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Father in denial of son with ADHD
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VikesFan75 posted:
My 6yr old finally has confirmed ADHD and his father is in complete denial. We have been suspect of this for a while and have talked with doctors and teachers since preschool and now I have the evaluations and assessments to move forward with a plan to help our son and his father wants more and more testing. I would have hoped that he would have gotten on the bandwagon a long time ago- i've kept him involved and informed, even though it took me every ounce of energy to be in the same room as him. This is for our son and he can't seem to see that. He blames our divorce when our son was 2 and he blames my fiance, he blames the new baby, he blames everyone and everything that he doesn't have control over in the last 4+ years. He has told me time and time again that all my son's issues are because I am a terrible mother and I broke up the family. He seems to forget that he was violent and abusive. I saved my son from a terrible life and probably saved my own too.

I have seen family and child counselors since we seperated just so I could be more aware if/when my son showed any signs of stress over the divorce- afterall he was only 2 and couldn't express his feelings about the changes in his life. Dad never showed for a single appointment- in 4years- not a single one. So, here we are today, everyone except Dad is ready to move forward knowing now what we are dealing with and how we can support and modify things for my son, and Dad is wanting more and more tests, doctors and what not.

I'm tired, our son is frustrated, anxious and falling behind in school- we need to take this action now, not talk it to death. Our son needs to move foward too. He is so smart, sweet and he really can be successful but he needs our help and Dad just can't seem to muster up the energy to put the work into it- at least that's how I"m seeing it.

Am I not seeing something here? Is he right? Have I missed something? I've been on this path for well over a year (since the start of Kindergarten) and the doctor, Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers are all on-board, but Dad wants to argue that "Mom just messed him up". The last 4 years have definately brought around some changes for my son and I, but he is fantastic with his new baby brother and he is building a stronger relationship with my fiance (whom my son has known for over 2 years and we've all lived together for almost a year now). I'm not going to deny that some changes have been harder than others, but again, that's why I went to family counseling and therapy; so I could help guide my son in these changes the best I could.

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated- even a sanity check that i'm doing the right thing... I have to do right by my son and I feel that I am, but why can't I get his Dad to see what's really going on? and that assigning blame- where there is none- is not going to help our son.
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acr8280 responded:
HE IS SO WRONG TO ACT THAT WAY!!!! My husband and I have two boys Nathan (3) and Phillip (5). Our son phillip has adhd. Let me explain how this all came about.... We sent phillip to head start 2 years ago when he was three. The first year was terrible!!! He fought with everyone and argued and screamed and never did any work. The teacher asked us so many questions. We wanted to denie that there was anything wrong with our son .. we said he is just being a typical three year old. Then it got worse, he wouldn't sit still in class, we couldn't even get him to sing his abcs long enough cause he was always on the go. He couldn't even say his name well. trying to get him to draw on paper was a huge task. Then we got to the middle of the year and decided enough was enough. we broke down and talked to the dr about all the issues and we put him on meds and put him through speech class and had so much support behind us. Now we still didn't figure out he had adhd yet.... Our dr set up some vocabulary tests and some therapy for him. To evaluate what was going on with him.. The next year started and wow what a difference. we had finally had a concrete answer to our problems. With all the test we had done it concluded it was adhd. He now could focuse and everything. the meds help alot .

He is now in kdg and is great .. he goes to therapy to help with taking turns and listening skills and is on adderall meds .. if it wasn't for us finding out ahead of time.. who knows where he would be. He can spell his name and say his abcs and can count to a million if i let him. we still have days that are crazy but its ok.

My hubby was the same way at first but just remember he will come along soon. just do what u need to do and it will all come into play....

Also it is never your fault and u did NOTHING to cause this .. it is just the way his brain reacts to things. I always say its like my son is in fast forward while the rest is in play.... lol Be there for your child he needs you every step of the way and i know how you feel, i have been there. just do what is best for him and he will love you for it. I cry all the time thinking its my fault as a parent i must have not disciplined him enough or taught him to be better. but then i realize i am doing the best i can with what i have and know. Just have fun in your life and include him too.

Oh tell his dad he has adhd live with it .. either help you or dont but this is reality if you like it or not.

Hope all goes well u can send me a message if u ever need anyone to talk to .
 
