Friday, August 15, 2008

Hearing Loss?Gifted?ADHD?Behavior?

Okay, in tears here! School really stresses me out. Gage does so well academically, unless he's having one of those days and gets careless, so there are absolutely no concerns of the work being too hard...many people like his TOD even, thinks the opposite..."he needs to be tested this year for gifted" she says. Well, some of you are thinking, that's great, why complain about that? Well, look a little closer...
As far as accommodating him w/his ci, being deaf, the school does a fabulous job. Everyone loves Gage he's a real hoot. The problem is getting him to sit and be quiet. He had these same problems last year. Right now it's not too fair to judge because he's been w/out his FM mic all week and he's had to take listening breaks where he's sent into the resource room w/HIS work. The teacher says that helps him a lot. When I pick him up everyday and he has check marks for "running, talking EXCESSIVELY, and out of his seat, disturbing others" so far not all at once. He forgot to even bring his homework home yesterday, left everything, his backpack was empty. I've always passed it off as "he's all boy" because I'd hear that even in grocery stores when people would see his behavior (not bad behavior, just high energy) then I passed it off as being deaf w/a ci...getting distracted from certain noises in class since he's such a good listener. Now we (school counselor, myself and others) are wondering if it's more. Maybe he has ADHD?? I'm going by the doc's office this morning to pick up a blue immunization sheet for Brook's school and I'll ask what are the steps to a diagnosis. I despise the thoughts of medication taking his personality...I don't want him to want to sit and watch tv or something like that. We love his energy at home while we are outside, it's just who he is. But my final straw is when he gets into the car every afternoon, sees my disappointment when he gets the check marks...we always take stuff away (like his four wheeler) and he understands that, but he's upset and crying because he don't know why he ran, or can't quit talking "school is hard, I don't understand the rules yet" he tells me yesterday. I say "they are the same rules as last year, you don't run, you stop talking, you listen to the teacher" but I feel bad 'cause I seriously think it's impossible for him to sit still and be quiet. People don't realize how hard he's taking this as well, so I seriously doubt this is all bad behavior. But I'm on a mission, to find out what is going on here, everyone seems to be stressing and I can't have him disturbing class all day so we are working for some answers. I've begun this diet watch according to ADHD standards. Wow, I feel for the mom who have kids w/allergies or diabetes even! Milk is in almost everything, so is red dye! Those are two key things to eliminate I think, it's very hard. So anyone w/a ADHD kid please, please...are we even remotely close? This is all new to me! We'll find out though, something has to change whether it's behavior, boredom, or the wiggles from ADHD.


K.L. said...

There are several vitamins that can also help. Omega 3 (fish oil) is very important, and Folic Acid is also needed to help the body absorb the fish oil. B vitamins are also good additives.

My son has had to deal with ADD all his life, and I can attest to the fact that these additives do help. I'm not sure, but the answer is somewhere in the diet. I believe these kids just are not getting the right balance of certain nutrients.

You are on the right track. Try getting a multivitamin/mineral supplement from your drug store that is specific to ADHD.

kristi said...

While I'm no expert I just wanted to comment on your concern of his personality changing or medication taking his personality. I've worked with a number of kids with ADHD (right around your son's age) in a classroom setting. These kids are wonderful but when they are not on their meds... it means a very long day. When they are on the meds and their behaviour problems subside their personalities are able to shine that much more!
I applaud you for looking for a solution and putting your son's interest first. I've worked with parents that don't want to admit something might be wrong with their child and won't get them tested. And that only ends up hurting the child in the end.
Just my opinion from my experience!

Val said...

and I've heard that more and more about the Omega 3, vitamins but my ignorance led me to believe the meds would somehow take over my son...many people even offline are telling me this is not true,so thank you guys. We are working on this.

Kel said...

While it's a good idea to look closer at it, I also wonder... You mention that they have mentioned gifted, and I know a lot of gifted children tend to be the ones that act out at this age simply for boredom. They understand, and they don't see why they can't just move on, so they get distracted, bored, act out, etc.

leahlefler said...

I was reading some articles lately on adhd and giftedness (a friend's son is both ADHD and gifted). There's an interesting article here:

and a whole website on "twice exceptional" kids (gifted with other learning difficulties, or gifted with a physical disability) here:

It can be so hard to figure out the cause of attention issues when there could be so many things going on at once!

KeySpeechTeach said...

Val, I have so enjoyed reading your blog!I am an SLP who works primarily with Deaf/Hard of Hearing students. Additionally, my hearing 19 year old son is gifted and ADHD. Of course you are confused: you have a lot of variables at play here. Gage is still young. He is bright and may be bored. Listening is tedious and tiring work. This is the beginning of the school year when I would expect some difficulty adjusting from active, outdoor play to much more sedate class activity.

When my son was young and having similar difficulties in school, I got the teacher to complete a very simple rubric each day for him. If he stayed within a negotiated range of behaviors, he kept his favorite activity (Nintendo) and was warmly praised. If not, he lost it for the day. More important than the consequence was his understanding of what constituted "appropriate" behavior AND knowing that the teacher and I agreed. The rubric had 3 behaviors and a range of responses (not at all, sometimes, all the time). I think the behaviors were: follows rules the first time, sits quietly during ____time, and pays attention to the teacher. The point is to be simple, direct, and as specific as you can.

One benefit of keeping such a behavioral observation now, is that if you do talk with your physician about attention problems/activity levels, he/she will want to know specifics. Most physicians will also ask the teacher to complete a detailed questionnaire, so those careful observations now will help in organizing thoughts for completing that later.

If you do eventually get an ADHD diagnosis and do consider medication, behavior management will continue to be the most important component of success at school (and everywhere else). If this is not ADHD, behavior management is helpful for all children I know!

Props to you for your many successes with these two precious children!!!