ADHD Parents Together
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Pros and Cons of a Diagnosis

We have filled out the preliminary evaluation forms for ADHD and the pediatrician told us there is suspicion for ADHD and that the main treatment is with medication. I let her know we are not interested in medication at this point in time and are looking for other resources to help our child. She then sent me a link to a website. Isn’t there other assistance available at school if we have a true diagnosis? Is there any cons to getting a diagnosis? Should I be talking to someone instead of the pediatrician to get a diagnosis? Thank you for all your help.

8 Replies

The benefits of diagnosis is to get a 504 plan in class.


this the exact reason I am taking my grandson for an evaluation with a pediatric neurologist...he is currently taking 15 mg Adderall capsules once a day, but has very little appetite, is extremely difficult or aggressive at home (not at school yet,) but he shows signs of inability to accept different opinions from peers, etc., lack of organizational skills both at home and in school...

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There are no cons to getting a diagnosis. You want the diagnosis in order to qualify for an IEP and a 504 plan, if either are needed (there is a difference between the two). You can talk to a child psychologist that specializes in ADHD to determine the severity of the diagnosis and he/she might help you determine if meds are needed or if your child would simply benefit from CBT (or a combination of both). If both your pediatrician and your child's teacher suspect ADHD though, chances are good that your child does have it on some level.


Just saying you don't have to get medication to qualify for an IEP or a 504 plan. Look up your child's rights at THEN SEARCH IDEA.

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Request an assessment by the school which is at no cost to you. Although schools do not officially diagnose, the assessment will determine whether or not ADHD is suggested. The assessment will also evaluate how ADHD impacts your child’s ability to access the curriculum. The assessment will determine if your child is eligible for an IEP. If not, the default is a 504 Plan. See a psychologist with the school’s assessment in hand. He or she should be able to confirm the suggested diagnosis.

A multi-modal treatment plan is best. Medicating is a very personal decision but one that we made which has greatly improved our son’s quality of life as well is that of our family. We use a psychiatrist rather than a GP for med management. We attend a lot of parent training. We engage a child psychologist and behavioral specialist. We use a coach approach to parenting.

Good luck.


Thank you for the responses! They have definitely helped!


I recommend a testing center. Pediatric drs are not quite qualified in treating/medications for adhd. You will have much better luck with help from school if you have had official evaluation from accredited facility. IE: Prarie View.

Now, if you don’t know want that in files/on record then don’t go that route. It’s been a lifesaver for me though.


There are cons.. Acceptance that a child has a disability is one. The second is then there is a "medical trail" that the child was diagnosised on that date with that condition, for some people they don't ever want that.

I will say it was not until I found an amazing women pediatrics psychiatrist. Who told us that only 60% of my son's behavior could be controlled with medication..

That was shocking and I didn't meet her until 3 1/2 years into the struggle with the wrong medication becuase I was just seeing his MD.

Now we are on the right medication.. Feel like life has just begun and we have a laundry list of things we have to accept.. Teaching him organization skills, social ques...

Good luck in your journey..


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