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curriculum suggestions for inattentive add 5/6th grader

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So in a previous post it was mentioned that children aren't resistant to learning but maybe the schoolwork. With that in mind, my 3rd child is very different than the two boys and I'm looking for curriculum suggestions for her. Definitely has traits of distractibility and slow to start with a lot of complaining. Its hard to say what her learning style is because I feel she hasn't really developed a love of learning from  her current private school. She loves art (painting, drawing) and legos. She says she likes science but hates doing the science end of chapter questions she gets sent home. 

We will be pulling her out in May and hoping to ease in hs with some gap filling of 5th grade and then move into 6th,

 

Suggestions. In the past I've done SOTW, lots of reading literature, FLF, logic, Singapore math, independent project units (for the older boys) but with her she doesn't really have a passion for reading and is indecisive so not sure independent projects will work.

 

 

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7 hours ago, workingmom said:

So in a previous post it was mentioned that children aren't resistant to learning but maybe the schoolwork.

Definitely. Children are developmentally bent toward learning, but if they aren't having SUCCESS it's pretty hard to want to keep going. So what you're actually saying is why is she not having success? 

7 hours ago, workingmom said:

Definitely has traits of distractibility and slow to start with a lot of complaining.

Just as a suggestion you might do some reading on *executive function* and see what lightbulbs come on for you. Like I'm not there, so I'm just thinking about my dd at that age. My dd was very slow (low processing speed, like she uses accommodations in college for it because her processing speed is low), but there's also this idea of the initiation hump, the organization, just getting yourself in gear, in mode, mentally there, ready to go. And I think reading about EF might help you piece together things.

We've had threads with books on EF and ADHD. So technically EF is considered a feature of the ADHD, and when you go to a psych and ask for evals (which you really might consider doing), they'll run an EF survey. It will have like, I forget, 100+ questions that tick through all kinds of aspects of EF and how they show up in life, and you'll mark them on a scale and they'll score it. And they'll go yup, EF issues. But that's stuff you can see too by reading and go OH I DIDN'T REALIZE, THAT'S WHY... 

So you'd like to have some of those OH THAT'S WHY experiences, and I think maybe reading about EF will help you get there. Evals could be a good part of that process too, where someone else sits down with you and helps piece together dots. Hoagies Gifted maintains a psych list, and that might be a place to look for someone who is maybe focused on strengths, looking to help unleash bright kids. It might be a process you'd appreciate.

As far as books, just start googling. Amazon has a ton. Find one and then rabbit trail. Your library system may be able to get you stuff. Read widely, because it's a part of the brain that affects a LOT of areas of life.

                                            That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life                                     

                                            The Executive Functioning Workbook for Teens: Help for Unprepared, Late, and Scattered Teens                                     

                                            Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD, 2nd Edition-Revised and Updated: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized                                     

As far as the complaining, what's going on there? I can think of a lot of reasons to complain, and, this is just me, but I *tend* to take them pretty seriously. I would look for what the legit issue is that she's not self-advocating about very well. If you care to share the things here, we can try to help you unpack that. It's not that I'm cool with complaining, but I've learned over the years, in working with my kids, that kids are kids, not the adults, and that they sometimes struggle to problem solve, be self-aware, or self-advocate well. Sometimes they need another person to come alongside and validate what they think they're feeling (that seems weird, that seems like nobody else feels) or to get it into words or just flat to problem solve. It can take some work, and frankly sometimes it's better done with other adults as you widen out your team and seek help. You wouldn't think of it, but an OPTOMETRIST was actually the first great person we brought in like that. Seriously. So tell us what's going on and maybe we can help you help her problem solve.

7 hours ago, workingmom said:

She loves art (painting, drawing) and legos.

What an interesting combination!!! So DO this!!! These are not ancillary. If she likes them, milk it. You can use legos to work on reading comprehension, narrative language, etc. And with the art, not only could that be motivating to her (we're going to do 90 minutes morning work and then here's your work area with supplies to pursue your own thing), but it's also something you can *chain* from. So by chaining, we mean rabbit trailing, making connections. So there are art history books she might enjoy going through together. You could find a series about lives of artists to read to her but then find also books in that series about POETS. Expand it out, kwim? Go from what she enjoys to what she doesn't yet realize she'll enjoy. 

