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I need a friend who understands

January 7th, 2009, 08:32 AM
I am afraid to post this becasue it has nothing to do with my furkids, but a lot to do with my human ones.

I am having a lot of trouble with my 12 year old son. He has ADHD and also a Non Verbal Learnig disability. He has been extreamly difficult in the last few months. He is lying, arguging , refuseing to do homework,It is a battel to get him out of bed in the morning and he will stay up late at night. I have taken everything away from him that would possibly stimulate him to be up all night. He started sneaking out of bed when everyone was a sleep to either eat or find a gameboy we had taken a way. Or sneak on the computer. I have had to disconnect the Tv so that I would be certain he was not watching it. He will not talk about anything that is bothering him. He will sit with his shirt over his head and pretend he can't hear us. I have nagged ,pleaded ,yelled ,told him how much I love him. I just don't know what to do anymore.

I am sorry if I have wasted anyones time, but if there is one person that has experienced this kind of behavoir or could offer me anything. I could really use a friend.

January 7th, 2009, 08:49 AM
I saw a "The Nanny" episode about this last week , I don't know if you could get it on the web to watch it ?

January 7th, 2009, 08:55 AM
I will try and look for it.


January 7th, 2009, 08:57 AM
Oh and I forgot to give you one of those : :grouphug: I think you need it this morning ? Don't give up , things will get better :goodvibes:

January 7th, 2009, 09:11 AM
I am so sorry things are not going so well! I wanted to tell you that you are not alone out there! There are MANY MANY children that have this issue.

My younger brother was diagnosed with this when he was 5 years old and he is now going on 40 this year....It took many many years for a diagnosis. I found in my experience with living with someone that has ADHD is a tough road..My brother was put on medication over and over again. The biggest problem is that back in his early years they really didnt know much about it and made alot of assumptions and stuff which made it difficult.

Does your son take any meds? I am wondering if perhaps if he is taking somehing maybe he needs a change or a review of his meds. My mom used to be sure that his diet was good because he was so hyper all the time.
Does your son have a tutor at school or a teaching assistant? Perhaps they could give you some ideas on the homework stuff.

I know how frustrated you must be! Talking is a really good way to get it off your chest. Dont be embarrased or afraid to ask questions here! its not always about our furry friends....Anytime you need someone to chat with I am here for you!


January 7th, 2009, 09:40 AM
Hi momsloopy

As a mom I know that 12 years old is a VERY trying time, they want to spread their wings and push all your buttons. I don't have to experiences with ADHD or Non Verbal Learning disability (not realy sure I know what that is).
but I do know what it is like to have a child that you just want to pull your hair out with not wanting to do homework that's how I got my gray hair lol lol. staying up to what ever hours "THEY"want, and yes sometimes lying. (I think it's in the "kids manual") you have to take it one day at a time.

is your son in any kind of sports program??, does he have a tutor for his homework?? it sometimes helps.

you are defiantly not alone. and you are not wasting our time.


January 7th, 2009, 09:48 AM
Frency thanks so much for your hug it was very much needed. Good thing I am working alone today as soon as I read your post I turned into a blubering idiot.

Cindy thanks for your understanding. Yes he on medication or at least he is suppose to be. He was on a dose when things started getting bad. I tried to get him in to his pediatrician but the earliest appointment I can get is in March. The school wrote a letter to her to see if we could get in earlier and I also requested to be on the waiting list. she increased his meds over the phone and I di not see a great change. He kept telling me it was the meds that were keeping him awake so sor the holidays I allowed him a breack from the meds but told him that he really needed to work hard at things if he was to be off the meds ,b ut that he would go back on them when school started. He did sleep better for the first part. With all the crazyness of the holidays he did really well. I was positive that things were going to get better. The morning when school started he got out of bed with no argueing it was great and told him that over and over. That night I asked him if he had homework and he said no. I beleived him. day 2 he got out of bed with no problems once again and when he came home form work he told me he had no homework. At 6:30 I had an email from the teacher letting me know that he had not completted his work from the night before and that he had more work that night. I asked him about it and he told me that he didn't have to do it. I have a Math book at home so I told him that he was going to finish both nights of homework. Lets jsut say it turned into a all night battle that resulted in us in tears and no homework. He assured me that he would get up early and do it but once again more argueing. It is not the fact that he struggles with the work he is very smart. Part of the problem is that he is smarter them me! I refuse to argue with him and then I relize to late that I am argueing with him and I don't even know how I got there:shrug:

We are planning a family trip to GWL this weekend and I hate to say this but I don't want to reward him with it. I don't ask alot of them just simple rules in the house and that homework is done. It just isn't fair for the other 2 to have to suffer.

January 7th, 2009, 09:58 AM
Maybe you could find some tips here :

January 7th, 2009, 10:25 AM

I understand what you are going through..My Nephew was diagnosed with ADHD at around 6...He also had a speech problem..My sister and BIL went through he!!..He was a trouble maker and got his sibblings in trouble..A few times I was right there and had to straighten my BIL out..Letting him know the others did nothing wrong.

