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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Diagnosing ADD in Children

12/10/2004

Question:

My daughter is 12.5y/o. She is very bright when it comes to conversations and IQ test. However, we hit a brick wall with school work, organization, following through with task. Teachers and counslers from school hate me, because I have hounded them with concerns over my daughter. The same organizational/school work problems have been around since kindergarten,but I`ve been told she will out grow them. In about 5 grade I started to hear "when she decides to live up to her pontential." Now in 7th grade it has just gotten worse. My daughter hates school, but will do homework, she just loses it, or worse forgets to turn it in on time. School interventions are focused on doing the work, but she does it, she loses it, forgets things constantly, can`t remember the materials needed etc.. She is social and has numerous friends. She is intelligent and impresses anyone who speaks with her and her cognitive abilities enabling high test scores at school keep her afloat when homegrades suffer. I feel she gets almost ignored and I`m labeled as nerotic because she can "manage" barely with average school grades. Yet, school prep is a nightmare for her with stress and attempting to be ready. Not only can she not stay organized, but she is so slow with everything that she is often late to school and classes. Oddly , Junior High School has helped a bit with the changing of classes, because the bell and act of class change, seems to help my daughter adjust focus. She seems to get fixated or stuck on a topic and gets behind because the class has moved on and she is still analyzing things. This is getting too long, I`m probably looking in the wrong place, but a coworker mentioned ADD to us. my daughter is NOT hyperactive and she can make friends easily. She actually can do well if I constantly walk behind her checking everything/push her along. I suppose I`m getting to the point of trying to accept that she is just not motivated and lazy (or I really have set bad examples/parented incorrectly as it has been suggested by teachers and counslors). I`m just frustrated that my daughter trie so hard and yet can`t succeed. I feel if her IQ was low or she struggled to read, everyone would help, but because she is intelligent and well rounded she is expected to "outgrow" these problems. I just want her to succeed in in adulthood and life. Thank you for reading this and any suggestions would be appreciated.

Answer:

First, let meet deeply apologize. I have just noted what is either a computer or human error (mine?) glitch that appears to have led to me not receiving four NetWellness letters since August and yours was one of them. We are in the process of identifying what I have done wrong in retrieval, or what other problem is going on.

Now, to your important, and common question. Although I cannot, of course, know if your daughter has ADD from such limited information, I can assure you that organizational problems is a major way that ADD often shows up in very bright people. I urge you to speak with her school and physician about getting evaluated. Whatever the cause, there are usually behavioral/coaching strategies that can help with such concerns. And, if ADD is involved, medication may play a helpful role as well.

There is an interesting website (ADDvance) about women and girls with ADD that you may want to take a look at for, among other things, its "self-scoring check lists" that can tell you a lot about what to look for in young women. The Hotkey for it can be found below.

Related Resources:

ADDvance

For more information:

Go to the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Susan Louisa Montauk, MD
Formerly Professor of Family Medicine
University of Cincinnati