Until you figure out what's going on, I would probably try to use this chaining and starting with her interests to hit her LA and general content needs. That way you're reducing opposition, kwim? There's no reason why she has to have a separate whatever curriculum and plug through stuff. If she needs to write, let her write summaries using this art interest. If she needs to read, let her read in this art interest. Where you have choice (which you do a lot), just flow from there. 

Veritas Press has some wonderful lists by grade level and time period in their catalog. You can see them on their site. So they had some book series I'm thinking of that would be the PERFECT level for her. They had a series of books about artists that came with the supplies. I used them with my dd around that age. One I remember was making art with scissors, so adorable. So dig in on VP's site or get their catalog. I got a LOT of mileage for my dd with VP. We did their online self-paced history, which my dd LOVED. We had already done the print curriculum version (though admittedly I'm a crummy history teacher), and she went back through and did ALL the levels, swoosh, when they came out, because she loved them so much. They have online trial lessons, so that might be something. The style matures in the online self-paced, so if say the OTAE course (old testament/ancient egypt) seems too young, just move forward to new testament/Greece/Rome, kwim? And she can do it at her pace. My dd had a point where she would literally do an entire course during the free month trial period they used to run, hehe. Now they don't offer a month. :biggrin:

7 hours ago, workingmom said:

She says she likes science but hates doing the science end of chapter questions she gets sent home. 

Any idea why? This is concerning. You want to know if it's a decoding, comprehension, language, attention, vision, what's going on. Right about that age my dd's convergence issues (developmental vision) flared up. She was seeing double and having headaches and didn't really know how to explain it. After we got the vision corrected, we had issues with her reading something and then having NO CLUE what she had read. That was the ADHD, sigh, and that's what finally sent us to the psych for evals. It was just exasperating. There are some techniques you use, but a lot of it is promoting engagement and attention. But you don't want to do that when you haven't *eliminated* other physical problems like vision, language comprehension, narrative language, etc. etc., kwim? So it can take some work to sort out, and it can be several things together.

Fwiw, my dd, that same person who at 12 would read a section in a science book and have NO CLUE what she read, later went on to have exceptional ACT scores, with science being her HIGHEST score! LOLOLOL Go figure. Do NOT conclude what is strong on her or what is possible based on where she is now. She's at the ugliest stage. And frankly, give the child some ADHD meds, get reflexes retained, work on mindfulness to improve self-awareness and self-advocacy, maybe get OT or vision evals if those issues are going on, and she could be in a really different place in a few years, blossoming. 

As a suggestion, I try to view myself as a *facilitator* not a teacher. The more I facilitate, the more it turns the child on to what they can make happen. It's harder with some kids than others. It was exactly what my dd needed. My ds has ASD2, and with him facilitating is still highly supported, lol. But that idea that, to the degree you're able, I'm going to facilitate and help you do things. 

Or put another way, I scheduled for my dd what she couldn't do for herself, not what she could. My dd was able to drive parts of her education and not others. So it's something to look for. It doesn't have to be all unschooling all things. It can just be saying what parts is she ready to drive herself in and how can I facilitate that? And then you do the parts she can't. 

7 hours ago, workingmom said:

some gap filling

What gaps are you seeing right now? You're definitely right to be meeting her right where she is. It's *awkward* to pin social grade promotion on this. What you might do is have a plan that you discuss with her, like we're going to homeschool for a year, and as we approach 7th we'll decide whether to do a transition year before calling it 7th. Or there might be reason to do 7th (to let her be called 7th to get in with a youth group at church, for instance) and then have a transition year before 8th or before 9th. These are really common years to do that if necessary.

I told you my dd's scores were great, but she just kinda needed more bloom time. I SO wanted to do that, and she just would have none of it. After a year of college, she came back and was like OH NOW I GET IT. She realized why I had wanted her to have that extra year. It's just that it wasn't to be, kwim? And in general, grade retention is not evidence based. Unless there are significant things going on, it's not a hot plan. 