He had problems in school..And issues learning...He was put on a low dosage of Ridilyn(sp)..It was a god send..It helped alot..But when school was out for the summer, he was taken off of it..Then the problems started...He also went to a speech therapist....He is doing great..He is a handsome 21 year old and a newlywed(married in Sept). And ADHD free.....:highfive:

Please, I know this is hard but don't yell..It will make matters worse and won't help.

You need to see a specialist that deals with ADHD...Have your doc find one for you.

I have to head for work..I will try and get a hold of my sister and find out everything she did.:)

Hang in there.:grouphug:

January 7th, 2009, 10:48 AM
Breeze- We have tried different activities with him. Soccor and guitar lessons. none of wich he would stick with. he is currently bowling every Friday night and seems to like it. As for a tutor I have asked him he would like one he says no and I say I will get him one anyway and he has a tantrum and says he will refuse to go or do anything for them.

I have seeked help with our local childrens agency and he is starting councelling and has went once and sat with his coat over his head and did not say much. He will be going again today with I am hoping more success. We have had a worker come in home and she was jsut as confused as we are. We are going to set up mor e home visits to help both him and us.

Mona- Thanks for your advice also. I know that yelling is wrong and I hate myself for it. I just get to that point and I lose it.

January 7th, 2009, 10:59 AM
Please don't take this the wrong way, but have you ever gotten a second opinion regarding the ADHD?

I am only asking because when my oldest son was 8, his teacher was having difficulty with him. He didn't want to participate, he was constantly restless, and couldn't focus on tasks at hand. Symptoms of ADHD.
We took him to a specialist who diagnosed the ADHD, infact said it was the worst case he had seen in many years, he put our son on Ritalin.
The change in our son was almost immediate, and NOT for the better. We were told to "hold in there" it was common. Not long after he began Ritalin, we were also having to medicate him at night to help him sleep.
Things were not improving,infact his behaviour worsened.

At the end of our wits, we asked our doctor to refer us to another specialist, took our son of the meds immediately, and waited the 3 weeks for our appointment. During those 3 weeks, his behavior improved slightly, but he was still irritable, antsy and emotional.

The second specialist, who after three sessions with our son, informed us that she didn't think our son was ADHD at all. She had us see another specialist and a nutrishionist.

Anyway, after 4 months of further testing and seeing various doctors and behavorists, the concensus was that our son did not have ADHD, but he did have certain food allergies, the worst being red food dye, and certain preservatives.

We avoided items with red food dye, unfortunately the certain preservatives were not easy to avoid. But even eliminating the red food dye made a world of difference. It wasn't easy especially on Halloween, because much of the treats he collected we had to take away. But the difference in him was night and day. He began getting excellent grades in school, he was sociable, he could focus, everything improved.

I have met many parents that went through similar situations as mine, where the child was diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, only to find out later their children were misdiagnosed. I honestly believe, that ADD and ADHD, has been vastly misdiagnosed in recent years.

If your son is on Ritalin, and you are comfortable with the dianosis, then I would suggest you research Bee Pollen capsules, which you can obtain at pretty much any health food store. I know many parents whose children are taking it instead of Ritalin, and have had better success, plus it does not interfere with their sleeping patterns like Ritalin can.

January 7th, 2009, 11:16 AM
sorry your going through this. it is hard raising kids let alone ones with problems.
did your son go through all the psychological testing or are they presuming he is adhd. there are different meds they use today besides ritalin and all meds are supposed to be monitored closely and dosages adjusted as needed. the psychologists can give you and your son techniques to work with to ease the tension at school and home. they will also give the teachers an idea how to deal with your son.
depending on what subclassification of adhd he might not be able to sit at a desk in class all day and the teacher should accomodate him. homework might only be able to be done in 15-30 min periods then a break so that they can keep focus .

January 7th, 2009, 11:26 AM
I have never been happy with the diagnoses of ADHD. It took me along time to accept it and I did not want my child on any Meds at all. I finally had someone tell me if your son needed glasses you would get him them for him would you not? I could not dissagree. I still feel the Doc's are quick to assume. I had one Doc in the room with him for 5 minutes and said yes he has ADHA and he needs to be on this med and that one. I was like no way and seeked another opinion. They were slower with the diagnoses but it was the same. I mentioned food allergies and was told yes it could be that and to avoid dairy products but that was all I got. NO testing no follow threw. I am seeing the Doctor again in March and I will insisite on some testing.

I admit he does not eat well. All he wants to eat is JUNK. I will pack a healthy lunch and he will not eat it. I t will either be thrown out at school or at home. I have taken him shopping and let him pick out what he wants as long as it is heallthy and he will take it one day and then he has has enough. He will sneak food. To the point I have had to hide it. We found alot of cany wrappers of candy in his room. The candy is now gone. He complains about what we are having for supper but will eventually eat it. Everything is a battle with him.

January 7th, 2009, 11:27 AM
You have lots of friends, momsloopy :grouphug:.

