anyone have experience with ADHD screening? — The Bump
School-Aged Children

anyone have experience with ADHD screening?

DD is a 1st grader... 

DD is being evaluated for ADHD.  She is having major difficulties in class paying attention and focusing on her work.  Talking, interrupting, impulsivity, ect....

We have a Dr appt in a few weeks, but I we also took her to a herbalist this week to reccomend some supplements to try before we possibly have to resort to prescript meds.

She is slightly behind in her reading/spelling skills b/c of this.  She is excellent in math, science, and everything else so I know it's just b/c she needs to pay attention to fully "get" reading and it's just not happening b/c she can't focus.

Ugg, this is stressing me out.  We are spending a lot of extra time working on  it at home, and she is improving, but it just worries me!

Re: anyone have experience with ADHD screening?

  • I've been through it.  I had my son screened through 2 different processes.  Both the school's counselor screened him and I had his doctor screen him.  Personnally, I was having him screened for high functioning autism like asberger's.  It came back ADHD.

    I was very upset but his meds really work for him.  We have low side effects.  But the things that came back on the evaluations.  B/c I filled out one, his teachers filled out one and there was a portion for him to fill out.  I found out there were times my son at 8-9 years old was so sad he wanted to die and expressed it at school b/c he felt he was disappointing everyone b/c he couldn't control himself.

    My son is a lovable non violent and he doesn't bounce off the walls.

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  • Sometimes the behaviors you are describing can also be caused by executive function weakness.  Executive functioning is basically the brain's ability to organize.  Exec functioning weakness can impact a lot of other brain functions such as attention, memory, impulse control, and language processing. 

    I am an English teacher, but I've spent the last 6 years working for a speech pathology practice that specialized in treating executive functioning.  

    Often, young kids are diagnosed with ADHD first, then only later with executive function weakness.  Really, though, the attention issues are exaggerated by the executive functioning issues.  When you said she has no problems with math/science, but difficulty with reading it made me wonder if the impulsivity, the attention issues, and the language processing are all related to a bigger issue of executive function.  You state that she "needs to pay attention to fully 'get' reading" but I'd argue that you need to pay attention to fully "get" math concepts as well, and that her problems with language might not be caused by inattention but caused by her brain's difficulty with processing language.

    It probably wouldn't hurt to ask them to look for executive function weakness when they do psycho-educational testing.  Usually a diagnosis of ADHD means you have to make a choice between meds and no meds.  But if all the symptoms are caused by executive functioning weakness, there are many therapies and treatments other than  medication to help!

    Good luck!

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
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  • 1st grade is a good time to catch learning issues, including ADHD.

    We had my daughter evaluated at the end of 2nd grade. She did not fit what most people consider ADHD. She's very bubbly and social, gets along well with all kids, has an excellent vocabulary and would never act out in class. However, she can't sit still. She always rocked in her chair, dropped things, missed directions, forgot to bring things to/from school, lost things... the list goes on. Nothing was alarming... just not quite right. By mid-term second grade, she was falling behind in reading. Her handwriting was incredibly slow with mistakes. She had weekly spelling and sentence tests. Despite studying every day, including weekends, she did not test well.

    We had a neuropsychological evaluation. You could ask your pediatrician, school nurse, principal, teachers for referrals to find someone in your area. They conduct testing over a few days. It includes talking to your child and having your child perform tasks to test ability. If you have someone good, they should do a whole battery of tests. The child understands most of it as play. They do games and puzzles initially. They have some tests that will seem more like school, involving reading comprehension, writing and math. At the conclusion, you should have a good understanding of how your child learns and where your child has struggles. For instance, my daughter was diagnosed with ADHD, primarily inattentive type. She also has dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. Her IQ is high. I think that made it more difficult for us to realize her learning difficulties. She compensates.

    I would strongly suggest that you have a thorough eval done. Pediatricians can prescribe medication... but, they do not do that type of extensive testing.


    Newlyweds since 2007
  • My son got diagnosed with ADHD when he was 4.  He was very hyper active he could not sit at all he was always bouncing from on thing to another.  We didn't do meds until after he started school and noticed he was very behind in everything.  Since he has been on meds he is doing awesome in school, he still needs a little help with a few things but other than that it is great.  I see a specialist for the ADHD, they told me its genetic.  Which would make since, since not only does my brother have ADHD but his dad has ADD and myself have ADD.  I can already see it in my 2 child as well.  But have to wait to get him tested.  I hope all works out for you...Big Smile
  • Clayton went through both Dr. screening and school counselor.    The SC did several differnt things with him to determine.  She did an in class study where she observed him for an hour.  every two mins. she would write down exactly what he was doing.  On task, off task-doing what.   We found out he was only Task 22% of the time.  The average student is on task 80% of the time to show the difference.   Clayton was missing out on A LOT and couldn't help it.  She also did one in her office having him list everything he heard in a 60 second time frame.   She said most kids come up with 4-6 things.  He had over 20.   This explained why he was only 22% in class.   He hears EVERYTHING going on, such as outside the windows, hallway, lights, students whispering, lockers banging, ect ect ect.     

    I hate medication but we do have him on a low dose of Concerta.  It helps but we also have to constantly work with him on attention.   His teacher has a signal for him so he doesn't have to constantly call his name to pay attention.  Claytons desk is in the front row so he just taps on the corner of his desk as his sign to get back on track.  It works for Clayton, without embarrasing him.


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