desperately needed help.  He first saw his psychiatrist right before he turned FIVE, and at that point could begin his journey toward receiving that help.  He is now SEVEN and we are still desperately grasping at straws trying to figure out how to offer him the help he needs.

 

Wendy

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It seemed thorough but had the disappointing diagnosis of "Developmental Delay in the areas of Social/Emotional and Adaptive Behavior".  He qualified for services and received them in his preschool.  I don't think it helped.  My mommy diagnosis is ADHD for what that's worth.

 

The bolded is not ADHD. He might also have ADHD as well, and that can sometimes mask other issues and cause someone to stop looking for additional diagnoses because ADHD is "easy." The bolded is likely code for autism spectrum disorder or something that is bigger and more encompassing than ADHD. ADHD is not a developmental delay. Kids with ADHD can be less mature, but it's not the same thing. They can have trouble with social, emotional, and adaptive behavior, but if they thought it was simply ADHD, they'd probably just say so.

 

I strongly recommend a private evaluation. I don't think the school will be able to give an actual autism label even if they think that's what's going on. You need someone else to take a look at this. It could be autism, or it could be something else.

 

You mentioned that a lot of the behaviors that worried you before have dissipated, but I would encourage you to reconsider that--some of those behaviors may have simply shifted and taken on a new form. 

 

You will want to describe all of your son's behaviors to the next person to evaluate, including things you don't necessarily think are problems. 

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Schools evaluate for service eligibility. They don't evaluate to diagnose. A private eval will be very helpful.

 

I'd research NVLD, ASD, and auditory processing issues as well as ADHD. Our baseball league has a special "challenge league" team for kids with challenges. Maybe there's something similar in soccer? What about soccer does he love the most? The team aspect or the actual physical skills? If the latter, maybe 1:1 time with an older player for coaching/practice could be a fun outlet. Sort of an hour long babysitting gig with a twist.

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I lived this. It's HARD. DS was soooo young for his age and just couldn't meet expectations for a kid his age. It was hard. We did what we could, but he did a lot fewer things than his sister. His behavior wasn't predictably decent until he was about 8. In my son's case, he did get a pretty serious diagnosis at age 7 that helped us understand WHY he couldn't "control himself," but knowing he truly couldn't help it didn't really make us feel better.

 

The good news is he got easier and easier as he got older. He's 16, so the days of bring afraid to take him in public are far behind us. He has a severe physical disability and is in a wheelchair and despite those challenges it is MUCH easier to parent him now than when he was a crazy little guy. MUCH easier. We no longer deal with the inability to follow instructions or unpredictable emotional outbursts. People enjoy his company now, so I don't feel like they dread seeing us coming. Now I sit and swap stories with other mothers who had immature or ADHD boys about those years. The people who met these boys later have a hard time believing they were little tornadoes.

 

There is probably a reason, and some work to do, but I've seen it pay off more often than not. Hang in there.

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I'm not much help but I wanted to offer this encouragement: While these ADD and ADHD kids are so very much work, and it is so exhausting to just do life, they really are just incredible people. Take heart. This is overwhelming but you will be a better mama for having parented this child.... And some day you will encourage another.

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I'm sorry. I had a little boy just like that, but he's starting to grow out of it now that he's 13. He DID show improvement over the years. It's still somewhat of a struggle, but he's also a very kind and funny young man.

 

One question... does your son actually like soccer? Or does he like to social time or Snacks or active time? I think it's very important to figure that out.

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I like the idea of looking into a special needs soccer program.  If such a thing exists in our area, I think that would be awsome for everyone.   The micro soccer program he had last year was such a good fit. 

 

Well, I'm surprised they did an eval as young as they did. And six, may or may not be supported by the ped. or whoever. I inquired about things with mine at age 6 and was dismissed due to age and the practitioner's limited exposure/impression of ds. Then we had our eval done recently at age 8 and it didn't tell me much. So I guess what I'm saying is, yes, ask. But don't be surprised if you aren't given some elaborate, helpful eval. Yes about needing people for input. We didn't have that. I had no coach or teachers to fill out forms and didn't know that was a big deal til I was already in the office. I am glad others have had great extensive evals but I thought I went to the "right" place (referred there) and yet only one person met with him and the person was not an MD. So I guess I've learned the hard way that not all evals are created equal. I wonder what a "very extensive/good" eval should cost.

