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Parents and school aged children. WDYT? Opinions?

So, I have a CW and I listen to her rant about her kids on a semi-regular basis.

She has 4, and all of them are ADHD.  One is worse than the rest and one is less severe than all of them.  The one that is the worst is now being diagnosed with ODD (Operational something disorder).

I've been listening to her talk about how she is upset with his teachers for posting his assignments online so late in the week so she can't be on top of him to do it.
Well, my parents didn't have this technology to even do this.  How did we survive all these years without our parents spoon feeding and hand holding every step of the way?  No wonder people have entitlement issues, they've had things done for them every step of the way!

Also, I really don't understand the whole ADD/ADHD thing.  My sister and I were talking about it and we knew maybe one or two classmates that were on meds.  I feel like every other kid now is on it.  My mom teaches 24 four year olds; 16 are on meds for either ADD or ADHD.  That seems a little high.  I'm not saying it doesn't exist or isn't a real problem for some, I just think it's high and not the real case for all.

I guess I'm just wondering how others feel about this.  Opinions?

Plus, we're slow and I think this is something most people have an opinion about.
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Re: Parents and school aged children. WDYT? Opinions?

  • I think kids need to be allowed to run around and play more, get a freaking hobby, and then maybe they wont have so much ADHD. Kids are hyperactive and have short attention spans. I was and did, and I wasnt diagnosed with anything.
  • ODD- Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He can't deal with authority.
    7/10/10 imageDandy
  • bbyckesbbyckes member
    5000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited February 2010
    My son is ADD.  He takes Ritalin.  For the longest, I thought it was made-up too.  Living with it, I know it's not. 

    Homework has been an issue with us since he started school.  It is hard to stay on top of homework.  It's hard to get him to write it down, it's hard for him to remember to do all of his assignments.  It's hard for him to remember to turn in his homework assignments that he completed the night before.  I get the bitching, as I have done a fair share of it myself.

    Having teachers provide homework in advance, helps a lot.  I've been there (really, I'm there now).  It is difficult to understand it and grasp it, if you aren't living through it.
  • To clarify, my son is not hyperactive.  I know some people confuse ADHD with ADD.
  • I think it's entirely, completely, overdiagnosed.  I also strongly suspect that "ODD" (oppositional defiant disorder) is bullshiit and really means "crap parenting." 
    I believe that there are a SMALL number of children for whom medication is a good thing, but that schools, parents, and doctors are way, way, way too fast & eager to diagnose a kid as impaired and attempt to medicate away poor parenting. 
  • Im curious how many kids in our parents generations had ADD... Im pretty sure they just got a smack on the butt if they mouthed off, didnt do their homework or couldnt sit still for 15 minutes. I think (and no offence to anyone this is a loose opinion that probably doesnt apply to everyone) there is far too much coddling with kids now a days and they end up with "ADD" as a result of lax parenting.
  • I think ADHD and ADD are the culprit for bad parenting far too often. I'm not debating the existence of the condition, because it very much does exist. I think doctors are too quick to prescribe a quick fix when the real problem is lack of parenting. No one wants to admit that maybe the problem is the way they're raising their kids, so a disorder is much easier to swallow for people. Another big part of the problem is the racket that healthcare and prescription drugs have become. It's pretty paranoid to think that doctors prescribe meds because they get kickbacks from pharm companies, but I think that's the case sometimes.
    image
    Whatever you hatters be hattin. -Tay Prince
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_parents-school-aged-children-wdyt-opinions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c9a9d6e-b500-4070-bf87-5c4e66adebcdPost:eff75912-4262-4385-bd3e-6f436276d4f0">Re: Parents and school aged children. WDYT? Opinions?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Im curious how many kids in our parents generations had ADD... Im pretty sure they just got a smack on the butt if they mouthed off, didnt do their homework or couldnt sit still for 15 minutes. I think (and no offence to anyone this is a loose opinion that probably doesnt apply to everyone) there is far too much coddling with kids now a days and they end up with "ADD" as a result of lax parenting.
    Posted by Nebb[/QUOTE]

    Agreed.

