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Diagnosing a suspected ADHD child


jantho
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Has anyone any experience in diagnosing a suspected ADHD child. My son is 13 this year and we suspect he could be having ADHD. we are taking him to see a family and child psychologist. what questions would I ask on this first of this appointment; how should I approach this problem and what can else can do about it.

 

 

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Well, I have never diagnosed anyone, but my brother and I were both diagnosed ADHD in adolescense.(sp?)

 

One thing you don't want to do is treat it like it is all his fault and like he has some serious mental problem. That is how my parents approached it. No one ever really took the time to explain to me what the problem was. My Mom just kept taking me to my shrink, who would talk to me for twenty minutes or so. Then send me outside and talk to my Mom. My Mom also used to bring my artwork and things I wrote to the shrink to look at. But no one ever really told me why I had to visit a shrink. They just let me think I was nuts and crazy and everything else.

 

Personally (and this is a controversial opinion to some) I think ADHD is misdiagnosed a lot. The schools use it as an excuse to label any kid who learns differently or has the slightest problem learning so it doesn't make the school look bad.

 

And Ritalin is terrible. My brother and I both expirienced the same unpleasant side effects when we were on it. There are other medications like Cylert that are not as harsh. And there are even over the counter supliments you can buy that I would trust before Ritalin any day. IF a school ever called me up and told me my kid should go on Ritalin I would tell them in the politest way possible to kiss my, well, you know what.

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Has anyone any experience in diagnosing a suspected ADHD child. My son is 13 this year and we suspect he could be having ADHD. we are taking him to see a family and child psychologist. what questions would I ask on this first of this appointment; how should I approach this problem and what can else can do about it.

 

Let the psychologist know that you suspect ADHD. They may end up asking you many questions and also observe your son. It will probably take multiple appointments in order to make any kind of solid diagnosis. Theis first appointment will be a "getting to know you and your family" appointment and to determine your concerns. In order for a diagnosis of ADHD to be made, your son will have to meet the following criteria:

 

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Did he show signs of this before age 13, or is this something new? How is he doing in school?

 

BellaDonna

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I believe I have ADD, as an adult. Yes, I know it is overdiagnosed, but with all the reading, I still think my therapist is correct. I also know that I have something going on, whether it is ADD, anxiety or whatever that totally affects my job and relationships.

 

That being said, I wish I could have found out earlier.

 

My opinion would be to talk to the therapist/doctor openly and see what alternatives there are to medicine, as well. Posting here, leads me to believe that you are open to helping your child and that is great.

 

My therapist says that she loves people with ADD (her son has ADD), because normal people are so boring. ;-)

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there are a number of conditions that carry the same symptoms as ADHD and are often confused & misdiagonised.

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**Also I know a family that for years believed thier child had ADHD but recently found out it was Food intolerence. Since it wasn't an allergy there weren't obvious physical reactions.. Here is a link, it goes into the most common food-linked conditions. ADHD is one of them

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I personally think a behaviorist therapist is your best bet..... they are trained to help people with behavioral issues with out resorting to medicine.......

ADHD is misdiagnoised alot due to the fact that it is not properly analyzed and people just take the easy fix via the psychiatrist..... an example that i commonly bring up with this issue is of a kid who would misbehave everyday in math class and would be sent to the discplinary office everytime....

 

well people just figured that he was ADHD due to the fact that he would not concentrate and was being disruptive... well, a therapist got involved, looked at the student in other classes and realized that it was only in Math that he was misbehaving, it turns out that he just didn't like math, and he was being conditioned to the fact that if he misbehaved he would be reinforced by being able to get out of math..... well, the solution was to not allow him to get out of the math class, and eventually his behavior stopped due to the lack of reinforcement...

 

hopefully that makes sense, GOOD LUCK!!

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We just love to give people these little acronyms, don't we? Makes people easier to deal with with, helps us to think about them a little less. OCD, ADD, ADHD . . . Fact is ADHD is one of the most mis-diagnosed symptoms in the world. Ever think that your kid just might have a little more energy than most? If its not affecting his life, why should it matter?

