How long has your child been diagnosed with ADHD?

The first question in the series asks about when you first discovered your child had ADHD.

How long has your child been diagnosed with ADHD? What was the trigger for diagnosis?

How old was your child when they were first diagnosed? What made you seek an initial opinion?

Share your experiences and interact with other members in the comments below! :)

31 Replies

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  • Diagnosis was at the age of 15, which seemed quite late considering a lot of other people we know with the same diagnosis being given. It wasn't the original primary or preliminary diagnosis and followed after being tested for asperges. The connors scale rating tests was used along with some other tests and then the conclusion came that ADHD tenancies were present within. The trigger was the unable to focus and be attentive to certain tasks or activities but excelling when finding something to be interesting, suddenly the motivation came out of nowhere and all other interests we suppressed for the new or existing one to take place. We didn't go into the journey to get an answer for ADHD and whilst we knew about the disorder didn't intend on this being an end result. Thank you.

  • The Connors test was used on our son too. Took ages to complete. Very discouraging.

  • With our lad diagnosis was very quick. We had a couple of hour long sessions with the specialist paed and she diagnosed him on the spot. She suggested a medication, we gave it to him and he sat still and read a book.

  • He was diagnosed 3 years ago, aged 7, because he was disruptive at school, couldn't sit still or concentrate. We thought he had ADHD because he was very like his brother who also had a diagnosis. We didn't seek an opinion, because we knew, but the school applied to CAMHS. He was worse at school than at home.

  • Sounds very similar to my situation.

  • It started to present in the first and second year of primary school(age 5-7).Trigger for dx was disruptive behaviour from climbing trees to running away from and barricading himself from teachers/authority figures.

    ADHD runs in the family ,so it was inevitable it would show itself in my son as it did with my Nan and my Mother,then me (dad) through to my son.

  • My son runs all the time, and he climbs trees. Teachers get all worked up about it because of the risk, so they've tried to pull him out of the tree. Big mistake!

  • My son was diagnosed just before he turned 5 nearly 4 yrs ago now. I always knew from around 6mths he was different . He.s my 7th child so I knee kids well. He just wanted to jump around alot very active and wore us out lol. He was very forward for his age has a brilliant memory so thought he needed more stimulation so when he started school i thought it would help. But boy was I wrong he stole toys from school teachers had to barricade the classroom doors cause he kept trying to escape,he couldn't keep still he was hyper in class and didn't listen. Took me ages to get him referred as my doctor and health visitor said he not got adhd as he wasn't climbing the room in the doctors. Well finally got referred and had initial appointment with mh nurse then had reports from school and me we then saw the doctor and was diagnosed that easy did take a yr from being referred as a long waiting list.

  • Our lad is the other way round. He tried and tried and tried to sit and concentrate at school, couldn't manage awfully well, and only in small bursts, but when he got home after school everything just fell apart.

  • Got to say mind the teachers gave him targets to follow he done them then he was allowed time doing something he liked mainly outside . Even if it was 5/10 mins of fun it helped he came on so much since is last teachers. He is a pain at home he's so much older in the head and looks older than his 8yrs. He.s non violenthe's cheeky funny boy. We do believe his father also has it he refuses to be diagnosed . We do allow him to be a normal boy and go out and work his energy off we don't medicate him as not a believer in that ourselves. He also has suspected aspergers like me and his siblings as he does have melt downs.

  • Mine tries to be still and listen, but he gets exhausted.

  • 16 months

  • Thank you for your response! What was it initially that led you to seek a doctor's opinion?

  • My son showed clear signs of ADHD by three years.

    By 5 it was clear he couldn't sit on a chair long enough to attend school.

    He never stopped moving and slept little.

    I am a teacher and trained in early years so knew what I was looking at.

    Due to issues with my husband, who refused to have my son assessed at this stage, though I wanted him assessed, he was not assessed until he was 12. But he did have a psychological assessment including psychometric testing, with an Educational Psychologist, at age 7.

    This showed extremely high IQ but weakness in spacial awareness.

    He was diagnosed by a consultant doctor friend of my husband ( who is a child psychiatrist) informally but later when he was 14, due to a change in circumstance I was able to have a full Camhs assessment which confirmed the initial diagnosis. He also has OCD and some autistic traits but is not considered to be on the Autistic Spectrum.

    He has used Methylphenidate in various doses since age 12 but not constantly.

    This has been a wonder drug for him.

    He uses it some of he time now ( ususqlly when working but not at weekends) and it really helps.

    He is now 17 and has been a lovely teenager, having lost many of he physical overactivity if earlier years. I hope to encourage those with younger children that as they grow and mature and learn strategies and of course sometimes use medication, they become better at living with the condition.

    Many people told me when he was at his most difficult times (5-9 years) that I didn't know how bad it would be when he hit the teens.

    He has been great, really good company, we've had difficult times but he has become a wonderful young man.

  • Thank you for your lovely response! It sounds like many of the other parents who have responded have younger children, I'm sure they would love to hear your advice/experiences with your son growing up.

  • My daughter has only just been diagnosed officially with the report finally arriving in June. It was verbally confirmed at the end of March. It's been a total nightmare. Daughter is now 7yrs, just. We first suspected ADHD aged 3 but were told she was normal and too young anyway. Well before that we felt something wasn't quite right, as did nursery. The school kicked off the process at the start of year 1, aged 5 and a half. So it took about 20 months in total. It's still early days but there's no follow up locally and some of the GPs don't believe in ADHD and definitely not medicating - my husband was diagnosed after we started the process and has the same problem. I tried to start the process with the GP but it failed to get anywhere so definitely led by school who have been great luckily.

