Family Disagrees with Diagnosis


"My son takes Ritalin, but is still impulsive and disrespectful. My brother and dad think I'm not a good parent and I'm starting to believe them! How do I convince them that the disorder is real?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

I understand how you must feel. Let me respond in two ways. First, is he on the proper dose of Ritalin and taking it throughout each day? It may be that his remaining hyperactivity, distractibility, and impulsivity are because the Ritalin is not being used in a way to reach maximum benefit. Second, it might be helpful to find a way to educate your relatives about ADHD.

If they will not listen to you, could the professional treating your son explain it to them? There are several good books that they might read (e.g., my book, etc.). I hope that with understanding they will be more supportive. If this does not work, stand strong and do what you know is best for your son.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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