PRINCSSIS may listen

Anyone who knows me and my family will know that I am "Princess Sister" to my three younger brothers. I'm a fairly quiet woman, so when I have something to say, I expect to be heard. I mean no disrespect or place myself on any kind of pedestal. My brothers gave me this name, so I honor them by using it.

Location: United States

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The teacher called...

CJ is in the third grade. Since Kindergarten, his teachers have been saying he has difficulty staying focused and on task. When he was in 1st grade, I took him to see a psychologist and he was tested for ADD and giftedness. At that time, he was a little young for the testing, but he was considered below threshold for ADD. There were some suggestions the doctor gave us that we tried. Some seemed to help - for a while. In the second grade, the teacher was personally very close to the first grade teacher, so they had discussed CJ's problems. She continued to voice concern and we followed up with the doctor. We filled out some surveys about his behavior and problems. This time, the doctor said CJ was borderline ADHD - inattention. I guess they use ADHD with a qualifier now. There is no ADD term used. However, she stated she felt he is "gifted" in reading, as his comprehension is several grades above his current grade. I have been concerned that maybe he's just been bored with the work.

Now you have to understand, that academically, CJ was doing great. He also has a very small class size. There's been anywhere from 8 to 12 kids in his class. We have some migrant worker families that come at the beginning of the year, so there are more kids then. We live in a small school district - about 100 kids total for K-8th grade. WE are fortunate enough to still have the school open. If it were to close, the kids would go to the neighboring town where they go for high school (CJ will NEVER go there). We have been very pleased with the individualized attention he gets. This year, being third grade, is the first where he has actually received letter grades for his work. For the first two quarters so far this year, he has earned high honor roll - straight A's.

This has made it difficult to warrant putting him on medication. Although, his teacher recently told me that she felt it was time somthing more be done. She was constantly having to direct his attention back to the work at hand. His handwritting was atrocious! His sentances looked like a string of ill-formed letters with no spaces between the words. He could write legibly, but it took a LOT of effort and time. He was always the last one done - if he completed the work. He rarely got to do the fun things others were doing after they finished thier work. His teacher was concerned it was affecting CJ emotionally.

Now, AR and I have been reluctant to medicate our son, especially given his good grades. We have also recently decided to eat and use healthier foods and products. We are buying more organic items and have started juicing. It was going against all we were trying to do for the health of our family to give our CJ medication for this condition. I was searching for a natural alternative when I asked the nutritionist at our chiropractor's office. She suggested we try a DHA (omega-3 fatty acids) supplement. She encouraged me to research the internet using "DHA" and "ADD" for my search. I came across this article as well as others:

An exerpt of this article is: "DHA is the primary structural component of brain tissue, so it stands to reason that a deficiency of DHA in the diet could translate into a deficiency in brain function. In fact, research is increasingly recognizing the possibility that DHA has a crucial influence on neurotransmitters in the brain, helping brain cells better communicate with each other. Asian cultures have long appreciated the brain-building effects of DHA. In Japan, DHA is considered such an important "health food" that it is used as a nutritional supplement to enrich some foods, and students frequently take DHA pills before examinations."

Anyway, CJ started taking DHA supplements less than two weeks ago. I was told we may not see much change for up to four weeks. CJ's teacher called me today, asking if I'd come in to see her. We had discussed scheduling an Occupational Therapy consultation to investigate a reason for his handwriting. The teacher told me she spoke with the OT person and she suggested it sounded more like a cognitive issue. Then, she showed me samples of his handwriting. Even from just last week, the words are now appropriately spaced and it is legible!!! She told me she has seen a marked change in CJ since starting the supplement. She doesn't have to "keep on CJ" as much. He is getting his work done in the time allowed and having time left to do fun things. Imagine the joy I feel right now!

Thank you, God for giving us the wisdom to try this! We will continue CJ on the supplement and see if some of the issues at home start to change.


Anonymous HolyMama! said...

Oh, that's so wonderful! I'm going to start looking into right now for one of my kids!!

1:26 PM  
Blogger Russ said...

That's awesome!! Does this work for adults? I'm pretty sure that if ADD had been "invented" in the 60's when I was a child I would have been given medication. Or shock treatments. Whatever would have worked for the little hellion that I was.

8:59 PM  
Blogger princssis said...

holymama! - Nearly everyone I've talked to about this has said that! I hope you will find it helpful!

Russ - actually, there's a lot of articles that say all of us are in need of the omega-3 fatty acids and DHA is in a lot of the supplements. I plan on starting on a combination of St. John's Wort, Folic Acid, and DHA. I guess it's good for your brain, visual acuity, skin, etc. Check into it!

11:40 PM  
Blogger Marybeth said...

Hi from Michele's!

8:37 AM  
Blogger Viamarie said...

Hope the supplements will work. Aside from books on ADHD, there are a lot of special schools now so everything will be okay in due time. I have a friend whose twins were both ADHA when they were in gradeschool but are now doing very well.

Cheers from Michele!

8:44 AM  

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