Medication such as Ritalin can have that effect on your son. Our 18 year old was first diagnosed with mild autism (the diagnosis was reversed within a year and a half) and ADHD as well when he was a young child. Ritalin had the opposite effect on him that it's supposed to have on most children. He was not able to sleep nights, had heart palpitations, and anxiety attacks late in the evening when so much as a car passed by our home. When I discussed it with his neurologist, she doubled the dosage :wall:. I watched the effects of the increased dosage with was as if I was feeding him cocaine with the highs and crashes that come with it. After two days, we decreased the dosage, and within a week, I had taken him right off it, regardless what his pediatrician and neurologist said to try to convince me otherwise.

Several months later, I came across an article on Auditory Processing Deficit. It described my son exactly. I insisted his pediatrician refer us to a specialist at the children's hospital to have him tested. At first, even they said they were sure it was ADHD. Low and behold, after all testing was completed, a firm diagnosis of APD was given. Not only that, but further testing later on confirmed he was also dyslexic. Medication is not the route to take with these disabilities in particular. Do you see how ADHD can be confused with other issues? Teachers and doctors are way too fast to diagnose ADHD without looking at other factors that can be affecting a child's behavior and learning abilities.

Our younger son, who is also 12 (sounds most like your son), is the complete opposite of his big brother. He started to read, I mean really read sentences, by the time he was 3. By 6, I was scooping up all our books as we often would find him reading dh's Stephen King and Paul Straub :eek:. We had pretty much similar behavioral issues as that of your son, eg., extreme mood swings, passive-aggressive behavior, non-recognition nor respect of any authority figures, sleepless nights, etc. etc. (and I know he's way smarter than me). There was nothing we could take away in order to "punish" him for unacceptable behavior. You see, although a child is intellectually way ahead of his years, it can have it's consequences on emotional and social aspects of a child's life. It was even suggested to us at one time that he be medicated as well :frustrated:.

Although both children received different treatments to address their issues and teach them coping skills, the approach was identical. Both boys were assessed, in depth, by a private child psychologist (although costly, we weren't willing to go on long waiting lists) highly recommended by the Child Psychiatry/Psychology department. With the results, we then "shopped" around for programs (usually through Child Psychology programs held by hospitals) that would best suit and benefit not only our children, but our family as a whole. We chose to go the multi-disciplinary route where a team consisting of a psychiatrist, social workers (one for the family, one for each child), music/art/movement therapists, and teachers were involved. As parents, we had to be actively involved as well. This team also worked closely with each child's school, teachers, and any available therapists/workers there so that everyone was on the same page.

This is the only way that worked for us. It was tedious, frustrating, and caused many a serious argument between dh and myself :o. We stuck it out, followed the advice of the specialists, supported each other no matter what, and became our childrens' best advocates. Rather than looking at our children, in respect to behavioral problems, as 'us against them,' it became, 'we are in this together.'

I say with relief, it has paid off. That is not to say that we don't come across obstacles, only that we now have the tools to overcome them.

If you like, I can contact the department of the hospital that we went to for help with our younger son and see if they can give a referral to a similar program in your area? At least something for you to look into and gather more information and see if it can help with your family's needs :shrug:?

January 7th, 2009, 11:36 AM
I saw a "The Nanny" episode about this last week , I don't know if you could get it on the web to watch it ?

The one I was talking about was with a kid with ADD or ADHD I guess , the parents tried the meds but didn't like to see their kid on it. So The Nanny was helping them with other solution than meds :thumbs up

January 7th, 2009, 11:38 AM
LuckyPenny My son sounds very very similar to your second son.

I would very much appreciate any information that might have helped you.

January 7th, 2009, 12:01 PM this site is learning disability site for ontario. they have links to local chapters and might be able to get help from them on testing and treatments. when i look at the york region chapter they have parent support groups

January 7th, 2009, 12:01 PM
I'll have a number or two to pm you by the end of the day.

I was also thinking, in the meantime, would you like to ask my son what helped him with some behavioral problems? Perhaps if you got another child's perspective with what helped and what didn't? I know I'm taking a risk here so, just overlook anything embarrassing he may say about my effectiveness as a mom :laughing:. I'm not perfect :o.

How about you prepare a short list of questions to start, about very specific issues (homework for example), and we'll see if he can answer them for you? He's a member here so I can ask if he'd be willing to participate in this thread.

January 7th, 2009, 01:07 PM
LuckyPenny I am the last person that could judge any one on there parenting skills. So no worries.

Was your son diagnosed with anything. They say that my son has a Non Verbal learning disability and that is why he always spoke with a huge vocabulary at a young age and that his reading level was so beyond his years. He has trouble with anything non-verbal but with age is getting better at reading social cues. Maybe they are wrong about the LD too. I am soo confused.

It would be great if your son would like to answer some questions.

1. How do you feel about homework? Do you find it overwhelming or just a waste of your time?

2. Were you open to help?

3. Were you happy?

4.Were you able to tell people how you felt?

