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ADHD or not? New here..overwhelmed

girlmom413 profile image

Hi, my daughter is 10 and was "diagnosed" with ADHD last year. her pediatrician asked a series of questions and said that is what he thought. We went on to see a counselor who gave us the same diagnosis based on a scale given to us and her teacher. However, we were then told by the school that a counselor could not make such a diagnosis.

So who do I go to for that? My husband is not convinced its ADHD and believes it's laziness and outright "brattiness". She is a tween, so there is some sass, but all the signs and symptoms seem to be there. Lack of focus, difficulty academically, getting in trouble for talking, interrupting conversations (lack of insight)...

We took her to this counselor for awhile and they seemed to be doing more "self-worth" type things - all great!! But the counselor really didn't share much - would just say things are going well. My daughter does not want to return.. she says it never helped and she was uncomfortable.

So - I am bit overwhelmed. Who do I turn to for a definitive diagnosis?

7 Replies

Hi there! There are a couple of people that can diagnose your daughter. For the school purposes, you can ask them for evaluation and they are required by law to evaluate her. Usually the school psychologist does the eval and there is a team that includes teachers, principal, and the school counselor, but the psych is the one who diagnoses. If they are dragging their feet- they are supposed to do it within 60 days, I think, you can always have an outside psychologist evaluate her.

Once you have a diagnosis you will be able to start getting her appropriate accommodations for school. Check out Wrights Law and IDEA for laws pertaining to your rights and what the school has to do.

Some books for dad might be helpful. It's very common for ADHD kids to appear "lazy" and unmotivated, and that's why their self-esteem often suffers. Once dad starts to understand the diagnosis it may make more sense to him why she does the things she does. It's also usually genetic, so maybe he struggled too and has that response because it was done to him? Just a thought.

Good luck!


girlmom413 profile image
girlmom413 in reply to

Absolutely - when we were completing the Connors scale for her - we joked that he could qualify as well. And many times he will say "she is just like me..." sigh ... Maybe I need to get them both a diagnosis.

To get a definitive answer, 1. go to her general doctor, tell him/her about you suspicions about her having the condition. 2. Have him/her set you up/refer you to a specialist. 3. Go get interviewed by the specialist (they are just going to ask a series of questions). Be completely honest about your daughter, and try your best to put aside any bias. 4. the specialist (usually an mft) will then setup an appointment with a psychiatrist. 5. Psychiatrist will interview your daughter, make sure to emphasize to her to be completely honest about her abilities and lack there of. 6. If she meets the criteria for the condition, medication will be an option and she will get a prescription.

There are 3 different types of ADHD, here are 2 videos that are informative about the condition.

I have Inattentive ADHD, it is very under-diagnosed, because people with this subtype do not have the hyperactive part.

Best Regards

We saw a child psychologist.

We saw a private pediatric psychologist who tested him individually and had my husband and I and his teacher fill out different forms. They were able to give us detailed test results that we were able to take to his school.

Do you have Childfind in your area? I'm not sure if it is available everywhere, but where we are it is. It is a free program that helps children get evaluated, find places to do behavioral therapy, counseling, the works. Look it up 🙃

We just had our 10-year old's teacher fill out the Vanderbuilt form, we filled it out separately (1 for my husband, 1 for me), and took it to my doctor. So maybe you could start with your pediatrician and see if they'll diagnose, or where they can send you to get that diagnosis (this ISN'T the first time they've heard this from a parent, they SHOULD have references; if not, find a new one!).

You might need to find a new therapist (I know we do!!). If you need it, here's the form for parents to fill out. Maybe you could fill this out, and your husband could, too (my husband isn't totally on board, be he's slowly getting there). Then, you could have her current teacher(s) fill out the teacher one, and then you have the form ready for the new person to diagnose. (parent) (teacher)

The therapist we found doesn't seem to be doing what my daughter NEEDS, in that she's giving her all these ways to be "better", but she is lacking the tools to incorporate them into her life. She understands that she's being disruptive, has tantrums, etc., but she doesn't have the tools to get her to incorporate what she's learning. So, I have her "diagnosed" with ADHD and ODD, and now we're going in next week for the medication talk and then we need to talk to the school to get them to figure out what she needs to learn successfully, and then need to get her therapist on board, or need to find a new one.

It sounds like we have a lot in common with our daughters...let me know if you want to connect!!

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