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I think my ds may have ADHD -

(30 Posts)
gemmiegoatlegs Fri 10-Oct-08 21:33:59

My ds is 5 and a bit. He is very boisterous, very impatient, can't stick to an activity etc at home

I presumed he was better at school (he has started year 1 at a new school following a house move) as I hadn't had many comments on bad behaviour etc. At his last school we were taken aside at pickup time a couple of times a week about various incidents that had occurred during the day. a few times he was put on report/sent to head/missed playtime etc.

dh and I thought the (old) school were maybe overdoing it a bit andwere optimistic about the new place. however, we had a parents evening last night which was just dreadful.

Academically, ds is below average, though he has always been a bright inqisitive boy. he can't get to grips with sitting for any amount of time hence his reading and writing is coming on very slowly. he can't write sentences, forms his letters inconsistently etc. His teacher was lovely and said all of this is down to his lack of concentration.

She was giving him the benefit of the doubt to get settled in to the new school, but things aren't getting any better. And to be honest things are awful at home a lot of the time too.I sometimes dread the weekend and having to deal with him on my own when dh is working.

Ds' teacher said she will monitor him until christmas and then think about getting him assessed and calling in "outside agencies"

What exactly will this involve?

I am sure he will not be any better...he has been getting progressively worse over the last year or so. I really don't know much about this so i've had a brief look on the web and it seems like ds has all the characteristics of ADHD, on the NHS site it says that it tends to appear around age four.

I just feel so sad, like I have failed him in some way and I want to help him get better (is there a better?!) I don't know whther to wait it out or see if I can get him assessed sooner rather than later. i am really worried about him being labelled, and slipping through the net at such a young age. i would be grateful if anyone with experience of this could point me in the right direction for info and resources or just to chat.


feelingbitter Fri 10-Oct-08 22:25:57

Know nothing on this subject I'm sorry, but there are plenty who do, I'm sure they will be along soon.

madmouse Fri 10-Oct-08 22:42:26

please start with not feeling like you let him down (I know you can't flick a switch, but try, it really is nothing you did as adhd is not bad behaviour sad).

I asked my ds' consultant about it as I idly wondered whether it could be a consequence of his brain damage (he is a rather busy bee 8 month old who only lies still when he sleeps) and she said the key problem with adhd is not being able to filter out information, so everything is coming at you from all sides and you are unable to block out inappropriate/unhelpful signals, so it is impossible to behave 'normally'.

don't be afraid to push for what you think he needs. If you think there is no point waiting longer because you feel there is a proble push for help now.

gemmiegoatlegs Fri 10-Oct-08 22:46:31

madmouse, are you from a mog story?

madmouse Fri 10-Oct-08 22:48:17

what is a mog story?

gemmiegoatlegs Fri 10-Oct-08 22:50:50

thanks for replying. I am definately going to see about getting a referral on monday, i want to help him as much as I can as quick as I can. but I hear there is no quick fix

gemmiegoatlegs Fri 10-Oct-08 22:52:36

M it's a monster. a mad mouse monster. "It may make a meal of me"

Mog's ABC by Judith Kerr. My dd's favourite!

madmouse Fri 10-Oct-08 22:54:54

teehee like it will search out the book for ds. no it is a vague english translation of a dutch nickname dh used to call me (gekke muis, more literally crazy mouse)

magso Fri 10-Oct-08 23:42:18

This may sound a bit mad but some children seem better focused on fishoils (eg eskimo oil or EYEQ) might be worth a try whilst you wait for a referral if not already using.

Kazann Fri 10-Oct-08 23:48:57

Hi gemmiegoatlegs just to let you know u need to shout loud and clear and get as much help as u can from as many people as u can we are going through the same thing with our DD at the moment she is in her 3rd school in 3 years and is having all sorts of problems I also dread the weekend and 3 sometimes 4 times a week have to speak to teacher or head after school.
We have got school action plus involved and educational pychologists and looking into ASD at the moment.
I Know how sad you feel but try not to blame yourself it is no ones fault it is a natural way to feel i have really sad days too.
Take care hugs x

gemmiegoatlegs Fri 10-Oct-08 23:56:21

i am sorry to hear what you are going through Kazaan. what is the process with SA Plus? I thought that was just a watered down SEN. Are there actual people who can help you?

I feel so sad for ds in that I know he is not going to win friends behaving the way he does. I also feel a guilt (misplaced, perhaps?) for the school, which is the second best in our area and has good kids from good families. The SEN proportion is low and includes a couple of Down's syndrome children. i think the ADHD and Autistic Spectrum kids level must be very low. I know these things can happen anywhere but I feel so bad that we virtually begged to get him in there as we thought the previous school was doing more harm than good. How old is your dd? how long have you been noticing behavioural issues?

PheasantPlucker Sat 11-Oct-08 07:51:14

Hi, in our case we got a referral to a Clinical Pscychologist via dd's Consultant. Then a diagnosis. (dd also has various other conditions due to a brain haemorrhage at birth, so we were already under many professionals at the local hospital)

Please ask me any questions if you feel I can help in any way.

PheasantPlucker Sat 11-Oct-08 07:52:28

PS Don't you dare blame yourself - this is a medical condition xxxx

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 11-Oct-08 08:29:49

You have NOT failed your son at all but you must act to safeguard his legal rights educationally or he may well slip through the net.

I would try and get him assessed yourself sooner rather than later (no point to my mind in further delaying). You need to ask your GP to refer you to a developmental paediatrician.

SA plus is not that great it is limited in scope and will provide limited support. Another problem with this is that it is not legally binding.

