Seeking advice/solidarity on Inattent... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Seeking advice/solidarity on Inattentive Type ADHD (& academically gifted)


Hi! New to this website and to the world of ADHD - lots to learn! My 8yo (3rd grade) daughter was recently diagnosed with Inattentive Type ADHD - a diagnosis that finally made sense of what we had been observing. She's also gifted academically and good at compensating - we're trying to understand how to best support her both socially and academically. I would love to hear from other been-there-done-that parents, as well as others seeking solidarity in figuring out as much as we can and helping out our kids and each other. Thanks!!

11 Replies

Hi there, I myself have inattentive adhd and went through all of elementary-1st half of college without treatment. It was very difficult, and my grades and social life suffered because of it. I got treatment in my mid 20s and started taking supplements and that helped me turn my life around for the better. I now work with the adhd community and continue to research adhd. I made an adhd youtube channel that also focuses on Inattentive adhd. I made a few videos detailing the struggles people with inattentive adhd go through in the different stages of life, along with some helpful remedies/regimens. I also published a book specifically about inattentive adhd that goes into detail on what to expect and how to manage it. If this is of any interest to you, you can click my profile pic which will take you to my profile, and in the bio section you'll see links to both the adhd youtube channel and the book. I hope this helps

Thank you! I appreciate the steer toward the resources that you have put together - lots to review and learn!

hi. When we were new to ADHD I found articles on "twice exceptional " (you'll see how it applies when you read them) helpful. It may also be worth your time to talk with a Special Education lawyer early on. You may never need the lawyer, but an hour or so of education on the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act as well as what the schools are likely to push back on and why is very helpful (the lawyer will have seen "behind the curtain"). You will unfortunately need to be an advocate for your daughter at school to get her what she needs. It can be particularly challenging with "twice exceptional " children because they are likely to do well academically even when the school doesn't doesn't do what they are supposed to which is fodder for the ADHD deniers. The law says that your child with a disability (ADHD is among the delineated disabilities in the Rehabilitation Act which entitles your daughter to accommodations at school, so get used to and USE the word "disability " when dealing with the school) has to be provided with the same opportunity for success as a child without the disability. That means that if she's a B student with ADHD and would be an A+ student without, she is entitled to reasonable accommodations to enable her to enjoy the same success as student without her disability. I would be happy to share helpful accommodations etc with you when the time comes, but FIRST, educate yourself. The lawyer is a good start. Like the saying goes, "don't take a knife to a gun fight." If you are prepared you will be confident (and right) which WILL lead to success for you and your daughter. Sorry to put so much here in response to your first post, but if you choose to accept the advice early, I truly believe that it will make your journey easier and you'll know what to expect. Good luck to you. Smart kids with caring, involved parents do well with ADHD. That you are on this and asking questions when she's just 8 makes me know with no hesitation that your daughter will succeed despite this disability! Be well!

Thanks for this very helpful response. I'm definitely in the learning mode and very open to the education, just a bit lost in terms of where to start. And from the little I have read, there are significant differences between the types (and seemingly sub-types) within the broad ADHD umbrella, and then again with the "twice exceptional" (thanks for the buzzword to search) kids. Because my daughter is young and smart (and not particularly challenged in school yet) and not disruptive, she's still an excellent student and fully off the teacher's radar in terms of needing support. I'm very willing to advocate for her but still need to understand what she needs (now and in future) - both academically and socially. I hadn't considered a lawyer as a resource so appreciate the idea and will look into options. I wish there was a secret handbook somewhere to get me up to speed... :)

The irony of the child who is not disruptive is that such a child is unlikely to get the help she needs in school without your advocacy. The disruptive child will receive assistance so as not to be disruptive. What I was told early on about the school and teachers is that the only way to get them to do the right thing is to make it MORE difficult and expensive not to. The disruptive child often accomplishes this on her own. Your child will need your assistance. Because your non disruptive child does not require additional time and attention absent ADHD, expect the teachers to deny the diagnosis and fight most accommodation requests. Be prepared, always be the adult in the room, and be cynical. I will help if I can. Just ask.

