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Opinions on ADD/ADHD
Old 02-26-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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I know this might light the fire for some of you, but here we go. I tend to think that ADD is a problem stemming from inadequate parenting. So many of the students I have had came from parents where they would not discipline their child. I do not mean hitting, I'm talking about setting boundaries and having consequences for inappropriate behavior. I find it hard to believe that all of a sudden ADD/ADHD has been discovered-apparently lying dormant for generations.

I have never personally witnessed a child who has ADD/ADHD coming from a well balanced home where boundaries were clear, and certain academic goals and behaviors were expected.

I feel that many parents want their child labelled ADD/ADHD as way to cover up their inadequate parenting skills.

Let it rip....


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Old 02-26-2007, 04:14 PM
 
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I am not so sure that I agree. Aren't ADD/ADHD medically diagnosed disorders? I truly believe that they are chemical imbalances since many times medication does help. I am not saying that parents don't have anything to do with it, but I don't think they are to blame. Maybe it's because of the difference between ADD and ADHD. I feel that parents can sometimes affect the hyperactivity part, but not necessarily the attention part.

How do you think that parents affect a child's inability to remain focused and on task? These two disorders are so misunderstood. I would like to know how others feel.

BTW...I have had plenty of students with ADD/ADHD that come from homes where parents set lots of limits and I haven't met many parents who want their child labeled with any kind of disability.
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That is not the case
Old 02-26-2007, 04:26 PM
 
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Yes speaking as an adult with ADD, these students will thrive under boundaries, behavioral management, and structure, as all children do . I strive for complete organization...have been called TYPE A by collegues ! It is a chemical imbalance in the brain, that can be treated without meds!!It requires conditioning and learning to compensate when necessary. You maybe noticing some coincidences I am sure that is all that it is!
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My son has ADD
Old 02-26-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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and he lives in a very structured loving home.....he had difficulties in k, 1, and 2 - then in 3rd it was finally diagnosed as ADD and the change in the past year has been remarkable.......he is thriving and succeeding - and determined to do his best.......
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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"I have never personally witnessed a child who has ADD/ADHD coming from a well balanced home where boundaries were clear, and certain academic goals and behaviors were expected."

Here I am! I was diagnosed ADD in 3rd grade. Before that, school was a nightmare. I could not focus at all. I don't remember much of 1st grade (except it was LOTS of fun). I remember in 2nd just playing with my jewelry and doing anything BUT work. In 3rd grade my teacher moved me away from the class and put a barrier between me and the other students. Talk about traumatic to an 8 year old.

Anyway I was put on ritalin (it was the 90's). With medication I could focus in school. My parents, teachers, and I saw a positive difference. I continued to take ritalin on into high school. Here I decided I did not want to be "dependent" on medicine into order to succeed.

Once a year (usually around 3rd six weeks grading period) I would stop taking my medication. The next six weeks my grades went down at report card time. Trust me, I was REALLY trying in class. The next six weeks I would take my medicine again and my grades always went back up. I did this once a year for 4 years. Upon seeing the result, I always continued taking ritalin. Once in college (and away from long school days) I learned to adapt and would take ritalin only when I really needed. Usually it was to write a term paper.

I come from a wonderful, stable home. My parents have been married for 31 years. Our house is on 3 acres of land and I spent every afternoon playing outside, building forts or riding bikes. Though I've never been officially "grounded" my brother and I had consequences for our actions. We were taught manners and were expected to be polite. We were expected to take school seriously and do our best. We were never asked IF we were going to college. We were asked"what college are you going to go to?" (the answer was Virginia Tech, even at 4).

At times there are children who are labeled ADD/ADHD who truly are not. Just remember for many children it is a real problem and has nothing to do with parenting (though an unstable home could make the condition worse and more difficult to deal with).



