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ADHD & VERY LOW IQ IN NEARLY 8 YEAR OLD :(


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#1 bearboy01

Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:46 AM

HELLO X   Im not sure if im in the correct place - my son is 8 in sept - he is in year 2 and in a huge public shool - to make a long story short - he has been struggling with learning concepts from pre school & we have had alot of outside intervention - anyhoo two years ago he had alot of testing done and his IQ came in then very low - 8% - i didnt take too much notice - i cant tell U why exactly - i more focused on getting speech therapy - OT therapy - anything therapy - and I guess I assumed that his IQ would improve ??  Year 1 he had a better year with intense reading help at school - speech therapy outside of school & a wonderful teacher - this year his teacher is lovely thank goodness but he is going down hill - yest we got the results from an outside clinical psyc - his IQ is at 4% - EXTREME low - apparently close to an intellectual disability - they also advise that he has ADHD  - not the hyper one - his memory is shot - and i agree with that totally - poor kid cant remember things from 10mns ago how do U learn with that ? i have been advised to see a pediatrican to discuss meds for the ADHD and his dad &i are ok with this - -the low IQ has shattered us as we dont know what this really means for him - ive been advised to tackle the school ( yet again sad.gif  ) next term and ask them exactly what support they will provide - he cant go into year 3 like this he wont cope - larger classes - less one on one - more work load - sad.gif   ive been advised to check a special class that is held at a local school near us that has kids from year 3 to year 6 all grouped together wth a similar iq level - -his dad and i are not happy wth this suggestion for a number of reasons - maybe we are still in denial i dont know - does anyone have any advice for me? esp with the medications for ADHD?  im sorry that this is so long - appreciate any help at all x

#2 Mercurial

Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:54 AM

I don't really have any personal experience but I couldn't read and not reply.  

Information about what help there is for your son is the key thing at the moment I would suggest.  Speak to the peadiatrician about the ADHD for a start as that may help with concentration which may allow better recall/memory.  

It won't hurt to have a look at the suggested class at the other local school, you don't have to choose that path but to have a broad understanding of all your options, it's worth seeing what it involves.  

Obviously the current school you'll need to have further discussions with in relation to additional support (not sure if this is something the paed can help with as well in relation to funding?) and by the sounds of it staying at year two level for another year if you decide to stay with the current school.  

Best wishes.  I hope once you have some more information you will feel better able to make the right choices for your son.

#3 bearboy01

Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:00 AM

thank U for taking the time to reply I appreciate that original.gif    i should have mentioned that we have discussed repeating him from kindy - the school doesnt advise it - Mainly cause they think it wont help him socially and wont bring him up to level / task anyway - he is a tall boy too and would stand out - in saying that I dont think it would worry him - he has friends in other years - and he has a calm sensitive nature - he is extremely well behaved for us & school - never finds any trouble - hugs kids when they are hurt etc honestly all we care about as parents and we are both agreed on this - is that he is HAPPY - we dont care where he is regarding school and the IQ but as he falls more and more behind - and I can see it in the last term - he is starting to become more withdrawn and very very tired. and sh*te why wouldnt u when its so hard for u !  sad.gif

#4 akkiandmalli

Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:00 AM

hi Op,
dismiss anything i have to say if you like as i dont have a child with SN. However i am a teacher who has worked in many schools including special needs facilities and deaf facilities. i think that exploring what the SN school has to offer is a good idea. if he is going down hill now in year 2. year 3 will be a nightmare for him and will affect him both emotionally and perhaps socially. Other children may start to notice and he could be a target for bullying.SN schools often have smaller classes and are specialised for the children's disabilities. I would set up a meeting with the principal of your current school and the classroom teacher to find out what the plan is for him at the school. explore all options so that he is properly accommodated.
on the medication from what i have seen it often makes children drowsy, lethargic and less responsive. will this affect his ability to concentrate further in classes?

all the best

#5 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:02 AM

Hi OP,

I am just heading out the door, but am posting so that I can find this thread later.  I will come back, and either post, or PM you.  

bbighug.gif
Andy

#6 bearboy01

Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:08 AM

we dont REALLY want to medicate as what we are scared about is that it will change his beautiful personality but we are very keen for him to be able to concentrate - cause he cant and its a real thing - its exhausting and frustrating too but we know he isnt doing it on purpose.
my concern with the special needs class is that its in a public school and I am very worried that he will be teased cause he is in the special class and also leaving his friends that he has now - i agree 110% that he can not go into year 3 as he is now and I wouldnt do that to him - he has a 5 year old sister who starts school next year so we need to take her into account as well and as far as we can tell she is the opposite to her big brother .