5.What is it like at school for you?

6. What was the best thing your parents did to help you with what was going on?

I probably have alot more but I don't want to scare himaway:laughing:Maybe my question won't make sence to him bc they are related around Seth but it is worth a shot.

Thanks again

January 7th, 2009, 01:51 PM
You've been given some really great advice here. I don't have kids so have no advice for you other than just allow yourself a deep breath now and then. I can't imagine the stress you are under.

My best friends son was diagnosed with ADHD a couple of years ago and they have him on some medication. He also suffers from some mild allergies and asthma. They had him on Singulair for a long time along with the ADHD medication. He improved after taking him off of the Singulair, but she still has slight problems with him but nothing like before he was diagnosed. She's got him in Karate and the extra activities has helped him.

Good luck with you and your son.:grouphug:

January 7th, 2009, 05:06 PM
Was your son diagnosed with anything. They say that my son has a Non Verbal learning disability and that is why he always spoke with a huge vocabulary at a young age and that his reading level was so beyond his years. He has trouble with anything non-verbal but with age is getting better at reading social cues. Maybe they are wrong about the LD too. I am soo confused.

Our first psychologist considered ADD without the hyperactivity component...he's actually very laid back. She also considered Bipolar Disorder. As wonderful as she was, after more than one year, we didn't feel like our problems were being addressed nor the approach the right one for us.

Although it has it's place, I didn't put too much importance on a 'diagnosis.' Because of the misdiagnosis of our older son, not once but twice, I don't have much faith in it. Besides, I find that many professionals are quick to treat the disease and not the person :shrug:. For us, it's what I found added the confusion.

the sandman
January 7th, 2009, 05:32 PM


1. I usually thought homework was boring and a waste and time and usually overwhelming when I had so much to do. But also if I didn't understand something I felt like I was wasting my time tryng to figure it out.

2. No, not really.

3. I dont really know how to answer that one.

4. I was probably able to I just really didn't want to and just wanted to be left alone.

5. I always got in trouble for fighting or something, I would argue with my teachers, I was bullied, so overall, it wasn't very pleasant.

6. A program at a hospital where I was taught to take responsibility for my action, and such.


1. Now I still thing homework is boring since I already understand the concept that we are learning but I finish it anyways.

2. Sometimes.

3. Yeah, I am probably a lot more happy now then before.

4. Now I am able to but I generally prefer to be left alone.

5. Now it's alot better, I generally haven't been in much trouble, and i'm alot more calmer.

6. They discuss things with me and aren't as overly protective like we understand each other now.

I think your son might feel like he isn't understood. Does he hang out with friends at school? Is he being bullied? These might be some things that are going on and that are making him act that way.

January 7th, 2009, 06:18 PM
Thank you so much for helping me understand better. What you answered sounds so much like my son. What I take from you is there is hope as long as I get the help he needs.

Yes he has friends some better then others:sad: and and yes he has been a victim of being bullied. He will not talk about it or get out how he is feeling. He gets in trouble at school fighting or argueing with the teacher. If he has a substitute teacher it is worse.

I will find him help. Thanks for your advice

the sandman
January 7th, 2009, 06:27 PM
Yeah, being bullied sucks, atleast he has friends. For help, try looking up some phsychiatric programs at hospitals or something in your area for Seth, I guess I was lucky the hospital a hospital in Montreal had one. And try to remember, it gets worse, for everyone, before it gets better.

the sandman
January 7th, 2009, 06:28 PM
if you want to ask me some more questions or just to talk, feel free to pm me, ill try to get back to you as soon as possible.

January 7th, 2009, 06:51 PM
Aww sandman great advice & imput :)

My Gf's DD was just recently diagnosed with ODD-from ADHD

ODD being:
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (

I had never heard of it until her DD"s Diagnoses. Just a thought..

January 7th, 2009, 07:09 PM
:grouphug:I feel for you, and I think we can all see that you are an amazing loving mother to be concerned and trying so hard. I am just wondering, because I have a friend that has a son with severe behavior issues, and they can get respite care. Do you have anything like this where you live, maybe look into it? They get a couple nights a week off, where this really amazing girl takes him out places, feeds dinner, homework, ect.. You need time to take care of yourself too, so I thought I would ask. It is free from the government.. Take care and hang in there you are doing amazing by the looks of it, I wish you both all the best!:grouphug:

January 7th, 2009, 07:28 PM
Thank you Sandman :).

Diamondsmum, that was a good link describing ODD. I think it would be ideal if all treatments could be combined, with the exception of medication unless deemed absolutely necessary.

And momsloopy, lUvMyLaB<3 is have to take care of yourself too :grouphug:.

