Topic | CM & ADD/ADHD

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • Betty Dickerson

    Hi There,

    I’ve just realized that my youngest daughter seems to have ADD.  One of my twin boys (now 13) had it and still deals with it, but I think I didn’t suspect that girls would have it. 

    After struggling with her in academics and keeping her from daydreaming and bouncing off the couch, and praying, I read an email of a mother who’s daughter has ADD and a lightbulb went off.  Everything she described is what my daughter is like!  This was a little hard for me to process.  But it explains alot. 

    She is 7 yrs old and still struggling with reading.  We are on Lesson 54 of RME which did work for all of my kids, even my ADHD son, but she is not getting it.  She can’t sit still for the lesson so I let her wiggle and move around.  She can barely keep her eyes on the page when I point to a word.  Today she couldn’t remember the word “in”!  Tomorrow she might do really well, and the next day guess at every word I ask her to read.  Now, when I point to a picture, she can select the correct word from a list with no problem, but she can’t seem to read the word out loud.  I don’t understand that.  I’m not sure what to do with this.  Do I put the reading aside or keep plugging along?

    With our life circumstances (remodeling and moving for a whole year) and the big age difference between her and my older kids (who I homeschool together), she gets lots of free time during the day.  I wonder is she’s just not used to having to sit down and do lessons?  Is she just undisciplined?  She sits through a pretty long service at church with us.  But often falls asleep.  If she can’t be moving around, she falls asleep (except when watching a movie). 

    She’s VERY high energy, high imagination (she lives in a musical all the time), highly social, very nurturing, very dramatic, very loud and talkative (at times obnoxious), etc…  She is very different from my oldest daughter who is very good natured, easy going, and great student. 

    How do I adapt CM to her?  I wish I could think of a godly adult ADD woman so that I can get a picture of what I’m working towards with her.  She’s very different than me (I’m a melancholy, low energy, need lots of quiet to refresh, etc..) and I am continually in prayer that the Lord would help me parent her and be the mother that she needs.  I struggle with being patient, loving, and gentle with her.  Her constant talking and need for attention and physical touch drains me.  There are so many wonderful things about her as well, like she’s very caring and serving and likes to be with me.  At times I just feel very inadaquate as a mom and teacher. 

    Any ideas or thoughts?

    Blessings to you,



    Hi, Betty:

    I am new to the CM Forum.  My 9 year old, who was recently diagnosed with ADHD-Inattentive and is under evaluation for APD, is currently in public school but I am hoping to begin homeschooling soon.  I would recommend the Leap Frog DVD’s for phonics/reading.  Despite months of small group intervention and countless hours of help at home inf first grade, my son just could not consistently read.  He would read non-fiction books about sujects he was interested in but “could not” read fiction.  After watching the DVDs and then reading, my son was able to become more fluent.  He still dislikes fiction, but can read several grade-levels above in non-fiction.  My son seems to only like reading when he is interested in the subject matter, anything else is just tedious and he tunes out.  Maybe try a non-fiction approach using animals or weather or any other subject your daughter is interested in learning about.  We also use ZooBooks and National Geographic Kids.

    Also, the most life-changing book I have read to help my son (and myself) was “Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World” by Jeffrey Freed, M.A.T. and Laurie Parsons.  The visualization techniques in this book have dramatically changed the way my son does his work.  We still have a lot of struggles, mostly in trying to remediate and keep up with 4th grade.  I gained a new perspective on my son’s learning process and have been able to reject methods that do not coincide with how my son learns.  I also have a new appreciation for my son’s abilities and struggles.  I would also recommend consulting with a psychologist to get an accurate view of what your daughter’s attention/focus and abilities are.  There is a computerized test that the psychologist can administer that can test attention and focus.  When my son was tested, his attention level was at less than half what an average child his age’s attention was (he was able to focus for about 5 minutes out of every twenty).  It is a continuous process to teach him (even and especially with public school during the day) but it is just a balancing act of trying to determine ways to involve and interest him.  Which sometimes means we work for 10 minutes and then take a break!

