Tagged: executive function disorder
February 16, 2018 at 8:11 am #76500thomasmargieParticipant
My husband has already shared our story in length, so I’ll keep it short.
tl;dr we suspect our son, 3rd grade, to have ADHD or another issue. He’s a super smart kid, has no problem with his homework, and is great when it comes to games. However, he has some severe issues with hyperactivity (never sits still), bad memory (always forgets things), and lacks basic capabilities like tying a knot or handwriting in a readable way.
I’m bipolar, and we’re afraid it has affected him. Moreover, we’re afraid that it might get worse if we don’t treat him now. His Dr and teachers think he’s fine, but we’re worried. Did any of you have a similar experience? Do you think it might be ADHD or any other issue?
My husband’s full story (and the comments he got) is here: https://kroovi.com/d/30162-i-think-my-child-has-something-like-adhd-but-his-dr-and-teachers-think-otherwise-am-i-crazy-or-should-fight-for-him-to-get-help
February 16, 2018 at 8:58 am #76574Penny WilliamsKeymaster
Sometimes, as a parent, you have to follow your gut and keep pursuing something you feel strongly about, even when others are dismissive.
Have you tried an online self-test like this one:
Results on these aren’t the same as evaluation and diagnosis, but they can signal if you’re possibly on the right track or not.
Here’s everything you need to know about ADHD evaluations:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
February 17, 2018 at 2:51 pm #76686corrinapooleParticipant
When my son was about this age i was in your exact spot. I asked it I should have him tested and they said no,no. He’s not ADHD. He’ll grow out of it. I’m now dealing with a super smart kid in high school and the teachers don’t have time for the behavior stuff. We finally had a Neuro-Psych evaluation (which freaked me out but was fine) and ADHD diagnosis and finally in the right direction. Still a work in progress. He’s super smart with executive function issues. I wish I went with my gut. It so much harder as they get older because my biggest hurdle is that he wants to do everything himself and be an independent teenager.
February 18, 2018 at 11:27 am #76698BRLKParticipant
I would follow your gut and continue to look for answers. I’d also probably start with a very thorough OT evaluation. There are so many things they look at related to sensory, motor skills, etc that even if they don’t provide a solid diagnosis they will have tools that can help. Sometimes you do also have to let things go or find workarounds like you are doing. Tying shoelaces? Forget it – I buy Velcro shoes. Not worth the fight. Needs to fidget to concentrate? Try lots of things and find what works for him. Handwriting? My middle school son has been using an iPad to type written work since 4th grade. As adults we find our own habits and tools to help us deal with things we struggle with – I feel it’s ok to help kids find those same tools. Not everyone has to do things the same way to be happy and successful and the sooner our kids can realize that the more capable they will become at doing things their own way.
February 18, 2018 at 11:38 am #76700MattColoParticipant
Just 2 suggestions:
Find a doctor for a diagnosis that specializes in ADHD and keeps up with it. I just had a doctor tell me the goal is to get everyone off meds by their 30’s. That was valid medical advice 20 years ago. To be blunt, teachers and general practitioner docs don’t know squat. Since you’re here asking then you know something is off.
Try exercise for/with your son.
Oh, and one more freebie, give your son a big hug and tell him you love him no matter what. If he does have problems this will be important medicine in the long run.
Best of luck
February 21, 2018 at 3:18 pm #76866SnowWhiteParticipant
Definitely seek out the qualified/certified ADHD specialists who gives thorough evaluations. Not just your pediatrician, but an established practice which evaluate AND follow-up children specifically in neurology/psychology. If they don’t have any diagnosis, then you can seek out other kind of help. But as I read once, “no parents regret from having the evaluation done. The most common regret is ‘why didn’t we do it sooner?”
I had concern for my son from preschool days, but EVERY teacher he has had from kindergarten to second grade + his pediatrician dismissed my concern. He was in “Talented Gifted Program” and was a super reader from preschool days. While he was not that attentive, he was always “polite and friendly”, never a trouble maker. His test scores boosted the school performance. “Nothing you need to worry about”, was what everyone said. But all the behavioral patterns that were not average continued, and he was not thriving socially and was not performing to his potential, which always frustrated every instructor/teacher he has had. Only this year as a seventh grader, he told he he cannot focus when he wants to, and the school principal agreed with me that my son would benefit from professional evaluation. With the principal’s support, I was able to persuade my spouse (whom I found out to be undiagnosed + untreated ADHD who suffered socially) to spend $$$$$ on evaluation. ADHD/inattentive type with adjustment disorder was the diagnosis. I WISH I HAD PURSUED PROFESSIONAL EVALUATION SOONER. But better now than later or never. Treatment includes meds but also family CBT, such as time management workshop. We’ve only begun the journey. But it has been incredibly helpful for me as I figure out how to help my husband and my son.
- This reply was modified 3 years ago by SnowWhite.
February 21, 2018 at 3:35 pm #76871hasmigaParticipant
You may want to check out Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD): http://www.canchild.ca You didn’t mention if he was preterm. I agree with those who have already responded to you that you must listen to your gut. However, even without a diagnosis there are still many strategies that can be put in place. Since he has difficulties with handwriting you can consult with an Occupational Therapist and get more info re his development. Finally – is he fine at school and more challenging at home? That would also warrant some follow-up. Good luck…I know what it’s like to have a quirky kid!!
February 21, 2018 at 3:52 pm #76874abuchananParticipant
Hi, I’m sorry that you are seeing the struggle. Have you met with a psychologist? A psychologist may be able to SEE the issues that you are observing. A psychologist can also “prescribe” (not medication but) agencies/resources to help with behavioral support, i.e., OT or behavioral support services. From what you described, please look into Executive Function Disorder. This effects the prefrontal lobe. It does effect memory, but not intelligence. Basic skills seem to be lacking. Hope this helps.