But being flexible, meeting her where she is, letting it pan out in the wash, these are good plans! And if she's really developmentally behind, maybe it's the time to have that conversation. Some kids are and they just flat need an extra year. My ds will probably stay at home on IEPs a lot longer, like till 20. 

7 hours ago, workingmom said:

indecisive

You might want to read about anxiety. Just saying.

7 hours ago, workingmom said:

not sure independent projects will work.

So this is where you want to read about EF. I agree with you that if you just open it up, it can go totally awry. That EF is gonna show up and cause problems over and over and over. But projects and hands-on and sort of unit study or theme approaches can be really good! So it's kind of contradictory, eh? 

What we'll talk about with ADHD is STRUCTURE. The more structure the better. So then you're like how do I structure unschooling, choice, project driven learning? How do I facilitate passions and give them freedom but have the structure that increases predictability, improves learning, and reduces anxiety? 

For us, what it meant was things like checklists. I would drive the parts I needed to drive (math, LA, etc.) and those would be explicitly spelled out on the checklists. All very clear. And also on the checklists would be the parts where I was facilitating, things where she had choice and I was providing materials and structure to help her get there. So the checklist might have choices and she would LOG what she did, rather than me specifying. Structure, prompts, organization, choice, facilitating, but she had more freedom.

Fourth was the year my ds was born iirc. Or maybe 5th? It was a lost year for us seemingly. We got the Beautiful Feet Geography, which she enjoyed, a lot of science videos someone from the boards sent us, did Wordsmith Apprentice (which she also enjoyed), and I can't remember what for math. Probably still BJU. BJU math at that time for us was TOGETHER. Together math was really good for her, because I could *scribe* and be her working memory. The low processing speed would bog down her math, so she wold sometimes point to operation signs or math words on cards and she could tell me things and I would write. We used 16X20 whiteboards to do math together.  Highly recommend doing math together.

Have you seen Cathy Duffy's books like the Top 101, Top 102, etc? She talks about learner profiles, so those might give you some more ideas too. Math is so specific to personality. My dd was great at word problems, didn't enjoy straight computation, and wouldn't have liked the efficiency of Singapore. We did RightStart, BJU, some TT, and later went to MUS. MUS can be GREAT for ADHD kids with low processing speed. They can rewind the videos and there's a heavy emphasis on self-monitoring for comprehension. Their high school math is where she learned to monitor for comprehension, rewind, and really work at learning. So you'll hear boo things about it on the board, but don't pay that a lot of mind. There can be really good reasons to use something when the overall effect or the skills they're learning through it is good.

Keep tossing out information and we'll try to get you more ideas. 

Edited by PeterPan

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Taking the science interest and taking out any other possible learning issues, I would suggest Ellen McHenry materials paired with high interest middle grade level well written science books to be read together at first. (again, following up on any other issues is important too).  Poorly written science curricula is the norm at school, and end of the chapter questions can be the kiss of death.  We homeschooled much of elementary and just read LOTS of well written science books (starting with Scientist in the Field series and moving up to Sy Montgomery narrative style adult science writing).  And Ellen Mchenry is centered on arts and crafts and making games while teaching higher level concepts. So much fun.  

With my indecisive kid I just put it on the schedule and didn't give him a choice.  It was his choice how ALL IN he wanted to go on it, but not whether he wanted to do it.  

And again, barring any other issues, she might not be passionate about reading yet because she hasn't found the topic that interests her and is well written.  I have to work hard to find books for my son who is extremely picky -- very good reader but he is so narrow in his focus. My two dd's will read anything and everything. For my son it was usually math books, books of miscellany, books about computer game design and now Terry Pratchett.  

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I have a daughter who is in 5th grade and she does well in science at her current school.  At our previous school, science was more hands-on.  At this school, I was told by her teacher that they have basically made science into a reading comprehension activity, and how kids do in science tracks with how they do in reading.  I wonder if this is the same with the private school.  I think the hands-on at previous school seemed a lot better.  I would not read too much into it if reality is -- they are using science to do non-fiction reading comprehension.  

It's also possible they also do hands-on and your daughter likes and is good with the hands-on, and then they tack on some non-fiction reading comprehension questions.  