January 7th, 2009, 08:13 PM
first off, your not wasting our time! it what we are here for, to help each other :) :grouphug:

i dont have any expirence with kids of my own, but i have spent alot of time with my sisters kids and of course i was a child once too.

in your first post you said that seth was lying, arguing and not doing his homework. i feel like that is partly normal behavior from a 12 year old, but definately does not account for all of it. not too far back ( maybe about a year ago or so) one of the children on my street staretd getting in to trouble. Lying and arguing to/with his parents defiantely not doing his homework, someitmes not even going to class. He started stealing things, from home ( money) and from stores around town. He was caught stealing one day, and had to go to tyhe plice station and there is a whole other story to that. But whast i am trying to get at here is do you think it is possible he could be depressed? his behavior , from what i have read, seems familiar to what was going on with the kid down my street.

As hard as it can be at times, try to stay patient, yelling wont help ( not trying to make you feel bad about it! everyone does it) when ever my parents yelled at me it made me want to block them out for the time being, but the more they yelled, the more i wanted to block them out of my life all together. Let him know you are alway there if he needs to talk ( i am sure you have tho! :) ) i know that when ever my mom would try to talk to me about what was going on in my life, i would basically just stop talking to her, i didnt want to share what was going on in my life with her for some reason. I didnt feel like she was approachable enough i think was the problem ( again ont saying that you arent) so try to be a little more open and understanding if you can.

About him staying up all night, again i think that is somewhat normal for someone of seths age, but of course you can say its all that. You say you take away his gameboys and computers and things, what i learned from when my parents would take things away from me, was how to get better at hiding and lying about things ( so i could sneak back what ever it was for a few hours while my parents were out, or in bed) so becareful with that, cause it can really make them a better liar. Try negotiating on those types of things with him. Try to find out somehting that really does catch his interest, say he wanted a new game for his game boy, Make a list of things for him to do over a month or so, eevn a list of 2 or 3 daily chores ( i wouldnt really suggest more than that, it could make the deal seem not worth it) and if he sticks to it, and can do it agreeably, he gets his new game, that way it is a double reward, he gets his game and feels like he has accomplished something useful.

i hope you find something to help out with these problems soon!:grouphug:

January 7th, 2009, 08:14 PM
Honestly, The way you describe his new found rebelion, Sounds JUST like me when I was his age. (3 years ago) There is something bothering him. hes upset about something.And being 12 and going through that "Its not really cool to talk to your mom about stuff" He wont spill it out to you. I was going through terrible depression and rebelling was my way of pleading for help. I talked to friends about it, but they didnt seem to care. I couldnt talk to my parents about it. I hated being around family because it seemed like they all ganged up and picked on me, wheater they talked about my hair, my weight or any other flaw i ever had, and they didnt even notice how hurt and upset i was (And still am alot of the time because they tend to still do it).. I had accually sat down with my mom and almost begged to see a therapst, and, of course, i wasnt taken seriously. I guess what im trying to say is, what may not seem to be a big deal to you or siblings or other family members, may be eating him up inside. Even saying that his hair looks wacky today cn be taken to heart a little to much. And everything seems to be falling apart. Its almost a normal part of becoming a teen. I have alot of other things I would love to tell you so you could watch out for it. But Im afraid that if I tell you everything on this open board. Any respect that members may have for me, may be gone. I am glad you are taking him seriously. Because behind all rebellion there is pain.

January 7th, 2009, 08:47 PM
Thank-you so much everyone. I did not know if anyone would post on what I had written. I know this is a pet forum which I love. I don't get to post a whole lot but I catch up when I can. I was just soo in need of someone to talk too and everyone gives such good advice, I thought I would take the chance. Am I ever glad I did:D

I really was at a low point today and everyone of you that responded have helped pick me up. I work in the pharmacy department of a small hospital and I was luckey to be on my own today becasue after reading all the words of encouragement and advice. The flood gates opened up:cry: I still had to go and deliver my medications and it really dosen't look good the person in charge of the drugs with bloodshot eye, If you know what I mean:clown:

So I am giving each and everyone of you a great big :grouphug: I had a talk with him tonight and I got him to agree that things need to change.:fingerscr I hope it means a change:thankyou::thankyou:

January 8th, 2009, 07:13 PM
You are not wasting out time. I know that it is tough on parents dealing with this disease. Knowledge is power and you could go to your local library and they have medical books there for you to look at. I know only one young person with ADHD and his doctor has put him on Ritalin. I know that this drug is prescribed very freely for this disease to young people. (Here's your prescription and go away, type attitude) And really who knows of the long term side effects for taking this drug? Perhaps going to another Dr. for another opinion would help and also have tests done for food allergies. If your son is eating a lot of processed food, it may be bad for his behavior since there are chemicals and preservatives in this type of foods. If you lived in Montreal I have agreat Dr. to recommend.

January 8th, 2009, 08:09 PM
ahhh Sandman , you're too sweet :2huggers:

January 9th, 2009, 08:26 AM
I live in Ontario in a small town and we r trying right now to get some help and see what we can do. I have never been convinced fully on the ADHd , I do however think they are right about the learning disability.

Unfortunatly living in a small town the resourses are not always available to us and we have to go out of town. Waiting for referalls and of course just the waiting lists seem like they take forever.