Thanks for this insight, it's very helpful. Definitely the lack of disruption means that she is overlooked in many regards; especially as school has not yet been challenging, and her grades are high, she is not a focus for the teachers. (In fact, she gets put next to all the disruptive kids, which she feels is a punishment for good behavior -- though I can understand and appreciate why teachers are doing it, we've had to call them on that one in some cases). I can see the risk of her being overlooked in future, and am ready and willing to help advocate. My current challenge is that I'm not yet sure what to advocate for. :) Because she's doing well academically, I'm not sure whether and how she might need accommodations, or whether this is something I just need to watch as school gets harder (particularly as this year starts the gifted tracking so her classes will get more rigorous). Her behaviors manifest at home in ways that I see, but much harder for me to have visibility on school scenarios, or to even know what it is that I'm looking for. I think I need an ADHD-Inattentive primer, and an expert who can read her specific evaluation and translate that to the real world for me. I'm leaving voicemails with all the developmental pediatricians (and their year-long wait lists!!) in hopes that this is the way to find someone who does that, but if there are other ways (noting the lawyer is another option), I welcome being pointed in the right direction. Thanks again for all of your been-there-done-that advice!

You're welcome. There are very few developmental pediatricians around. I have been very satisfied with pediatric neurology. There are plenty of them at any university affiliated hospital. They are the folks who seem to be most versed in neurologic deficits like executive function delays. You will find that people in the group have their preferences (like many find psychiatry helpful; we did not) My advice is to stay open minded and if something works,, stick with whether it works for others or not. I would expect a shorter wait time with neurology. If more than a few weeks, I'd be surprised. Good luck.

sounds just like my daughter who is now 21. She was in g&t all throughout elementary school and had undiagnosed adhd (inattentive type). She compensated for years and went completely under the radar. She used to complain to me that she HATED to read and couldn't sit through a movie. I just really thought she was being lazy. She is exceptional in math and was always considered an excellent student by her teachers. I still can't believe that it took me so long to figure it out. She was daydreaming and the teachers had no idea. It was during her freshman year in COLLEGE that we recognized it. She started taking Vyvanse and it was a game-changer. She now can read all those boring books and write papers and study for tests. She is graduating with a 4.0. Thankfully, her self-esteem did not suffer too much during those years, however I will say that she now realizes just how smart she is because she can finally focus and therefore accomplish so much more than she ever did. I honestly don't think you need a lawyer, at least not yet. The psychologist that evaluated my daughter wrote a list of recommendations for school (extended time on test for example), and her professors are more than happy to provide. I don't think your school will push back. There are lots of kids with ADHD. What I have found (my younger son also has ADHD) is that VERY few teachers know anything about ADHD, especially inattentive type. If your daughter isn't swinging from the ceiling or constantly shouting out, they don't think she has ADHD. Just be very pro-active. Inform her teachers about the adhd and tell them the accommodations she is entitled to. She will get her accommodations but some teachers can be very caring while others still think adhd is not real. I have 2 kids with adhd and we talk openly about it, and I am sure to remind them that they are super smart. ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence. Im glad you caught this early. The evaluator told me that my daughter has "learning gaps" because she was so checked out for so many years. She was lacking basic history/humanities information. the vyvanse is really important to her focus. Good luck - Im sure your daughter will be fine- Mine is, and I never once had to fight for her rights (or my son's rights) in school.

Hi - I have a 10 year old (5th grade) son with ADHD and a 9 year old (4th grade) daughter with ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and anxiety.

I'm going to address the social part of your question since others have responded about school. You need to actively support your child's social growth. If they have kids they are friends with already, help cement those friendships by ensuring they spend time together every week or 2. In the future this will be playdates or doing activities together (same week at camp, same soccer team, same art class, etc.) Right now, this means scheduled zoom sessions and virtual sleepovers. Maybe playing at the park together while wearing masks - bike riding or scootering are things that keep you a bit distanced.

If your child needs to make more friends, you will likely have to actively help with that too. Ask your child who she used to spend time with at lunch and recess. Who invited her to birthday parties, who she would like to spend more time with, etc. Then start setting up zoom playdates with those who are willing. You will need to monitor this. Some might not be willing to be friends with your child - drop them and move on. The kids might need ideas for what to do during the zoom playdate. Talk with your child ahead of time and create a list of ideas with her: playing with stuffies, dress up, dance party, art + crafts, reading a joke book outloud together, etc.

Best of luck!

Take care,


Thanks for this focus on the social aspects, which are so critical. It is very evident that making friends is a challenge for my daughter, and COVID is of course just exacerbating the challenges. We realized later than we should have how much help she needs in doing this, as it's not at all natural or comfortable to her, so I appreciate your suggestions and definitely agree. Starting a new class with new classmates, in a virtual environment no less, is not ideal! But it's a good reminder that we should figure out work arounds in the meantime!!

Just a quick reassurance that you are NOT late at all. She's 8. You are on the ball amd getting on this very early. Good parents! She'll be fine with your intervention!

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