#7 fluttershy

Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:11 AM

Hi bearboy,
I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you, just that I'd like to offer you hope that there may be help out there for your son. We have a son with ASD, and like you have done a lot of therapy and will continue- we don't think it should stop when they are school age.
I know you are a terrible predicament atm. It may be worth just checking out the other school just to see what is available for your son there- he may get better one-on-one care.
FWIW, we now homeschool our son, as for him it seemed to be a better option, but that is something every family needs to decide.
It may be worthwhile listening to this talk on the ABC by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young the author of he Woman Who Changed Her Brain. The possibilities there are just amazing:

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/05/16/3504141.htm


Also it may be advisable to move your post into the Kids with Disabilities/Special needs forum as you may get a lot more traffic.

All the best original.gif

#8 José

Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:09 AM

hi bearboy,

it must be so hard to see your little one struggling. Im wondering where abouts you are- NSW? I definately recommend going to look at the support class. I think you at least need to know about all of your options so that you can make an informed decision- whether you end up choosing it or not.
if you are in NSW there have been recent changes to funding and support staffing in schools which may impact on how the school can support your child.
From what your saying your DS is borderline to having a mild intellectual disability. There is a high correlation between IQ and academic achievement, so while you should never give up and say x has a low IQ therefore we have low expectations, we also need to have realistic expectations of the child so they continue to experience success and continue to try their best.

One way to look at it is that a person with an intellectual disability needs extra repetitions of concepts in order to learn them. eg average student may need to hear something 20 times to have consolidated that knowledge. a student with an intellectual disability may need to hear it 100 times. therefore in the same time that a person with average IQ learns 5 concepts a person with an intellectual disability may learn one thing. therefore the gap between students continues to grow. (that example was for illustrative purposes only- individual students  need different amounts of repetition and other factors also play a role, including motivation).

i think you have absolutely done the right thing by focusing on things such as speech. IQ generally doesnt change so while you might be able to implement strategies to support his learning there isnt heaps you can do to improve scores on an IQ test.

i agree that repetition most likely would not have been of benefit to your child. research shows that in the majority of cases it is not helpful.

#9 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 10 July 2012 - 01:55 PM

Hi bearboy01,

This might be a bit disjointed, so apologies if I am all over the place.  (Also, the usual preamble that this is all the opinion of some random on the internet, and not actual medical advice, so, as always, take everything with a grain of salt, and seek actual real life advice, because I could just be some pimply 14 yr old in my parent's basement etc).  

Firstly, give yourself some time to process all of this.  bbighug.gif  This is a huge amount of information to take in.  Things like "low IQ", "special needs", "intellectual impairment" are incredibly hard things to hear as a parent.  Give yourself permission to grieve.  Be upset.  And please don't feel you need to rush into action mode.  Often when parents get this kind of information, the first thing you want to do is "fix it" - get him in the best school, book in with every doctor in town, put in place all sorts of programs and strategies.  It can wait.  He is the same boy today as he was yesterday.  Yes, things will need to happen, but they don't need to happen TODAY.  Give yourself time.  

But also remember this.  There are worse things than having a child diagnosed with a learning disability.  That is having a child who isn't diagnosed (but still has the problem).  As hard as it is to hear, the fact that the school has picked up on all of this is absolutely fantastic.  Because it means that your son, and your family, can get the support and assistance you need.  

Definitely follow up with a paediatrician.  If you can, get a referral from your GP for a developmental paed.  (If you post in the special needs section and give your location, I am sure some of the lovely EB ladies might be able to PM you some recommendations).  You mentioned that your son has been assessed by an outside clinical psychologist?  Who diagnosed him with ADHD, and said he had a "low IQ".  