I spoke to the person from the childrens agency we are dealing with and she has talked to his teacher about how things are going. The teacher told her that if the Homework was a big deal then not to worry about it at all. I asked her what does that teach him? Other than him learning that if he argues and complains he can get out of his responsibilities:wall: I asked her what will happen in highschool in 2 years when there will be lots of homework and she told me the teacher said that he will only ever be able to achevie an applied learning level and in that level there is not much homework:wall::wall:
I am so angry at the teacher right now. She has basically written him off and will not even try to help him at all. I know he need s to start helping himself too but to come out right and say he will never amount to much :censored: me off!

I have taken everyone's advice and encoragements to renew my fight. Sandman has given me hope and has shown me I can get my son back.

I know I have said it before but I feel I can't say it enough :thankyou: I don't think I can even begin to express how grateful I am:2huggers:

January 12th, 2009, 11:12 PM
Hopefully you're still reading this. I don't get on as much as I'd like, but being an adult with ADD, I wanted to offer my perspective.

There are two issues is the learning disability, and the other is lying. I say this because I've seen so many parents feel helpless because they figure that everything is because of the ADD. Yes and no. He may not be doing his homework because it isn't stimulating enough. I know myself, if I'm not interested, I can find anything more exciting to look at or distract me (which is why Mrs. Schwinn refers to it as my "something shiny disease".) I also know that I couldn't memorize things, I had to learn them. I was diagnosed when I was a child, and treatment was "abandoned" for various reasons (one being a couple of useless teachers and the way I felt). I was "re-diagnosed" in university. The clincher for me was when I was talking to a prof, and I asked if I had to use his formula, and he said no, but it was the easiest way. I said not for me, I figure it out this way. "What, you have a learning disability or something?" He stopped smirking when I said, "So they tell me". What I learned is, it isn't a deficiency in thinking, it's a different way of thinking. The key is to learn learn. It's like getting directions. I can't remember "turn left, turn right, go straight...left, left and another right". I'll usually wind up "turn left, then I think it was...hey, is that a grey squirrel crawling under that...woa! Nice vette! Wait...was I supposed to turn somewhere??" I have to know the land marks, what's in between A and B. Then, when it's time to get there, I might take a different route, but I'll get there. And chances are, I'll remember it longer than someone who memorized it.

It can be tough, though. I barely passed high school (going all the way to grade 14). For me, I didn't accept it until second year of university, after begging to be let back in. It's a long story, but it ends with me getting a university degree, so it is possible. And if I'm not good enough company, how about Albert Einstein? (Though I've been more compared to Robin Williams, another ADD'er, than him).

In my house, even though it was recognized I had this "issue", I still had to follow the rules. I was grounded for disobeying, and lying was not accepted. Didn't matter the reason, ADD didn't become an excuse. My advice? If you set down a rule, and he disobeys, then there needs to be consequences...and sometimes with the ADD child, it's even more important. The key is to be understanding, fair, but also firm. I've written several papers on it, and lots of studying, and one thing I found was that people don't really grow out of it, they just figure out how to work with it. Mrs. Schwinn often says it's one of the things she most enjoys about me. Successful ADD'ers often say that it's the one thing that makes them most unique, and can be used to their advantage. But to get to that point, he has to learn how to live among the "normals". And the only way to do that, is to learn that there are rules. I missed out on a few pizza parties, trips, big games etc growing up...and I learned that, whatever my issue was, when I get out in the real world, my boss doesn't care why I show up late to the meeting, or didn't get my project done. I'm glad I suffered the consequences at home, before I was on my own.

I'd also suggest finding something that does interest him. My mom talks about how I could take hours to do an assignment that should have taken 10 minutes (and Mrs. Schwinn talks about home projects that have taken months instead of a couple of weekends!), but if you set me down in front of a car model, I'd sit there until it was completely built in a few hours. Or how I'd bounce from one activity to another around the house, but if I got on my bike, I'd ride for hours and hours. Having something like this to focus on helped calm me down, keep me focused. Gave me something to burn off my excess energy.

As for the diagnosis, what I found, at least in Ontario, it was difficult to be diagnosed. Most professionals were skeptical. It was the academic councillor who said, when I told him I was told I had it, who said, "I doubt it, but I'll send you to the school councillor", who said, "I doubt it, but I'll send you to be evaluated by a psychiatrist who specializes in ADD", who said, "I doubt it, but I'll run these tests." Then, after the tests, everyone down the line went, "Hey, you've really got it." Ironically, I said, "I doubt it, I just want back into school".