February 21, 2018 at 8:02 pm #76919amominprogressParticipant
I can relate. You described my son. My son does well in his subjects and has issues with writing and tying his shoes. I did research and found information at Understood.org. Definitely check out Dsypraxia or DCD on that site. It was my aha moment with my son. It is typically associated with kids with ADHD. My son doesn’t ride a bike and couldn’t tie his shoes correctly. His handwriting was also horrible. I worked with his psychologist to get him referred for both Occupational and Physical Therapy. The visits help. I wished I had did it sooner.
February 22, 2018 at 8:17 am #76973lara.sniderParticipant
I want you to know that your son only has rights to reasonable accommodations if he has a disability. PLEASE pusrue a diagnosis, even if he does not need educatuional assistance at this point, he may need it in high school or college. A quiet room, ear plugs, support for behavior that is his communication to you, the ony way he knows how, that something is wrong. Mom and Dad know their kid really well- you both are concerned, get support. I totally agree with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and family therapy, as long as it is catering to his attention span, or he has something to fidget with. I have a smooth stone I use when I need to focus, if you google fidget toys you will see all kinds of things. Look into diet and how much actual outdoor, real exercise he gets too. We got three recesses and gym once a week, now kids eat their lunches and go back to class. Food can really trigger my ADD, especially Red Dye 40. I don’t know why that one is the one, but it is in all my favorite Kool-aid and Hawaiian punch drinks and I am much better off without it. There are MANY factors for treatment- and dont give up-= you guyus are amazing for continuing to press on. My best wishes!
February 22, 2018 at 8:34 pm #77086Dog with a BoneParticipant
As a special education teacher, early childhood expert, and reading specialist, I can tell you that executive functioning issues are co-morbid with ADD or ADHD. Issues with memory is one such symptom. A pediatric neurologist could be helpful with a diagnosis.
February 23, 2018 at 9:09 pm #77164suttonnancy20Participant
As a child and family therapist who works with kids with AD/HD a lot, I would say that kids with AD/HD vary tremendously – and so one kid with AD/HD can look totally different than another kid with AD/HD. Kids with
AD/HD generally do really well 1:1 – especially if they like the doctor or other health professional.
I usually print up the Vanderbilt, which is online (you can google it, and even score it yourself – it’s pretty easy), and give it to the parent who fills one report out themselves and gives the other to the teacher. It’s free!
There are a couple of possibilities – that your child has some symptoms but not enough to meet a diagnosis – and/or
there may be environmental reasons at home that mean you see symptoms at home that are not evident at school.
It is also true that really bright kids with AD/HD do well enough at school that teachers may think they are doing
fine when they may not be doing fine at all.
As a therapist, I work with the child and family to help with symptoms – whether or not the child meets the diagnostic criteria. If your child is showing symptoms of anxiety or depression your insurance should cover the treatment – insurance generally doesn’t cover therapy for AD/HD, except for medication.
I agree with seeing an OT. Also, some educators will tell you that kids with AD/HD can do well in school until they get into the upper grades, where they have a lot more to keep track of. The grade where difficulties start varies with the child and the school.
Good luck. You are right to keep working on this despite what others say. As a therapist, I ALWAYS listen to the parents.
March 6, 2018 at 6:24 pm #78150stephaniemowery81Participant
I understand your frustration and concern completely. My son showed ADHD like symptoms starting around age 4 or 5 and they immediately diagnosed him ADHD, however it turns out that he actually has dyspraxia (sometimes also called Developmental Coordination Disorder). He is also under-responsive to sensory information, hence the hyperactivity and constant need to move and touch things. He is incredibly bright but has a difficult time sitting still and concentrating, and has benefited from years of OT, PT and ST. His dyspraxia is global and affects his ability to do those fine motor tasks like buttons and knots, as well as his ability to effectively communicate. I would definitely research it and see if it might fit his symptoms. Part of the problem is how little is known here in the US about dyspraxia (In England they know much more and know how to help students who suffer from this neurological condition). I ended up pulling him out of the public schools who just kept pushing me to medicate him when it won’t help because it isn’t ADHD. He has surpassed his peers now that we homeschool him, while he was very behind when we started. While this might not be something feasible for your family, understanding his needs and advocating on his behalf for an effective IEP that allows for more time for testing, adequate exercise and activity breaks, maybe even typing instead of writing if his fine motor skills are keeping him from being able to keep up. An OT can identify any sensory issues as well and offer help for the hyperactivity. My son has benefited greatly from sensory brushing and sensory swinging. Good luck and I hope you find your answers!
April 2, 2018 at 1:21 pm #80560peaceoutParticipant
My opinion is a teacher is definitely not qualified to diagnose ADHD, and a family doctor or regular pediatrician really isn’t either. They should be willing to make a referral, though. If they aren’t, find a new doctor. They may be right, but if they don’t listen to YOU the parent, then they aren’t worth keeping.
The best doctor to be referred to is probably a neuropsychologist.
April 4, 2018 at 10:55 pm #80970alishad002Participant
My son went to OT for handwriting at 5 and it helped tremendously. He had hypermobility. They taught him how to tie a shoe too. In kindergarten he showed ADD symptoms, trouble with routines and not knowing where he is j. Space (that was a new one for me). The OT refers him out to Vision Therapy. He was afraid to ride a bike but since therapy is doing awesome on a bike. He has a difficulty with peripheral vision along with other vision terms. If he wears classes or not it’s worth checking in to. Kids with 20/20 vision can have difficulties with both eyes working together with the brain. I have a diagnosis of ADD so I figured he was. We are going to continue to try this and see where it takes him then look further into ADD as needed. Just another avenue to think about.
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