You mentioned memory problems? Depending on the background of the psychologist, and what tests they did, you might want to consider getting some follow-up testing done specifically looking at memory function.  Sometimes more specific memory deficits can be misdiagnosed and just lumped into ADHD(inattentive type).  Additional testing might help to clarify what his memory issues are.  The testing I am thinking of would be done by a paediatric neuropsychologist.  They are few and far between, and can be horrendously expensive.  I would discuss this with the developmental paed, to see if they think it is worth following up.  It sounds like there is a complex mix of things happening for your son (with OT, speech, psychs etc all involved) and they will all be looking at this from their own perspective.  A good developmental paed should be able to act like a conductor at an ochrestra, and help bring this all together for you (because I am sure at the moment, it must just all feel like a whole lot of noise!).  

If you haven't already, I would start a records folder for your son, with copies of all his reports and assessments.  I would make copies of these, so that you can hand them out to any specialists you see while still having a copy for yourself.    

On the topic of medication, this is such a personal choice, and I can completely sympathise with your reluctance to medicate.  One thing I would say is this.  You said
QUOTE
we dont REALLY want to medicate as what we are scared about is that it will change his beautiful personality
but then you also said
QUOTE
I can see it in the last term - he is starting to become more withdrawn and very very tired.
  I guess what I am saying is that while you might be afraid that medicating your son will stop him from being who he is, it is also worth considering that medicating him might have the opposite effect, and actually allow his true self to shine through.  original.gif

It's the same with the school thing.  I'd look into the other school.  As well as having a dedicated class for children with higher needs, you might also find that as a result, the staff as a whole have more training/understanding in teaching/interacting with these kids, and might be more familiar with specific strategies.  Asking the question and having a look doesn't commit you to doing anything, so, when you are ready, I would look into it further.  

Again, I will just come back to finishing this massive novel of a post (sorry) by saying that the most important thing you can do for your son RIGHT NOW, is to give him a great big hug, and to take a deep breath.  Good luck, and my thoughts are with you and your family.

hhugs.gif

#10 Henndigo

Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:09 PM

Fantastic advice from Alacritous Andy.  

The other thing to remember is that when ADHD is involved  IQ tests may be compromised by the inability to focus and concentrate, an inherent feature of ADHD but not necessarily linked to IQ.  My DS was tested recently and did well below what I know to be his potential because he was not medicated on that day and we had travelled in to the city by train and spent a long time waiting in a boring, small waiting room before the testing.  By the time he entered the testing room he was an impulsive mess. Our son's report actually came with a disclaimer that said that IQ testing can be compromised if a child is impulsive and restless, which my son definitely was.

Medication does not mean a change in your DS's personality, especially if you do it under the supervision of an excellent professional who is very responsive to your observations and adjusts the medication accordingly.  I was lucky enough to have a paed who responded to my emails even on a public holiday!  Many books I have read have said that if there is a personality difference it is indicative that the dose or medication is not quite right and needs further fine tuning.  For us, it has been the single best intervention, although others such as behavioural therapy and school strategies are also important.  We've also tried diet, fish oil, exercise, occupational therapy and social skills classes.  Be aware though that if you do go down the medication route it can take several months to find the right "fit".  It can be hard when you trial one med which doesn't go very well for your son but worth persisting because the other alternative meds can fit really well.  It has amazed me how individual responses are.

If you choose not to medicate the current research indicates that improving your DS's diet, especially not eating processed Western style foods may be of some help.

Also IQ isn't everything.  Someone can have a relatively low IQ but high emotional IQ e.g. be able to wait for things, save up and make sensible life decisions.  I'm looking at it this way.  I want my DS to learn enough educational skills to be able to be a qualified tradie at the minimum.  Also there has to be some acceptance that the child may not be as you expected - we are professionals and our child may not be.  As long as he is reaching his potential and is happy, that's all I care about.

Also I am not sure what you mean by 8% and 4% in terms of IQ?  I would think that someone at that level would be barely conscious?  What IQ ratings scale doe that refer to?

#11 BlueUnicorn

Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:35 PM

I just wanted to add.  Imagine school from your sons perspective.  I know special schools/ classes carry particular stigmas in society but really it's about your son.  Will he feel and develop better with peers who are at a similar level to him in terms of learning or will he be forever at the ' bottom' of the class with a system he simply can't learn in?  

