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Inattentive ADHD in 11 yo - Just diagnosed

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DS (age 11) is seeing a Psychologist right now and she did a bunch of testing this morning. This all started because he has previously been diagnosed w/ SPD and I strongly suspect Dysgraphia, although no formal diagnosis. His schoolwork isn't getting any better, and if he needs accommodations in college, I figured we should take advantage of the fact that we've met our out of pocket max for the year and get some testing going.

 

So she hasn't scored everything yet, but after the testing this morning, she said DS definitely has Inattentive ADHD. This is truly a surprise to me. Although it really shouldn't be - I've suspected for a couple of years now that I have it. And DS definitely has issues with staying focused, but I figured it was because there's just always a lot going on here.

 

My youngest DD (age 7 - adopted from China) has ADHD - emphasis on the Hyperactive!!!!!

 

Not sure we want to jump to meds (DD7 does take meds, but's it's been a LONG road with her), but where should I start? Books? Websites???

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Has he had OT? If you already have supports in place for the SPD and the retained reflexes, then you could start with behavioral work, things for Social Thinking. That would let you see how far he can get cognitively with controlling his behavior, then go to meds for the rest.

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Has he had OT? If you already have supports in place for the SPD and the retained reflexes, then you could start with behavioral work, things for Social Thinking. That would let you see how far he can get cognitively with controlling his behavior, then go to meds for the rest.

 

How would Social Thinking help with the Inattentive Type? I can see how with hyperactivity... (my 16 yr old is inattentive type)

 

Also, is Social Thinking something that is best implemented by a professional?? Or could a parent do this? I've been to the website, and it seems like it might be something that a parent could implement, but I'd love to here from someone with personal experience.

 

OP, sorry for the hijack.

Edited by stephensgirls

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I'm using ST pretty broadly there. At the very least, Zones of Regulation and 360Thinking, both of which are recommended by the ST people, will definitely apply. And in some cases more of the stuff from the ST site will work. 

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And yes, the materials are open and go. I've been to a number of the workshops and find them helpful, sure. The workshops let you get the big picture and let you hear more stories behind the concepts, but still everything is there, in the books.

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Hi,

 

There is an overwhelming amount of material available for the hyperactive type, but not as much for inattentive.  There was a mom, Tess Messer, who kept a blog that was quite good: 

 

http://www.primarilyinattentiveadd.com

 

She isn't keeping it up anymore, but the articles are still there and may be worth a perusal. (there's a lot of references to scientific research which she's read and summarizes)

 

...

 

(Edited for privacy)

Edited by CaitlinC
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I think it is much more weight on the student with inattentive ADHD to manage it themselves, and that is hard. They have to see they are drifting and correct course. My suggestion (besides the typical "structure, structure, structure") is to have timers set at pretty frequent intervals for the child to "remember" what they are supposed to be doing. Maybe have a white board with "This is what I am working on now" info on it? 

 

I think these kids typical have a terrible sense of time as well. So, some time training...we started this with my son but have kinda been busy. Anyway, he really thought fun things were over too fast and hard things went to slow (don't we all), but in his case, it was really an extreme perception. I asked him to time himself for a not fun task. He estimated 15 minutes. It was 6 minutes and 20 seconds. His little jaw dropped. Then we timed him doing something fun for 6 minutes and 20 seconds. He was stunned at how fast it went. So, we did everything that day in increments of 6 minutes and 20 seconds. He complains and argues about time-related stuff a lot less now. I do need to do more training just to be sure.

 

But seriously, sometimes these kids honestly don't remember what day of the week it is or even whether they've eaten lunch. Even on days we have specific activities, I get questions about what day it is. If I don't make my son change into pajamas, he'll sleep in his clothes, and then wear them for several days (he's still little--not stinky, has dry skin, so showers less than the adults and teen). He actually likes to know what day it is, so I try to have him date his work to be more time-aware.

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The sense of time thing is strongly connected to autism. I'm not sure it's so much an issue with straight ADHD. 

 

Mindfulness will improve self-awareness for self-monitoring. Really though, one of the issues with ADHD is whether they can break the task into chunks, estimate the amount of time for the task, and not be overwhelmed and just give up. What usually happens is they don't know how long it will take and they just give up and go make 1600 pins on Pinterest. :D

 

So 360Thinking is your go to resource on how to break down those steps in figuring out how to chunk the task, how long each chunk will take, etc. It's all Executive Function. Read about EF strategies.

 

Meds help, but they aren't a substitute for EF strategies, and kids with strong EF strategies sort of power through their own issues. 

 

Anything you can do for chunking will help. I talked with one person who said their best strategy was make a pile with all the work and work through it, top to bottom, going to the next thing every 10 minutes with a timer. That way the individual doesn't become bored, and the timer does the work of keeping them on track. Just boom, boom, 10 minutes, 10 minutes, and if you don't finish you circulate it to the bottom. My dd was always like no way, couldn't handle so much transition. But if you have a dc who can handle the transitions, it could be a strong strategy. 

 

Anything you do to collaborate on problem solving this is good.

 

SaveSave

Edited by OhElizabeth

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Thanks, everyone! Lots of great info. And now that I think about it, stimulant meds are out for DS because he has a heart murmur. So I think we will work on EF strategies. Lord knows, I could use those, too. LOL

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The sense of time thing is strongly connected to autism. I'm not sure it's so much an issue with straight ADHD. 

 

Well, it's my ADHD kid, not my ASD/ADHD kid that has trouble with time. The ASD kiddo is fine with time or at least found a method to compensate (on his own).

 

Thanks, everyone! Lots of great info. And now that I think about it, stimulant meds are out for DS because he has a heart murmur. So I think we will work on EF strategies. Lord knows, I could use those, too. LOL

 

If you don't have a direct quote from the doctor on that and are assuming so, you might ask the doctor (if you want to go that route at some point). One of my kiddos has heart issues and is cleared to take stimulant meds for ADHD. He's been fine on them.

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