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Born of Frustration: Finding needles in many haystacks

I am a mom of a child with ADD, who struggled for years to find answers to my questions. Learning to really understand this and other behavioral disorders  was challenging, but figuring out what to do seemed impossible.  Kate4Kids is a place to share the best ideas, most helpful resources & products, and best strategies for raising a child with ADD.  Your child’s behavior can improve and you can once again, have peace at home. He wants to succeed and you can be the one to help him make it happen.

One morning on the way out the door to school, I asked my older son who was 6 and his younger brother age 2, to get their shoes on and meet me at the front door. When the 2 year old showed up with his shoes on first, I was a little surprised, but when he leaned over and picked his brothers shoes up off the floor and ran to deliver them, I felt a tinge of sadness. “Mommy say put your shoes on” he called out in his broken toddler language. “And go by door!” he continued. It clicked that this was happening too often and that the 6 year old should be able to follow directions better than his 2 year old brother. What was happening?

I took a few days to pay close attention to my 6 year old’s behavior, particularly his ability to follow directions. I noticed he was able to complete one step at a time. But, when I gave him multi-step directions, he forgot all the steps.  Sometimes, he would look up at me bewildered, and was unable to get started on step one. Paying close attention, I noted his consistent failure to answer me when I called his name, particularly if he was engaged in playing or a tv was on nearby. I met with his teacher and asked for her observations, then I expressed my concerns to our pediatrician. She agreed that my son seemed to be lagging behind in his ability to follow instructions, and suggested we have an evaluation by a neuro-psychologist. Before I left, she handed me a book on what she suspected to be the problem, that changed my life. “A Mind at A Time” by Dr. Mel Levine.

If you can relate to the scene I described, or if you have a gut feeling that your child’s impulsive or inattentiveness may be a sign of a behavior disorder like ADD, this book is a good place to start. A respected leader in his field, Dr. Levine puts the science of what ADD really is, into terms we can all understand. He emphasizes that the behaviors we see on the outside, are telling us what is going on in our child’s brain; or what is not. I was lucky enough to get through several chapters of this insightful book before our evaluation appointment with the neuro-psychologist and arrived armed with new words to describe behaviors and patterns that I had observed in my son for much longer than I had even realized. Get your child’s teacher to share her observations with you and talk to your family doctor. Then, head for an expert in ADD like a psychologist or neuro-psychologist who works with lots of kids for an evaluation.

If your child is always the last one out the door and is usually missing his coat, if he is struggling to complete tasks or even start his homework; if you worry about his unpredictable behavior and frequent outbursts, take heart. We’re going to explore great resources like “A Mind at A Time” and try out truly amazing strategies that will boost your child’s confidence. We’ll learn to rethink a diagnosis like ADD and celebrate all the great qualities that come with it. Keep reading Kate4Kids.

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