My 16y.o. daughter has ADHD and her d... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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My 16y.o. daughter has ADHD and her dad won't let her get treatment.


Does anyone have experience with the above? Her dad has a hx of blocking her from getting any treatment since she was 4y.o. Her ADHD symptoms make school SO hard--not the subject matter, but keeping motivated + other exec functioning skill deficits like poor time management, etc. I've consulted with my family law attorney & my educational advocacy attorney. Taking him to court (again!) is cost and time prohibitive & without guarantee of a positive outcome for her. Please advise....

15 Replies

I assume there is shared custody or shared decision making for medical care. If the latter, the only option is the court. Have the doctor provide a letter detailing the need for and benefits of treatment. Offer a trial treatment period of time to see what happens. Courts rarely go against a treating doctor's management plan. The only other option is to wait till she is 18, when she can make her own decisions.

in reply to Elijah1

Thank you for your reply! Yes, we share decision making for medical care. That's a good idea, getting a dr. to write a letter. However, dr's already spoken to him on the phone and explained it. Offering a trial treatment period is a good idea but I know him and his mind is made up. I will talk to my attorneys about your idea that courts rarely go against treating dr's plans! THANK YOU! Be well.

Hi, I’m so sorry for what you are going through. Maybe it’s different here, as we live in Canada. I have a 16 year old daughter, and she seems to have complete control with her GP and psychiatrist, in terms of controlling her own health, meds, treatment etc. Her doctors won’t speak with me unless my daughter gives permission. She also speaks regularly online with her school guidance/ social workers. I have been involved generally speaking, And I advocate for my daughter when I can , but only because my daughter chooses to keep me updated. We have an individual education plan for her which really helps. Currently, during this pandemic, my daughter cannot focus at all, and her school has assured us her marks will not drop, even if she doesn’t do any work. We are waiting for the dr to prescribe Ritalin later this week, which we hope will help the situation. I hope you can get the help for your daughter that she needs. Stay hopeful.

in reply to Artistah

Hi, thanks for your reply. Here in CA, US, our children have limited medical rights that stop short of psychotropic meds and invasive procedures/surgery, but have the right to get birth control and abortions without parental consent. Her dad is very controlling and narcissistic, won't let her get treatment for the ADHD, even though 3 different psychiatrists have assessed her for it. She's on other meds for depression and anxiety. We're going to resort to caffeine, LOL, in the meantime. Thanks for sharing! Be well!

Welcome to the group, we are here to help you with this journey. I assume that your daughter has agreed to getting the support she needs. There are a number of things she can do for herself and if her dad doesn't agree then she can do them when she is with you, correct? If she gets therapy then that can be done on your time. If she takes medication, which if it is the correct type, dose and time will really change her life.

I am not sure if he has educational rights, but that can also be done on your time.

I am not sure how old she is but when she is 18 years old he doesn't really have any rights.

I applaud for knowing and accepting that she needs tools to make her life better.

Best of luck with getting her what she needs.

Hi, thank you for replying! Yes, daughter wants to try ADHD meds. Unfortunately, her dad and I share custody. She's doing therapy and is on meds for depression & anxiety already, which help. We share educational decision making rights so I'm not sure what you mean by "that can be done on your time"? Yes, when she's 18 she can decide on her own. I just want to help ease her struggles with motivation, follow through, time management, etc now. She scratch-claws through every semester, which causes her great distress.

Thank you for answering! The feeling of having a network of supporters helps me to help her! Be well!

I just wanted to say that I understand your ex-husband 50/50 situation. Mine too is a narcissist and does not want to admit that our son is autistic in addition to ADHD and has always been against any medication. I hope he eventually does what is best for your daughter.

Time and money I can understand ,but am sure the outcome will be positive. Childs's Wellbeing is most imp. for every country. Have faith

Hi! I am new here but wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I have 4 children, 2 boys with a narcissist Ex and both boys have ADHD. It has been really hard and a nightmare. I have one son who begs for medication and another who has so much anxiety and anger and I'm not sure what to do. They are 7 & 9. Father won't admit that either has any struggles or difficulties (lest his children be less than perfect) our pediatrician actually 'fired' our son from their practice because dad caused so many issues. Stay strong. Hugs.

in reply to Momfor4

I am so sorry to hear this! It is so unfortunate that the pediatrician couldn't have stayed with it because they can often be part of the team that ultimately helps the child! Hugs to you, too!

I'm in CA too and facing the same possible issue. Her dad hasn't been to a single doctor visit for ADHD, not a single hearing test (she's Deaf on one side and needs to be evaluated multiple times a year) or school IEP meeting, yet he "feels strongly" against ADHD meds. REALLY? Why should he get a say!? He doesn't even take his allotted visitation he's allowed and just goes for the bare minimum. It's so frustrating.

in reply to Babby2

I looked in to suing him for full custody because he's consistently denied her treatment since she was 4 years old, including most recently when she had strep throat! (My daughter hasn't been back to see him since then!) I have two great attorneys, one a family law and the other an educational advocacy. I consulted with them both. My conclusion is to NOT try to get full custody because LA Superior Court has a back up of 35,000 cases! At best, my case would be heard in a year and a half, without a guaranteed outcome. She'll be almost 18 by then. Not worth the cost, stress and having to deal with my ex again!

What's interesting to me is that neither of my attorneys -- who have 2-3 decades of experience -- have ever experienced such a high level of contentiousness. Yet, here are FOUR of us (on this thread) dealing with the same situation of an oppositional ex!

I wish there was another way!!!

Thank you for sharing your story. Hugs to you!

in reply to OliverM

Yeah I'm glad you mention that because I've thought of doing the same thing!! But with her only just being diagnosed I'm going to give him a little time to warm up to the idea. I have full physical custody already but joint legal. Ughh.

Have you checked with Child Welfare advocates in your county? If her ADHD is hindering her education, they might be able to step in and help her get what she needs.

in reply to lbayley

I have thought of that, but I haven't pursued it. I'm a Marriage & Family Therapist and we've seen a great increase in the number of domestic violence reports involving children during Shelter in Place. I fear that, if I do pursue Child Welfare advocates, it will be viewed as not urgent/emergent and deemed as unfound, which could backfire on me in the future.

Do you have other thoughts or ideas on this?

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