For my daughter who does well with answering the questions -- it is a reflection of her reading comprehension more than anything else.  She is not really strong in science or interested in science.  

It is popular right now (with Common Core etc) to spread reading comprehension around into content areas, and add non-fiction reading comprehension through content areas.  

I think it's a good thing to do overall, but to not like those questions I don't think is something that means someone doesn't like science or isn't good at science.  It is more something where I think they are tacking on some non-fiction reading.  

I hope that makes sense.  

I don't think you have any obligation to add in non-fiction reading comprehension through science, just because that is something that is popular with Common Core.  I think it's a nice thing where it works out, but ridiculous to think someone doesn't like or isn't good at science over some reading comprehension questions.  

The reading comprehension questions seem to trend pretty hard at young ages with Common Core too, and I think it's something where a lot of kids have trouble with them.  Are they learning through the effort and process?  I can't say.  I don't know.  But they are supposed to be hard and they are hard, that is the intent.  They aren't meant to be easy -- so finding them hard and troublesome I don't think has much meaning.  

There is a lot of mindset of "it's good for kids to wrestle and think" so it makes it hard to know how they are doing if you just see the wrestling and thinking, if you can't hear a comparison to other students.  If the teacher at school hasn't said anything -- it's probably not a concern.  

But that is different from thinking -- this is a good method for a specific child.  

For my daughter who does do good on them -- I am literally told they track with reading comprehension, and I think the implication is the teachers can see there are kids who are good at actual science but don't do well on the questions because it is a different skill.  

Edit:  I have a hard time knowing, when some struggle is really productive and really helpful to the learning and thinking process, and when some struggle is really crossing into being counter-productive and changes need to be made.  

Edited by Lecka

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I’d probably start by trying for as much real and hands on as possible—maybe not even calling most of it “school”.  Perhaps some daily math and reading (and yes do check to make sure she isn’t having a specific learning challenge with each other).  Then maybe garden and planting with record keeping and art record of what’s growing? Or join a local astronomy group?   Cooking along with cooking science?  Some physical activity that fits her and is available where you are and not beyond budget?  

Then plan to assess how it’s going including her opinion of what is good what could be better in a month or two...   tweak, and reassess again after another month or two

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On 1/9/2020 at 11:47 AM, workingmom said:

So in a previous post it was mentioned that children aren't resistant to learning but maybe the schoolwork. With that in mind, my 3rd child is very different than the two boys and I'm looking for curriculum suggestions for her. Definitely has traits of distractibility and slow to start with a lot of complaining. Its hard to say what her learning style is because I feel she hasn't really developed a love of learning from  her current private school. She loves art (painting, drawing) and legos. She says she likes science but hates doing the science end of chapter questions she gets sent home. 

We will be pulling her out in May and hoping to ease in hs with some gap filling of 5th grade and then move into 6th,

 

Suggestions. In the past I've done SOTW, lots of reading literature, FLF, logic, Singapore math, independent project units (for the older boys) but with her she doesn't really have a passion for reading and is indecisive so not sure independent projects will work.

 

 

These things sound like a visual spatial learner, to me. It makes sense that a V/S learner would like DOING science but not reading and writing about it.

Has she been in school since kindergarten? Did you teach her to read, or did she learn at school? Are you certain that she is decoding well?

Some people just don't care for reading, because they'd rather be doing something else, even though they can read just fine. Others don't like reading, because it is HARD for them. And it can be hard for different reasons. Some have trouble decoding, but they are good at guessing or reading via context clues, so no one realizes that they have trouble reading and sounding out individual words, until they are older, when the reading material gets harder, and their skill level can't keep up. Other people can decode but have trouble with comprehension.

So I think it's worth considering if there is an underlying issue that is contributing to the dislike of reading. You can have her read some nonsense words and see if she can decode them properly according to phonetic rules. @ElizabethB has some materials that she suggests for parents to use to evaluate reading at home.

I agree with PeterPan that there could be some signs of ADHD and EF showing up in your description. ADHD can look different in girls and is more often undiagnosed in girls for that reason.

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I also agree that if she doesn't like to learn by reading, that the things you have used with your older kids might not work well for her.

