Monday, January 19, 2009

Jeremiah Update

I've had lots of well-wishes from people who were sympathetic to Jeremiah's move back to fourth grade. We are starting week three and all I can say is, so far so good!

He seems happier. My fifth grade class was overrun by children with Amazon genes and so poor Jere has always been the pygmy. Almost all his friends were a full head taller than he. Yup-even the girls for shame! His only consolation has been that one of his friends, a sweet little blond thing named Hannah, is shorter than he is. (She was one of the criers when he left.)

Last week he said, "Mom, do you know I am one of the tallest kids in my class now? And third from the oldest?" In fifth grade, he was one of the youngest--if he attended public school he would only be in fourth grade anyway.

His teacher has concerns about possible ADD. We are looking into ways to help his focus by changing his diet and adding vitamin supplements. I have strong feelings against drugging him up without trying everything else possible first.

I know there are a few teachers who read this site. I have a question for you, or for anyone else who has an opinion---have you ever dealt with ADD or ADHD children, and what success have you seen in diet vs. Ritalin or Adderall?

Thanks for any advice you can give.


  1. Hi Randi,

    This is Dana from Stresa Sights. Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog. I'm very impressed with yours btw... You're doing a beautiful job here.


  2. Thank you! I'm glad you posted here because I wanted to go back to your site again (the pictures are just so beautiful!) but forgot the address.

    For those who want to daydream about Italy, go to Stresa Sights!

  3. Randi,
    As a teacher and mother I feel the least invasive strategy is the best. Different medications work effectively with different people. Food for thought: Chart his attention span and look for trends in the day when he is having difficulty focusing. Ensure he has organizational tools, checklists on his desk, a planner or agenda calendar so he can map out and list what he needs to do and check it off as he accomplishes tasks, amount of sleep each night (children 7-10 years old need 10 or more hours a night) use a timer so time on task is monitored etc. Staying healthy with exercise, sleep, diet, observing behaviors and monitoring time are preventative measures that are healthy practices before trying medication.
    You may be doing a lot of these things already, but there are many ways to work on attention deficit without medication. The parents we have consulted with have always appreciated different approaches before going the medication route. Most times concrete behavior changes and healthy practices with consistency is enough. Hope he continues to perform well.


  4. Daisy,

    I like the idea of checklists, planners and such. Mornings are horrendous because it's a constant reminder of "Find your shoes, do you have your homework, did you brush your teeth?" I think maybe if he had a checklist he would be able to feel more confident about his own ability to accomplish needed tasks. We feel like we are constantly nagging because we will send him off to brush his teeth and ten minutes later we find he is playing with Legos. He seems to mean well, he just gets distracted. He's never purposely rebellious and seems genuinely distressed when we have to remind him to do the same thing over and over. I'm making out a morning checklist tonight!

    I also appreciate what you said about sleep needs. We've always tried to make sure he gets 8 hours--knowing that he really needs ten hours may help.

    Thanks so much for your insight. I knew you would have some good ideas for us to try. We really don't want medication if there are alternatives. You're great!


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