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Ballet Talk for Dancers
DCDancemom

Ballet and ADHD

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mom2

Charlottel, the effects of the medications can vary widely from person to person.  Your daughter would probably be the best source of information about how the medication makes her feel.  That said, I'd be very careful about entering into a conversation about this - as it could be that she is just more aware of some things now than she was prior to the medication, which may be where your observations of increased seriousness and self-consciousness stem from.

Beyond that, we don't have a medical moderator here, so we really can't get into specific medications or dosages.

All the best.

mom2

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BeaniesMom

Charlottel - each person with ADHD along with their ADHD journey is different. I would say let your child be your guide, along with whatever professionals you have engaged to address the ADHD.

I have a non-dancing ADHD child who is interested in other art forms and is by nature creative. She feels that ADHD meds, including the one you mentioned, did make her muted and stifle her creativity. She felt like she was not herself anymore. Her school teacher at the time noted it as well. As a result, she requested to stop taking the meds some years ago and developed other coping mechanisms.

I know being the parent of an ADHD child has its challenges, one of them being always questioning what is the best way to deal with it. Best wishes to you and your daughter.

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Moomoo2008

My DD is 6 and when I was pregnant had the genetic testing done for both dislexia and add/ADHD. Sense both of her parents have both issues i wanted an answer.  She most definitely has  add/ADHD (test was positive) by her actions but  has not been formally dignosed due to age.  Her school already wants her medicated!!!! I am screaming no for my personal reasons. I have noticed the days/ weeks she does not have dance she does not do as well at school.  Dance definitely helps.   I did let her dance.teacher know of the add/ADHD probability and she handles it with no problem in class. 

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BeaniesMom

Logically it makes sense that dance can help with ADHD. After all, dance is exercise and exercise increases dopamine levels in the brain. ADHD symptoms have been associated with lower dopamine levels. One caveat though is that I think the dance class needs to be the right sort of dance class and not all are. Sounds like yours is right for your daughter.

We tried dance with mine when she was young. Unfortunately, I did not know anything about the dance world so we had her in one of those "most of class is spent learning the one recital piece over and over and over" places. As mine also has very high IQ, she requires a sufficient level of mental challenge for her brain to be sufficiently stimulated to alleviate the ADHD. Needless to say, she was mentally bored in dance class, so it did not help her. Shortly thereafter she found her way to swimming instead and that helped her ADHD. I think with swim it is the combination of exercise and sensory deprivation that works for her.

Unfortunately, it took a lot of time and bad experiences for me to gather enough knowledge and understanding about ADHD and the need for brain stimulation to be a proper advocate. We medicated at 6 years old, but hindsight being 20/20, we should have tried a different route first. Mine was mentally significantly under-challenged in our local public school. As a result of the lack of brain stimulation, she could not control her ADHD symptoms. I did not understand enough then to realize the extent of that connection. Her teacher at that time did the "green-yellow-red" behavior system. Every day that mine could not stay on green she cried at home when we had to sign her daily sheet because she felt like a failure. Her whole world became about "staying on green." So, we tried medication as a means to stop that cycle. In hindsight, as the school could not provide her sufficient mental challenge, we should have pulled her out and found a different educational route then and there. Ever since we did that when she was 12, she has not needed medication.

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Addie

Hello all. My 9yo son has ADHD “BADLY!!!!” We knew when he was less then 24hrs old and had his eyes open, holding his head up and looking around the room. No exaggeration. He started out in gymnastics where it was ok for him to run, climb, jump, flip and swing on every single thing. He was st team level, but had TREMENDOUS difficulty with everything that was going on in the gym. It was terribly over-stimulating for him. He was was having difficulty remembering the moves. As gym became more and more expensive and time consuming I decided to move him to dance. He was always dancing around but never wanted to go to dance class. I pretty much forced him and he loved it. We compromised and he registered for the hip hop class rather than the jazz/tap/modern class. He says he loves dance because he can move his body. He just started in September and was in a public school program w Boston Ballet Jan-April. He was SUPER excited to be chosen for the program and at the end he was chosen for a scholarship to continue there. He takes concerta in the morning and usually takes a Ritalin booster at 4pm. He does not need it on dance days. The paychiatrist he goes to has him very atuned to what the medication does for him and teaching him to notice when he does/doesn’t need it. He’s been on it since age 5. 

I definitely worry about how he will do with ballet but they said he did very well. In the program. It was in the morning while he was fully medicated. We shall see he is able to maintain at ballet the way he does with hip-hop.

 

 

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Bavalay
On March 15, 2018 at 12:21 AM, Moomoo2008 said:

My DD is 6 and when I was pregnant had the genetic testing done for both dislexia and add/ADHD. Sense both of her parents have both issues i wanted an answer.  She most definitely has  add/ADHD (test was positive) by her actions but  has not been formally dignosed due to age.  Her school already wants her medicated!!!! I am screaming no for my personal reasons. I have noticed the days/ weeks she does not have dance she does not do as well at school.  Dance definitely helps.   I did let her dance.teacher know of the add/ADHD probability and she handles it with no problem in class. 

Hi Moomoo2008,

I am sorry to hear you are getting some pressure/nudging to have your very young one medicated.  Since other parents who might also be pregnant with another potential dancing child, I want to clarify that there was testing during pregnancy for dyslexia and ADHD?  That seems risky especially since science has not fully expressed understanding of where on the gene(s) these two separate chellenges lie.  Hence the other statement made that "not formally dx due to her age".  If there was genetic testing during pregnancy(?) and fetus tested positive, isn't that a formal dx?   Unless there has been an exam and actual diagnosis, I am not so sure telling ballet teacher is necessary since your DD seems to do well in dance class.  No need to plant that seed that perhaps she's a problem or distraction in class when she is doing well(maybe I misread this).  Best to you and figuring out what needs to and not needs to be shared.

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Addie

Weird- Moomoo2008, mine has dyslexia too... double deficit at that. I echo sentiments that everyone is different. There are a variety of medications that work in a variety of different ways. I have twins and they are both diagnosed with ADHD, but my dancer’s is much more active/gross motor so to speak than his twin’s. For him it just seems dance class is a place where there is so much movement and physical stimulation he doesn’t need the medication. This is why I am worried about ballet because it dsn’t seem like it will be as active. But again, he claims he loves it and hasn’t even really started the classical program yet (summer Saturday classes, then workshop, then the program starts in September). So we’ll see.

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