The best advice I can give on the diagnosis is to talk to someone who specializes in it. Feel free to PM me, and I can check some of my resources to see if I can find a local person for you. The tests should include a questionnaire (based on the DVM-IV) as well as a cat scan, amongst other things. The biggest problem with ADD is everyone is "a little ADD" at some time or another. ADD is all the time, over most of your life. You need to be an advocate for your son, and he needs to learn how to be one himself. I've run into so many people who say, "Oh, I've got that. No, I've never been actually diagnosed, but I know I have it." and then use that as an excuse. Or the other side, "There's really no such thing, you're just lazy". Well, I can tell you, there is. I remember I had a "friend" who claimed it didn't exist, and I was just lazy. I told him, "If that were true, if the meds just gave me an unfair advantage, I'd stop now. I wish I knew how they'd affect someone who didn't have it." Unfortunatly, this while I was in university, and after a number of beers. My other friend piped up, "I'll try it". Fast forward to 5 am, and finding my friend just wired on the balcony outside my window where I was sleeping. "Dude..." "WHAT!?!!" "What are you doing?" "NOTHING!! JUST LOOKING!!" He tells me he finally slept two days later...I've never done illicit drugs, but I've read and heard enough to know, he looked like he was coked out. I've since learned that a lot of people with ADD self medicate with drugs, coke being the big one. That was Robin Williams drug of choice, and he often said that it calmed him down. And that's exactly what the medication did for me, it made me more calm, unlike my wired and sleep deprived buddy...

I actually haven't been taking medication for several years now, and I'm struggling in a lot of aspects of my job. One of the main reasons, I REALLY don't like what I do, and suddenly I'm back in high school, struggling to stay focused. But that's a whole other story...

Don't know if any of this helped, I've been interupted by the 3 yr old with nightmares a couple of times, so I apologize if it seems a little disjointed. I don't really talk about ADD, but I remember struggling with the diagnosis for years, and promised I'd always speak out if someone had an issue. If you want an adult's view on it, feel free to ask, or even PM me.

(By the way, did I mention that a lot of ADD'ers tend to talk [type] a lot? :D)

January 15th, 2009, 01:45 PM
Robin Williams self-medicating with cocaine, since it made him calmer, are you kidding me? Another reason these "stars" give us bad examples as to HOW NOT TO LIVE OUR LIVES. These people have a lot of money, fame and everything but they lack brains as to their health. They have access to the best Dr's. and treatments. Unfortunately ADHD can make you prone to commiting crimes and it has been very well documented. Like any disease you have to get to know all the facts, get treatments and ask other people with the same ailment as to what they are doing. What drugs are they taking and what dosage. Getting a second opinion from another dr. can be reassuring. You can take all the tests with you or have them faxed. As far as I know this is a disease for life and you have to learn how to deal with it, the best way you can. The best of luck for your family.

January 15th, 2009, 07:50 PM
That is another thing I worry about so much is drugs and alcohol. I really hope he dosen't turn to them to help him hide his feelings.

I wish I had a better update then I do. He continues to be very confrontational and I am trying to not yell and stay calm.

I am being very firm and following through with my consequenses, but he tells me that he won't do anything for me untill I give him his things back.

I haven't given up yet:)

January 15th, 2009, 08:21 PM
Stick to your guns, momsloopy. Seth is going to have to learn that what's expected of him is non-negotiable. At the moment, Sandman is actually waiting to get his laptop back :rolleyes: but still hasn't done what I've asked of him yesterday.

Your post of Jan. mention waiting for referrals. At the larger hospitals, all you have to do is ask for an intake worker and refer yourself. More often than not, it's accepted to go about it that way.

And Schwinn, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us.

What I learned is, it isn't a deficiency in thinking, it's a different way of thinking. The key is to learn learn.

...and I learned that, whatever my issue was, when I get out in the real world, my boss doesn't care why I show up late to the meeting, or didn't get my project done. I'm glad I suffered the consequences at home, before I was on my own.

Excellent points. As parents, we sometimes don't help the situation by making excuses for our children. I was very guilty of that until I learned that I was actually making things worse :o.

January 16th, 2009, 11:39 AM
Robin Williams self-medicating with cocaine, since it made him calmer, are you kidding me? Another reason these "stars" give us bad examples as to HOW NOT TO LIVE OUR LIVES. These people have a lot of money, fame and everything but they lack brains as to their health. They have access to the best Dr's. and treatments.

He wasn't self-medicating as in "I have ADD, so I'll take this for it". Self-medicating is what is referred to when people become drug or alcohol addicts because it makes them feel better when they do, perhaps because of depression or some other issue. In his case, he tried it with his friend John Belushi, and liked how he felt. He also quit the day Belushi died and never did it again. The point was that for many with ADD, cocaine has the opposite effect. While non-ADD addicts take it for the rush, most with ADD find it makes them more calm, helps alleviate that "always on" feeling.
Unfortunately ADHD can make you prone to commiting crimes and it has been very well documented. Either the documents are mis-interpreted, or crap. ADD (ADHD and ADD are considered one in the same) has no bearing on moral compass. While there is a factor with impulsivity, causing people to do things without thinking (might explain some of my mountain bike scars), it will not make someone break the law unless they are inclined to. ADD does not blur your vision of right and wrong, or destroy a person's conscience. Again, you have to be inclined for that behaviour to act impulsivly. Being a mountain biker, I've had my share of "OOOH! I should ride down that!" moments, but knowing that, for example, theft is wrong, I've never walked by a bicycle and said, "OOOH! I like that, I should take it!". I'm sure my employers at the bank where I'm an account manager would have issue, and, being someone who's been through the process, I know for a fact that the high-ratio of cops with ADD would not be on the force if that were true. If you can't get on the force because you're mother's brother's best friend happens to be a Hell's Angel who shows up at family barbecues (this has happened), then they would certainly disqualify you if you "were prone to committing crimes". I have seen this hypothesis in my research, both for me personally, and in several papers I wrote while majoring in Sociology, and it's all based on faulty logic, usually on the same lines as "There are a high incidence of African American's in jail, ergo, African Americans are prone to commit criminal behaviour".

