Log in
ADHD Parents Together
8,155 members2,582 posts

Skipping Diagnosis for Son?

It recently came to my attention that I have ADHD. I knew nothing about this before. I am in my 40s now. I wondered why no one can ever keep up with me and I always have 5 projects going on at a time. My wife has mentioned this to me in the past and I never gave it thought or research. Recently my sons school has asked that he be evaluated. He is exactly how I have always been. I however fear the path that having that "branding" will bring. I have been doing my research and have found a good following on the thought that it is better to give the tools to use the advantages of ADHD and to deal with the lows. There are some good Ted talks I found also. For myself, I cannot even sit to read a book. I got bad grades in high school and could never sit still. Could not do college. I still managed to become successful and am an Engineering Director. Now with 3 kids and all is well. I have a hard time seeing ADHD as a disorder so much as I see it as an advantage with challenges attached to it. I work with people from some high end schools like MIT and they still have trouble keeping up with me at times and I had to learn to slow down for them. Depression got bad at one point when I was young and now I understand its just something that will pass and I try to keep even busier through those times. So what is my point...I am fighting with this in regards to my son. I want the best for him. I understand the teachers concerns but they are in his life for a year, I will be with him for his life and I will be responsible for what comes down the road....torn. I would rather get him extra schooling outside of regular school. He is also younger in his grade so I know there are sometimes mis-diagnosis due to being less mature.

10 Replies
oldestnewest

Courtney85- Thank you for your kind words, we forget the impact it has on the wife when multiple people in the family have ADHD.

3 likes
Reply

MrMotivat- Thank you for taking the time to post your experience and thoughts.

Skipping the diagnosis would mean you are denying your son has ADHD and needs help. Your son needs to get help for school and at home. It impacts (as you know) him all of the time and most professionals and families say medication, thearpy and accommodations are really what work best.

Without a diagnosis your child will not be allowed to get accommodations in school now, but also in the future (college). As far as being "labeled" this is something you show not fear, what is most important is getting your son help.

Hope this helps.

Reply

Just a thought - I have thought of the testing as just information. Information that you need as a parent to do the best that you can do for your child. If you do the research I think you will find that the diagnosis and the medications are not as scary as you think. You CAN help your child. If your child can't do well in school they are anxious and their self esteem may be suffering. If they are anxious and have self-esteem and confidence issues then they won't want to try. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If your child could concentrate and begin to focus and get accommodations for school, maybe the anxiety, self-esteem and confidence will change. The diagnosis and medications are not a cure all, they are a start and no one can ever take away the main source of support and change, YOU!

1 like
Reply

I can totally understand your concerns about labelling your son and making out his adhd (if he is diagnosed) is a “bad” thing or something that will prevent him from succeeding.

My son was diagnosed very recently, after his current teacher suggested it. The current teacher is brilliant, she noticed some problems and made the suggestion. She could see that he was a bright kid who wants to do the right thing overall but indicated that sometimes he found it difficult. Compared to the teacher he had last year who put his challenges down to him “not wanting to do things he doesn’t want to do”.

I was apprehensive about seeking a diagnosis too. But I’m glad I did. I can resource myself to help him to succeed and, if he gets another teacher in future who doesn’t know how to help get the best out of him - can hopefully educate them.

I explained adhd to my son in very positive terms and am trying to make sure I learn how to help him to learn how to succeed by using his super fast brain to his advantage.

1 like
Reply

How old is your son? How does your wife feel about having your son tested? Besides at school, how is behavior at home? How does your wife & his siblings feel about his behavior at home?

Being less mature is also a typical symptom of ADHD.

Beyond concerns about the label of a diagnosis and side-effects of treatment, I would also research the potential benefits of getting treatment for your son - and the risks of not treating. For me, those risks were far more concerning. Though things have worked out for you, that isn’t necessarily the norm. Would your son like to be able to finish a book? Does his area of interest generally require a college degree to pursue as a career these days? How is he doing socially?