    I do not have any experience with the CM method yet but hope to adapt some aspects for my son.     I personally know how difficult and draining this can be.  But I will tell you that although I was a 4.0 student in HS and college, my son is a hundred times more intelligent than me.  He makes connections and comes up with solutions that do not even occur to me.  He asks questions that I have never considered.  He is more empathetic than anyone I have ever met and as such is more sensitive to things, like tone of voice.  I have only one child so I cannot imagine how difficult it is for you to have multiple children to teach. 

    I hope some of this helps. 


    Betty Dickerson

    Thank you Stephanie!  I appreciate all your helpful advice and for sharing your experiences.

    Just realizing that there may be something else going on with her has helped tremendously.  I approach our reading lessons much more aware.  She did great during our last reading lesson.  I do have to help her with quite a few words.  I am seriously considering having her eyes checked to make sure that’s also not an issue.

    I also subscribedf to Click N Read through homeschool buyers co-op to just give her extra practice in reading in a way she would enjoy.  She loves for me to read picture books, so I’m trying to do that more often.  I think it gives her something to visually look at while I read.  I’m wondering about letting her hold some clay during our reading lessons?  I don’t know if someone has ever done that while they are doing their reading lessons?  I’m still very much investigating and trying to learn how to best help HER learn. 

    Thanks so much!  Betty


    I want to present another angle, that we just discovered today after coming back from chiro app’t who is involved with nutrition etc. My 7 yr old son is high functioning autistic but he has extreme hyperactivity as well. My 14 yr old is very lethargic and we have always thought she had comprehension issues…

    Today the dr. tested them both and the 7 yr old has parasites which is causing the hyperactivity. and the 14 yr old is suspected of having an underactive thyroid. We had to take her for a blood test that will confirm it…

    so yes, the 7 yr old has a bigger issue, but the hyperactivity level in our house has been unbearable for the past 3 years, that we were understanding why people choose to medicate… The 14 yr old with the thyroid issue has the sweetest spirit of a 14 yr old you could ever imagine, but we were constantly changing curr. that didn’t work and now to find that the brain fog has a different origin, I feel so blessed that we found this dr. in our rural area and the fix is so easy compared to what we had been thinking… So when you describe your daugh it felt like you were a fly on the wall in our house looking at our daugh… Maybe just maybe there is more going on.. Oops , I re-read your post and realised the loudness part does not pertain to our child. thanks but no thanks , the 7 yr old.s hyperactivity is enough for our house … but the social aspect, learning aspect fits like a T…



    I got the Leap Frog DVD’s for phonics/reading for our 2nd daughter and it is AMAZING!  She went from not knowing her letter sounds at all to knowing all about 6 in a matter of a month.  And while she is watching it (she is 5) our son who is 2 is watching it and he is also learning the sounds!!!  We also have the reading one and it is teaching her to read; all the while they love it!  Great dvds


    I also forgot to mention “Reading with Rover” as an option to help younger children read.  In my area, the local libraries offer this (usually during the spring and summer).  You can sign your child up to read to a service dog, which helps the service dog in its training.  It also removes the pressure from the child as the dog won’t correct the child and doesn’t pass judgment on how the child is doing.  In my son’s case, he hates to not get things right, so this program was great for confidence building.  Plus, it is a great opportunity to teach children about how service dogs work and helping those who are visually impaired.

    For my son, if his hyperactivity seems to get too high, I know that he is overstimulated (since ADD kids notice every sound).  Having a T.V., video game, computer free week is the best thing EVER to do to regain a controlled atmosphere.  It is difficult to do, because everyone in the house has to be on board.  My aunt actually homeschools and is involved with a co-op, the entire group (and me the public schooler) tested this “T.V. free week” out on our children and the changes in atmosphere for all families was insanely noticeable.  We do not have to do it often and for sensitive kids you have to reinforce that it is not a punishment but it really helps.  We did games, read, did plays, art activities, took walks.  I try to do this every six months just because it is great to reconnect and make household atmosphere more relaxed.

    On the Leap Frog DVD note, I know many families with struggling readers who the DVDs have worked really well for.  They also have Math DVD’s, I believe with a circus format.  Great for number sense.


    I am new to this forum, although I have been reading them for months.  Some of you are starting to feel like  good friends…Smile 

    I have to answer this post.  My daughter sounds a lot like yours.