 

I read your story on the special needs board.  Soo frustrating, and yes vague unhelpful results are what I worried about. 

 

One thing to remember is that that ball might roll very, very slowly.  

 

At my DS's 3 year well child check, our pediatrician recommended we get DS in to see a behavioral pediatrician - wait time: 6 months.  The behavioral ped. recommended a psych consult, but the psych center would not do an evaluation until we were first seen by one of their counselors - wait time: 2 months for the counselor's appointment and then 9 more months for the evaluation.  The psych consult led to diagnoses of autism, severe anxiety and highly suspected ADHD and OCD, but we couldn't do anything with that info until we got in to see DS's appointed psychiatrist - wait time: 4 months.

 

When DS turned 3 years old, everyone (parents, pediatrician, teachers, multiple therapists, extended family, etc) agreed that DS desperately needed help.  He first saw his psychiatrist right before he turned FIVE, and at that point could begin his journey toward receiving that help.  He is now SEVEN and we are still desperately grasping at straws trying to figure out how to offer him the help he needs.

 

Wendy

 

Wow.  I knew there was a wait time, but nothing like that.  I was thinking like 6 months (that seems long to me in the life of a young child).   Clearly, your child's situation is much more impactful than mine.  I was worried about him from the time he was a baby, but was pretty sure he just needed a little more time.  It wasn't until the preschool teachers suggested an eval that I realized he really was struggling.  A think any teacher he has had from toddlerhood on knew something was up.  We often had awkward conversations about how they could help him be more successful.  His father isn't fully convinced that he doesn't just need more time to outgrow.  He is really great, just cautious.  The extended family has been unsupportive, blaming it on parenting details like sweets & TV.  We had a struggled at home when he was from about 18 mos. to 4, but since 4 he has made so much progress.  At home we are managing well (I think), it is really only in outside activities that he just can't do it.  I think to a lot of outsiders he looks badly behaved, not special needs.  It is good to be forewarned that even evaluation may be a long road.  If everyone could see that your child was struggling, helping him should have been made a priority by the powers that be.  Especially because from what little I understand of autism, early intervention is key.  

 

The bolded is not ADHD. He might also have ADHD as well, and that can sometimes mask other issues and cause someone to stop looking for additional diagnoses because ADHD is "easy." The bolded is likely code for autism spectrum disorder or something that is bigger and more encompassing than ADHD. ADHD is not a developmental delay. Kids with ADHD can be less mature, but it's not the same thing. They can have trouble with social, emotional, and adaptive behavior, but if they thought it was simply ADHD, they'd probably just say so.

 

I strongly recommend a private evaluation. I don't think the school will be able to give an actual autism label even if they think that's what's going on. You need someone else to take a look at this. It could be autism, or it could be something else.

 

You mentioned that a lot of the behaviors that worried you before have dissipated, but I would encourage you to reconsider that--some of those behaviors may have simply shifted and taken on a new form. 

 

You will want to describe all of your son's behaviors to the next person to evaluate, including things you don't necessarily think are problems. 

 

The developmental delay stuff frustrates me.  It is entirely unhelpful.  As I understand it "developmental delay" only means that he isn't achieving the milestones they expected.  Of course, we already knew that we (and his preschool teachers) told you that.  They never tell us why he is developmentally delayed.  They never tell us what we can do about it.  We very clearly told them that our goals for the eval were to get information so that we could help him.  I wanted to be armed to be a better mother & future homeschool teacher.  If we get a label, I can research it.  I can ask on the special needs board for specific advice.  I can learn to differentiate among special needs, childishness and naughtiness.  They provided him services, but no insight into what was working & what wasn't.  Based on the reports I received, they weren't able to help him meet the paltry goals of his iep.  The goals were for him to follow teacher instruction to pick up 5 items at clean up time, to participate appropriately in circle time, and to learn to greet his classmates & teachers by name (he didn't know anyone's name).  

 

As far as his social skills are concerned.  He does struggle some in this area, although it isn't really bad.  I think a lot of it is that he is the quirky child of two socially inept parents and because of his behavior he was given fewer social opportunities.  

 

The emotional delay was because he was still having meltdowns at 4 when upset, and was overexcited when happy.  The meltdowns are gone except when he is tired or sick or something.  He can remove himself when he is feeling overwhelmed.  He can calm himself when he is told to when overexcited.  The only really remaining issue in this area is that he now whines when upset, something I feel equipped to handle as a parent.  

