Reply To: 7 year old daughter newly diagnosed. I'm overwhelmed and need help.

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Parents 7 year old daughter newly diagnosed. I'm overwhelmed and need help. Reply To: 7 year old daughter newly diagnosed. I'm overwhelmed and need help.


Hello Coco 84. It’s early October – how are things with your daughter so far? You are not alone!! There are many of us out here who know the struggles, the tears, the questions, the tummy aches, and so on.

I have a soon-to-be 15 year old son that I’ve known had *something* going on since he was 2 years old. By second grade he was spending every other day in the nurse’s office or staying home because of stomach pain. When the pediatric GI doc ruled out a medical component, we needed to act. My son is officially diagnosed with anxiety, ADHD, and learning disabilities and is FINALLY in a good place – a private special ed school for intellectually average to above average kids with LD, ADHD, and other similar diagnoses with Executive Function deficits as a primary issue. I have a background as an early intervention speech-language pathologist and also worked at a school for deaf and hard of hearing. What I learned from those experiences is that if you can afford to have your child evaluated privately, DO IT! They will consider the whole child, not only her academic skills, and may even identify underlying issues that can be treated with occupational therapy or other interventions.

While the public school is required by law to provide every student with a Free and Appropriate Public Education regardless of disability, their resources are limited, so understandably they are far more likely to only do what they *have* to. More importantly, their mandate is to provide EDUCATION. If they can demonstrate that a child is getting an appropriate education (i.e., acceptable grades and standardized test scores), they have satisfied that obligation, but you still have a kid that throws tantrums over homework, has anxiety and dreads school because she knows she doesn’t fit the mold.

We are in an excellent school district with many services available, but in our experience they were not up to the task of meeting my son’s needs. We were blessed to have many teachers, counselors, etc., who took the time and made the accommodations, but in the end, the environment was unsustainable.

Hang in there with all this! Loving your daughter and staying in relationship with her is the most important thing you can do. I’ll also add (no pun intended, really!) that ADDitude Magazine was my life-support through all this and I won’t think about how I would have managed without it. Keep the faith.