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TCMG responded:
You say he is "falling behind in school"

Vision Problems Mimic ADHD Symptoms,

Visit here: www.childrensvision.com/

and here: www.childrensvision.com/reading.htm

If your son did not had a comprehensive vision exam, please visit here: www.covd.org/

to find a doctor with the appropriate lab equipment and training in your zip code.

Seventy percent of what a child learns in school is processed through the visual system. Even a minor visual processing problem will interfere with a child or adult performing to their potential.

The teachers were sure our son had ADHD and possibly also Aspergers. He had three vision disorders and corrected them with three months of vision therapy. This site changed our lives forever: www.pavevision.org/

Maybe it could be a real benefit to you. It is worth a try. Best of luck, A Mom who denied the ADHD labeling of her kid and found a good path
 
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GingerKohler responded:
TCMG, I see a lot of messages about the vision thing. Is there any way to get insurance to pay for the initial evaluation?

For years, I needed to get my son OT tested, but couldn't afford it. A new place specializing in ADHD and Autism opened office here and it turned out that there IS a way to get insurance to pay for the initial evaluation. Just need a doctor's prescription. Along with other things, they will be testing him for speech to see if he can differentiate between certain speech sounds. They say that it's often overlooked and can cause problems like his trouble with reading and spelling. Probably would also account to not hearing the teacher's lecture or instructions properly.

He gets very frustrated at school.
 
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sandie_law responded:
We see an ophthalmologist for my son's lazy eye. She bills our medical insurance for her exams and treatments, but his glasses are separate. Look around for an ophthalmologist as opposed to an optomatrist and see if you can find someone who specializes in childhood eye problems.

Our ophthalmologist offers vision therapy as well, but it's expensive and time consuming. We've been waiting until our son is a ltitle older so he'll get the most out of the experience.

Right now, he's in glasses with bifocals and prisms. That means we can't do the buy one get one free or kids glasses for $99 sales (they're always for single vision lenses and never allow for prisms). I dread having to get new glasses, but it really does make a difference for him.

Granted...he still has ADHD...but he doesn't get headaches or see double with the glasses.
 
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TCMG responded:
Insurance usually covers a comprehensive vision screening.

My advice: If he has trouble with reading and spelling you should get a comprehensice vision exam.

Visit www.pavevision.org and find out their phone number (I can't post it here since this violates forum rules)

Place a call to Parents Active for Vision Education. When I called them, the founder called me back and spent considerable time helping me. Sadly she passed away from cancer a few years ago. The staff is dedicated and I bet they will call you back and answer your questions.

Take care Terry
 
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TCMG responded:
Sorry for the typos in my last post. I took out my contact lenses for the evening and I only have distance eyeglasses.

Laughing at myself, TCMG
 
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VikesFan75 responded:
Thanks but yes, we have vision and hearing screening every six months for him, since he was 3 so we are fairly confident his vision isn't an issue.
 
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jenngeo responded:
I am so glad to see someone else is going through what i am going through. My ex husband is not willing to cooperate. He refuses to fill out the survey at the doctors office. My son has been diagnosed with several things. He is now 12 and realizes he has a problem but is helpless. I wanted to deny putting him on anything for a long time, but i have got to do something to help him. He wants so bad to do right and get his work done, but can't. Please don't wait to do something for your child.

My ex husband blames everything on me as well. Its my fault because i broke up the family. His theory is my son is acting this way because of it. NOT! I was also verbally and physically abused. It was always in front of my boys. My ADHS son even wants to physically hurt me sometimes. That is a learned behavior. But not being able to focus is not. My son was also diagnosed with ODD.

None of this is your fault, and get your son some help before it's to the point im dealing with now. He will thank you for it when he is older. The best of luck to you and your new family.
 
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TCMG responded:
Hi VikesFan My son took the eye chart tests. He passed them with flying colors. He did not need eyeglasses. His pediatrician was unaware of the specialized tests availalable. She had attended an Ivy League School of Medicine, go figure.

My tip: Don't dismiss this possibility of a vision disorder untill a doc with the appropriate training dismisses this. If your son passes the eye chart tests, keep in mind that so did my son, yet he still had a correctable vision disorder. The eye chart tests for accuity were not enough.