 

The adaptive behavior portion I think is still a concern.  Although I think he is doing much better here too.

 

I think its ADHD because his major issues are things like impulsiveness, not following instructions, distractablity, not paying attention, being completely unaware of his surroundings when focused.   I think it is the inattentive type. He is super busy, but not really hyperactive.  As he grows older, he seems to conform more and more to the descriptions of ADHD children.   Of course I could be wrong.  He is still so little, it is hard to get a clear picture. 

 

I am surprised that ADHD children aren't developmentally delayed.  I don't really know what you mean by immature v. developmentally delayed, unless it is just a matter of degree.  He is behind his three year old brother in terms of attention & impulse control.  So I guess that is delayed.

 

As far as it being code of autism, the word "autism" did come up a few times. I didn't/don't think that fits here.  I know autism can be quite diverse in its presentation, so maybe?   This is all so confusing and autism is a scary diagnosis.  Never say never, but no for now.

 

When I say the behaviors have dissipated I mean for example his meltdowns have decreased dramatically in frequency, magnitude and duration.  They are now rare, easily handled and clearly related to some biological issue (being overtired for example).  When you say they may have taken another form, I think of how he is now whiny.  He responds well to do overs.  I feel like that is fine for six.  It is certainly more adaptive, to use their word.

 

 

 

 

BlsdMama, on 17 Aug 2016 - 10:37 PM, said:

 


I'm not much help but I wanted to offer this encouragement: While these ADD and ADHD kids are so very much work, and it is so exhausting to just do life, they really are just incredible people. Take heart. This is overwhelming but you will be a better mama for having parented this child.... And some day you will encourage another.

---end quote---  (sorry I messed up your quote)

 

 

I REALLY appreciate this.  I feel so despondent that all my child's good qualities keep getting obscured be his lack of conformity.   Does the coach notice how hard Xavier is trying, how he is diligently doing toe taps as asked, how much he has improved since just last week.  If he does, he doesn't say anything.  He just keeps repeating "Everyone on the line."  Over and over.  I want to yell: "He is focused on the toe taps you asked him to do!  He is doing them well, because he practiced so hard.  Forget your stupid line and watch!"  He is such an awesome little guy, and I feel like most people merely tolerate him.  

 

His father and I shower him with love, because when the hard world smacks him I want him to at least have that to fall back on.  Everyone at his preschool was so wonderful with him.  They truly loved him and wanted the best for him.  The director of his music school and several of his music teachers have been awesome.  His micro soccer coach was good.  He has members of the extended family who joyfully spend time with him.  I rejoice in that.  But I never know if a person will see him as an opportunity or a burden before I sign him up for an activity.

 

Thank you so much for you kind words.  It soothes my breaking heart.  I also feel guilty, because I tried to parent him into paying attention.  I knew he was trying, but I was embarrassed and wanted so much for a beloved activity to work out.  I will give it a few more weeks.  I will see if something can be worked out.  If not, I think I have to cut our losses.  (Poor little guy.)

 

Thanks everyone so much for your council.  I have a plan and that makes all the difference.  And I just have to say to those who might be reading, please remember that the tough kids are awesome little people too.  Try to see beyond the surface.  It make so much difference.   

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I love what you wrote at the end of this last post. Beautiful. :wub:

 

I would try for a private evaluation. Talk to your pediatrician to find out who might be good with younger kids. I expect a lot of kids are evaluated in K and 1st grade these days. If possible, get the coach's (and any other teacher/coach type people's) take on the whole thing to share with the pediatrician/evaluation. Individuals outside of parents carry a lot of weight with professionals looking for things like ADHD in my experience. ADHD really does sound likely. My son does have ADHD and autism as well. I'll just say that accurate information, even when it's hard to hear and the thing I feared, has always been helpful and worth the pain. I don't see huge autism flags in what you wrote, but I do agree that the wording of the eval feels more spectrum to my eyes, and sometimes it's hard to see young. My son has trouble imitating what he sees physically, and it appears that is more autism than ADHD in him. But it's true that the distraction of ADHD will mean the input, visual or otherwise, never gets there in the first place. I use actual tactical to help him feel the proper movement. You may not be seeing that anyway, but I thought I'd mention in case.