You might consider learning history through watching videos. Or connect history with art. Usborne has a lot of really nice art books, many of which connect with history and include projects. You could do some art history and/or artist studies and learn about what was going on during that time period as her history class. Or you could use something like History Pockets, if it aligns with the period that you want to learn. History Pockets contains crafty projects that link to history. Or do geography for a year instead of history, and have her draw maps and do paper mache globes and salt dough maps.

I would choose a science program that focuses on a topic she wants to learn about and that is mostly hands on. Forget reading about science for the next year, and just do science with her.

And, yes, it's much easier to hand a student a reading list and let them do it independently, but for hands on learning, I think she's going to need more interaction, either from you or from siblings, if they can work on projects together.

 

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wow thank you for all your insights. We get the psychologist eval back on Friday. I definitely know there is EF issues, but even having worked with her all last summer she still needs help with those skills. I'll ask the psychologist if she has sessions she can have with DD for those. Even though I teach other kids EF skills she isn't learning it from me. 

I will start pulling some basic curriculum from the suggestions and do the unschooling a bit (totally out of my type A personality) and then see what the final psychologist eval says 

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So psychological testing shows she has inattentive adhd. However psychologist said go to ped and discuss meds/behavior therapy.  Since she’s only 10 will see if can wait for meds and focus on some study skill/Ef work. She does great socially and academically when interested and one on one.

Back to reading about vitamins, brain training, meds.....

 

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, workingmom said:

Since she’s only 10

She's in 4th or 5th? If this is 5th, it's time. At our ped it took months to get meds, because you had an intake (one hour) where they only do so many a month, then a testing appt, then a follow-up appointment. It basically took 3-4 months from the time we wanted to until we actually had a scrip. Now maybe some docs are faster, but it could be that way. And if she's 5th, then you're working on meds over the summer and through 6th to have them in place and fully lined up by 7th.

If she has spent 10 years working on cognitive strategies and being told to try harder, then meds might let her actually flourish. I'd have to reread the thread, but you had some pretty significant concerns. They were significant enough that a professional told you to pursue meds. I can tell you that they do NOT all say that and not about all kids. We didn't leave with my dd at 10 being told go get meds. Seriously. So the psych saw enough that he was like wow, she'd be in a lot better place with meds.

What does a lot better place look like? How about ACT scores going up by 50% overnight? It could be that radical. And there are no vitamins that will do that, no cognitive therapies, nothing. What was her processing speed? 

We waited until high school, and it was late. My dd wished she had had them a fuzz earlier. Like I said, the psych didn't push them really hard where my dd was when she was eval'ed at 12. But that's a lot of water under the bridge. I think I would do them sooner. I think you might not realize the extreme difference they'll make, the conflicts they'll resolve. We spent a lot of time trying other things (neurofeedback, blah blah) and they don't work. You'll make some progress working on EF, sure. But nothing replaces meds. For some of these kids it's the difference between college and no college. LIFE ALTERING. 

 

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I have to agree and say my two sons have never been recommended medication.  With my older son some other parents were shocked because they thought a certain psychologist recommended ADHD medication for everyone he saw.  We’ll he didn’t recommend it for my son and didn’t think it would help!

I have know many kids very helped by medication and a few with very little result.  
 

Edit:  just to say — ime they don’t blanketly recommend medication and some kids get significant improvement. 

Edited by Lecka
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On 1/9/2020 at 11:47 AM, workingmom said:

is indecisive

Meds can help a child absorb the EF strategies that are being taught. In our home, nothing would stick without meds!!! 

Indecision can be something that comes with the territory, but it can be worsened by slow processing speed, impulsivity (making a choice but immediately changing it), etc. As a child's understanding of cause/effect and ability to plan, prioritize, etc. mature over time, it can get better. It can help to reflect on how previous choices went and why and to also help scaffold choices so that she could develop a habit of feeling secure about what the decision is, where it fits into the big picture, etc. 