A comprehensive vision exam usually takes about an hour and is covered by most insurance. You may find a qualified optometrist at www.covd.org.

The comprehensive eye exam includes tests for eye teaming problems, focusing problems,eye movement problems ,perceptual-motor problems and much more.

My child had an undiagnosed vision problem, which impaired his writing (omitted words when writing sentences) After 3 months of vision therapy; his problem went away, presumably forever. He's taking the PSAT today in highschool. (Wish us luck!!!!)

He's in the top track for all subjects this year (Grade 10) and he earned B's even though he missed 5 days of school this marking period (my dad died and we traveled for the services.)

My son's eyes now work in unison when tracking a moving object. There was clear evidence of our son's vision problem that the pediatrician did not notice.

The behavior/developmental optometrist showed me this right after our son's very first vision exam. My son would look at the tip of a wand when it was moved about and one eye would noticeably flutter up and down as the other eye followed the wand. He was diagnosed with occulomotor dysfunction. No wonder he omitted words when writing!

Another test revealed that when my son looked at things far away and then near, the things he looked at went in an out of focus. He was diagnosed with accommodation insufficiency. No wonder he always failed the task of copying things verbatim from the dictionary in Third Grade! He simply could not accomplish this task. No one seemed to notice this, even the reading specialists from his elelmentary school, a designated Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

Apparently there are almost a dozen other vision problems that a kid can have. These issues affect behavior and school performance.

From what I have read, the medications used for ?psychologically labeled? kids are not benign mild stimulants but are associated with serious side effects, sadly even including death in rare occasions.. See ablechild.org/

Maybe you will try this or maybe you won't. Keep trying to look at the problem. Solve the problem. Get to the root cause of what triggers the issues.

The Best to you and your child, TCMG A mom who realizes how damn lucky she was that she kept trying to find solutions. Hope this helps you!
 
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motherofrob responded:
It sounds as if it is a difficult situation. Do you have joint custody. Maybe would could at least medicate your son when he is with you. I realize that is is not ideal, but at least it would help some. Meds can also be given at school. So if the ex is totally against them maybe you could use this method to get him some help.
 
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SoniaBelle responded:
I am so sorry to hear about your situation. My son just got diagnosed a few weeks ago. My husband is "old school", saying that my son is just bored in school, and that he'll grow out of it. I was so upset over all of this. I had to just put my foot down and tell my husband that this is not about me or him, tha tit is about our son and what is best for him. I think that all of this has finally started sinking in. I got his sisters involved to talk to him. There are a good number of kids on his side of the family with ADHD. After they talked to him it helped alot. Anytime there is a divorce it is gonna be hard on the kids, but you can work through it. Always put your son and all your kids first. Hope and Prayers to you and yours!!
 
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momof2boys01902 responded:
Hello Vikesfan- my oldest son, 11yrs, is ADHD. He was diagnosed at age 7. His father is in denial also, going as far as not giving him his medication. The one thing I know, and I am passing this on to you, as a mother, you have bonds and a relationship with your son that fathers are just not able to have. There fore you know in your heart what you are doing is the right thing. Do what is in your childs best interest to succeed, especially if you have his doctor standing by your side.

Good Luck!
 
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CriticalHerbologist responded:
Please find out what conditions in father's dampen the symptons. There MUST be a reason father is NOT giving the medication and not believing the doctor's diagnosis. Specially ask your Ex and your son following questions:
(1) What food (lunch/dinner/snacks) do you eat and how many times ?
(2) Sleep times: What time do you go to bed and what time do you wake up ?
(3) What games do you play and how much physical excercise do you get ?
(4) What time do you do your homework ?

Try and maintain consistancy between homes, maybe you don't need to medicate your child either.

Note: Just google "side effects" for the medication you are giving him and then you will know.
 
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Ginalynr responded:
I just read this post and it sounded like a clip from my own life. I just had to take matters into my own hands myslef. My ex husband was very against medication however he didnt really see the issue since he only sees his son 4 days a month. I hung in there hoping he would come around. Finally I made the call. Started my son on Concerta about a week ago. 18mg. I cant say for sure yet whether it has made a huge difference. But we have not experienced any negative side affects at all. I was scared to medicate also. The drama in the house has settled considerably so I do feel like something has changed. You do what you feel is right for your son.


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