Just other things to consider.

Reply

I also believe that ADHD can be a gift. My kid has it and my brother does too. They are both brilliant thinkers and artists and wonderful people in general. The flip side is that it comes with a lot of cost, too. Daily interactions can be stressful, personal relationships and finances can suffer - and there are all sorts of areas where they both are probably not reaching their potential - but could with help. Two suggestions: as opposed to getting hung up on the idea of labels, think about how your kid is doing in reality - is he happy, relaxed, reaching his own personal potential? Do what’s best for your kid in reality - not the abstract. Also, I’d check in with your wife. Is she happy with this set up? Does she feel like you are sharing family and household responsibilities evenly? Or is she holding it together for everyone at cost to herself? I think that will help you make the decisions you need to make.

4 likes
Reply

I think it depends on how well your child can keep his ADHD under control how much of a distraction they are to other students.

My daughter was ADHD and they thought bipolar too. When she got to college no one cared about past diagnoses, it was just about how she did in class.

1 like
Reply

You sound like you have really learned your own strengths and weaknesses and have found a life that really fits you. Good for you! It’s just important to remember, that your son is not you. Even if you see some similar traits in him, he has a whole different genetic mix. Some of your energy and drive might have nothing to do with ADHD at all. If he doesn’t inherit that to overcome his challenges, or falls victim to anxiety or one of the other comorbid disorders that occurs with ADHD frequently, he could end up really struggling in life. My step son has ADHD, and his psychologist who assessed him reminded us that just by the numbers, people with untreated ADHD are much more frequently killed in accidents, addicted to drugs and alcohol, incarcerated, or fail to graduate high school and college. You are betting against the odds here. You obviously can be a great mentor to your son to help him adopt and create the best self he can. But for many people with ADHD the label isn’t a negative thing, it’s a relief that there is an explanation for why they have to work and adapt differently than others.

2 likes
Reply

Well said

Reply

hey mrmotivat! first let me say, WOW!!! your acheivements are amazing!! i, like you... always new school was extra tough for me, mom always said over and over-sloooow down! and i had parents that preferred their kids not have ME over. i never could understand all of that until i had children. my son has been diagnosed ADHD. he is 12. he was held back in kindergarten because he just couldn't keep up. he is now in 6th grade and STILL can't keep up. like many others have said, it affects how he feels around his peers. you wouldn't believe the extra work i do with him and the extra stress i take on to help keep him on the same page with the other kids. i NEVER want him to stand out as the "bad kid". when he was younger i was worried about the teachers and the other kids in class too. but the truth is.... i know how much stress and guilt i carried as a child trying to figure out why it was soo much harder for me? what was I doing wrong? so i new very early on i didn't want my son to feel that way in his head. and that is the bottom line for me. he has been on medication since he was 5. it truly makes me ILL to think that i have to have him on 3 diff meds to keep him moving in the right direction to where he fits in as normal as possible. having him on those meds (and even saying it here outlou) makes me sick on my stomach:(( but it makes HIM feel better in his head. he has very hyper tendencies and i can leterally see how fast he is going by looking in his eyes. breaks my heart. and yes, he has MANY positives the other don't have too!!!! my husband and i have struggled for quite a few years because i understand and my husband doesn't. he doesn't have that brain. he hasn't been on meds for it like i have to know what the side affects can feel like. so as i ramble, i just wanted to say, your fabulous for giving it so much thought, many folks just try to ignore it. but remember.... times have changed. different pressures in their little lives. diff from what we delt with. you don't want to blame yourself later because he slips in to a drepression over his shortcomings or things that make him feel like he is dummer than the other kids. i never went to college, but i turned out more succesful than MANY of my peers. i still struggle many of the days, but i feel pretty darn blessed too. now that i'm older i realize all of that. didn't really when i was young. even though you will tell him. hope that helps a little?!!

2 likes
Reply

You may also like...