Girls and ADHD
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Thread: Girls and ADHD

  1. #1
    Registered User Tracy's Avatar
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    Default Girls and ADHD

    Hello I was wondering if anyone out there has a daughter with ADHD. It has been brought up several times that we may want to have our daughter evaluated for ADHD. I have pushed it off and pushed it off but as she is getting older things are becoming worse to say the least. We have tried everything possible for behavior. We have had a home visitor from the health unit and we are finally sure that we are going to have her evaluated. So I am looking for info about girls and ADHD. Our DD is 4 she has tons of energy I often say it is like having 3 kids in the house. She never ever stops talking, she can really only focus on books and some tv. It is starting to become a problem with other family members as well. I have to try all the time to get her to focus, and I am always always redirecting so she doesn't hurt herself, or break something. etc... She has no impulse control if it is in her head she does it. She is very very smart, I know most moms say that but we had her speech etc checked and she speaks around a six year old. It is not that she never focus, she does if it is a documentary she will watch the whole thing, or will listen to story after story. I know that some of it is just the typical 4 year old but a lot of stuff that happens is more then that. Any info would be great. I feel bad and like a faliure, also guilty that maybe I have done something wrong.
    Thank you

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    Registered User YankeeMom's Avatar
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    My daughter has ADHD. She wasn't diagnosed until she was 7yrs old. It's really hard to diagnose a child younger than 5 or 6 because there are no standardized tests for kids that young.

    My only advise would be to be sure you have her tested by a licensed child psychologist. Not just a pediatrician. My daughter was only referred by her pediatrician. Her entire testing and diagnosis was done by a child psychologist. There were several appointments before she was diagnosed. There were several tests for her, interviews with us as her parents, her teacher at school, her entire health history, including birth...along with her development up to that point.

    We did make the decision to medicate her, at least for as long as it took to teach her the coping mechanisms she would need to deal with the disorder. She's now 12yrs old and has been off the medication for 1.5 yrs. She really doesn't have a whole lot of the hyperactivity that she used to, but she's/we are still dealing with the attention deficit, the lack of organization, etc.

    Good luck Tracy

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    Registered User Tracy's Avatar
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    Thank you for your reply, it is just hard to try and figure out what to do.

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    Registered User TheRootedNomad's Avatar
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    I personally do not have a daughter. I have however worked with children who have lots of diagnoses for the last 15 years or so.

    Like Heather said it is hard to diagnois a child under 5 .....however, it can be done if not actually confirmed by behavioral observation if the situation is out of hand. Basically you end up treating the "symptoms" and if the treatment is effective you continue it, if its not you dicontinue.

    Medication treatment is not a "necessity" for the condition but it is helpful. Some people chose to use medication until coping skills are learned, others chose to use the medication during school hours/days only, others find it better to use medication until they hit puberty when it may become ineffective anyway, and still others stick with medication throughout their life. There are multiple types on the market and some work better with girls than boys and vice-versa.

    This is one of the few types of medications that definately does show different performance rates by gender. Age and gender deffinately play a huge part in how and why the medication works. (What is used for ADHD children to help slow down how fast their mind is going is generally a "speed" type medication for adults. an example would be dexadrine)

    I would start by talking with my pediatrician (if you trust them) about your observations and if they think you should continue looking into this and who they would recommend to have her see that would be more specialized in this area. With her being so young I would also research dietary changes that may help. Medication of all sorts if freely prescribed to children all the time now without ever looking at other things....and ADHD is commonly over diagnosied....and there is a whole school of thought out there about dietary "fixes". I have seen two tablespoons of peanut butter twice a day and removal of high sugared items and caffine be effective at lowering hyperactivity enough to where a child didn't need to take medication. I've also seen it not work. It is an area you could experiment in on your own though without worrying about a wrong diagnosis or side effects.

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    Registered User celina's Avatar
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    my 6 yr dd has adhd..(diagnosed at 5, knew something was wrong at 4)

    email me if you want to chat.

    celinaDOTjamieATshawDOTca

    replace caps with appropriate symbols

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    Registered User mom2three's Avatar
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    My daughter was on her way to an ADHD label, but I chose an alternate route instead. My younger brother was on Ritalin for years and it caused problems for him so I tend to shy away from stimulants. We eneded up altering her diet to take away milk as she has quite an intoleranmce to it. There are many reasons for ADHD like behaviour. Suggested reading from my end would be "The Myth of the ADHD Child" - it is quite old now (written in 1995), but still has valauable things in it. The other book I would recommend was published in June and is by Kenneth Bock: I think it is called "Healing the 4 A Disorders: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies" - it's close, but you can always check him out on Amazon. My daughter went from one to watch (quite innappropriate social interaction) to student of the month in 5 months! She is 6 years old. My 3 year old is much more like your daughter and I will be having her food intolerances tested shortly to handle this one.

    Take care!