Last edited by Hokie Fan; 02-26-2007 at 04:42 PM..
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Very Interesting
Old 02-26-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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I had to really think about how to reply to this one. I have taught junior high special ed. for ten years, and when I think back, I can only think of two students that have come from what I would consider a stable background. Both of them are incredibly well-behaved, respectful, and hard-working. That doesn't mean that I necessarily believe that the parents "cause" the problem. I think that the lack of boundaries and structure you described make it next to impossible for them to be successful in school. I can't imagine living in the chaos that some of these kids live in. No wonder their heads are spinning. I know too many ADD/ADHD adults, and have worked with too many students to question whether there really is a neurological disorder called ADD. But I can't say I haven't wondered if chaos and disorder were capable of producing a lack of focus and hyperactivity that could be mistaken for ADHD. Does that make sense?
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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I have ADD, and was not diagnosed because back in the 50s I don't think teachers even knew about it. It wasn't until I was working in Special Ed that it hit me - "That's what I have!"
I have learned how to compensate, but believe me, I am not proud of my grades in high school or college. I could sit through a whole hour of lecture and not be able to tell you one thing that was said. I tried to pay attention, but it just didn't happen. I can read and suddenly I realize I haven't been paying attention so I have to go back and reread. It's best if I can read out loud to myself. I also need to highlight and take notes. Reading for pleasure is not in my vocabulary. It's a struggle to stay focused and comprehend what I read.
However, I have learned how to compensate for my disability and am a successful wife, mother, teacher, etc. I feel I can relate well to my students and even share some of my techniques with them.
I have a sister that has the same problems I have and I have 2 sisters and a brother that do not have these problems.
I do not agree that it is coming from inadequate parenting, although I do believe that if parents are not supportive and do not work with their children it is much more difficult.
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:05 PM
 
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While I agree with you somewhat, I don't agree with you completely. You must know that ADD/ADHD is not caused by parenting styles. It is an actual physical reaction in the brain. I have known children with great parents with children who have ADHD. In fact they have two other children in the same home who don't have any ADHD symptoms. Maybe the reason that you have not witnessed a child with ADD/ADHD coming from a well-balanced home is because these children are much more difficult to parent than the average child. But I do agree that having a home with clear boundaries and expectations will help children who have ADD/ADHD. These parents are constantly 'on the run' caring for someone who has difficulties with a child who is inattentive- ADD, and who has 6 or more of the following symptoms:
Has difficulty following instructions
Has difficulty keeping attention on work or play activities at school and at home
Loses things needed for activities at school and at home
Appears not to listen
Doesn't pay close attention to details
Seems disorganized
Has trouble with tasks that require planning ahead
Forgets things
Is easily distracted

The child with ADHD who is hyperactive/impulsive will have at least 6 of the following symptoms
Is fidgety
Runs or climbs inappropriately
Can't play quietly
Blurts out answers
Interrupts people
Can't stay in seat
Talks too much
Is always on the go
Has trouble waiting his or her turn

Can you imagine having a student of yours that has these symptoms living with you full time every day? Can you imagine going out any where and having people stare at you and you know they are thinking you must be a terrible parent? Someone at the school thinking that you just don't know how to handle your child-you know by someone like you. If you've had a student with ADD/ADHD then you have probably noticed that they are more difficult to deal with in your classroom. You wouldn't want someone blaming you, acusing you of not having good classroom management skills.
Scientists still are not quite sure about all the causes of ADD/ADHD. They are still studying the brain and all of its functions. So far they have determined that the neurotransmitters the brain's chemical messengers aren't used properly in people with ADHD. Additionally, there appears to be less activity in the areas of the brain that control activity and attention in people with ADHD. In addition, brain scans have revealed that, on average, children with ADHD have up to 4 percent smaller brain volumes than do children without ADHD.
And that heredity of ADHD tends to run in families. About one in four children with ADHD have at least one relative with the disorder.
While I do agree with you in a way. Many doctors have prescribed treatment with drugs such as Ritalin too prematurely. Some of those children may be misdiagnosed. But I think that pointing fingers at the parents is not going to help solve anything. These parents are already feeling badly enough, like they may be doing something wrong. I came across a list of famous people who have been identified as having characteristics like ADD/ADHD. I'll just mention a few: Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Whoopi Goldberg, Beethoven, Magic Johnson, Robin Williams, Tom Cruise and the Wright Brothers. So people with ADD/ADHD can and do learn to channel their energy into having meaningful lives. It really is not kids who have parents who don't know how to control their children. Nobody wishes that their child has this disability or any other disability. They can benefit by having loving, supportive parents who work together with school staff, mental health workers and their doctor to become well-adjusted adults. We, as teachers, can help by giving them advise such as having a home with more structure and clear expectations.




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You lit my fire
Old 02-26-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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Quote:
I know this might light the fire for some of you, but here we go. I tend to think that ADD is a problem stemming from inadequate parenting
Mmmm no, but xxx no!
I have raised on ADHD son, and to say that in some way my lack of parenting skills contributed to his adhd makes me Being a school teacher mom, I was/am harder on him, expected him to do what he had to do, and tow the line in the classroom. We never ever made excuses for him or bailed him out of his messes. My son has went on and made Eagle Scout and is a sophmore in college on scholarship. IF my parenting were lacking in any shape or form those things would not be possible (see if a boy can make Eagle without a lot of parental help)..
Quote:
I have never personally witnessed a child who has ADD/ADHD coming from a well balanced home where boundaries were clear, and certain academic goals and behaviors were expected
I would welcome you to come and meet me and my family at any time.