    My story is kind of long, but I will try to shorten it.  My daughter went to public school for three long, disturbing years.  She was sick for 7 weeks every year (pnuemonia and strep, broncitis, etc  several hospital visits.  Every year the teacher decided to pass her even though she obviously was getting further behind.  Appeals to the teachers, principal, support teachers, etc didn’t help.  Not knowing where to go the Title teachers told me to request test for disabilities, specifically for a processing disorder.  We requested help and they started the process.  In the meantime, I googled “processing disorders” and read about two of the kinds.  I have to tell you I almost cried!  Someone knew my daughter.  The list of common indicators is very similiar to ADD/ADHD and must be tested by an audiologist who specifically trained for this.  I have been so watched over by the Lord, because the day after I read about this someone “happened” to mention that the State School for the Blind did this paticular test for free, I just had to call for the appt.  It was so worth the drive.  She has an auditory processing disorder.  The school didn’t want to accept that as the answer even though all the other tests came back “normal”.  Every meeting we had (after each failing report card) focused on my lack of cooperation in getting her tested for ADD.  I finally caved and started the process.  Again the Lord was watching out for my family.  My husband told me of the wonderful lady at a Health Food store that he delivered packages to, (he drives for FedEx).  She told him to have me call her.  She was an angel.  I talked and talked to her.  She didn’t always have the complete answer but she could always point me in the right direction.  She mentioned food allergies.  I was postitive that I didn’t want my child on drugs (that’s what the school was pushing).  I found a book on Amazon called “No More ADHD” and bought it.  It is an easy read and right after I read it I scheduled my whole family for food allergy testing.  My oh my…life did change.  Surprised

    We had a lot of sensitivities, but the major ones are yeast, dairy, wheat and gluten.  I have had the entire family on this “lifestyle” for a year.  I have 4 dd and a dh.  ALL of us suffer from this… but after several months on the lifestyle, the attention problems, the sickness, the issues she was stuggling so hard with eased so much.  I took everyone out of PS so that I could keep them healthier and to help her.  She is now reading so much better, spelling is still terrible, still some letter reversals, but I have her do lots of oral narration, drawing narration, etc.  She is thriving on the CM methods.  She requires tons of repitition, and more repitiion, and still more… sigh.  But she is so much happier (and healthier).   She spends her days in creative things too.

    My bottom line is check into food allergy testing and the auditory processing disorder.  The food allergies can make you hyper, sick, tired, angry, needy, etc.  The APD mirrors ADD and makes the reading and writing process difficult.  She would “know” something one night so well and the next day she didn’t even know what I was talking about, which is pretty APD classic.  I was at my wits end with the school because they wouldn’t let her do things orally.  Now we just practise lots, and do different levels of school work as she is capable.  Here are some things that helped us:

    Try to make 1 to 2 step directions of any thing you have her do.  Have her repeat back to you each step.  Make her have eye contact with you.

    At school they made a little red light for when they were doing class instruction.  The teacher would touch it or her shoulder as a reminder that what she was going to say was something she had to remember. 

    I try to let my dd have a check off list of things to do – it helps her focus. 

    When we struggle, I stop and remind her that it the APD, not her.  That helps too.

    She does her best work when I am at the table with her.  I don’t hover, usually I am reading or preparing for the next thing, but she concentrates better.

    We have her read scripture out loud with the whole family.  She has gained a lot of confidence. 

    She gets to choose some “fun” twaddly type books to read on her own.  (I am assuming that Junie B. is twaddly, but she is devouring them!)  At least we are getting reading practise in, in addition to the assigned stuff.

    She is assigned chores – dishes, laundry, vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, babysitting, trash, etc.  It helps her follow through abilities and confidence too, since school is only one part of life.

    Things do take her longer than they do for my other dds.  Patience.  Wink 

    Also, APD is most commonly found in 8-9 yr olds.  I got her tested at 7, which is kind of tricky.  We have an Earobics Home computer game suggested by the audiologist (ebay) and also used the LeapFrog dvd.

    I printed tons of file folder games off the filefolderfun site.  Lots of them are free and fun.  She loves them.

    Check out the food!  It might suprise you.





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