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    Registered User Radish4ever's Avatar
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    I was a girl with ADHD! My father is a child psychologist, so if having a child with ADHD makes one a failure.......... lol


    Anyway! I was tested by a child psychologist (not my dad) and they have checklists for the parents to fill out and then a care giver or someone else in another setting. Generally speaking, they'll need evidence from more than one setting ot identify the problems.
    My father does ADHD testing ALL the time and I type up reports for him, so I see a lot of the tests that he does on kids. Kids are often tested by doing the Bender Gestalt (drawing test), as well as some academic tests to assess their IQ, as well as a ton of other things. If you'd like more information, lmk. I know that it varies from person to person. I agree - please don't just get meds from a pediatrician! Get an actual evaluation done! I'll write more later, I have to go right now.

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    Registered User Tracy's Avatar
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    Hello All,
    I have not been on in a while so here is the update. We have cut out food dyes, food additives, as well as Gluten and the change is amazing. The thing with Gluten was when she was a baby they thought she might have Celiacs, but we were told it was just a slow to develop system. So I ran into someone and we got to talking and she told me that there still could be something with a food sensitivity. She named off the the problems children can have and HOLY CRAP it was my daughter. So the turn around has been great things in the house have calmed down and that was just in a matter of a week. So we are going to try and get her into to see a natropath, as well we have a new family dr. so we will be off to see her as well.

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    Registered User mom2three's Avatar
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    I should have mentioned that my daughter was already on a gluten free diet! It does make a huge difference. Tracey, there is a lot to learn at first. To avoid other food intolerances, you should really try to have corn free, potato free, rice free days (at least 2/week). Many people start a gluten free diet and then get other intolerances because they eat the same thing every day. I was wrong about Kenneth Bock's new book - I think it is actually Healing the New Childhood Epidemics. It is quite a good read and well worth the trip to the library! Also, a good place to check out is www.celiac.com (lot's of info). I am so glad things are getting better for you!

    Take care - Amanda

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    My 17 year old daughter was diagnosed in 5th grade with ADD and now that has been upgraded to PDDNOS. Social aspects became more severe once she became older. Medication has been an absolute GODSEND for my kids. I cannot even begin to explain how fabulous my kids do on meds compared to being off of them.

    We have been through the allergy tests, diet tests, none of it applied but you cannot have meds without social and behavior intervention..they work hand in hand.

    I really urge you to do a google search for as much info as you can find about girls and ADHD..it can be very different in girls than in boys. Reading a lot of stories from other parents on different forums is what kept me sane.

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    Registered User Lady_V's Avatar
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    We have been using a dietary alternative method for our DD. We can tell immediately if she ate something on her 'no-no' list. She is a completely different child now.

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    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    Hey Tracy,

    You shouldn't feel guilty about your daughter's well-being. She has a ton of energy and alot of kids are like that. I'm not big on ADD or ADHD and believe that it's just another way for doctors to exercise a cop out in providing a child with the best alternative therapy possible to help what may be causing the attention issues.

    My oldest was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, amongst many other disorders and one of them was ADHD. I've been doing alot of reading and many children just need the right therapy that works for them, and alot of the time that isn't through medicinal means. If your DD is being evaluated for ADD or ADHD, I would ask for the best possible treatment that avoids the use of medication. It can be something as simple as changing her home routine, eliminating the things that cause her "symptoms" to arise, changing her diet, etc. You can also try giving her herbal remedies that have been proven to calm and relieve any sort of hyperness that she's harnessing. If you can find the right way to channel that energy and put it into something that she can really focus on, it'll be way better than any medicine she can be given.

    I'm just a big fan of not giving a child any more medication than they need and to find other ways to help. Alot of the medication that's being given to children with ADHD has long-term effects that are pretty negative on a developing body like a young child.

    I'd suggest doing alot of reading about ADHD, what you can do to help and what alternative things you can get for your DD that'll exclude the use of medication.

    I hope that helps and good luck!

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    Registered User Lady_V's Avatar
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    This is not exactly the same as what we did for DD, but it was the closest I could find.

    ADD/ADHD diet

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    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    I am ADHD. I also have a child (boy) who is ADHD. We have him on a modified Feingold diet. We took out the dye, corn syrup, and we try to avoid preseravatives and chemicals as much as possible. He is a totally different child off diet than he is on diet. We much prefer him on diet.

    I am glad the dietary thing is working for you.

    If you need some ideas for coping skills, yell. I will tell you what mine are, but mine are slightly skewed. I am OCD also. I am loads of fun!! **twitchtwitch**

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    Registered User elphie's Avatar
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    As a parent of a ds with this diagnosis (which I hate the label because my son is not deficit or disordered) and former teacher my suggestion to you is read, read, read, read, read! Everyone is going to offer suggestions but only you know your child so you have to educate yourself on this topic in order to make informed decisions on her behalf.

    The books that have meant the most to me are The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Childe by Thom Hartman (there is a chapter in this book specifically discussing girls), and The ADD Answer by Dr. Frank Lawlis.

    We had a very bad experience with medication... there is a reason that the warning label says suicidal thoughts may occur. We also tried a lot of alternative therapies; none of them really helped us. Ultimately for us homeschooling was the answer.

    In our home we are able to let his brilliant mind move in the direction he chooses, we are able to encourage his excitement about new topics, and we are able to let him know that he has a gift instead of a disease. There is nothing wrong with school, my daughter goes to school. But there is also nothing wrong with my son... its kind of like being allergic to pineapple; pineapple isn't inherently bad, the person with the allergy isn't bad either, they just aren't good together.

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