I do think we have a lot of students diagnosed with ADHD that are really BRAT. But that is a different post.
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:32 PM
 
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I waited to respond because I wanted to think about your hypothesis. My son has ADD and my husband and I don't have a highly structured home environment. But while I thought about my response I gave thought to the many years when getting my son to complete homework was simply the hardest thing I ever had to do. While parents work around the homework piece, dinner, baths, readying for the next day, and cleaning up still need to be done. I think my home became chaotic because of my son's academic difficulty. I only have one child so I don't have a sense of how life would be will a child who doesn't have learning difficulties. Additionally, oftentimes children with ADD have other learning disabilities. If you haven't lived with this component of parenting it's important to know that it makes homelife extremely challenging. My son is now in high school and that's no longer the case. He has learned coping mechanisms along the way. He doesn't take meds and he takes responsibility for getting his homework done independently. He's not perfect, and inattentiveness still gets noted on his report card.

I will say that my parents who have children with ADD/ADHD are my best support system for helping their children and my student. They work harder than you can imagine to keep their child up-to-date on homework. Morning pep talks are the norm. My son was counseled every morning before school regarding our expectations for behavior. I know that as a parent, and I know that as a teacher of children with ADD/ADHD.


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Old 02-26-2007, 05:35 PM
 
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I have an earlier post about an identical twin who I am worried might have ADD. If you are intereted, research on google "ADD, brain mapping". Neurolgists have been able to pinpoint through MRI research the exact areas of the brain were ADD show up. It is not a chemical imbalance- it is a physiological anomaly in the brain- if I remember correctly- the frontal lobe, cortex and parietal cortex. The research was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine about 4 years ago. There is some very interesting research on this- I have been researching since the beginning of the year to try to find some suggestions or techniques to try with my student.

Also- I have a 73 year old dad who had a horrible time in school- was told he'd never be college material. When he was 70, he was diagnosed with adult ADD! My brother has it- after having a horrible time in school, being retained, labeled special ed....at the age of 32 was diagnosed and prescribed medication. His entire life changed! His son, was diagnosed 5 years ago and since beginning medication has become a straight A student. I think that in addition to the physical differences in the brains of people with ADD, there are some hereditary characteristics. I am sure that inadequate parenting plays a part for some students, but the fact is that it is physical- not environmental.
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:54 PM
 
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parets I want their child labelled ADD/ADHD as way to cover up their inadequate parenting skills.
Even if that is true (and I do believe that there are some parents for whom this is true), it doesn't necessarily follow that ADHD is a problem stemming from inadequate parenting.

I have one challenging student who fails to turn in his work, blurts out comments at inappropriate times, is a chronic liar, and a general discipline challenge. His parents say they think he has ADHD (not that they've ever tested him). Based on my experience with their parenting, they just want a label for him to give an excuse.

Then I have one diagnosed ADHD student in my classroom; he is a challenge, to say the least. But I am in daily contact with his parents, they are very involved in his behavior, they have consequences and boundaries, and they are doing their very best to educate me about ADHD. They're not perfect, but they're in no way inadequate parents. I did think, at teh start of the year, that it was just an excuse and he should be able to control it. I've learned!!!

Last edited by jensw; 02-26-2007 at 06:02 PM..
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:31 PM
 
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But while I thought about my response I gave thought to the many years when getting my son to complete homework was simply the hardest thing I ever had to do. While parents work around the homework piece, dinner, baths, readying for the next day, and cleaning up still need to be done. I think my home became chaotic because of my son's academic difficulty.
Newtothird, you are so right on that I could cry. We have 4 children--3 grown and 1 who started middle school this year. It's been a nightmare for our ADD youngest son. He is very bright and extremely capable but getting him to keep up with 5 different classes and 5 different teachers is about to be the death of all of us. We are on him all the time and he still forgets assignments. He does some assignments and forgets to turn them in. Because he is so very bright we are trying to teach him coping strategies (lists, routines, etc.) and he has adopted some of them. But, golly gee whiz, it's hard and it doesn't help that some make statements like the original poster. My older children are all successful (RN/BSN, Latin teacher, and 4.0 GPA for the English and Math major still in school) and it was a lot more hectic with 3 than with 1.

