This reply was originally posted by user Stephanne in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
I agree with many of the above comments: focus on the good things he’s doing, and focus on finding solutions to problems without worrying about the label. Someday he’ll be ready for the diagnosis and taking ownership of his own solutions, but not right now.
I love how our therapist focuses on solutions and making problems smaller. He pretty much never talks about the label, which I am trying to emulate. It’s a healthier existence, though I think it’s still important that my son knows about ADHD. Everyone has similar problems (it’s just more so with ADHD), and there are a billion strategies to solving forgetfulness, disruptions, outbursts, etc. Yes, it’s harder and often different, but the sooner strategies are found, the better off he’ll be. The solutions will be the same wether he accepts he has ADHD or not. So use your energy in a productive path.
Until he’s ready to accept it, use your energy to learn as much as you can about it and look for solutions. Sometimes a problem by problem basis is best.
Ask him for ideas.
Look into Love and Logic, 1-2-3 Magic, Driven to Distracton, and The Power of Positive Parenting.
Work with the teachers.
Best wishes. I know it’s difficult and frustrating. Sometimes I hate my life, living with the bad results of ADHD. I have a brilliant 12 year old who’s failing a class, a hole in a closet door, and all sorts of chaos, attitude, and tensions running high. But we also have a lot of fun, and make progress here and there. Things can improve.