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Dyslexia and ADD - any experts out there???

9 replies

fullmoonfiend · 26/11/2006 09:45

I hope it is not innappropriate to post this here, tried a similar threat on behaviour but not many 'experts' around...

ds (9) was dx dyslexic at the Dyslexia Institute. I know that many characteristics of dyslexia are similar to symptoms of ADD. (ie, distractibility, forgetting things, disorganised)
But how can I tell if it's 'just' the dyslexia or whether he's ADD as well?

He ticks a couple of boxes for dyxpraxia - but guess what! The same ones as you could expect with dyslexia..sigh. He isn't at all uncoordinated with things like running, swimming, gym etc and he was very early at crawling,walking etc but he does have huge writing problems. (just learned to tie showlaces hoorah! (at almost 9 )

He was diagnosed 3 years ago but school are pretty useless and he is rubbing them up the wrong way now by clowning around (he has very high IQ but it is cunningly disguised by his refusal to cooperate with writig/spelling and now they are marking him down on maths as theycannot read his writing )

I'm worried that his school are not terribly supportive or knowledgeable (neither am I!) and i am trying to look objectively at him and his problems at school and wondering if some of the behaviour he's showing at school which I 'blame' on dyslexia might be something else as well, ie ADD. But so many of the symproms seem to cross over. I'm really not desperate to label him anything, but I'm just trying to find out how to help him. How would one test him for ADD?

OP posts:
fullmoonfiend · 26/11/2006 12:33


OP posts:
fullmoonfiend · 26/11/2006 16:52

last try

OP posts:
Saturn74 · 26/11/2006 16:59

Hi FMF. I've got one son with dyslexia and dyspraxia, who has problems concentrating, sitting still and absorbing anything in a 'formal classroom' setting.

My other son has severe dyslexia, and could not access the national curriculum at school, because he still could not read and write at the age of 7.

I'm not sure how you would test for ADD.

DS1 has been greatly helped by daily doses of Efalex.
DS2's behaviour and concentration has improved massively since we removed gluten, wheat, dairy and sweeteners from his diet.

School were no help whatsoever (understatement!), and we had to get private assessments from the DI for both the children.

dmo · 26/11/2006 17:47

my son was idenififed of having dyslexia in yr 3. he is now in yr 5 and school have been no help. to get a statement he has to complete a test which goes in front of a board (test has to be no more than 3 mths old) my son has done the test 4 times now each time it has been eirther put in to late, lost etc

smeeinit · 28/11/2006 18:16

my youngest ds (14) is dyslexic and his first school were totally sh!t,they wouldnt test him for dyslexia and i could not afford to go to get it done for him at the time,it didnt matter how many times i told them i did not need a test to know my son was dyslexic they still done f**k all about it
we moved out of the area and my son went to a fabulous village school who helped him more in one year then his previous school did in 4.
the best advice i can give you is to go out and buy a book called "the gift of dyslexia"
its a fab book that really gets into the haed of a dyslexic and explains it non dyslexics IYSWIM!
the best help you can give your ds is to understand what he is going through......... so to speak.

QueenBodicea · 28/11/2006 19:42

It is a bit of a minefield isn't it? My DS is also 9. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 7 and is on medication which helps a great deal. He also has dyspraxic tendancies but had no Dx of dyspraxia. He has always struggled severely with writing and drawing so much so that he has a statement and that has fortunately meant that the LEA provided him with a laptop for when he has to do large pieces of work. His writing has recently started to improve. He still can not tie his shoe laces and his knife and fork skills are clumsy. However, he is good at football, running, climbing. Can ride a bike and swim though probably not as good as the average 9 year old due to co-ordination problems. So by and large the dyspraxia affects his fine motor skills rather than gross motor skills. His reading is quite good for his age and hs is not dyslexic. The clinical psychologist who we see regarding the ADHD said that often ADHD or ADD co-exists with dyslexia, dyspraxia, Aspergers, etc, due to the same part of the brain being affected. Thats why sometimes symptoms of other conditions are displayed although this might or might not result in a full dx of the other condition(s)depending on how many symptoms/severity.

The NHS website says that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ( DSM ) says that to be diagnosed with ADHD:

Your child must have six or more symptoms of not paying attention (inattention) or six or more symptoms of being overactive (hyperactivity) and acting before thinking (impulsivity)
These symptoms must have started before your child was 7 years old
Your child must have been behaving like this for at least six months.
Your child's behaviour must be causing problems in at least two places, such as at home and at school.
Sorry if I ramble on.
Hope this helps.

QueenBodicea · 28/11/2006 19:48

P.S. I realise you are concerned about ADD and my experience is only of ADHD but I think they are the same apart from ADD does not have the hyperactivity symptom.

fubsy · 29/11/2006 23:02

Hi FMF - I cant do links, but theres a recent thread called "Dyspraxia - any advice" where I posted about the overlaps between dyslexia, dyspraxia etc, and how having some of the signs doenst mean a full blown diagnosis. Hope this is some help!

katy315 · 17/01/2012 08:28

My Son has just been diagnosed with ADHD Inattentive ADHD (or as most people call it ADD), I got a referal from his hospital consultant (as he has previous medical problems) to a Developemental Paediatrician. I think you can get this referal also from your GP. Hope this helps.

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