I worry so much about my youngest. I worry that he feels too much stress from our constant pressure; I worry that even though he is academically gifted he feels inadequate because he's not able to keep up. But, thanks to his UNDERSTANDING TEACHERS, we are making headway. Hopefully, by the time he gets to high school, he'll internalize some of these coping strategies.
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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Well I am not going to rip you. I am an adult recently diagnosed with ADD hypo (not the hyper) and the nonstimulant I take for it has been a miracle. I came from a very loving home with 2 good parents who were always there, never struck, were not alcoholics etc.

I think a lot of it is simply the condition (and others) has grown with the conventional wisdom of the times we live in. We probably do try to put a label on every little thing when sometimes I think a solid loving family might cure a lot of problems. I am not talking about spanking coming back, I was never struck and have never raised a hand to anyone.

My own child has been an honor student her entire life although odds are one in three to have an ADD child.

You do have a valid point in that it really does seem to be the type of family you describe that seem to have kids with the most problems. That makes sense as there is no substiute for good parenting.

I think it is a combination of parenting (perhaps), our computerized everything, go go go etc.

My ADD is far harder to diagnose, far harder and I am grateful to a wonderful doctor that has hounded me for years to try medication. I somehow got through university and grad school with this condition as I simply found other ways of learning and coping. My life was anxiety ridden and I was ready to leave teaching..

For some folks of any age, the right medication, I say THANK GOD.
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In some cases
Old 02-26-2007, 07:19 PM
 
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ADD and ADHD are caused by a chemical imbalance, as mentioned before. In some cases, it can be hereditary. In those cases, the child may have a parent (or parents) who also have it and has never been diagnosed. So if there is what appears to be "inadequate parenting" it may be in that case that the parent is also struggling with ADD or ADHD. My niece was diagnosed with ADD many years ago. At the time, her mom realized that she was dealing with some of the same isssues. This is not always the case but it is something to keep in mind.
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:23 PM
 
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It's always great to see different opinions. I think most of my experiences with so called "ADD/ADHD" children are from parents who truly do want a label on their child. I've had conferences where a parent says to me "...he's just like that at home. He's so bad..." In these cases I've always pointed out the positivies and suggested ways to help. I think many kids get fed the line of learned helplessness and act according to what is expected of them.
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:39 PM
 
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As a mother of a son who was recently diagnosed with ADD, I feel very sad and offended that the original poster is judging me and so many other parents out there as being "inadequate". If you knew the heartache and the struggles, the fear and the frustrations that parents with children like this go through, you would have more empathy. I have been happily married for twenty years and have two daughters (besides my son), who are doing very well in high school. I am very supportive of his teachers at school and have actually had to advise them to take more action for consequences that I felt he deserved at school at times. He is in third grade and is succeeding academically, emotionally, and socially now that he is taking the medication that he needed to spark his brain to focus. One last thought, I am a much more empathic teacher when it comes to children with learning disabilities and/or ADD because I know what the parents have been going through. Are you, LTL?! Trying to place blame makes me think that maybe it is you who are "inadequate" in your way of thinking. By the way, do you have any children?
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Old 02-27-2007, 04:57 AM
 
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Quote:
As a mother of a son who was recently diagnosed with ADD, I feel very sad and offended that the original poster is judging me and so many other parents out there as being "inadequate". If you knew the heartache and the struggles, the fear and the frustrations that parents with children like this go through, you would have more empathy.
Well said. We are a love and logic household and there are definite limits/consequences for misbehavior. I am not a bad or inadequate parent. I went to a conference led by a neuropsychologist and he says that ADHD is more than a chemical imbalance. It is actually caused by mild brain trauma before/during birth. Prematurity and c-sections were among the causes and both are a factor with my son. I just put him on meds this year after being one of the parents in denial for quite a while. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but not much different than providing him with glasses if he needed them or insulin if he were to become diabetic.

Until you have walked in the shoes of a parent with an ADHD child, you need to keep your opinions to yourself.
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I hope I did not offend you
Old 02-27-2007, 06:03 AM
 
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I do not know what you are going through as a parent but I know parents of add/adhd are frustrated, and you want the best for your child and I don't think one truly knows real pain until they suffer it for their own child.

As I said, I came from a loving home. There is a huge difference between the 2 types of ADD. ADHD is easier to spot. Mine is the kind....forgetful, anxious, learning disabled perhaps although copes around it, low confidence...these also fit the hyperactive spectrum.

You have the 3 kids or like I stated the 1 in 3 chance of having a child with this. That is perfectly normal and you have done nothing wrong. You are obviously a loving parent and want the best for your son. I applaud you for getting him on the medication he needs. Society thinks we drug everyone but in a true case of this disorder, it is needed. It would not have done me any good to have been diagnosed as a child as the stimulants put me through the roof.