 

I identify with a lot of what you wrote. I didn't medicate for ADHD until my son was 11. Actually, we started trying non-stimulant stuff younger, but stimulants were always off the table until desperation at 11 for various reasons. It's made a world of difference in his ability to participate in activities. He is using a short acting stimulant, which gives him about 4 hours of help. This has been perfect for activities like practices and competitions here, though I do use it for school at home now too. The point is you can use stimulants for help in just certain spots of life.

 

I do think I would shadow him during practice as long as it continued to be helpful. I would push for a quality eval. now I think, because this is interfering with his functioning. I'd hate that to go on for two more years if it could be helped now.

Edited by sbgrace
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I'm sorry you are having such a hard time.

 

I have two pieces of advice that are based on my experiences.

 

1) My oldest child had issues very different from your son's, but they did leave her, for several years, unable to effectively participate in group activities. We just stopped going. The stress (for both of us) was too great, and so was the ongoing sense of failure. If your son's behavior makes him stick out in a negative way, I would focus on doing things one-on-one with him or invite just one friend. Try to set him up for success, not failure. If Mom has to stand right there and constantly redirect, that can feel like failure for a kid and be discouraging to both Mom and kid.

 

2) I recently had my youngest evaluated by the school district (he's homeschooled, but private evals are pricey). I am unsatisfied with the results. As was mentioned upthread, the school evaluates to see whether a child qualifies for services, not to diagnose. Their report told us nothing we don't know. I've decided that we should get a private evaluation, which will look at a far greater range of information and provide us with a diagnosis. Before I had the school evaluation, I didn't really understand the difference in what I would be getting. Now I do.

 

Good luck to you.  :grouphug:

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Also, forgot to mention, your son sounds a LOT like my son at that age. He was later diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD inattentive type. Mine was more aggressive, which thankfully you don't sound like you have, but yeah, we did a few weeks of pee wee football and it was very eye opening to me. I handle his issues at home so well that seeing him in a group was a bit of a shock to me. 

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We were suspicious of adhd, but I was opposed to medication. We homeschooled a year without diagnosis, but ds12 vas frustrated and in tears about his inability to focus, and he begged me to have him evaluated, then when he was diagnosed, he begged to try the medication. He is on a low dose, long acting stimulant, and it has done him a world of good. We went to a private group who has evaluators, and psychiatrists to oversee the medication.

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I'm just jumping to the end, but since you already have ADHD and social and developmental delays diagnosed, and since the ps notoriously UNDER-diagnoses disabilities, it's high time to get a private ASD eval and an autism clinic.  That's the more coherent explanation for what you're describing, and that would qualify you for behavioral interventions, which are what you're going to need.

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I'm just jumping to the end, but since you already have ADHD and social and developmental delays diagnosed, and since the ps notoriously UNDER-diagnoses disabilities, it's high time to get a private ASD eval and an autism clinic.  That's the more coherent explanation for what you're describing, and that would qualify you for behavioral interventions, which are what you're going to need.

 

Agreed. And it doesn't have to be a scary diagnoses. It doesn't change who he is. It just gives you a framework to work from. 

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Agreed. And it doesn't have to be a scary diagnoses. It doesn't change who he is. It just gives you a framework to work from. 

 

And the ability to research the sneaky things that you don't realize are related to the diagnoses and how to work with those.  

 

Anyone who says a child with ADHD doesn't have special needs, has special needs.

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Ananda--fwiw, I found that the public schools weren't helpful and that we lost a year, on average, trying to move through the system.  They evaluate eligibility for services, which is very different than a comprehensive look at where a child's strengths and challenges are.  Most insurance covers developmental pediatrician or evaluation clinic visits, sometimes with only a doctor visit co-pay required.

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Agreed. And it doesn't have to be a scary diagnoses. It doesn't change who he is. It just gives you a framework to work from. 

 

I'll take that one step further.  Not only is it a framework, but it opens doors to options and supports most people have NO CLUE exist.  Or at least I didn't.  Our diagnosis gets us a state disability scholarship, which allows us to bring in ABA, both with behaviorists and tutors.  So I homeschool and we use what I pick, what I want, as I want, but I have SUPPORT.  

 

Fwiw, the research shows that parents who do behavioral interventions FIRST, before ADHD meds, are more satisfied with the outcomes than people who do meds first or even both together.  It's kind of curious.  So there's enough evidence to indicate that pursuing behavioral interventions for this will be good no matter WHAT the final outcome with diagnosis (ADHD or ASD or whatever). 

