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Hi there, I'm creeping through here because my daughter has been diagnosed with inattentive type ADD and I guess I have to say I don't understand. I myself am completely scatterbrained so I guess she could have inherited it from me, but how do you know for sure when someone has it?

One thing I know for sure is she is completely disorganized and when I ask her a question more often than not I have to repeat myself before I get an answer.....

I have alot of well meaning people in my life who say that ADD can be a symptom of watching too much television or playing too many video games.

What is your opinion on medication and seeing a psychologist? Should I be forcing her to go to one if she really doesn't want too? This discussion may be pointless because I think I wasted the doctor's time when I maybe hadn't accepted the diagnoses. He said wait two months and if I feel at that point she needs medications make an appointment otherwise keep on trucking.

Any answers would be appreciated.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 11th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Here's Wikipedia on what inattentive ADHD is, exactly.

My best suggestion, since I'm not a doctor and haven't met you or your daughter, is to do lots of reading yourself and learn strategies to help her. She's going to need help with organization in a big way. Anything by Ed Hallowell is awesome, and you might want to look for Sari Solden's book about women with ADHD. It's one of the few books out there about how ADHD presents in females. There are also a couple (that I haven't read) about girls in particular, and I highly recommend Michelle Novotni's book, What Does Everybody Else Know That I Don't, which is about social skills. (I need to buy it; our library doesn't have it.)

Medication (yes, stimulant medication) could be a lifesaver; inattentive ADHD doesn't mean that medication is unnecessary. So don't be against it just because she's not physically hyperactive; her brain is hyperactive, which is what causes the inattention.

A lot depends on how old she is, of course.

And, finally, you (and her father) might want to consider getting tested for ADHD yourself.

Edited at 2010-09-11 01:02 am (UTC)
Sep. 11th, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I will definitely see if my library has those books.
Sep. 11th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
from what i've read in the books karalianne named, medication is usually the main and suggested treatment for all types of ADHD. after medication, behavioural therapy is sometimes considered if the child still has problems managing herself and socializing with others. the therapy would come from a psychologist experienced with ADHD or a counsellor with similar experience... sometimes schools even have special programs to teach kids how to modify their behaviour. and i don't mean behaviour as in acting bad... just in the general sense of their everyday being.

my mother is a school teacher and while she has no part, other than to recommend a child be tested, in the diagnosis or treatment of ADHD, she says anecdotally that when a child with ADHD is not medicated it isn't fair to the child because it doesn't give him/her the chance to learn. but that's just her view and experience. she basically thinks ADHD children who aren't medicated have to work a whole lot harder than other children to achieve the same learning outcome.

i wasn't diagnosed until i was an adult. i did fairly well in school but i never reached the A+ level that my teachers expected of me, due to my intelligence level. university is where i really fell apart. all of a sudden i couldn't get by on just my smarts and i failed classes and dropped out a few times before finally finishing a degree at the age of 26. i then went on to have trouble in my chosen career field due to what i now know is ADHD, and i've gone back to school. i am now medicated (i take ritalin) and i can't imagine how i ever got by without it. my world is just so much clearer now and i am capable of understanding the course material i had failed my first time at university. i failed grade 12 math in high school and last year, due to ritalin, i passed the adult equivalent of grade 12 math... and got a B! i can't even begin to comprehend math without ritalin... i just can't hold the numbers in my head. medication is also a must for me if i am going to have a social life. i was taking a ritalin break this summer and my best friend said i was scary to be around. my temper was quick and i was negative all the time. i also, apparently shouldn't drive without ritalin because i can't pay attention to the road. she was so glad when my ritalin break was over and i was back to being the friend she knew and loved. ADHD affects all areas of my life and without it i have tried and tried but only failed. i'm tired of failing... so if i have to take a pill to succeed, so be it.

i have ADHD Predominantly Inattentive type. i take short acting ritalin every day and augment it with an antidepressant that also treats ADHD, called wellbutrin.

my advice to you would be to learn the science behind an ADHD brain and figure out for yourself if you think it is a medical problem that needs to be corrected with medication. i personally think so... but it is a conclusion that you have to make for yourself. reading the books mentioned above will help you understand ADHD better.

Sep. 11th, 2010 12:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I will have to keep researching and hopefully we can find a solution.
Sep. 11th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
i just noticed you are canadian... so am i! would you like to be friends. i talk about adhd a bit in my journal because i'm back in school, making a career change. check out my info and friend me if you think we'd get along. cheers! oh... and LJ has a MUCH more active community called adults_add that you can also join and get info from.
Sep. 12th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
Love Canadians, being one myself, will add you. I don't post much as I am trying to do this thing called life but I love new friends.
Sep. 12th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! Well, I don't post as much as I used to for the same reasons.
Sep. 11th, 2010 06:54 am (UTC)
Have you been tested for ADD? If a relative has it, there's a chance you have it too! Which would make it kind of hard for you to determine if she has it or not, because it's just normal for you. You know?