You get no bad report from me. I hope the OP was generalizing but even still I have had kids with this come from ALL kinds of families.

I certainly do agree with you that we are more empathetic teachers if you are/have someone with this as you soon remember that a child can't help themselves.

It is true....until you have walked a mile in my or your shoes...don't snap judge.
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Old 02-27-2007, 10:35 AM
 
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Brigid,
Your post could have been my own. I was also saddened by this post and initially just decided to let it go. But after reading your post I needed to add my two cents. I would love for others who feel they know more than me to walk in my shoes for just one day. My daughter was diagnosed last year and in addition to ADHD has multiple sensory integration issues. I have been in education for a long time and I can remember the days that I thought it all went back to bad parenting. I wish I could go back in time and have the opportunity to do things differently. It angers me to hear others sharing the types of opinions that LTL shared. Our family is about as structured as they come. Boundaries have never been a problem for us. But all we do isn't always enough. Anyone with a child at home like mine knows what I am talking about. These types of intentionally inflammatory posts just really bug me.
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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Ditto everything you said..
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:09 AM
 
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You are definitely right in that not many ADD/ADHD kids come from organized and structured homes. I believe in all my dealing with these families, it is because ADD/ADHD is hereditary. You will usually find at least one parent in the home that is the same. How can a child learn to function logically and methodically, when the parents are not able to do so either?
Is it impossible! No, that is the great thing about it! A teacher can help by becoming more informed, and showing patience and respect for the child and his parents. It's alot of work, it may require medication in some instances or a diet change in some, but again how well that works is up to the ability of the parent to stay consistent.
If there is ever a CHADD mtg in your area, I believe you will get alot of insight into the lives of these families.
I'm glad you are interested!
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:52 PM
 
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If you can generalize and blame ADD/ADHD on parenting, then maybe you are right in the cases you see. ADHD is certainly over-diagnosed. But, if you truly think it's about parenting then you've never taught a truly ADHD person. I used to feel like you do and then I taught a boy named K (WOW! With this one, I could tell by looking at him whether he had remembered the meds.) and now we're living the symptoms and heading to a diagnosis in my own (very structured) family. One of the reasons my family is SO grounded, organized, consistent, and structured is because that is the environment my daughter needs in order to feel the greatest success. Take a look at my 2 kids, you'll see DEFINITE differences.

As far as lying dormant for generations, nope. There are plenty of adults who have learned to live with ADHD. It just has a name now.
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You know what they say about opinions...
Old 02-27-2007, 07:24 PM
 
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(mine included) I have taught for 18 years, and it is amazing how many more cases of add/adhd there are now-as opposed to 18 years ago. I don't think it's bad parenting. As a parent, I can testify that you can raise x number of children in the same way and none of them will be alike. I think some of these kiddos seriously have a chemical imbalance. But-I truly feel that our lives are so complicated these days. We are not allowed to discipline the children the way we were disciplined as teachers and parents-at least the ones of us in the 40ish crowd. The world is so much faster paced-maybe they don't have time to process what's going on around them. What was once considered squirrley behavior is now a disorder. God bless these children, their parents, and their teachers. It doesn't really matter why they have problems-just how we address it.
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Doctor told me
Old 02-27-2007, 08:18 PM
 
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Our doctor told US that having ADD/ADHD is no different than a broken leg.

He said, "If your son/daughter had a broken leg, you would fix it, wouldn't you? This is the same thing! There ARE medications out there that will help your child deal with the condition."

Then we went through a few different kinds and finally found one that works.

Some parents are just at their wits-end and others are too involved in their own lives to care. Luckily most of the parents I've dealt with just want to find and do what works. Occasionally, yes, you'll get a parent who doesn't give a rats ***, but in my experience, those have been few and far between.

Good Luck!
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I call it FADD --long
Old 03-01-2007, 08:05 AM
 
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As a mom of a 13 year old with Asperger's syndrome I understand problems and labels. My son was diagnosed in Kindergarten. Because of the Asperger problem he exhibits ADD tendancies. He's been on ADD meds since he was 6. They have really helped him with focusing and getting the work done. Fortunately he only has a mild form of Asperger's and is a real charmer so the teachers have gone out of their way to help him succeed.

That said...

Now to what I call FADD. Faux ADD.
The comment was made about how there seem to be more ADD/ADHD cases than ever before. Is it possible that the parents are to blame? I say yes and no.