That is another thing I worry about so much is drugs and alcohol. I really hope he dosen't turn to them to help him hide his feelings.

Just keep in mind that he has two things going against him in this regard, the other being, he's about to be a teenager. Teenagers experiment. The chances of it happening without ADD are high (no pun intended). The key, though, is getting him to learn how to cope with his feelings before he goes that route. The best thing you can do there is keep the lines of communication open on your side, and not allow him to use ADD as an excuse.

I wish I had a better update then I do. He continues to be very confrontational and I am trying to not yell and stay calm.

Best thing you can do, stay calm...for your sanity and his. Just remember, again, some of this is "life with a teenager". Don't treat him with kid gloves everytime because he has this "thing". Again, he has to learn now, before he gets in the real world. There are a lot of extremely successful people with ADD, and most of them got there because they had to learn how to operate by the same rules as everyone else. You might be more understanding as to why he's lashing out, possibly more forgiving, but he still needs consequences like everyone else. Understanding behaviour isn't the same as excusing it.
I am being very firm and following through with my consequenses, but he tells me that he won't do anything for me untill I give him his things back.

Best thing you can do. Now it's a test of wills. He won't do anything for you? That's fine. You were probably doing those same things yourself before he came around, you can do them again. Or if they can wait, they wait. How long can he go without his things? At some point, he's going to try and talk to you about it, even if it's just to get his stuff back. And if that means it doesn't happen until you've got a closet of his stuff, and he's in a room with a mattress and a blanket, so be it. In the end, you'll both be better for it.

I haven't given up yet

:grouphug: Hang in there, it'll get better. I know it's trying (both my mom and Mrs. Schwinn have told me so), but it will work out if you stick to your guns, and make sure he knows you love him.

January 16th, 2009, 04:35 PM
Brilliant, Schwinn.
But very respectfully, do you really think being left with a mattress and blanket has any value?

January 16th, 2009, 06:52 PM
momsloopy, i had a 12yr old brother inlaw also miss diagnosed with adhd and watched how the medication turned him into a complete freak. I think the two teenagers gave some excellent input.LP the fact Sandman was willing to share in here is testimony of what a good mom you are, and having spent time with him online, i can vouche for what a good and polite young man he has become. Babymomma also has some good insight.

There is a huge psychiatric hospital here in toronto i can get you the info for if you'd like and see what info they can give you.

One of my first thoughts was possible drug use, as a recovering drug addict some of the symptoms sound the same. If it's truly a concern i can give you some information on what to look for depending on what drug.

Oh and Schwinn thank you for your excellent post on the info about yourself, and your response to the Robin Williams comment. I worked for the man for 6mths and he is an excellent human being and didn't deserve the comments made about him.

Dog Dancer
January 19th, 2009, 03:11 PM
Momsloopy, I'm sorry I haven't logged into this thread before, and have had a good long read today. I have nothing at all to offer you, as I was among the blessed with my teenaged boy and never had any issues (beyond the normal teen stuff). But I wanted to say bless you for not giving up on your son. Sandman sounds like such a great boy and will probably be able to give you lots of advice. Maybe Seth would like to talk to Sandman directly by pm if they're both open to it. And Babymomma can also offer more advice if you pm her, she has the youth perspective still. So many people have taken the time to write you great helpful responses I won't list them, just thank them for caring so much.

Of course you care for Seth, but many would give up. I don't blame you for being mad at his teacher, I would be too! In fact I'd go above her head. Again, bless you for caring so much and being so strong. You are so not wasting anybodies time here.:grouphug: I really wish you strength and luck in resolving this to help your son.

January 19th, 2009, 03:28 PM
Maybe Seth would like to talk to Sandman directly by pm if they're both open to it. And Babymomma can also offer more advice if you pm her, she has the youth perspective still.

thats a good idea DD, i have a niece who went through these kind of things too, not too long ago, if you think talking to someone his own age would help i could ask her if she could get an account here and they could pm, just a thought..

January 20th, 2009, 04:17 PM
I just want to let everyone know that I am still reading this post and that every bit of advice and encourgement I have taken in.

If I have not responded back to you personally. Please do not take it as a slight. I just do not always have the time to come back to the forum everyday.

I do want you all to know that when I am having a very frustrating night with my Seth , that I come back to this post and it helps me to stay calm and focuss on the big picture and that is to help my son and my family.

I love my son and my family and I want us to be happy agian.