What is it?

proserpinaSeptember 11, 2007

Back again. We have 4 boys, my question is about our 8yo, 2nd in the lineup (if that is of any relevance!).

You know those days when you are writing something, you get up to answer the phone, and when you go to sit back down the pencil is nowhere to be found because God-only-knows where you set it on the way to pick up the phone? Or the eternal, "What did I come in here for?"....

Well, our 8yo is like that just all the time.

Most recent examples:

Please bring your shoes to your room.

He picks them up, overhears a conversation, forgets what he was supposed to do with them, and without realizing just drops them on the ground.

Please put the towel on the washer.

He takes it... and it ends up in the bathroom (and he didn't have to go).

We all do stuff like that, I get that. But this happens pretty much with anything, even when he is doing something on his own (meaning, it isn't just when we ask him to do something). It's as if the most basic pieces of information just get lost when trying to complete an action. At times I find myself saying, "What did I just say?" because I am not entirely sure he has even heard me.

He is a bright bright child, does very well in school... if anything, teachers simply want him to spend a bit more time on his work because he always approaches it at a race against time. But that's about it!

Do you have children that do things like that? How do you help them do things all the way? How do you make sure they hear you when they give you a glazed look?

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ADD....give him a cup of coffee or a coke and see if that helps temporarily.
I have 2 grandsons like that...one craves coke when his meds are running low, the other never tasted coke so that's not an issue.
I know ADD diagnosis has been much maligned, but when you have a kid who really has the problem, the difference a small pill makes in their ability to focus is amazing.
I have an adult friend who was constantly going from this to that...never finishing a project, getting side tracked and always with a coffee cup in his hand. It was getting in the way of his job and his marriage. I sugested ADD and he laughed and asked me where I got my Dr's degree....but after about 5 years he attended counceling and eventually was diagnosed and treated and medicated and his life is very different.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 10:57AM
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I agree, it sounds like ADD. My oldest son has this and it can be very frustrating. He has a difficult time staying on task and has to be reminded constantly of what he should be doing. He is very bright but struggles in school because he does not complete assignments on time and frequently loses or misplaces things. He is seeing a tutor to help him with organization skills and it is helping.

You are lucky your son manages to do well in school. Mine struggles quite a bit. I would talk to your pediatrician and see what he says. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 11:57PM
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I have a son like that too. We had him tested and he is within the normal range for his age. He has concentration problems in school too. But is getting better as he gets older (age 10 now).

He does fairly well in school, but again, the concentration thing is always brought up by the teachers. ADD and dyslexia does seem to run in our families.

Talk to your pediatrician and see if he can recommend a course of action.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 9:55AM
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Heh, sounds easier said than done. My husband there is absolutely nothing wrong, he just needs more discipline (I am not entired sure though that consequences to his actions really apply in this case).

As for the pediatrician, it's a bit hairy: the 8yo is actually from my husband's first marriage so I have my hands tied on that front. I know the child's mother mentioned it to my husband in the past (when they were still married and he was a little boy), but for how things are now (Pandora's box that I will keep shut at least in this forum), I am not sure he can communicate anything of sorts to her...

I might just have to find natural coping techniques (food, structure, follow through...). Any ideas?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 12:54PM
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If the child's mother mentioned it, that may mean she's not totally opposed to the idea. Is your husband? So many men seem to feel that for their sons to have any sort of 'diagnosis' somehow unmans them... 'Dads in denial.'

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 9:01PM
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Get books out of your library about ADD in kids to see if you can get some info on it. Also there is sites on the web. Start there. It is really up the the mother and the father if they want to do anything about it.

Good news is my child does seem to be growing out of it. Although there are better and worse times. Maybe this will happen with you too.

Make sure he has lots of organizational tools at his disposal to help him. Get whatever supplies he thinks he may need to help him get things together. Special school supplies, bins, folders, etc. Make him write stuff down so he remembers better. Get bulletin boards and stick reminders on the fridge with magnets, etc.