Diagnoses are tools that enable us to help people and get help. They're not the end-all, be-all of psychiatry, and they tend to change a lot. It can take a long time to determine what disorder someone has, and even longer to accept it. The important thing is that you love your daughter no matter what!
Sep. 11th, 2010 12:43 pm (UTC)
No I was never tested for ADD and I don't know anyone who has been diagnosed with it, except my daughter.

I think I may be starting to realize how difficult it must be for her if she really does have ADD because most people who came in contact with her said she just needs to apply herself, including me. Poor girl.

Thanks for the encouragement!
Sep. 11th, 2010 10:53 am (UTC)
As far as medication is concerned, I have only one opinion when it comes to medicating kids: don't force it on them. Not everyone absolutely needs medication for ADHD, and I know quite a few people who were medicated in their youth and wound up feeling as if it had been forced on them, and resenting the fact that their parents had done it. And on the other hand, I know at least one person who has gone his entire life unmedicated, simply because his parents took many, many extra steps to pick up his slack (which may or may not be a good thing, because now he can't handle difficult situations himself, hehe). Your first step would probably be to get her to a psych doc or therapist--one who specializes or has some knowledge when it comes to adhd will have a lot of suggestions and coping mechanisms for her. And make sure to discuss that medication may help if she's still struggling. Suggest it, and let her tell you when she's ready.

And anecdotally, the disorganized thing, and you having to repeat yourself? That's incredibly common in people with adhd (I know I have to hear a question twice, and then stare at the person for a good 15-20 seconds while it processes, if my mind was elsewhere at the time). Though that alone is not enough of an indication of adhd, which was best explained to me as an extreme end of a continuum. Everyone has scatter-brained days, or certain things that distract them. Everyone gets "a little add" sometimes. It's when you face those issues on a daily basis to a much higher, disrupting amount that it actually becomes diagnosable adhd.
Sep. 11th, 2010 01:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I appreciate your input, I haven't completely woken up yet but when I do I will give this some more thought.

I think we could go forever without medication but we both get so frustrated! We will just have to wait and see, and in the meantime I have to research, research, research!
Sep. 11th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
one book that hasn't been mentioned to you but is a very good one for explaining the science behind an ADHD brain is: Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults, by Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D. it's a bit textbook-like and not as entertaining as some of the other books that have been recommended to you but if you really want to understand exactly what is going wrong in an ADHD brain, it is really good. as soon as you begin to read you will come across the term: executive disfunction. this is, according the the author of the book, what ADHD is all about. he uses the analogy of a symphony where all the instruments work but the conductor isn't leading them properly. and that's executive dysfuntion in the brain and can impact our learning, socializing... etc. anyway, i highly recommend that book. you might also want to visit: http://www.addforums.com/forums/index.php which is an online support network for people with ADHD and parents/teachers with ADHD kids. you can ask a lot of questions there and get a lot of opinions and information.
Sep. 12th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
Hey thanks again, I heard of executive function disorder but it was almost like the guy was saying so and so did not have ADD they had executive function disorder. Confusing, no?
Sep. 12th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
ADD is an executive function disorder and more, so maybe he meant that's not all she has.
Sep. 20th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
I have not read the other comments to your posting so please forgive me if I am repeating something. I was "diagnosed" with ADD in my 30's when I was struggling to finish my Ph.D.and for a few years I took amphetamines (Adderall) for that. When this was happening my son was beginning grade school and I felt a lot of pressure from teachers to have him medicated as well. Teachers perceived him as inattentive, unfocused and disorganized. I informed myself of the long-term side effects of ADHD medications, particularly on children, and decided to wait. Fortunately a very good school psychologist, after administrating him several tests, concluded that he was a smart and creative kid who was bored with the general school setting. Her advice was to enroll him in the "gifted and talented program". Looking back, despite the fact that he was not always on top of all his disciplines, I believe I did the right thing. My son is a junior high student now, he has learned strategies to get more organized and has finally come to terms with time management. My advice is, if she is not falling way too behind that it compromises her self-esteem and ability to function, give it a time. We all get there, in our own time.
Sep. 21st, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for that! I think I am going to wait for awhile and see how she does, she is starting at a new school this year and seems interested for the first time in I don't know how long....

That is pretty much what the doc suggested as well.
Oct. 15th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
Hi There, I just read your post from the 10th. My son was diagnosed with ADD at a very early age and I was blessed to come across the book by Dr. Doris Rapp called "Is This Your Child?".

Within a very short period of time, we singled out food allergies in my son and today, two years later, his is one grade ahead in his reading and his social skills are terrific.

Before you consider medication, which may be the best alternative for your daughter, I encourage you to read the book mentioned above. It literally saved our family.
Oct. 30th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, I had considered taking her to get allergy tested because my cousin had some environmental allergies which really affected his behaviour. I will definitely see if I can get my hands on that book.

I am assuming that his only problem was the food allergies and not ADD, or do the allergies make his ADD worse? I hope I'm not being too nosy here.
Dec. 7th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
ADHD lectures from uc davis
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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