    Like I said in my OP, I'm not saying it doesn't exist, I just think it's way over diagnosed.
  • It is over diagnosed and over treated, to the point of absurdity.
    There are some kids who genuinely benefit from the medication, but mostly it is an easy out for teachers who can't deal with large numbers of small kids.
    I think part of the reason it is so prevalent now is that school places unrealistic expectations on kids from kindergarten on. I never had homework when I was little. Now, they have homework every night.

    image
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_parents-school-aged-children-wdyt-opinions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c9a9d6e-b500-4070-bf87-5c4e66adebcdPost:b2377601-9ce5-407b-aa98-157e6349d005">Re: Parents and school aged children. WDYT? Opinions?</a>:
    [QUOTE]My son is ADD.  He takes Ritalin.  For the longest, I thought it was made-up too.  Living with it, I know it's not.  Homework has been an issue with us since he started school.  It is hard to stay on top of homework.  It's hard to get him to write it down, it's hard for him to remember to do all of his assignments.  It's hard for him to remember to turn in his homework assignments that he completed the night before.  I get the bitching, as I have done a fair share of it myself. Having teachers provide homework in advance, helps a lot.  I've been there (really, I'm there now).  It is difficult to understand it and grasp it, if you aren't living through it.
    Posted by bbyckes[/QUOTE]

    I had a hard time with homework too.  Especially Math.  I had a math teacher tell my parents I had "Math Anxiety" tell my parents I needed to be in a lower level.  My Dad (basically) said Eff that and we pushed through it.

    Do you think if you were living 15-20 years ago, he'd be medicated or would there be a different "treatment"?

    (I'm NOT criticizing or judging you or your son, I know text- speak is hard to tell if someone is being a douche or picking a fight, I'm really just curious about how people think/feel about this.)
  • I am working on my masters degree in elementary education and see a lot of this. There has been a study that the increase in ADD/ADHD diagnosis is directly related to the exposure of video games and media to children. Think about it, a lot of parents use video games and tv as a babysitter. When a child plays a video game, there is a lot going on. This triggers something in their brain, making it more active and makes sitting in class seem so boring. I don't know if I agree with it completely but it makes sense.

    ODD stands for Oppositional Defiant Disorder. It essentially means that the child has authority issues and will challenge almost anything they are told to do. I worked with a child that was ODD and he was a struggle.

    I think a lot of parents turn to meds as a fix for a problem that has resulted from a lack of parenting. There are many many children who do need the medicine and I believe in using it if it is necessary. But I have seen cases of children who just need structure. Children depend on structure to survive. Every case is different and parents have to do what is best for them. But yes, many parents spoon feed their children and that makes my job as an educator that much harder. I have a boy in my class who never has his homework because "his mom didn't put it in his backpack." That drives me nuts. He's 10. 

    I work in a school district that has banned 0's. Even if the child does not do their homework at all, we can't give them a 0. We have to give them a 60. The theory is that it is damn near impossible to recover from a 0, but a 60 is managable, although still an E. (I work in a 7 point grading scale). This is teaching the kids that they  don't have to work hard or at all and they can still survive. It frustrates me to no end.
  • To clarify:  There were kids, when I was growing up, whom I strongly suspect had ADD and ADHD.  I recall one boy in particular who was absolutely miserable because he simply could NOT sit still and concentrate.  He got yelled at, punished, probably spanked by his parents, and he really WANTED to be good, but he couldn't.  I feel terrible for him, looking back, and I wish that a proper diagnosis/medication were available to him (this was in the early to mid 1970s). 

    OTOH, one of my son's teachers was really pushing for an ADHD diagnosis last year.  He was having a very rough year in school (and in life, frankly - he had to make a lot of personal adjustments) and was engaging in some obsessive/compulsive style behaviors.  They were all anxiety-based and he did not and does not have ADHD or ADD.  She was really pushing us to have him medicated; it was quite disturbing. 
  • I think that ADD and ADHD are over-diagnosed.  Seriously, how many kids do you know who are NOT hyperactive with short attention spans?  However, I think there are definitely some kids and adults with a genuine problem, and medication is one way to help.  But yeah, people are becoming very entitled these days. 
  • I think that somewhere along the lines kids have stopped being kids.  We expect them to sit still for hours on end.  We expect them to get through a school day when recess has been cut and PE no longer exists.  They just cannot do it.  Add in the rise of tv and video games in place of playing outside at home. 

    When I taught first grade, I had several parents tell me that they thought their kids had ADD or ADHD.  I disagreed with almost every single one of them but had to follow procedure.  I kept journals on the kids' behaviors.  Most of the students were 6-year-old boys who lacked any real boundaries at home.  As the teacher, I couldn't say that.  Sigh.  One of them was allowed to stay up until 11pm if he wanted to watch a movie.  He was such a joy to deal with after those nights.   

    I also think a lot of it has to do with what people feed their kids.  Most lunches are packed with sugar.  How shocking that the kid is bouncing off the walls.

    As a teacher, I made boundaries within my classroom.  I made sure that we got outside and ran around, even if that meant that math was going to be taught in the field.  I also made the 1st month of school about personal responsibility.   

