Need advice: ADHD diagnosis is all new... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Need advice


ADHD diagnosis is all new to us.

(1) Is it "normal" that child will be playing calmly & when asked to do something he does not want to do, have a full blown tantrum?

(2) to date only assessment done to diagnose was Vanderbilt this enough or should there be a more in-depth assessment (based on what I've read)? If so, what is the process.

Thanks in advance.

11 Replies

I am pending a diagnosis for my 5yr old. We have the blow ups as you describe often, it is confusing but we have come to accept it. It seems sometimes he is in such deep thought that when disturbed he can’t process what’s being asked and frustration turns to angry outbursts. He is having ot and speech therapy to help his regulation and it has helped a lot. I am considering next steps in terms of CBT or behavior therapy.

I am curious too as to others experience with diagnosis. Our pediatrician has advised us to wait until he enters kindergarten in the fall as he is already on an IEP at preschool

hugs to you xx

ADHD quite often come with co-morbidity...i.e. there are other disorders that are present along with ADHD. it might be worthwhile getting your child assessed for others such as ODD, conduct disorder etc. To be honest, my ADHD twins have real difficulty ending a task that they are interested in. We have had full blown meltdowns when the hour is up on the ipad etc. while medicated, I find that visual timers work really well. unmedicated...nothing I have tried works.

I really hope you get things sorted


Hi.. was wondering if there were any good visual timers that you recommend for kids? Really bad mornings and a good timer would help us a lot.

Yes. If my daughter has free reign to decide and do what she wants she is awesome, but try to make her do anything else, homework, chores, shower, bedtime, getting dressed, brushing teeth, etc it is full out WAR!

Thanks for all of the comments & support. What methods have you found work "best" to calm your child down & be able to get your child to do the task at hand? Thanks!

It's been years since my kiddos were diagnosed that I don't remember what the psychiatrist used for the diagnosis. But I can answer to #1. No kid likes to be interrupted in what they're doing. Heck, we don't like to be interrupted either for that matter. But because a child with ADHD has difficulty with impulse control and emotionality that goes along with it, you see extreme reactions to a request to do some that they don't want to do when they are interrupted. I call it an emotional Godzilla.

DoodleyDukes in reply to reg2018


Yes! My son is 9 with ADHD and ODD. Transitions are difficult for kids with ADD. When they finally find focus, it's hard to tear them away and switch gears. We find that giving as much time as possible for the transition helps. Giving a five minute warning (make sure they actually hear you) and then another 1 minute warning. Or using a timer so that you're not the one ending the activity. Always use a calm, supportive voice (this is HARD sometimes). Giving structure to unstructured play time by establishing a clear beginning and ending time and setting expectations in advance is important. As far as getting them to do things they don't want to do. Rewards, rewards, rewards! Many and often. Their ADD/ODD brains often don't allow them the innate motivation to please others or follow directions. Giving them immediate rewards after making good decision or behaving well or complying with parents trains them to get through the dislike to achieve. The reward gives them the motivation to start and at the end they get both the prize AND the great feeling of accomplishing something, doing good or making their parents happy. Giving them a prize to work toward works for us. Marble jars are always in progress in our house for accomplishing every day chores, brushing teeth, etc. and any time we notice him being good. And we work toward a bigger prize when we work on a specific behavior that is especially hard to kick, like sleeping in ones own bed, doing homework, or using appropriate language.

GoDukes in reply to sarahchiov

I agree with everything said here! Setting specific times to change activities helps. "OK at 8:15 we will turn that off" Then a couple of warnings "Ten minutes left, five minutes" It makes a world of difference for my son. Rewards also work much better than punishments as motivators. We use lots of reward charts and checklists. For some reason, I get a lot less arguing when I have chores on a daily checklist for him rather than just reminding him each day to do it. Good luck!

DoodleyDukes in reply to GoDukes



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