Honestly? Despite our sons multiple challenges with ADHD and ODD we had a heck of a time getting a diagnosis, and even then our school held out for an autism diagnosis before they’d issue the IEP. Meds were a whole other issue after all that, too.
I find that if you keep pushing and keep restating your facts (and keep careful records, a notebook can be your best friend) that eventually you’ll get what you need.
One thing that helped us in the end was finding a resource guide through our local children’s hospital (ours is called Resource Link, look for something similar). You will meet up with a counselor who will do a whole intake on your child then determine the kinds of help your child will benefit from. After our fifth strike out with a doctor for medication, I called Resource Link again and she got us an appointment with a med-friendly doctor the next day.
And yes, there are doctors out there who won’t prescribe meds until a last resort. We even had one psychologist say to us (direct quote) “I don’t really believe in ADHD. I think most kids can overcome these issues with proper discipline, a good diet, and the proper supplements. But please don’t tell my boss that, because I’d probably get fired.”
Guess what I told her boss on the phone the next day?
Unfortunately, all the issues that every day people have with ADHD and other chronic mental disorders will be shared by some of the professionals who are supposed to be caring for your child. Educate yourself and learn to spot these people. And don’t feel bad about canceling appointments or even saying to these people “I don’t feel like this is a good match” and trying something else. Ask for your child to be moved to another classroom, etc. These are all important parts of advocating for your child.
Also, our son was whip smart when he got his ADHD diagnosis and his first and second grade performance levels were really good, but as the work becomes harder at school, his performance goes down because he has to work extra hard at social interactions and things like that. If he could just get along like other kids, I have no doubt he’d consistently get the best grades in his class. But it really takes away from his ability to learn, all this other stuff he’s doing to maintain mentally. He now gets above average grades even with the IEP, but struggles to learn especially now that math is getting harder in the fourth grade. One thing his teacher doesn’t understand at all is how he gets perfect grades on his spelling tests, but when he writes any kind of answers or papers, his spelling is atrocious. Well, spelling a word is wholly different from stringing them together. Executive functioning makes that much harder than just spelling.
Ok, sorry, I’m rambling (guess who else has ADHD?). But just because your son is performing well at school now doesn’t mean that he will continue to. And if the school and doctors don’t understand that and can’t see how his unraveling at home every night might affect his academic performance, then you need to move along or try to educate them. I’m sure they’d rather get ahead of this thing, then fight a fire if his grades start to dip. Maybe you could look up some anecdotal evidence online to show them that it can happen that way.
Best of luck!