Kids with inattentive ADHD often don't know what's going on around them and have no real sense of the passing of time or of how routines go, and then they have to make a decision out of context (but may not necessarily know it's about a lack of context because it's always that way for them). Lots of reminders about what day it is, what time of day it is, what the week looks like, etc. can sometimes help. Visual schedules and lists with stops to talk about "where we ware" can help. Reminders about how much time they'll have left in the day to do things that are important to them helps. Helping them see and feel time helps. My younger kiddo didn't realize how slowly time moved when something was hard(er) or how fast it went when something was (more) fun. We would time him doing a small but really boring task, and then use that same timer to have him do something that was fun and see how it felt. If he hadn't seen the timer himself, he would've thought we were tricking him. 

Just some thoughts from my experience with one of my kiddos. (The other has different manifestations of his ADHD.)

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I would take the recommendation seriously.  Middle school is where everything starts to fall apart for kids with adhd.  Increased EF load plus puberty = recipe for disaster or at the very least severe hits to self esteem.  

Ok, just reread and realized you will be homeschooling.  Still definitely keep it in mind -- my daughter has the combined type adhd but she has stated many times that when her meds are working it's like putting on glasses.  Time moves slower for her, she is able to plan ahead better, to understand how long tasks take, and she doesn't get "stuck" as often. (She can get stuck in the bathroom doing her makeup and suddenly it will have been 45 minutes, showers that she thought took 10 minutes actually took 45 minutes... etc.  It makes her feel so out of control when it happens and then she becomes very frustrated with herself)

 

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2 hours ago, SanDiegoMom in VA said:

or at the very least severe hits to self esteem.  

Bingo. Depression is REALLY HIGH in this population, and that's how it happens, with junior high, things not going right, the kid coming into his/her own and realizing she has more ability and just flat can't do it because of attention issues. And then the guilt tripping like it's a spiritual or character problem (which the churches in our acquaintance do), like if they WANTED to they could overcome it. So depression. And it's pretty sad to watch frankly.

And you know, most adults have zero issue with their own self-medication (with coffee, with Red Bull, with Diet Coke, whatever), but when it's their kid and ADHD meds (small, careful doses of a substance that acts in a very similar way), oh that's terrible and a drug and causing dependency and awful. 

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Just to clarify the psychologist didn't recommend meds, only recommended discussing with peds as an option, however, with all your recommendations, and reading about it and speaking to those with ADD and kids with add..   meeting with peds to start discuss options of  meds next week. I do hope its like "lifting the fog" and more time awareness effects. For those that have been on meds from 10-12 years old, do the kids want to stay on them on weekends or summers or are they fine with them off. I know some peds recommend off during breaks. 

 

 

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Oh good, I'm glad you aren't angry or feeling like we were ganging up on you! :smile:  It's good to have choice.

So my dd finds the meds help her sensory issues and make life more manageable. They also make DRIVING SAFER. And since driving for her doesn't stop in the summer, she has always taken them year round.

I like my kid off meds. Apparently I have a high tolerance for ADHD and enjoy it, like it's normal in our house, fine, love it, embrace it. But my dd likes who she is on meds and likes what she can do. My dd takes off when she's sick, so it usually happens that a couple times a year she'll be off for a while. Like getting your wisdom teeth out, go off the meds. Sick with URI, off the meds. Kwim? It just kinda happens. 

I think the whole summer thing is people who are like well it was for school, they don't need them at home to function. But if you school year round or if she functions better with them, I think that has to be her call. It's a really good time to be talking self-awareness, self-monitoring, self-advocacy. What do they change for her, when does she need them, etc. If this is a dc who is headed to college, same gig. She's going to be self-advocating in a few years for DE=dual enrollment. As soon as my dd got her diagnosis and paper trail, I signed her up for a (free) class with MP. It was literature, so it was going to have live discussion questions, which hits on an area of disability for her. So we started right off the bat saying this is your paper trail, this is what's right, you're as smart as almost any of them IF you have the accommodations you need to let it come out.

Now maybe that made her too arrogant, hahaha, but she has done really well self-advocating in college. So it's something to think through. You're going to hear a lot of stories of kids wanting to be normal, not wanting to use their accommodations, wanting to wait and see (ie. fail first??), etc. Getting kids ok with using accommodations and supports is HUGE. My dd had very high ACT scores *and* uses accommodations in college. They are not mutually exclusive. And a kid has to be pretty comfortable with themselves to walk in there and do that.