 

If you insist on medicating him, just don't give him ritilan.

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i think you should first describe your problem to the doctor before jumping to a diagnosis... there are lots of adjustment problems that happen with teenagers, that may or may not be a chemical or hormonal problem... but your son deserves to get proper diagnosis and treatment, so please keep an open mind while going through the diagnostic process... sometimes the wrong diagnosis happens, but you see improvement or don't, so look at it as a process, not a single event or diagnosis...

 

and if medication is prescribed, watch carefully for side effects etc. there are frequently lots of way to treat problems, so you may need to take several approaches til you find something that works...

 

or he could just be being a surly adolescent... sometimes they can be quite unpleasant and rebellious at that age, and behavioral theraphy in that case might be very useful (as well as training parents how to deal with an adoslescent, quite the challenge sometimes)...

 

best of luck... Bill Cosby had an old joke that said the martians come swap your child away at age 13 and leave an evil alien, then they bring your child back again when he turns 18... so your son may also be perfectly normal, just a classic adolescent!

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As an RN and mother of a 13 year old son with ADD and Aspergers Syndrome, I know the uncertainty that you are feeling. Our son was diagnosed at age 7 and has been on ritalin (Concerta, which is long acting) for over 5 years. We tried other medications with mixed results. I agree with some of the other posts that this drug is not right for everyone, but if he indeed has ADD, then I would support doing what you have to do. You have to find out what is best for your child. You know him best.

 

First and foremost, I would get him checked out medically to rule out any other medical problems. When you present the doctor with your concerns, he may refer you to the mental health specialist or just have you, your spouse, and the child's teacher(s) fill out a questionaire of about 150 questions. Don't compare answers, just answer the questions as you see your child. The questionaire will then be tabulated and will reflect a number. Our son was on the higher end of the spectrum. From there, the decision will be up to you and your son. Options include; (1) do nothing, (2) see a behavior therapist, (3) medication, or (4) a combination of #'s 2 and 3. Most people see better results from combination therapy.

 

My question to you would be when did he start having symptoms? ADD usually doesn't just pop up at adolescence. The same goes for food allergies. You would have been seeing symptoms all along. Symptoms of ADD include: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Has anything in your homelife changed? (marital troubles, upcoming move ect, undue stress at school). Since you didn't include any symptoms, another thing that must be considered is possible illecit drug use. Don't overlook any area of their life. After all, you want the very best for your son.

 

As a parent, I was very relieved to finally have a diagnosis. I was (and am) a good parent and started to doubt that. We've come a long way, but still have a way to go with the Aspergers. I wish you the best and hope that these few comments help.

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Just make sure you have the right diagnosis. I was diagnosed with unipolar disorder, then social anxiety disorder, then ADHD, then they finally figured out I have bipolar disorder. Don't think that your son has anything until you get a diagnosis from someone with a MA, MD, doctorate, or PhD. You are not an expert, so don't go diagnosing something you have no place diagnosing.

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I don't know anything about this topic but was reminded about something my husband mentioned recently about ADD/ADHD and vision problems. I'm sure others here have a much better idea about it, but I thought worth mentioning.

 

The stats may well be hokum, but I googled this just now and got:

 

"Studies show that approximately 20% of school-aged children suffer from eye teaming or focusing deficits which make remaining on task for long periods of time difficult. Like those with ADD, children with vision-based learning problems are highly distractible, have short attention spans, make careless errors, fail to complete assignments, and are often fidgety and off task. However, their inability to remain on task is caused by the discomfort of using their eyes for long periods of time at close ranges, not true deficits in attention. Unfortunately, parents and teachers are not trained to recognize the difference and these children are often misdiagnosed."

 

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I also found some articles that say that ADD/ADHD can also be diagnosed by looking at the eye movements of the people involved. The study mentioned below was widely quoted in international newspapers at the time (early 2005).

 

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