  • I have to add that she can't keep still and struggles to focus but behaves pretty well - wants to be good but can't control the impulse to move or touch things etc. She has no other diagnosis unlike most parents I've spoken to. So comparatively she seems ok, it would be nice to hear of similar kids and what works with ADHD only diagnosed. My husband has done well despite it so we know she should be ok, or more than with the right support and meds.

  • Thank you for the response! Can you tell us more about how the school has taken an active role since your daughter's diagnosis? Very great that they have been a positive resource for you.

  • They took on board advice from a specialist teacher who assessed her for onward referral - wobble cushion, movement breaks, her own workspace facing a wall when needed. They are also open to suggestions such as mindfulness music through headphones and we can give things for her sensory box. They are open to meet and have made great progress. They are applying for an EHCP and other support. Sadly government cuts have restricted access to support dramatically so we may look for private services such as Occupational Health. We are lucky we have that choice. We've gone privately for medication and hope to start in autumn- school are very supportive. Diagnosis was NHS and was shockingly bad.

  • Our son was diagnosed at age 7, six years ago. We were referred from the community paediatrician to a specialist paed as his behaviours were escalating and we couldn't understand why. He had always been a boisterous kid but it was getting out of hand. He was never able to settle down. In school he was unable to sit still and concentrate. We had been told at adoption he had sensory issues, and had been managing behaviour through regulation of sensory input, but this was becoming less and less effective. We weren't necessarily looking for diagnosis, we were looking for help managing him.

  • Anyone's child eats and eats non stop my son has eaten so much he's made himself sick. He hides food in his bed in his bags in his draws it's getting a nightmare cause it goods mouldy 🙈

  • My son was diagnosed at age 8 along with ASD.

    it was an eye opener for us as we didn't think he met the criteria for ADHD. However the specialist speech and language therapist noted his fleeting attention on tasks and felt this was significant. How right she was.

    My son was almost impossible to keep still right from birth. He was active, wriggly and moved around his crib. He became an active toddler and young child too. This activity was not hyperactivity but constant small movements such a short fidgeting, kicking his legs, moving his feet, sitting on his knees he would move continuously. He had delays in many areas and struggled with academic stuff,

    At age 8 on diagnosis he was prescribed Medikinet much against my wishes if I am honest. It upset me that he was having medication. However this medication was a game changer for him....at age 9 he was fluently reading finally and the curriculum opened up to him. He made massive academic progress.

    He is now 14 and attends a special school to help him with his communication issues. I am so proud of him for all he has overcome.

  • My child has been diagnosed for 8 years and was 12 when first diagnosed.he had problems from the age of 4 when he started school was diagnosed with dyslexia and referred to the educational psychologist then eventually to a child psychiatrist.i watched a programme on TVs about ADHD and saw a lot of similarities in my son.

  • She was diagnosed at the age of 14, at the same time as she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. She didn't sleep much and was often very disorganised with school work.

    She agreed to take thyroid medication but refused ADHD medication until she failed her first year of university. Then she said, 'Oh, so that's how you study! ' Every year I would try to help her organise but it was hopeless.

  • Official diagnosis was when she was 9-10 yr4. Iv always known she had it but was manageable and wasn't affecting her school work by in yr4 it was impacting on her learning and concentration at school. I was also finding it hard to control her in the evenings and she never slept till 11-12pm. So went to the doctors and she refered her to be assessed took a good part of a yr but got there eventually. She now takes medication and has come on leaps and bounds since just did all the advanced papers in her sats with great results. Behaviour wise up and downs at the minute.

  • He struggled with concentrating from an early age and didn't sleep from birth so I had concerns straight away. We where referred to a paediatrician due to other health issues and after working with us for a few years this has been the outcome

  • He can't sit for long periods and prefers to stand even it watching tv, he uses a wobble seat at school, they are used to reactions from him when things are getting tough like changes in schedule or lesson to lesson. It's the lack of sleep that we find tough and have been given a small amount of medication to give him to help get into a better pattern but he's fights sleep to the bitter end!! He can eat but is still under the average for his age and is small height wise too. I have concerns about his education being effected but as long as he's happy and reaches his own potential then that's all we can ask for.

  • Our son was diagnosed at the age of about 8. He was diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 3 years 8 months and we thought all his difficulties resulted from that. Due to behavioural difficulties he was enrolled in a series of sessions with specialist paediatric OTs as well as us/school completing Connors rating scales.

    Due to difficulties at school/behaviour in general we opted for medication which made a huge difference. Over the years, our son has been in standard/modified release Ritalin and more recently on Atomoxetine (Strattera)

    Darling son is now 21 and has been off medication for about 3 years and is doing really well, having attained a decent selection of GCSEs and has just about finished an apprenticeship in office/business admin-due to continue as a 'real' employee after that. He has certainly exceeded all our hopes/expectations and, more importantly , is happy

  • • In 2004, my kindergarten teacher told my mom that I should get tested for ADD.

    •I was about 5 or 6 years old

  • My son was diagnosed with ADHD and Aspergers when he was thirty years old.We always knew there was something wrong with him ffom a very early age.He was passed from one doctor to another.He was very intelligent but soon lost intrest in things.He was also bullied from an early age but we didn't know the extent of the bullying until he was about thirty.We are still only finding out about the awful things that were done to him.We feel that he has been let down by the medical profesion.

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