If you do not think the school can meet his additional needs (and this certainly seems to be the case from your writings) apply for a Statement of Special Needs from your LEA as soon as possible. You will need to give them six weeks to reply. You do not need school's permission or a diagnosis to ask for statutory assessment. Infact a request for a Statement is better off coming from the parents than school. have model letters you can use.

See a label as a signpost to getting more help; your son is clearly struggling with school currently. If he is diagnosed with ADHD his school days can be extremely trying particularly if there is no support in place.

You are your child's best - and only - advocate.

gemmiegoatlegs Sat 11-Oct-08 09:17:43

Thanks for all your replies, I was wondering what kind of support I can give him at home

Would a behaviour chart with different targets be a good thing to help him manage his behaviour. We have used star charts a couple of times over the last year for specific issues and he has responded well but lapsed as soon as the reward game was up. i was thinking about maybe having stickers for very small tasks, and not rewarding with a big treat at the end, just a small motivation

Also, would it help to implement more structure into his day? we already hacve set bedtimes and family meals round the table. Would it be constructive to get him into some structured activities like a swimming lesson or karate class on weekends, or would it add to the frustrations?

Also as for the academic work - do I force the homework issue? I find it so stressful trying to get him to concentrate. So far we have been breaking one small task into tiny pieces over several days. Is this the way to go or should I insist on getting it done at once (obviously he has to at school)

I really don't want him to fall any further behind at school

PheasantPlucker Sat 11-Oct-08 11:04:30

Victoria Chart Co do charts for children with SEN I think, they have a website. Hope this helps.

magso Sat 11-Oct-08 15:54:03

Well I can tell you what helped for us (Ds has LD ASD and ADHD)- but as your little chap sounds bright it may not be right for you.
We find allowing a visit to the cuboard to choose a treat/ smalltoy/ new bit of magnetix every x stickers ( where x is acheivable but not too easy!) keeps the motivation with charts! He needs the immediate reward of the sticker. Earning Tv extras or 15 minutes extra Dvd time works wonders! We find it best to work on one or two targets at once not lots. We change the targets as the behaviours improve.
Another thing that worked for ds when he was in ms and suffering somewhat was to give him an allocated special play time (10 - 15 mins set on a timer)with me which he got come what may! He got to choose exactly what we did and took the lead! This gave him some control, 1-1 attention and he could not loose it - even if he had a dreadful day. Once at school kids get less 1-1 and some of kids really need 1-1 fun (not just the constant 1-1 help some like ds need so much of) the way we all need food. He also needs to run off his energy on a daily basis.
Dont want to write a whole chapter! Best of luck! Magso
Ps I was serious about the fish oils it made a useful difference to ds!

gemmiegoatlegs Sat 11-Oct-08 20:40:24

Thanks Magso, the bit about allocating special play time sounds great. I will think about structuring something similar into our day. Sometimes it seems that things go wrong throughout the day and by bedtime we've all just had enough and he ends up going to bed without a story and song. I don't want to take away all his pleasure in life.

Now i know something is wrong and its not just boisterous and naughtiness I am trying to be so much more patient when I'm dealing with him. Luckily I have a pretty slow fuse anyway but i owe it to him to make an extra effort.

Can anyone talk me through getting him assessed for SEN? Do we need an official diagnosis first/ What happens?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 11-Oct-08 21:48:13

You need to ask your GP to refer you to a developmental paediatrician at a child development centre. These people can diagnose.

Kazann Sat 11-Oct-08 22:23:42

Hi gemmiegoatlegs my DD is 7 next weekend i noticed problems around 18 months to 2 years about that time but HV would not listen to me then it escalated when she started school she has absence epilepsy and is on medication for that. on her statement it just says social and communication problems but i think there is almost certainly something else going on as i have 3 other children and she is so different I think when you are a parent you just know we have doctors monday hopefully DD will be referred x

gemmiegoatlegs Sat 11-Oct-08 22:26:08

I hope things work out Kazann, as a parent just staring out on this (probably long) journey I really hope that we get the help we need asap. Like you say, we know our own children better than anyone

magso Sun 12-Oct-08 20:43:28

You do not need a diagnosis (Dx) to request an assessment of sen - but IMHE it is very difficult to get the LEA to do one without a Dx unless you already have evidence that the child needs more support than the school give even after taking (and putting into place) outside agencies (eg the educational psychologist or speech therapist). It is wise to start collecting evidence (record incidents, exclusions etc)as soon as possible. Also request an appointment via your GP) with the developmental Paediatrician (and SALT/OT if you think they are needed)as it can take ages! All the time you need to be very proactive - chasing appointments and getting support in the classroom. As soon as you feel your child needs more support then the school can give him (if this isnt already the case) request an asssessment (see IPSEA website for suggested letter). HTH Magso

gemmiegoatlegs Sun 12-Oct-08 20:56:34

Thanks it does!I am going to call GP for a referral tomorrow. I am feeliing a bit more positive this weekend as ds has responded well to more structure and a lot of individual attention. i am more patient with him now and trying to avoid hazards where necessary. i have also cut all the additives I can find out of his diet and stepped up the fish oils. I don't know how much help this will be but I feel better for doing something smile

dustystar Mon 13-Oct-08 16:30:50

gemmie ds's paed gave us a copy of an ADHD treatment plan to use with him when we first had problems when he was 4. I can email you a copy if you'd like. Its a reward based plan and requires quite a bit of input from the parents but we found that it worked really well when we put the effort in. It was also suitable to use with dd who is NT.

gemmiegoatlegs Mon 13-Oct-08 20:10:15

That sounds great dusty my email is E5051520 at

Anything to be going on with would be great. I am calling GP tomorrow for a referral- not sure how long we will have to wait. I am undecided whether to take ds to GP with me ( will she want to look at him?) or to leave him in school so I can talk about what he's going through without making him hyperaware that he is not "normal"

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