Jump to content


Perhaps not dyslexia, but attention problems...?


Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone. Some of you may recall that because of my concern about dd having dyslexia/dysgraphia, I had pursued getting her evaluated by the local PS. She received a two-part evaluation. The first was an IQ test (the WISC-IV); and today she had the academic performance part of the test, don't know what this particular test was called. Later on I will have a meeting with the person who performed the test as well as the ps-hs liaison to talk in detail about the results, and get some specific recommendations on things we can do differently to better help her learn.


But today the woman who performed the tests said that although she has not scored all of dd's results yet, she feels that her problem is not dyslexia or any sort of learning problem in one particular area, but that she has an attention problem. She said that dd's attention span is definitely not where it should be for her age, and that there were many points during the test when dd would kind of "zone out" and her mind would be a million miles away. I've noticed this with her of course, but didn't know to what extent it was age appropriate.


So this has me befuddled all over again! I was just starting to feel like I could handle homeschooling a dyslexic child, just getting a little bit of confidence about that. And now I may be looking at ADD instead? :willy_nilly: I know I shouldn't panic (if at all) until I get the full results. But I'm having that overwhelmed feeling again.


She said that this difficulty concentrating is often a sign of low serotonin levels in children. (My dh suffers from depression, so I am guessing there is a genetic component to this.) She advised me to give her shorter lessons, frequent breaks, and to up her exercise level, even incorporating exercise into our school day breaks. I've also read how important protein, fat, and Vitamin D are for serotonin, and that sugar intake should be reduced if not eliminated. Are there any other suggestions you would have for me? Or good resources that I could start exploring?


As always, thank you for all your help and support.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

50% of dyslexic kids have ADD/ADHD also. I have a DS that has both.


Same here. The schools here specifically *don't* diagnose dyslexia. I think this is because it is considered a medical diagnosis. They don't even say that the child *might* have dyslexia, even if it is totally obvious, though they seem to have no problem with saying that the child *might* have ADD, which is also a medical diagnosis. Possibly this is because the "cure" for ADD is a simple and relatively cheap prescription that the school cannot possibly be responsible for, while the "cure" for dyslexia is lots of reading/spelling/writing/speaking remediation, that, theoretically, the school could easily provide.


A school evaluation that turned up nothing but a child with average aptitude and skills (and possible ADD) caused us to delay for a year interventions that could have helped my son. I am so glad that I decided that we needed another look-see. Or several more in our case.


Anyway, your child could have dyslexia and the school is ignoring it. Your child could also have ADD, because as mamaofredheads pointed out, it tends to go along with dyslexia. If your child has dyslexia and ADD, treating the ADD will help the ADD, but the dyslexia will still need to be remediated. If the school insists no dyslexia and you think they are wrong, they probably are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She said that this difficulty concentrating is often a sign of low serotonin levels in children. .


Hmmm, generally difficulty concentrating is linked to lower dopamine and norepinephrine levels. Higher seratonin levels can lead to difficulty concentrating. The book _Depression Free Naturally_ is extremely helpful. The most helpful of all of the natural/orthomolecular books when it comes to mental health.


I have a hx of depression and definitely have adhd. It's a tricky balance for me: enough seratonin to keep me happy but not so much that I'm spacey/zoned happy.


Optimizing my dopamine levels via SAM-e helps my ADHD symptoms/focus by about 50% but makes me very 'flat' emotionally (which for me is kind of nice......higher seratonin makes me very emotional.....very happy, but very weepy too).


Adderall though....wow, helps the focus for me by about 90%. It's incredible. It's amazing with my kids too. Esp my dysgraphic/dyslexic one. Her handwriting with the meds and without the meds show about a three year difference. Her reading does as well.


I'd not toss out the possibility of dyslexia. Unless they did a TOWRE or GORT *and* and CTOPP you can't rule out dyslexia.


We were told 'no dyslexia' when dd was tested at 6y7 mo.....by an experienced tester (18 years) who did the WISC, W-J and WAIT. She also observed dd in school for 3 hours and extensively questioned her teachers. Everyone agreed there was no dyslexia.


Everyone was wrong. I knew it then. They all thought it was the untreated ADHD just causing symptoms of dyslexia. The edpsy thought that once the ADHD was treated the dyslexia symptoms would resolve.


But the bottom line? She didn't just have dyslexia 'symptoms', she had the classic results on her testing.....the cluster of results that is highly indicative of dyslexia


1)depressed rapid 'automatic' naming scores

2)word retrieval difficulties



There were other things too. She had the *classic* signs of a phonological weakness and it should have been diagnosed when she was six - treated ADHD or untreated ADHD - it doesn't matter. It was crystal clear. If anything, they should have said 'classic dyslexia.....symptoms of ADHD might be caused by the *dyslexia* and may resolve once the dyslexia is treated".


That's a bit of a stretch;p but honestly, it helps highlight the bias and misunderstanding.


Having gone into homeschooling assuming 'only' ADHD and not dyslexia, I can tell you that h'schooling the ADHD kid, when that's all there is, it easier than it is with the dyslexic kid. The dyslexia remediation is intensive. it can really take over a schedule:)


But.......now I know my kid is both......and I'm managing. Most days right now we're doing 90 min reading, 60 min brainware safari (cognitive skills training), 30 or so minutes of FLL and WWE and about 45-60 minutes of math. Everything else is in a holding pattern b/c we are *flying* with the reading right now and imo, it's *the* most important thing we could possibly be doing - bar none.


All the best to you!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all so much for explaining this to me. I do know that whether my dd gets labeled dyslexic or not, she needs help in language arts. So I intend to "treat" her using programs designed for dyslexics either way. And I really appreciate the encouragement on that front. I will post again when I get to talk to them in more detail about the results, and of course I will find out specifically what test(s) they did. In the meantime, I thank you again for the support.


Oh, and I may have gotten that mixed up. It's entirely possible she said that *increased* serotonin could lead to distractability and I got it backwards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, and I may have gotten that mixed up. It's entirely possible she said that *increased* serotonin could lead to distractability and I got it backwards.


One thing is for certain: there will be mixups in this early phase. Information is coming in so quickly that it's totally overwhelming. {{{{{{hugs}}}}}




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...