    I do believe that ADD/ADHD is a real diagnosis.  However, I think that behavior modification should be tried before drugs. 
  • Also, what does CW stand for? 
  • For the longest time, I felt that I was a bad parent because he was having such problems with concentrating in school, etc.  I felt like it was my fault.  My son doesn't have behavioral issues - he has a lack of concentration issues.  Believe me, medication was the last resort.  I shared many of pps views on medication.  I consulted many doctors and he even had a therapist for a while.  It was not a decision I took lightly.  I am seeking help for the both of us, to continuing tackling his issues.

    No one thinks they are a bad parent.  But, I know I'm not a bad parent.  FWIW, there are lots of issues that didn't have names to them when we were growing up.  Like Aspbergers, Autism, etc.

    I don't know if it's overdiagnosed or not, I haven't seen any statistics.
  • I think 75% of ADD and ADHD that's diagnosed is a crock of shiit. I've seen parents that will go from doctor to doctor until one will just prescribe some drugs to calm down their kid, because they don't know how to deal with a child who wants attention. I've seen countless drs who ask a few questions and then hand out ADD meds, because if they don't, they'll lose their patient. It's complete bullshit.
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  • As a teacher, I have strong feelings about ADD/ADHD/ODD.

    bbycakes- Um, ADHD and ADD are now medically the same. The DMS-IV no longer differentiates the two. There are three types of ADHA- hyperactivity/impulsivity, inattentive, or the combined type of the two. Your son must fall in the inattentive category.

    I feel strongly that there are other methods that are more effective treatments, rather than medication. There are cases where medication is the necessary route, but I feel drugging a kid should be the last resort.

    I also believe ODD is bs. I have two male students with this disorder. From meeting their fathers, I can certainly see where their opposition to authority comes from...
    7/10/10 imageDandy
  • Seriously, if a kid fidgets and doesn't listen to the teacher's every word, who cares?
    Maybe I am biased, because I have seen much more serious and challenging behaviors.
    But come on, the teacher should not push to medicate a kid. They are your student, NOT your kid.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_parents-school-aged-children-wdyt-opinions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c9a9d6e-b500-4070-bf87-5c4e66adebcdPost:50244c4a-7c5c-446e-8b5e-865513e46d30">Re: Parents and school aged children. WDYT? Opinions?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Also, what does CW stand for? 
    Posted by cocoreo3[/QUOTE]

    Co worker.
  • When I was in elementary school, I was a talker. Non stop. The teacher told my parents I was probably ADHD because I couldn't stop talking and socializing. Did some tests and it turned out I was gifted. I was talking because I was so bored. That teacher used to sit me in the corner to color because I was "disruptive" to everyone around me. I thought I was a bad kid. Once I got the gifted label, suddenly this new world was opened up to me. I loved school and succeeded and thrived in the classroom. I think a lot of parents should do the research before they put their children on the meds.

    But of course, I support the use of medicine when it is necessary. Some days, I couldn't get through a lesson if a couple of my students weren't on their meds.
  • my brother acted up a little when he was younger... teachers recommend to my mom (yes, teachers, not doctors) that he should be on ritilin. my mom was very opposed to it. 

    instead, she had him tested for gifted, and he was placed in gifted classes. the acting up stopped- turns out he was bored bc he was too smart for what was being taught.

    I believe that ADD is a real issue, but I also think it's overinflated
  • I had/have ADD and wish it were diagnosed when i was in school. Instead I was just labeled as a badl/lazy kid.  I wish I was given the tools to deal with it better.  It wasn't until college when I figured out what I needed to do to help myself but I was lucky to even get into college. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_parents-school-aged-children-wdyt-opinions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c9a9d6e-b500-4070-bf87-5c4e66adebcdPost:c34443cc-9ae6-486b-ac14-286f95c5ece7">Re: Parents and school aged children. WDYT? Opinions?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Parents and school aged children. WDYT? Opinions? : I had a hard time with homework too.  Especially Math.  I had a math teacher tell my parents I had "Math Anxiety" tell my parents I needed to be in a lower level.  My Dad (basically) said Eff that and we pushed through it. Do you think if you were living 15-20 years ago, he'd be medicated or would there be a different "treatment"? (I'm NOT criticizing or judging you or your son, I know text- speak is hard to tell if someone is being a douche or picking a fight, I'm really just curious about how people think/feel about this.)
    Posted by AlexiaANDRobert[/QUOTE]

    Alexia, I know you're not judging me. 

    He does not have difficulty grasping subject matters.  He has difficulty remembering to turn in assignments or complete assignments.  He drifts off and will completely forget what he was doing or what he is supposed to do.  He is easily distracted.  It sounds mild reciting it here, but he suffers greatly.