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Just a quick update:

 

We are definitely pursuing a private evaluation.  You have me convinced.

 

We had soccer practice again today.  I had my husband go with me so we could both observe.  We were already decided that if this practice was a disaster we would pull him from the team. Of course, the practice went okay.  He was still very distractable, but he wasn't a constant disruption.  We didn't even consider getting up & helping.  On the one hand, I was super proud of him.  On the other hand we are left wondering what made this practice so different.  I did tell him that we were considering stopping soccer if it wasn't working out, but that we would find another fun activity that was a better fit.  I am sure he tried his absolute best.  I am not naive enough to think all of the practices will go so well.  We have decided to continue soccer for the time being as long is it is on the balance working.  We can always reevaluate that decision later.  We have decided that this will be his last season of soccer.

 

Also, forgot to mention, your son sounds a LOT like my son at that age. He was later diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD inattentive type. Mine was more aggressive, which thankfully you don't sound like you have, but yeah, we did a few weeks of pee wee football and it was very eye opening to me. I handle his issues at home so well that seeing him in a group was a bit of a shock to me. 

 

A lot of people have been mentioning Autism or Aspergers.  I have, of course been paranoid that if ds has Autism maybe we all are one big autistic family.  My husband and I are two seriously quirky people.  My husband was placed in early intervention as a two year old because he didn't talk except to repeat what other people said (among other reasons).  After six months he spontaneously began talking in complex sentences and was pulled from the early intervention.  Autism was never mentioned again, except in the funny family anecdote about the silly people who thought dh was Autistic.  I feel like a hypochondriac.  Anyway, I will be sure that Autism is among the things he is evaluated for, it seems to be on the long list of the place we are considering.  We will cross that bridge if we come to it.  I don't care what anyone says its a scary diagnosis.  ADHD adults usually manage to have relatively functional independent lives.  Autistic people aren't always so fortunate.  

 

I also wanted to touch on the aggression bit mentioned above.  He has never been aggressive.  I mean yes, he has hit people, especially in sibling fights.  I always thought that was because he was highly verbal and could "use his words."  His inappropriate expressions of anger was always emotional meltdowns.

 

 

Library Momma, on 18 Aug 2016 - 11:15 AM, said:

 


Is there a TOPS soccer program near you?  It is designed specifically for children with a large range of needs and delays.  Each player is assigned a buddy and they run drills and play scrimmages all for fun.  

 

 

---YES!  actually at his soccer club has TOPS.  Thanks.  I will definitely keep that in mind.

 

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have you looked into (central) auditory processing disorder?   it is diagnosed by an audiologist.  there are three subgroups. 

 

a normal hearing test offered by your ped or school ONLY tests to see if a child can organically hear.  it does NOTHING to determine if the brain is processing *what* they are hearing.  you'd be amazed at the number of things that affects.  from reading to writing to how focusing on and following the instructions given to them.  it can even affect their social skills.  

 

it is becoming  more common because of so many dietary suggestions to eliminate fats from the diet.  my son has delayed development of the corpus callosum - boys require 3 TIMES the amount of essential fatty acids as girls, starting in utero. they aren't getting it.  his naturopath started him on 1280mg of fish oil (Nordic naturals) because of the brain's requirement for fatty acids . . . along with that he is currently doing a very specific type of auditory therapy to help with the development of the cc and he's making progress. (we just did his retest today- and he's made measurable progress, in addition to observed progress.)

 

eta: dudeling is diagnosed asd (with some add and ocd) -  by a team that did NOT consider apd (which ticked me off as I specifically asked *the audiologist* about it).  I later took him to a private audiology clinic to be tested for capd. which he has, and we've been doing private therapy. (most is at home.)

there is a lot of overlap of symptoms among capd/asd/adhd/ocd/ etc.

 

I also take him to a naturopath who specializes in asd/adhd/ocd etc.  she works miracles.

 

Edited by gardenmom5
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Yes APD is a good thing to rule in or out. In some ways (depending on the kind), it's like having hearing loss. In other ways, not as much (I do not want to minimize hearing loss; I do want to emphasize the significance of the APD). Sometimes the child has small hearing loss as well, but it's outside the range the pediatrician or school will test. 

 

My non-ASD kiddo has APD, and direction following is a laughable prospect at times, depending on the environment, types of directions, and complexity of the task.

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