I personally have mixed type ADHD but was not diagnosed until age 28 as is common in women unfortunately. My oldest son now 7 reminds me of a little me in many ways. He is primarily inattentive. At school he is always shy and well behaved. He loves rules and follows them far better than I ever did. But I started to see things catching up to him in little ways, he is very easily distracted and can rarely follow through when given verbal instructions even on something as simple as asking him to go put on his shoes. At school the little girl who sat near him liked to hum quietly to herself which for him meant he couldn’t focus at all, when no one else even seemed to notice. During portions of the day that were most boring to him he would become lethargic and beg his teacher to let him nap even fell asleep at his desk. Before I connected what was happening with ADHD I tried everything a normal parent would upon being told this – putting him to bed even earlier and pushing more and more protein on him at breakfast but nothing helped.
We were blessed to have a pediatrician who understands and has personal experience with ADHD or I fear my concerns would have been dismissed, but he is now on concerta slow release once a day and doing very well. The issues at school seem to have resolved themselves and I now have a child that has much more regulated energy and emotions and spends a great deal of time enjoying his passion for art at home.
My advice is if other options dont help dont be afraid to try the meds. There is an awful stigma out there about parents medicating children that I fear keeps a lot of kids from the solution they truly need and deserve to achieve the best possible quality of life. Parents who care enough to try alternatives first research medications and monitor their children closely for benifits and side effects do not deserve to feel like they are doing something wrong. These medications can easily be stopped if they are not beneficial or the side effects are too severe.