Imagine his self esteem in an environment where he does have a chance to succeed ( at anything, something), he won't get lost in the system and the educators will be catering specifically to his needs.  A special school can really help children with individual learning needs using a functional curriculum, and their life skills are exceedingly important.  


Agree. IQ is not everything.  I'm sorry your family is going through this.  GL.

Edited by BlueUnicorn, 10 July 2012 - 03:35 PM.


#12 José

Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:38 PM

QUOTE (Henndigo @ 10/07/2012, 03:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fantastic advice from Alacritous Andy.

Also I am not sure what you mean by 8% and 4% in terms of IQ? I would think that someone at that level would be barely conscious? What IQ ratings scale doe that refer to?



just need to clarify the above statement. the 8% and 4% would be percentiles. as in the person scored at the 8th percentile for their age or the 4th percentile for their age. if a person scores at the 8th percentile that means that they scored equal to or better than 8 percent of people their age. obviously it is possible to have scores lower than that and still be conscious!

#13 Henndigo

Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:00 PM

QUOTE (feliz6 @ 10/07/2012, 03:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
just need to clarify the above statement. the 8% and 4% would be percentiles. as in the person scored at the 8th percentile for their age or the 4th percentile for their age. if a person scores at the 8th percentile that means that they scored equal to or better than 8 percent of people their age. obviously it is possible to have scores lower than that and still be conscious!


Aha!  original.gif  For some reason I was stuck on it being a variation of IQ points i.e. 8% = 8 IQ points.




#14 Ruby Victoria

Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:15 PM

bbighug.gif   Just in case you still need them.  I think you have been given some great information.

I do not have any SN children, BUT I did teach a beautiful girl who had ADD. No 'H', as she was not hyperactive.  She was very well behaved, friendly, eager to please with and without medication.  However I could tell when she had not taken her med becasue she simply could not focus.  Her gaze would wander around the room and she was very distracted.  Her personality did not change with the medication, it just pulled her in so to speak.  She was definitely the better for it, and I guess what I am trying to say is that in some cases, medication is not evil.  It just (from my understanding) just helped balance the brain chemistry.

Good luck to you and your family.  I think you will find a lot of support here, wishing you the best.

#15 Ruby Victoria

Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:15 PM

bbighug.gif   Just in case you still need them.  I think you have been given some great information.

I do not have any SN children, BUT I did teach a beautiful girl who had ADD. No 'H', as she was not hyperactive.  She was very well behaved, friendly, eager to please with and without medication.  However I could tell when she had not taken her med becasue she simply could not focus.  Her gaze would wander around the room and she was very distracted.  Her personality did not change with the medication, it just pulled her in so to speak.  She was definitely the better for it, and I guess what I am trying to say is that in some cases, medication is not evil.  It just (from my understanding) just helped balance the brain chemistry.

Good luck to you and your family.  I think you will find a lot of support here, wishing you the best.

#16 Logical nonsense

Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:25 PM

Hi OP

Started reading & got down a bit, but just had to reply, to the question about him being in a SN class in a public school.
Im from Sweden & things are different but the SN school in my town (15 000 ppl), is at one of the public school how does year 1-9, they have there own playground, because some of the kids need special swings but its all integrated.
The high School I went to was massive over 2000 ppl but the SN school was placed up there, they had there own building but we all shared the cafeteria & PE hall.

Have a look at the Sn class, there is no worse feeling then, the feeling that you are dumb (wrong word but kids do pick up on things) (no harm or being mean intended )
I did struggle in school, more so when I had to learn English in year 3 (10 yr), I had problems as a baby with my ears. I couldn't hear the different between HOW & WHO, no madder how many times my dad told me. The feeling I had was I was an idiot & I had massive melt downs because I just didn't get it when everybody else did.
In the SN class he may get a chance to shine, which would do wonders for him.

