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Has your son's teacher tried to throw the ADD label at you?

My oldest son is seven and has been having a few problems paying attention and being quiet in his classroom. The teacher admitted that they are "minor infractions". He has not been rude or disrespectful to her. BUT then she starts to hint that we should have him evaluated for ADD. We asked her if she'd moved him away from the kids he likes to talk to and she said "No" because she didn't want him to feel punished. Sooooo, she doesn't want to try something simple like changing the seating arrangement, but she wants us to put him on mood altering drugs! Why do schools seem to jump at this idea? Anyone with similar experiences??

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Asked by blessed3times at 9:31 AM on Oct. 31, 2008 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (46)
  • That one pisses me off, since when did they become a DR? My son is going to be 7 and is having some issues like keep still, getting out of line not paying attention and playing with another kid when they are on the carpet. She sent me a note home about it and parent/teacher conferences are coming soon and I just can't wait to hear what she says. She better not even let that slip out of her mouth. They are kids plain and simple!

    Answer by Christinemg0813 at 9:38 AM on Oct. 31, 2008

  • My oldest, my son (10) was in KG when his teacher suggested we get him evaluated for ADHD. Well it turned out that he does have it as well as ODD (oppositional defiant disorder). I wouldn't say that my son was "LABELED" but looked out for.

    Answer by LovingParent08 at 9:39 AM on Oct. 31, 2008

  • As a 2nd grade teacher I think I might be able to clear up a few misconceptions. I am not suggesting your kids have ADHD as I do not know them or how competent their teachers are recognizing the signs and symptoms of it. Teachers deal with a wide range of what is considered normal childhood behavior and most are trained to recognize when something is not ordinary. In such a case we often recommend evaluations. Once a child is evaluated, more than likely even if they are found to have ADHD or another learning or concentrating issue, the IEP team will write an instructional plan that suggests extra help if the child needs it as well as extra time on major tests and for some children time during the day to walk around the room when they get too worked up to pay attention. That IEP plan can't even be given to the child's teacher without the parent meeting with the team and signing off on it beforehand.

    Answer by sienaneismom at 9:54 AM on Oct. 31, 2008

  • As sienaneismom said, teachers are trained to recognize behaviors and recommend evaluations. It's not simply about putting your child on medication, but sometimes to come up with a plan that suits your child best, such as extra time on tests, a teacher's assistant to take them for a walk when they can't focus any more, etc. There are many, many people involved, including the parents before it is instituted.

    Answer by KnoxvilleDoula at 10:02 AM on Oct. 31, 2008

  • ADD, ADHD are so over diagnosed that it's crazy. Kids that don't need meds are doped up to zombies because teachers just don't want to handle REAL kids anymore. Call me biased, but after seeing shrinks misdiagnose my brother for nearly a decade and the military threatening my parents in order to force them to give my brother meds(if they refused to give him meds, the army was going to have us both removed from the home and he would get the meds). They(schools and counselors) are doing the same with my daughter now and I am adament that she is, for the most part, a NORMAL 5 yr old little girl. They want kids to be obedient little robots now, not kids. I will tell them what my mom kept telling the army fifteen yrs ago 'Kiss my ass".

    Answer by randi1978 at 10:23 AM on Oct. 31, 2008

  • Thanks for the responses. But "sienasismom" you didn't touch on the fact that some kids are just normally restless if they're sitting down too much or are bored for whatever reason. As "randi1978" said - schools seem to want children to be "obedient little robots" and especially at seven years old it's RIDICULOUS.

    And I'm not saying that my son shouldn't follow directions and mind the teacher. In fact he gets in more trouble for his behavior than for a bad grade. We have drilled him that there is no excuse for not listening to his teacher. SO - I'm not saying his behavior is okay. I'm saying that before they try to label my son they should exhaust all possibilities for correcting his behavior.

    I'd rather him be sent to the principal's office than a psychiatrist's chair any day.

    Answer by blessed3times at 10:30 AM on Oct. 31, 2008

  • She did not ask you to put him on drugs...she "hinted" about having him evaluated...big difference. If you are so sure he isn't ADD what are you afraid of?

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 10:34 AM on Oct. 31, 2008

  • I have to say, i think you should have him tested. Wether he has it or not, at least you know! My parents were told in 2nd grade that I should be tested, and it took me a dose of heavy depression @ 16 and a 21/2 month hospiutal stay when I was 16, for a professional to actually justify my grades in school. I was always grounded fro my grades, and I felt like I was trying my hardest. If it is an issue, find out now, medication is still a part of my life, and I am so much more confident because I can concentrate! I think some people need help, I am one of them.

    Answer by jennieo622 at 10:55 AM on Oct. 31, 2008

  • I am ANGRY that she is so ready to jump to a conclusion without trying other methods of controlling his behavior. If I'm "afraid" of anything however it is that he will have a label unfairly attached to him.

    Isn't it the LEAST bit ludicrous that she was unwilling to move his desk as a means of modifying his behavior because it might make him feel bad but she wanted to call him ADD? Like hearing that wouldn't make him feel even worse than the stupid desk thing? PUHLEEZE.

    Answer by blessed3times at 10:57 AM on Oct. 31, 2008

  • Actually, we did touch on the fact that some kids are normally restless, thus the behavior plan, like extra time on tests, or walking around (other things, etc). I worked for the school systems in a satellite school with children who not only had emotional disorders but severe learning disabilities, so I have am well aware of what is involved in IEP meetings. Why would you want to compromise his school record with infractions and things he could be held accountable for later in life, being sent to principals' office (this is part of their permanent school record), etc when he could potentially be given some help? The IEP team may suggest something as simple AS a seating arrangement, or a reward system. I urge you to be open to the suggestions of someone who spends 7 hours a day with your child.

    Answer by KnoxvilleDoula at 10:58 AM on Oct. 31, 2008

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