    I think 15-20 years ago, they would have labeled him a "slow learner" and put him in special ed classes and he wouldn't be on a college track.  He is very creative.  He just learns differently.  He's lucky to be in a school where he is encouraged and not discouraged.

    It took me  LONG time to come to terms with this.  I didn't take this lightly.
  • I agree that ADHD is often misdiagnosed, and I do know parents (usually younger parents) who jump to a diagnosis when they can't handle their child's behavior.

    However, ADHD is very, very, real, and medication can be life-changing. Both my mother and younger brother have ADHD, and they were diagnosed at the same time (10 years ago). That meant that for 45 years, my mom struggled to complete homework assignments, handle daily tasks, engage in relationships, regulate her emotions, and try to avoid getting overwhelmed constantly. Her ADHD almost ended my parents' marriage (some cases are more severe than others).

    Since her diagnosis and medication, she's an entirely different person. She used to get frustrated and overwhelmed and did NOT react well. Now, she can handle so much more and is more aware of how her disorder affects her. If she hadn't been medicated, I'm convinced that my parents would have divorced, and the two of us wouldn't have nearly as close of a relationship as we do.

    So yes, it can be over-diagnosed, but I also feel that many people have absolutely no idea how real it can be and how positive medication can be. It makes me sad when people make blanket statements about how previous generations didn't hav this problem. They did, but they suffered in silence.

    I hope your friend whose child has ODD is getting him a lot of help. ODD can get much worse as a child ages if he or she isn't treated properly.

    Ok, novel done.
  • Adults are now being diagnosed with it, which means it did exist when we were kids, its just that no one knew about it. One of the criteria for diagnosis is that the conditions/symptoms had to have existed in childhood as well.
    image
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  • Jasmineh, in my experience it was the other way around.  Parents pushing for the diagnosis and the drugs.  I know several other teachers who have had the same experience. 

    I care a lot about one of my students not being able to pay attention in class, no matter the reason.  There is a huge difference between fidgeting and actual ADD/ADHD. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_parents-school-aged-children-wdyt-opinions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c9a9d6e-b500-4070-bf87-5c4e66adebcdPost:d6270048-506f-4619-a04e-c0193acbf2d2">Re: Parents and school aged children. WDYT? Opinions?</a>:
    [QUOTE]As a teacher, I have strong feelings about ADD/ADHD/ODD. <strong>bbycakes- Um, ADHD and ADD are now medically the same.</strong> The DMS-IV no longer differentiates the two. There are three types of ADHA- hyperactivity/impulsivity, inattentive, or the combined type of the two. Your son must fall in the inattentive category. I feel strongly that there are other methods that are more effective treatments, rather than medication. There are cases where medication is the necessary route, but I feel drugging a kid should be the last resort. I also believe ODD is bs. I have two male students with this disorder. From meeting their fathers, I can certainly see where their opposition to authority comes from...
    Posted by mandybear7[/QUOTE]

    Um, was the "um" necessary?  wtf?  Sorry, I'm not up-to-date on the DMS-IV classification.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_parents-school-aged-children-wdyt-opinions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c9a9d6e-b500-4070-bf87-5c4e66adebcdPost:d6270048-506f-4619-a04e-c0193acbf2d2">Re: Parents and school aged children. WDYT? Opinions?</a>:
    [QUOTE] I also believe ODD is bs. I have two male students with this disorder. From meeting their fathers, I can certainly see where their opposition to authority comes from...
    Posted by mandybear7[/QUOTE]

    I'm with you. The student I had that was ODD needed nothing more than parent figures a structure. His mother had recently moved to the area (leaving his father behind in another state) to move in with her new girlfriend. The child had zero structure or support. Mom let him run wild, but heaven forbid that child need to be suspended or disciplined. Suddenly she wanted to be apart of his life. Most of the struggles for teachers in classrooms today comes from a lack of parenting and structure at home. I'm not saying this is always the case. Sometimes kids misbehave and have other issues, despite involvement from the parents. But it has become too easy to slap a diagnosis on a child and hand a bottle of pills.
  • Bbyckes, you clearly know your son and know what he needs.  I don't think a person here is judging you or your decision to get medicaton for your son.  If he were diabetic, you'd get him insulin, right? 

    It sounds like his specific condition is exactly what is targeted by the add meds.  Unlike too many cases where meds are prescribed simply make the child more tractable and easier for the school/parent to handle.   

    I also think you are dead-on with your assessment of what would have happened to him 20 or more years ago.  The "good old days" of giving a kid a swift kick in the arse weren't necessarily so good after all.  Sometimes, it's NOT a discipline or a coddling issue.  At all. 
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