#17 bearboy01

Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:29 PM

u guys are so awesome x thank U so much x x x x x  x x
wonderful support and advice - really so grateful xx

My son isnt hyper at all - he has the memory attn issues - very like SDDW spoke of - with the little girl - can not concentrate at all & it is getting worse and yes he is falling further behind and yes its awful to see sad.gif

i saw my GP today - just to get a script for me but quickly mentioned the results  - he wasnt that interested in the iq test and said many factors come into play with that - however when I did STRESS that he is suffering & behind etc etc he jst nodded for the record I adore our GP he is awesome  - he agreed 110% with just getting advice from the ped - and recommended one with special educational experience - he said medications work extremely well & if we can get our boy focused then who knows - to us honestly Im floored that the result on the iq was so low cause he def isnt borderline mental disability - or is he ?? not that we can see that is for sure however what exactly does that mean anyway ?? its alot of information to take in & im unsure what to do for best sad.gif



#18 bearboy01

Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:33 PM

my son can read & write but on average they ( the school ) feel he is 1 year behind and his ability to learn is slower & they think a massive amount is due to the ADHD - never ever did i think my son wasnt " bright" for want of a better word sad.gif  it floored me to get the results that to me - and only me - he appeared DUMB sad.gif ?/

#19 Laborious Nicety

Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:52 PM

For a start you really need some clarity on the IQ testing--were those subtest scores?  If they were and the other scores were within norms, then there is less reason for concern than if they were overall rankings.

Do not be afraid of medication.  If it changes thepersonality then it is the wrong medication and needs to be reviewed or the dosage tweaked.

#20 bearboy01

Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:55 PM

hi there - all the scores were low sad.gif x

#21 José

Posted 10 July 2012 - 05:09 PM

QUOTE (bearboy01 @ 10/07/2012, 04:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
- to us honestly Im floored that the result on the iq was so low cause he def isnt borderline mental disability - or is he ?? not that we can see that is for sure however what exactly does that mean anyway ?? its alot of information to take in & im unsure what to do for best sad.gif



it sounds as though he may be borderline intellectual disability as he has been tested twice and it sounds like his scores fell in the same range on both occassions.
you mentioned he has had speech therapy- does he have a receptive/ expressive language delay?

a person with an IQ in the borderline range will likely learn at a slower rate than other students. this means that gaps between same age peers can increase over time in regards to academic achievement.

IQ is only one aspect of a person, it doesnt measure temperment, artistic or sporting ability. he can still grow into a happy and productive member of society. just encourage him to always do/ be his best!

#22 bearboy01

Posted 10 July 2012 - 05:13 PM

hello no his speech is really excellent it was more the literacy side of it - sounds etc that he needed so much help with & again the memory cause he would learn - then literally forget !! I guess for me " borderline mental disability ' sounds so extreme sad.gif
and apparently even though he scored so low at his current school this doesnt qualify for an aid?? i dont get that at all sad.gif

#23 José

Posted 10 July 2012 - 05:43 PM

hi bearboy,

give yourself some time to come to terms with it. and ask drs any questions you may have. its quite confronting to recieve results like this, however, it doesnt change who ur little one is and you have already been writing about his many good qualities.
as for a teachers aide I live in NSW and it definately would not qualify for a teachers aide in NSW. once upon a time (like 20 years ago) students with mild intellectual disability did get funding but not any more (and ur DS has come out in the borderline, so isnt in the mild category anyway). funding for aides in NSW comes from sydney office, so its not that schools choose not to support students, its that guidelines need to be followed.
students with moderate intellectual disabilities do get funding, however there is a significant difference between the results your DS got and a student with a moderate intellectual disability.

#24 José

Posted 10 July 2012 - 05:48 PM

just curious, did the speechie do an assessment called a celf-4?

#25 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 10 July 2012 - 06:06 PM

QUOTE (bearboy01 @ 10/07/2012, 05:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
hello no his speech is really excellent it was more the literacy side of it - sounds etc that he needed so much help with & again the memory cause he would learn - then literally forget !! I guess for me " borderline mental disability ' sounds so extreme sad.gif
and apparently even though he scored so low at his current school this doesnt qualify for an aid?? i dont get that at all sad.gif


OP, one thing to remember is that the only thing an IQ tests is a person's ability to do IQ tests!  SO many things can influence a person's performance on an IQ test, and if your son has memory issues, and attention problems, then you need to take those results within that context.  

bbighug.gif




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