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30 minutes ago, workingmom said:

more time awareness effects.

You might look at 360 Thinking. https://efpractice.com  They have a webinar they run occasionally that isn't too expensive that is HIGHLY worth your time. There are also some things you can do like using a timer to track your sense of elapsed time. Sometimes people with significant EF issues have a really off but consistently, predictably off, sense of time. Mine was basically 1.5. So I was sensing time consistently off like that, making it a running joke in our marriage. Now I LIVE by my iphone. I set timers constantly, everywhere. I have a bit better sense of time because (don't laugh) I use a timer in the steam room. It's basically an elapsed time exercise and I've gotten a bit better at having *some* sense of how much time has elapsed. But no I always use timers. Showering, anything on the stove, anything.

I like Alexa on the amazon products that I keep around the house, the timer on my stove, the timer on my phone, etc. So installing inexpensive amazon whatevers around the house could be an option. Put one in the bathroom and it's just "Alexa, set a timer for 12 minutes" while she showers, kwim?

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Mine take theirs all the time, but one of them does skip from time to time. Unfortunately, he is very thin for his age (but okay for him--he has a genetic disorder that generally results in being more thin), and that makes dosing less than ideal. I think he could stand to have a bigger dose, and then he'd respond a bit better (and find his meds indispensable vs. generally helpful), but weight-wise, we're stuck at the moment. The other kiddo loves his meds, unapologetically. 

ETA: This has grown over time. They were seen as a hassle at first, and one of my kiddos was kind of down on the feeling of inhibition he had while taking them. That feeling of inhibition was just NORMAL self-preservation that he totally lacked prior to taking the meds, lol! Lots of people encouraged him that the feeling was GOOD, and that helped a great deal.

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28 minutes ago, kbutton said:

weight-wise, we're stuck at the moment.

Yeah, dd's eating is funky on the meds too. It took her a while to get used to dealing with a high load AND making time/effort to eat. When they wear off, she comes out RAVENOUS. She too has gotten the "don't lose any more weight" talk. Fwiw, they sell guacamole in little single serving cups. Greatest thing ever. You can freeze it, thaw, boom ready to go.

 

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52 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Yeah, dd's eating is funky on the meds too. It took her a while to get used to dealing with a high load AND making time/effort to eat. When they wear off, she comes out RAVENOUS. She too has gotten the "don't lose any more weight" talk. Fwiw, they sell guacamole in little single serving cups. Greatest thing ever. You can freeze it, thaw, boom ready to go.

 

I am not sure he eats differently on or off the meds. When he's hungry, he's hungry. When he's not, he's not. He wasn't even on the growth chart for weight for several years of his life, lol, and he had no meds on board at that point.

My older kiddo eats regular people "normally" on meds (no lack of appetite), but in the evenings when they wear off, he eats a mountain of food, lol (his normal--always has had a fast metabolism and huge appetite). He's also thin (wiry), but it's just his build. 

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With dd it was very conspicuous, because she went from grazing and filled out to thin, almost underweight for her tall (for a girl) frame. Vyvanse is onlabel for binge eating. It might be ritalin has less of an effect. The Vyvanse is otherwise perfect, and I preferred it because it's a pro-drug, meaning it's metabolized with an enzyme that's time released in the body (I have no clue what I'm talking about), so you can't insufflate it or abuse it. Because she was looking at college, I didn't want anything that could be abused or even a temptation to abuse. We also turned down booster options (single dose, not time released) to get her through the day. Now she finishes out the day with a different med, which has a slight bump in attention as a nice side effect, getting her through the evening and long study days.

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My ds went onto meds at that age and has tried taking weekends off. He also has tried taking summers off. In our experience, he does much better when he takes his meds consistently. Like, I instantly know within 5 minutes of talking with him whether he has had his meds. He doesn’t perceive the difference that clearly, which is why I was supportive of him taking a month break this past summer. He began to see much more clearly for himself his drop in function.

I waited too long to get him meds. He thinks of himself as being dumb and it’s only been since he’s seen himself performing at 99% level on nationwide tests that his self esteem is coming back up.

