This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
My first thought was environment too. School is a lot more distracting. It’s also monotonous, overwhelming, and boring.
The ADHD brain is motivation and stimulated by interest and urgency (https://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10117.html). Most of the school day is not interesting to kids, so those with ADHD are already struggling to create the stimulation required to attend and focus.
When you add in the other kids moving about and talking, the plethora of visuals covering the walls in elementary classrooms, etc… it’s super-hard to concentrate and stay on task, even for neuortypical kids.
If she does have ADHD (I would recommend seeking a neuropsychoeducational evaluation), then she is 2-3 years behind her peers — like a 3- to 4-year-old in kindergarten, with 5- to 6-year-old expectations. That just doesn’t work. Expectations have to be changed for her to meet where she is developmentally.
And, I’m with everyone else, when it comes to my child being able to succeed and find joy in life, ADHD medication was 110% worth it. What I found really helped with that consideration was learning the facts about medication, and not relying on public opinion, which is based on myth. These articles can help with that:
ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism