Further to Lisa's comment above, one aspect of some ADD is a sort of hyper-focus like quality; hence a person that can't do two things at once, may in some cases be able to one thing like a savant.
I'm worried about our 8-year-old -- anybody got any ideas?
he's probably a little frustrated with himself too
Yeah that's what I see in him (I'm the Daddy). I see him as very frustrated, sometimes angrily so. I ask him about school every day and he's not very interested in talking about it (never has been), but what I do get is that one thing he feels frustrated about is the noise level in the classroom. He says it's distracting and keeping him from finishing his work on time. He hates writing (handwriting exercises, writing spelling words over and over, etc.), so it's not surprising that it is usually writing assignments where he complains of being "distracted".
If he can get into TV or a video game, he probably isn't ADD/ADHD in the classic sense
He is very focused on computer games, dinosaur programs and the like. He can, and will if we let him, spend hours without moving a muscle. So I agree with you, I don't see him as ADD/ADHD. His best friend is ADHD, and has difficulty (even on his meds) focusing. Jackson is nothing like that.
Investigating all the potential side effects-and at this particular age- may shed some light on some of his troubles
I never thought of that (duh!). Thank you. That's a good starting point.
a "stomach ache" (like eating the wrong thing, the flu, motion sickness, the meds) they are usually a symptom of stress in children
I agree. I do him as stressing, and he gets himself so worked up now over the littlest things (last night taking a shower he couldn't stop crying because he said I "rushed" him when he was having trouble with a button on his shirt). I see him as frustrated and stressed, over what I don't know. The stomach aches actually started last year after his grandfather committed suicide. Jackson took his death very hard (he doesn't know details). He seemed to pull out of it after Nina took he and his sister to a grief support group every week for 8 or 9 months. He also seemed to be more relaxed once I switched shifts and started working days as I was now home at night.
I also see him wanting extra attention by not so much pretending to be sick, but exagerating symptoms and lately he complains of a stomach ache almost daily. This gets lots of attention from Nina, he gets fussed over, she'll tuck him in our bed so he can watch TV and wait on him. I think sometimes the pain is legit, but most times it isn't. I think right now he's coddled too much.
Fourth, I have never heard of any child that actually responded to a diet change
Neither have I. We tried that once before (no milk, no dairy, no gluten) and I saw no change in physical symptoms at all.
see if he can get a bit more sleep (lack of sleep is actually a really big deal, it reduces immunity, energy, ability to focus, perform, retain, and just generally cope).
This is an area we're struggling with right now. He used to have a very bad case of sleep apnea but we had his tonsils and adneoids removed over the summer (75% blockage) and that solved it until the past couple of months. This is ragweed season in Texas and everyone has some sort of sinus trouble this time of year, but this year Jackson seems to be having more problems than normal. I do notice him being more irritable, more whiny when he's had trouble sleeping, but that's only natural. We've had terrible problems with allergy shots (he keeps getting sick, once ending up in the hospital) so I'm not confident that is the answer. Right now I don't know what to do to help him sleep better.
He sounds like a sensitive boy, if something is troubling him it could be causing nearly all these symptoms you described
Yes he is, he's a really good kid, very kind very sweet but he is sensitive (which isn't a bad thing, I'm sensitive). I see him taking things in and then keeping them there. He absolutely does not like to talk about himself, and we can't push as that gets him frustrated and crying. I've picked my moments, usually Daddy/son time is good and so far I don't detect anything out of the ordinary. But I do wonder if there is something troubling him and he can't find the words to express it. I don't know, but I'll keep trying.
Nina, I know you've delved into some natural treatments before, but what do you think about taking him for a series of craniosacral therapy? It's been known to help with some of the problems you are experiencing with your son, and it certainly wouldn't hurt.
Interesting Odrade. I've never heard of it. How does it help? Is it a homeopathic treatment?
Thank you to everyone for replying, I appreciate it.
hard to concentrateI'm not minimising here, but I can't multi task to save my life. It's a male thing. If I'm cooking and HL comes home she loves to natter to me in the kitchen whilst I'm doing the dinner. I start to drop things, burn myself, ruin the dinner etc etc because I can only concentrate on one thing at once.
* mind wanders
* can't multi-task (send him upstairs to brush his teeth and put on his shoes and socks and you may find him standing stock-still five or ten minutes later -- "oh, I forgot!")
* easily frustrated -- will burst into tears and/or get angry if you try to push him to finish something more quickly
Just as a footnote. When I do my barbies we have one particular guest who always monopolises me for hours and hours whilst I'm cooking at the grill, much to my irritation. Can't talk about 1 thing and do another, see.
This year I solved the problem. I lit the chimanea and told him to do separate cooking for those who liked everything burnt to a crisp. It solved the problem and saved my sanity and his feelings wern't hurt either.
(((Nina and Chris))))). Sorry to hear that you are having a hard time with Jackson. I'm sure it has to do a lot with his age as far as the concentration part. Our son can drive me nuts, I no sooner tell him to do something, he turns around and forgets what I told him to do, like in 2 seconds.
His stomach aches sound like anxiety. He's a bright and sensitive kid.
You've got some great advice here. Take care you two.
One of our grandsons is a very hyper child. His parents took him off of sugar for a few months, and it really helped a lot. Of course, he just went trick or treating on Sunday, so with all that sugar, he is once again "bouncing off the walls", according to them.
This probably isn't the problem with Jackson, but it shows changing diet CAN make a difference.
Many kids with stomach aches are lactose intolerant, and taking them off of milk can stop that. I've seen it in many children. I had asthma as a child and was allergic to milk, something everyone discounted in the late 40's, but that was the problem. No milk, no asthma. It's worth a try I think.
I am emailing you two a paper on Aspberger's syndrome, material I compiled when we were researching information about our 10 year old grandson. This is when I realized our youngest son has this syndrome. By the way, he is in college, works full time, and is married, so it isn't something to be afraid of.
The focusing on video games and the like is not a sign a child does not have ADD. There are many different types. The problem seems to be with things they are not interested in. There is a test called a TOVA test which is done on a computer. The kids with ADD/ADHD stay as focused as those without. It is the time response that seems to be the biggest difference. From what I have read is seems to be so boring anyone could get distracted, but those with ADD/ADHD really can not stay focused on the task at hand.
I believe thats one of the test they will be giving my son along with some others.
The kid sounds a bit like me at that age.
I find it interesting that he has all these problems, yet is a straight A student.
Here is my guess: He doesn't like being around people too much, but has no trouble making friends he is comfortable with. He often puts on a brave face for you and Chris, which leads to nervousness and the stomach pains, as anxiety can manifest in some very physical ways. I would have the "virus-like" illnesses checked out by a doctor, but I suspect that they won't find anything. He is surpressing so much that it is taking a toll on his physical well being.
A few guesses here, tell me if I'm right. He uses computers like a professional, learns very quickly, is very empathetic, and sensitive, sometimes overly-so. You could probably move him up a grade level and he'd still be able to keep up. He has attention problems in class because it is all too easy and bores him.
All in all, the kid you have described sounds exactly like me at that age, including the illnesses etc. The rest is just guess work. If you agree with any of my "guesses" let me know, and I may be able to suggest a few things.
Otherwise, do all you can to show you love him for who he is.
I remember a few years ago when my son was in 2nd grade i think it was I asked the teacher if he notices how distracted my son was ,hard to get him tio finish anything he always got side tracted.
His teacher laughed and said I have a Class full of them , your son is actually not as bad as most. I was shocked as I couldnt imagine any worse.Maybe its part of the age. he is somewhat better now.
Also I am sure that the meds he he is on dont help at all.He sounds not that abnormal to me.
P.S. my son gets very emotional sometimes too
If he can get into TV or a video game, he probably isn't ADD/ADHD in the classic sense.
Actually - a child w/ADD or ADHD is *more* prone to being pulled into a TV or video game as the constant stimulation the brain receives from these items (without any of the work) is very addictive to children with this disorder.