Also, my son was helped by taking karate lessons. It requires concentration and discipline and it did help him. He likes it. (not every kids bag though).

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 10:10AM
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My DD is that way with things around the house. I really belive it's organizational.

So I'm using TallySue's old adage (from the Organization Forum). Working on it now so I will let you know if it helps her.

"Touch it once".

If the Shoes/towel/book is already in your hand, then put it where it belongs. Otherwise, you'll have to "touch it twice" to take care of it later.

In our case, "Touch it once" is hard to follow, since our house is a sprawling split level. To put sneakers back where they belong sometimes means climbing two staircases.

This is why I think it's organizational skills she needs more than anything else. She's not easily distracted in other areas more than any other 9 year old we know.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 3:40PM
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ADD kids do well with lists and having large projects broken down into smaller tasks. I have an ADHD son who was medicated from age 7 to age 13. He opted to stop meds when he entered his soph year of high school. He admits staying focused is still a struggle and his tendency to fidget is irritating to his friends but he didn't like they way he felt on stimulant meds. I'm out of the loop on current med therapy but there are non-stimulant meds that are effective for many (about 70%) ADD-ADHDers.

If you can't get a diagnosis and med help because of family denial then you can help him with organizational skills and diet and nutritional supplements. Many folks think the diet and supplements route are fairy dust therapy but others say it works. It may work because food allergies are the root of the problem. Who knows. You may get a better idea of whether or not he is really ADD from looking at the support site for families of ADD-ADHD kids.

Another thing to consider is allergies. "Is This Your Child" by Doris Rapp is a good one, though there may be others.

8 is very young and he may simply be immature and being given multiple verbal tasks to accomplish is overwhelming.

Here is a link that might be useful: CHADD.org

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 11:49AM
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He sounds perfectly normal to me...

"He is a bright bright child, does very well in school"
The fact that he is able to concentrate to do well in school is very telling.

Is he is able to play computer type games hours on end, etc. and isn't easily distactable from them. Can he stay focused long enough to build a lego toy, or play his favorite game? Some kids are just a little more high strung than others. And, quite honestly sometimes intelligent kids/people are rather absentminded. They take in more things than 'average' kids so they sometimes forget easier because more things are coming at them --not because they have ADD but because they are MORE in tune to many things. He's a kid and I would bet, it does have more to do with intelligence, and disipline than anything else.

I'm sure there are probably tests you could have done to make sure; but absolutely nothing you say sounds out of a normal range to me. There are at least five kids that race to get their work done in my son's class (mainly the A students). It's normal for some to want to try to get it over quick and win the race. And, he probably just doesn't want to hear what you are saying...guys seem to be able to tune stuff out they don't want to hear even at that age -LOL. He doesn't by chance have a hearing problem? I would worry more about that than ADD. I'm alway telling my son's friends to get their shoes on, etc that their mom is coming soon, they don't listen to me 90% of the time; they're too busy playing. They simply hear what they want to when they want to.

Talk to his teachers, they would probably notice something out of the ordinary. But if speeding through his work is the worse/only thing...I would think he just needs to be challenged more...not given medication.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 1:38PM
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My nephew's teachers kept trying to tell my sis that her oldest son was ADHD (mind you, his teachers are both ADHD and medicated-when your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail). She asked me what I thought. I asked some questions about his behavior and told her my lay opinion: he is a very bright kid who is a bored, needs more challenging work, and to be in a learning environment with his intellectual peers. A year later she had him independently evaluated by a psychiatrist who ran a battery of tests. His conclusion concurred with my gut feeling. He is now in a gifted program. He is focused and enthusiastic about school and doing very well.

Medication isn't a bad thing, it worked wonders for my son. But he needed it. He is also very bright, skipped a grade, and has been in gifted classes since 1st grade.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 2:40PM
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