My Forum Comments
As a child and family therapist, I heard “her grades are going down,” and that you feel “hopeless.”
These are indicators of depression which is often co-morbid with AD/HD, but needs to be addressed
separately. Talk to your pediatrician and ask for referrals to therapists who work with adolescents and who understand AD/HD and the depression and anxiety that often go with it.
NancyFebruary 23, 2018 at 9:09 pm in reply to: I think my child has ADHD, but his Dr and teachers think otherwise. #77164
As a child and family therapist who works with kids with AD/HD a lot, I would say that kids with AD/HD vary tremendously – and so one kid with AD/HD can look totally different than another kid with AD/HD. Kids with
AD/HD generally do really well 1:1 – especially if they like the doctor or other health professional.
I usually print up the Vanderbilt, which is online (you can google it, and even score it yourself – it’s pretty easy), and give it to the parent who fills one report out themselves and gives the other to the teacher. It’s free!
There are a couple of possibilities – that your child has some symptoms but not enough to meet a diagnosis – and/or
there may be environmental reasons at home that mean you see symptoms at home that are not evident at school.
It is also true that really bright kids with AD/HD do well enough at school that teachers may think they are doing
fine when they may not be doing fine at all.
As a therapist, I work with the child and family to help with symptoms – whether or not the child meets the diagnostic criteria. If your child is showing symptoms of anxiety or depression your insurance should cover the treatment – insurance generally doesn’t cover therapy for AD/HD, except for medication.
I agree with seeing an OT. Also, some educators will tell you that kids with AD/HD can do well in school until they get into the upper grades, where they have a lot more to keep track of. The grade where difficulties start varies with the child and the school.
Good luck. You are right to keep working on this despite what others say. As a therapist, I ALWAYS listen to the parents.
There are a lot of good responses here, so I’m just going to respond to the question of where to go for help.
A psychiatrist is an M.D. and can prescribe medication. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) can usually do this also. P.A.’s (Physician Assistants) can also prescribe. I understand you want to avoid medication, but if you change your mind, many pediatricians do a lot of prescribing of stimulants and/or antidepressants. So prescribing is only done by those with medical training.
A psychologist is trained in research and testing and advanced assessment. A neuropsychologist also tests for neurodevelopmental disorders. They cannot prescribe, although this is a point of controversy because of their lengthy training in the field.
Some psychologists also do therapy. Master’s level therapists are LCSW’s, LMHC’s, and LMFT’s. There are various acronyms in different states, but usually the SW, MHC and MFT are in there somewhere. Most master’s level therapists do primarily therapy and some of them will specialize in children and AD/HD. I am an LMFT, and personally, I specialize in AD/HD with symptoms of depression and/or anxiety, because someone with straight AD/HD and no other issues may do fine with an AD/HD coach who does not have mental health training. I think this type of person is fairly rare, however, because there are so many co-morbid issues with AD/HD and also the disorder can cause a lot of anxiety and/or depressive symptoms. Things like negative self-statements. AD/HD is generally hard on the person’s self-esteem. (I should know, I have ADD myself!)
I recommend going to a site like Psychology Today and looking for someone in your area who specializes in children and AD/HD. School counselors and pediatricians are also a good source of referrals.
Good luck! Nancy