The fast pace of our brave new world seems to be geared to an ADD life style. Watch TV and you gets everything in 5 minute bursts. Don't want to take the time to cook? Microwave it in seconds! Newspaper and magazine articles get shorter and shorter because they know people won't take the time to read them anymore. Heck, even those are interspersed with ads everwhere. Songs on the radio are shorter than they used to be and commercials after just a few songs. The media is training us to have short attention spans so they can throw as many things at us as possible.

Now in the class room. Teachers say "the younger children can't pay attention for very long" so they have a lesson for maybe ten minutes then let the kids have play time or free time. Then they start another lesson and have another break. No wonder the kids don't sit still. They are already anticipating the next break. A lot of the kids I see these days can't even sit quietly long enough to hear a children's book or a chapter of a longer book. Even my son has learned since he was little that when someone takes the time to sit and read to you that you should sit quietly and listen. No one these days has to give their undivided attention anymore. (are you listening to the TV as you read this? Working on lesson plans?) The days of multi-tasking have turned us all into ADD people. We all have FADD!!

At home many families go their separate ways leaving kids to do whatever they want as long as they leave mom and dad alone. (I'll confess to doing this myself sometimes now that my kids are older.) But you just can't do this with the younger kids. This is when you should be training them and teaching them how to behave. If you sit and read a story to them they will learn how to sit and listen. If you play a game with them they will learn how to play to the end and take turns. Even how to win and lose. If you trade time with one child then another child and even your spouse they will learn that there are other people in the world and it's not always about them all the time. If you take them places when you go out they will learn how to behave in public. If you show your child respect they will return it. Kids can learn these things. But if you plop them in front of the TV for the day with a handful of chips what are they going to learn?

Yes, there are medical cases of ADD/ADHD. These are diagnosed all the time. These children should have their meds if needed and some considerations taken at school. They can still succeed and grow into functioning adults. (who here doesn't have a touch of, at least, mom-add?)

The odds of the majority of the classroom having ADD is slim. Most kids just need to learn better behavior. Besides the home, what better place than the classroom is there to teach them? I say start them young and train them right.

Now, I'm only a substitute teacher and a mom of two. I've been the over-achieving volunteer at school for years. I've dealt with the SPED teachers for several years now too. I've also walked this earth for many years. I'm not totally without knowledge. I just think that parents, starting with the Yuppie generation, have taken the easy way out on parenting and now they and the teachers are paying the price. Things can turn around but they have to start now. Let the doctors handle the real cases but let the parents and teachers retrain the FADD kids.

(If you stuck in out and read this whole thing then you are either on your meds today or mama taught you right!)
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Old 03-01-2007, 01:07 PM
 
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Many times the reason why the parenting may seem "inadequate" is due to the problems with the child that has ADD, especially the hyperactive type. When a child always seems hyper or out of control, it definately has an effect on the family. So maybe the "inadequate parenting" people refer to is the effect of the child's behavior, not the cause. It must especially be hard to feel judged by teachers and other people, which can sometimes lead to depression, or depressive like symptoms in the parent, leading to even more problems.

Are kids being over diagnosed? Probably. But as time goes by and we learn more about the disease, more true cases are being caught and fixed. ADD is real, as someone else said, it has to do with neurotransmitters.

My professor in my Mental Health class told us that if you really want to know if a child has ADD, to give them Mountain Dew. It actually will make them calm down, instead of become hyper! That is not proven, but it is something that many people have noticed about children with this disease. Something about the fact that caffeine is a stimulant, and the medications such as Ritalin are also stimulants.
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some more parent introspection
Old 03-01-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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I posted above about my son, ADD, in high school and coping. For the last two nights this hasn't been true. I, the parent, blame myself for some of this, so this is a good place to vent about parenting today.

He is overwhelmed with the tasks due this week. Many kids with learning disabilities including ADD do get overwhelmed. I found myself at the core of the problem because I'm a working parent. I believe, and have for the ten years of his education, that the families with one at home are better positioned to assist their children in a calm environment. Snack and then dinner are ready, a parent is pleasant, and the other is pleasant too when he or she comes home to a hot meal, also homework can begin when school ends. Children with ADD do need support to get organized and to work a to-do list.

This week my husband and I found ourselves with a broken down car, and a mom in professional development until late at night. This happens in every family, but when there is one parent at home, the car (or whatever) can be addressed in a reasonable way. Our home was chaotic for two nights this week!

I'm not saying turn the clocks back to an earlier era. This is how Americans live today. My comments are written here only because the first post wondered why ADD wasn't so evident years ago. Someone was at home managing the homefront during the day. Again, never underestimate how much energy it takes to get homework done when the child has ADD, dinner needs to be made, and household chores need to be addressed.
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Interesting discussion
Old 03-02-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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Ok, now I'm not defending the OP, but I can understand some of what he/she is saying. I do not think parents want to label their children ADD/ADHD, but if they do get labelled some parents will use that as a way to excuse their child's behaviour. However it is not as simple as just making one statement to cover all of these children as the OP did.