It is *with meds* that he can use other strategies.

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8 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Fwiw, Vyvanse did not hit ds’s appetite.

Dd was doing 300 level classes as a freshman at the time when it was really a mess. I think she had to learn how to balance everything and get there and eat. Aren't guys still growing till 21 and hence ravenous all the time? Girls peter out 16-18. I don't know, could be some differences there.

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8 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

He thinks of himself as being dumb and it’s only been since he’s seen himself performing at 99% level on nationwide tests that his self esteem is coming back up.

I LOVE that how he views himself is changing. 

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Dd was doing 300 level classes as a freshman at the time when it was really a mess. I think she had to learn how to balance everything and get there and eat. Aren't guys still growing till 21 and hence ravenous all the time? Girls peter out 16-18. I don't know, could be some differences there.

Yeah, ds is working on the balancing act now that he is carrying a full load at the cc. It is a lot of moving pieces to manage.

For my boys, peak eating seems to be age 12-14. It backed down a bit for Oldest at 16. Ds14 is constantly ravenous, but he’s still growing taller by the day. Ds has gained 2” since 16, but it’s not like the year he grew 12”.

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1 hour ago, prairiewindmomma said:

For my boys, peak eating seems to be age 12-14. It backed down a bit for Oldest at 16. Ds14 is constantly ravenous, but he’s still growing taller by the day. Ds has gained 2” since 16, but it’s not like the year he grew 12”.

Oh that's really interesting! Ds gets tired now, wakes up tired, and he's sort of filling out. I think we're on the start of that.

 

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22 hours ago, PeterPan said:

As soon as my dd got her diagnosis and paper trail, I signed her up for a (free) class with MP.

what's MP?

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So 5 days on meds zero side effects  (yay) but also zero therapeutic effect. When checked in with peds she said double the pill. Remarkable the tutor we hired 3 weeks ago raves (pre med and one day of med) that’s she’s so motivated and hard working and doing really well. Now I’m second guessing if she even needs meds vs one on one teaching. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, workingmom said:

So 5 days on meds zero side effects  (yay) but also zero therapeutic effect. When checked in with peds she said double the pill. Remarkable the tutor we hired 3 weeks ago raves (pre med and one day of med) that’s she’s so motivated and hard working and doing really well. Now I’m second guessing if she even needs meds vs one on one teaching. 

Kids with attention issues can be motivated, hardworking, and someone a tutor enjoys working with, thankfully! I am glad your tutor is happy--it helps when the going gets tough.

It can take time to find a therapeutic dose, particularly if the doctor is starting low and going slow.

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I agree that doctors sometimes prescribe a low dose at first and then ramp up, until the effective dose is found. Also, sometimes the first med tried does not end up being the best one. When we first started meds, we tried several different ones until we landed on what worked. And then, in the years after, we made other med changes, as well, as things changed.

Also, sometimes there is a honeymoon period, where it takes awhile for a teacher or tutor to see the whole picture of the student's abilities and behaviors. For an extreme example, DS's math teacher last year (public school) told us that DS was doing so well that he wouldn't have guessed he has a math disability or IEP. By the end of the year, the teacher's opinion had changed. And this year, DS is really, really struggling in his math class, and there is no doubt that his teachers see problems.

Both the med dosage and the opinions of the teachers can take awhile to be completely formed.

I do see why you are wondering about it, but I would try the higher dose that has been recommended, to see if it has more of an effect. With the various meds that we've used, I have sometimes seen an immediate effect, and other times, even though I am trying to pay attention, it takes me awhile to notice things myself, until I think, "Hmm, he seems kind of the same as he was yesterday, but things are definitely going better than they were last week." DS is a kid who responds very well to ADHD meds and is kind of a mess in a lot of ways when they wear off. And it still sometimes takes me awhile to pinpoint what I notice that has changed.

If a higher dosage does not seem to make a difference, it may be that a different med would be a better choice. The fact that the doctor said to DOUBLE the dose tells me that the initial dose was likely really very low. I don't think we've ever doubled a dose when making medication changes. Doubling suggests that the doctor started very low on purpose, with the intention of increasing it.

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