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28 Jan 2004

A little on ADD and teenage boys

I just thought i would share my experiences with my 16yr old son who was diagnosed with ADD last year.

Maybe i have just been lucky with him , maybe I had the right shrink but whatever my tactics have worked.

Firstly I made sure he went for a proper aptidude test which showed an inclination towards technical subjects and giftedness in maths.

Now sadly our schools imo are not geared for kids with ADD esp boys who are bored and want to do "boy" things... and this is very common cos all my sons pals seem to have the same problem ... why do history and bilogy when there is an engine to tinker with ??

So after changing his diet a bit no additives , no sugar , and putting him onto Gingko a herb for enhancing memory ...I took him out of school and put him into technical college.... where he is is already a top achiever ... this was a boy who was failing school.

No wheteher he genuinly has ADD or not im not sure garth is still garth abrupt outspoken etc ..... but taking him out of school and getting him involved with sport and the technical college has been the answer.

i think in a lot of cases especialy with boys ..... boredom at school is the problem ....let them fiddle with engines and computers most of them seem to prefer it ..... sitting behind a desk is torture for these kids.

Keep them busy and let them eat properly.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Carol,
Many thanks for sharing your interesting and relevant experiences. You and J raise some important issues, in addition to those you explicitly state,
1. There's a need for careful assessment, not a rush to judgement ( I think some teachers are too keen to dish out diagnostic labels they don't understand and aren't qualified to assess, to evade blame for not being effective teachers ). 2. Though some proposed remedies have relaively litle proof that they reliably work, including some you've tried, at least those of them which can do no harm, can then either help, or at least do nothing to worsen the situation. So, avoiding excess additives and sugar may help, and can't harm --- why not try it ? And at last try those sorts of methods before getting locked into ;ong-lasting drug regimes.
3. Very few kids are actually unable to concentrate at all. As J so well points out, I've known many a kid who was dismissed by the teachers as incapable of concentrating, who concentrated for hours on end on their computer games or programming attempts, or at pracising for their sports, or whatever took their fancy. So it is well worth a comprehensive assessment of a child's skills and also interests, in planning the best education for them. I'm impressed by any kid who strives for excellence at whatever he/she does do.
And from what you say, Carol, G is probably "still G" as you say, in terms of basic personality, but some of the rougher edges of that may be related to having been made to feel a failure in a school which failed him, and may moderate as he has found a setting in which he can succeed in fields which he himself values. Well done !
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