Children with ADD/ADHD or any other behavioural disorder can be very difficult to handle, even understand. I do know that sometimes as teachers we come into contact too often with parents who do not have good parenting skills or their household is very disorganized and in some cases negative and this of course makes it almost impossible for these children to form any type of structure in their lives.

It's not a matter of judging all parents with ADD/ADHD children as parents with poor parenting skills - I think it is more that the children who are often the most extreme do seem to come from these types of families.

That being said, you do have to be careful when making general comments as nothing is ever 100% or that black and white especially when dealing with children.

In the case of the OP - I'm wondering if he/she knows all the different ways ADD/ADHD can show up in a child - a child with this disorder does not necessarily have to be a discipline problem - they may be very well behaved, just can't stay focused - thus the OP may have seen many other children with the same diagnosis but because the children do have structure and they get a lot of support and could even be on medication - he/she may not even be aware they are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.

I don't think it's a matter of this syndrome being found all of a sudden or just appearing now in our students - I think it is a matter that we may have mis-diagnosed children differently in the past. Some of the more extreme cases may have even ended up in special ed classes in the past and labelled retarded because no one understood what was happening in the first place. And sometimes new labels are created to help us define and diagnose behaviours that have been observed in a number of children so that we can find ways to help them.

For example I taught a child who was Oppositional Defiant (ODD). This poor child had been sexually abused from age 2 to 5 by his father. I'm shocked that the only diagnosis was ODD. He was in a very supportive home when he entered my class, but it will take years of therapy and support to erase the horrors of his early years which he of course can't even understand because of his age.

20 years ago I had never heard of ODD. But I'm sure children with similar backgrounds or other types of backgrounds had ODD behaviour, but were labelled disruptive, a bad seed, etc., until someone took the time to come up with a label that allowed us to actually help the child as best we can and even then things are not easy and we often lack the skills and knowledge to truly make a difference in their lives.

It is frustrating when you do have students in your class labelled or not who come from homes with poor parenting skills - of course you do need to know the families and what happens in the home first hand or through organizations, etc., that work with them before you can make that statement. YOU cannot assume a parent has poor parenting skills simply on the behaviour of their child.

And speaking as a teacher who does have some children coming from homes with poor parenting skills - SOME OF THOSE children are my best behaved children. Some are even thriving academically because even with the odds against them, they are natural learners and work so hard when they are in class that they do well. Unfortunately often by Junior High their home lives finally wear them down and they quit trying.

I've also had ADD/ADHD children, some whose households were anything but organized, and some whose parents were fantastic and who tried their best.

For me to say a parent has poor parenting skills - it comes down to more than just not being organized - to me there are serious problems in the home - children not getting enough sleep, food, not always clean, parents who have abuse or addiction problems, parents who just are not there half the time (not just because of work, but also because they socialize too much), parents who do not support their children ever by attending parent-teacher interviews, school events, etc., Parents who do not help their child get their homework done, do not seem to ever know what is happening in their child's life, etc., These are parents with poor-parenting skills AND a child with ADHD or ADD would have a severely difficult time functioning in this type of setting which of course often comes back to us in the classroom.

But thankfully there are not that many parents like this - and for the most part, most parents do their best for their children or at least that is the hope we need to have for our students.
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Old 03-03-2007, 05:06 AM
 
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I am a teacher of first grade and a mother of two. To a certain point I can understand why the OP thinks that ADHD/ADD is due to parenting. I have seen tons of kids and know that the reason they are like that, is due to their home environments. But, comparing them to other children that have actually been diagnosed with it...there is a difference. Not all misbehavior is ADHD. Some misbehavior is just plain.....for lack of a better word....BAD...and that is not what ADHD is about, though once their children start acting as little hellions in school some parents do want a diagnosis as an excuse. No, you just didn't teach your child proper behavior, a regard for rules and manner!

