Saturday, May 22, 2010

Let's throw Inattentive ADD into the mix!

I just checked -- and the last time I blogged was a year ago.

This is because this year was my son's most difficult in a long time. It was hard on him, and equally hard on us.

We had the "perfect storm" of the following -- expectations raised in 8th grade, a LOT more homework, and the fact that all of the many ADD medications we've tried this year are not working. It has been an incredibly stressful time, and therefore, no posts.

The odd thing is -- the Asperger's element of this is relatively OK. My son has been doing fairly well socially. He's grown, he's matured a little, and he isn't so tied to computer and video games. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

The trouble, from what I can see, is that he has Inattentive ADD, or ADHD-Primarily Inattentive, or ADHD-PI, or ADHD-I, or whatever they call it. But it's the COMPLETE OPPOSITE to typical ADHD. These children (and adults) are daydreamers, they cannot focus (the one thing that is like ADHD), they are NOT hyperactive, in fact they are much more likely to be quiet and inactive. Sometimes this is juxtaposed with something else called Sluggish Cognitive Tempo. But basically from my research it all seems to mean the same thing -- someone with these type of ADHD cannot pay attention to anything that holds no interest for them. They are GREAT at whatever they are good at or interested in (in my son's case, math and languages) but just cannot keep it together for any subjects that they are NOT interested in.

We've been in and out of the doctor's office more times than I can count, trying new meds this year -- and none of them have helped. Maybe initially, even for a few weeks, but after that, nothing. It's been SO frustrating! What is also frustrating is that I am finding out that the psychiatric world isn't so quick to legitimize "inattentive ADD". Also, there is little to no help online. I get the feeling that the current feeling is that, yes, this could be a subset of ADD, and yes, it does prove to be a little different than your typical ADD -- but there's nothing much anyone can do for it. There's also very little research being done on it.

So this is my "new" task -- to figure out whatever is the problem with inattentive ADD, figure out who is out there writing about it or helping kids with it -- and if there's no one out there who's an expert, then I'm going to have to dissect this whole thing myself and figure out where to go from here. I sure wish I had a medical degree now...

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At 5:09 PM, Blogger TheDug said...

our son, sean, is in 7th grade and his mother started working as a marketing rep 3 years ago, prior to that she was a helicopter mom. i work a split shift, 6am -11am then go back from 4-7pm. i know,yuk, yuk, yuk! anyway, sean, is only interested in what stirs him, friends included. needless to say, he doesn't keep friends close. right now he is on 5mg of adderall, which gets him thru the school day. he can't seem to comprehend why he has to do homework. i never liked it myself, and often hear other parents talk about how it's ruining their homelife. if it was part of the school day, god forbid, it would make so much more sense. anyway, i'm also looking for answers and each day brings more questions. where did this all begin?

At 3:54 PM, Blogger kmackenz said...

I'm not sure why every little thing has to be medicated. Can you find your real child beneath the child that you are drugging to meet your expectations?

At 5:52 AM, Blogger Kris said...

I agree -- not everything needs to be medicated. You get to the point where you ask questions... 1) we can NOT medicate, and eventually through lots of hard knocks, our child will learn. In the meantime, he won't be able to do his schoolwork and he will impulsively say things that alienate people, so he will be without friends. ALSO, he may get into accidents often when he begins to drive. OR 2) we can medicate, and schoolwork will be MUCH easier, and he won't impulsively say things that alienate people, and he will possibly be a safer driver.

There is no easy answer to the meds questions. I was ready to yank him off of the meds JUST BEFORE we got to the meds that allowed his REAL personality to shine. I've seen him unhappy on meds, and I wouldn't continue that EVER. But now, I see him VERY happy on meds. A happy teenager. Priceless.

At 1:10 AM, Blogger Mazza*OZ said...

I am curious if these children get department of education support which caters to thier learning styles? My son is now 12 . He is not Medicated he is currently in a school program which allows for his short attention span by adjusting his work load and giving him frequent breaks to reset his attention span. He is visual spatial and excels on assignments that follow this format. He is learning to use tools to assist him with his academic difficulty. He is doing well but at his own pace. He is very intuitive. He will get there in his own time. There is a lot of faculty support and a teachers who have an active interest in his success. Are we trying to fit a square peg into a round hole with medication? These children are not mainstream learners and should not be forced to conform to a mainstream curriculum. As parents of these children we already know how intelligent they are. Sometimes it takes a little time and maturity for the lightbulb to go on.


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