Delaying Diagnosis?

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    • #86175

      My daughter just turned 8. Many teachers over the past year+ have asked whether we have a “diagnosis” on her lack of regulation, emotionally volcanic temper, reading struggles, etc. We would not be surprised if she had ADHD, she’s been diagnosed by her OT and ET and others as having it though no tests done, and it runs in our family. Our question is more about when to have her formally tested/evaluated. We’re not wanting to go down the route of medications (yet) as she is still so young. I feel like we have a little more time until school forces us to have her tested, but does anyone have experience or advice about waiting to do the formal eval for a little while. We are reading, learning and having her supported and trying to do all the things we can do besides medication to help her. I feel of two minds about testing: 1) it would be nice to know, to move on from that certainty, but 2) maybe we give her some time to not be labeled and be free from pressures to medicate, she’s only 8.


    • #86189

      I think it would be worth it to have her evaluated so that her teachers will be better able to formulate teaching strategies for her. For example, are her reading struggles due to something like inattentiveness from ADHD or anxiety, or a learning disability such as dyslexia? Different conditions may require different teaching methods. Having a diagnosis also can make her eligible for a 504 Plan or IEP that will afford her accommodations and legal protections in the school system. I understand your reluctance to have her labeled as I went through the same worries when my son was in Kindergarten (he’s starting high school in August – the time really flies!), but we have always been very open with him about his diagnoses, and emphasized they are nothing to be ashamed of.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by deb91.
    • #86198

      I waited until I was 60 which is too long. I look back and wonder what could have been. I lost a child at 26 who was not treated and now believe that could have turned out differently. We are all different. The risk taking the medication seems to be mostly if your child does not have ADHD. It worries me that people are cavalierly diagnosing ADHD because it is a very subjective diagnosis. The effect that the medication has on your child is used to confirm a diagnosis. Anyone can take a stimulant and be more attentive. If your child takes a stimulant and calms down I would be more impressed. Medication and treatment go hand in hand but if you wanted to be cautious I would think you could start therapy first. ADHD seems to cause a slower maturity curve so an ADHD child may do better with kids 10-20 percent younger than they are. Learning ability is only secondarily caused by ADHD, lots of people that are ADHD are very quick readers and learners so don’t buy that one. I could talk forever but I try not to.

    • #86244
      Penny Williams

      You can’t formulate a plan until you know exactly what you’re dealing with. A solid evaluation will map out her strengths and weaknesses and offer advice on accommodations and such. Ideally, you take those strengths and nurture and use them to cope with and work around the weaknesses.

      The Full Library of ADHD Assessments and Tests

      If your child is struggling at all (including with self-esteem), that’s the time to get the evaluation. In addition, evaluating when she’s on the younger end means you may catch some issues that haven’t been a huge impediment yet, but may become one if not addressed. The earlier “treatment” (not just medication, but therapy, support, accommodations, etc) starts, the better the long-term outcomes.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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