But, to say that most of it is the parenting is wrong. Then there's me. Very organized, and sometimes too strict. Have to be, to set the boundaries, and I'll explain. My oldest son, 11 years old, is calm, sensitive, loves to read, intelligient, always on honor roll...even won some kind of presidential academic award. Then there is my 6 year old son who ever since he was 11 months old, even the doctor said he would be a handful. Except for the intelligient part, he is the opposite of his brother. Willful, too witty for his age (such a sense of humor), very brave, talkative, bright (reads at almost at a third grade level-it's an end of 2nd grade at this moment), gets bored easy, always has to have his hands busy, and body busy...gets in trouble at school for being out of his seat, calling out, interrupting other kids' activities, always has to be hands on (not hitting but perhaps touching someone's hair, pusing because he's hurrying in line....goofing around touching), leaves his center whenot supposed to, doesn't finish his work...so naturally he is in trouble at school. At home, while I do witness the hands/body busy, he is NOTHING like this at home. Even my teacher friends (yes, he goes to my school) have luckily seen him out of school enviornment and said it was like a different kid. He can't control himself in active settings. It's too much stimuli.

However, every teacher and even my principal knows that I have done every thing under the sun. I am even being told to not punish at home for something that happens at school, because it could affect his self esteem...they'll deal with punishments at school for school behavior. At the moment he is seeing a counselor, who didn't want to diagnose him ADHD yet because he isn't like this at home. But his behavior hasn't improved, so we might try some medication as a last resort.

My point is, he is not like this due to "bad parenting".
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Shame on You
Old 03-03-2007, 06:18 AM
 
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I ditto many of the earlier posts and wanted to add my own two cents.

Making generalizations like the original post did is dangerous.

LTL, think of all the generalizations "people" make about teachers that are totally wrong because they had certain experiences with a few teachers - teachers just work from 8:30-3:30 or teachers became teachers because they wanted their summers off - are just a few off the top of my head.

Just because a few might fall into that category, doesn't mean you can make that kind of generalization.

It's sad that you have had that kind of experience and that you feel you can make those kinds of generalizations.

It is also sad that you are so quick to blame the parents but not as quick with suggestions on how to help them. If a child comes from a home with struggling parents (what you perceive to be struggling parents), it is our duty to help them - offer support groups, evaluations, counseling, suggestions that are effective in the classroom. To sit there and judge/blame and do nothing is neglectful teaching and ignorant.
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Add/adhd
Old 03-05-2007, 04:45 AM
 
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I think I agree with everybody in some respect. I've only been teaching for two years, but in those two years I've had more than 20 students whose parents claimed that they were ADD or ADHD. Now some of those students truly did have ADHD or ADD. And many of the ones who truly did came from stable homes. The ones that concern me are the students who will look you dead in the eye and tell you "I can't follow directions because of my ADD/ADHD." This is a problem. If the students are using this as an excuse then someone has told them that they can. Many of the students who tell me this also had parents who tell me the same thing.

I truly believe that ADD and ADHD are medical conditions that can be treated, but I think that at the same time all young children are hyperactive at times. Just because a child is hyper at times does not make them ADHD and it is sad when a parent uses this as the only basis for wanting a child diagnosed. I am perfectly aware that ADD and ADHD are real and difficult for parent, child, and teacher alike to cope with. It does sadden me however to see that there are parents out there who will enable their child to use this as a way to skirt around the rules and regulations set up in a classroom. When these students become adults an employer is not going to look at them and say "Oh, you have ADD... well of course you don't have to go by the same guidelines as the other employers." I believe that, as parents or teachers, it is important to help these students find ways to cope with this and continue to learn and grow.

I'm not sure if all my thoughts make perfect sense. Sometimes it even gets jumbled in my own head, but I wanted to share some of my opinions.
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So what now?
Old 09-29-2008, 10:57 AM
 
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I found this very interesting as an adult with ADD (diagnosed in first grade, also with a learning disability in math). I come from a creative, loving home. My mother is also ADD, diagnosed as an adult. Let me tell you how hard it is to be structured and learn compensation skills when your parents suffer the same way.

I almost feel like all of this is a moot point, because the real question is: what now? What do we do as teachers to help keep these children organized?

I came across this thread looking for organizational ideas for some students, but have found none.
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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There is actually a "test" that can be run to check for brain wave patterns. It shows the waves when a person is at rest and when they are trying to focus. I can't fully explain it, but it is something about the waves when the person is trying to focus. My son had the test and it confirmed that he is in fact ADHD. Whether or not anyone "believes" in ADHD is not important. The fact is we are all different and have different needs. We are as involved and as structured as most parents and my son still has attention problems.

As for not seeing ADHD as much in the past, look at the various chemicals and additives that we have now that were not around then. My "theory" has focused on baby formula and the epidural as being possible causes, among other things. I believe that I am ADD and have been but I found ways to cope to avoid that consequences of misbehaving. I eventually got older and began to self medicate with caffeine and other substances.

I think there are parents who use ADHD and teach their children to use it as a crutch but I believe that it is very real and bad parenting is not the cause.
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