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Diagnosis negative for my kid – but I know she has ADD – now what?

Diagnosis negative for my kid – but I know she has ADD – now what?2014-10-17T10:53:40+00:00

The Forums Forums Parenting & ADD Diagnosis negative for my kid – but I know she has ADD – now what?

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    Hi all, anyone have this experience? I was diagnosed with ADD Inattentive this summer and started on meds; others in my family are getting checked out – my dad’s been diagnosed and my brother also has high symptoms on the online stuff he’s done.

    So after my diagnosis first port of call for me is my 10 year old who ticks ALL the ADD Inattentive boxes.  I don’t want her to go through what I did all the way through. So we get a private diagnosis with a school visit. And it comes back as probably no  – scores aren’t high enough. Why? 1. Because she’s attentive and responsive – in a 1 to 1 situation where the focus is on her. 2.Because she’s in a private school where the teachers are REALLY on it (and fab) because we knew she was daydreaming at her state school and going to overlooked (they said so themselves ‘oh yes she’s fine  – we hardly know she’s there’ grrr). 3. Because she’s an only child and gets so much adult attention to keep her on track to get the routines right to keep her together. If she was 1 of 4 it would be a WHOLE different ballgame – I truly believe her life would fall apart without this level of conscientious care that she is utterly lucky to have.


    So the point is I think her issues are NOT seen because of this.  They don’t see how utterly clueless she is – I can tell her stuff 4 times and she will forget it within a minute. There is no question of more than 1 instruction at a time. If she’s focussed there is NO getting her away from what she wants to do.  She’s an amazing fantastic lovely child.   But I am so worried that she will not get the help she needs from school and from the medical profession this way.

    The psych pointed out she has lower processing speed (122) than her IQ (138) and thinks this is the major issue. But the problem is that I don’t think that is the full reason for her slowness with getting her act together – sometimes (when it’s her hyperfocus stuff, like swimming or going to see her friend) she’s speedy like a hurricane oh my god she’s never got ready so fast in her life! So it’s NOT just a slow processing issue. I know it and feel it in my bones.

    She’s like me – i can see it. She tells me stuff I would have said at her age. Forgetfulness, dreaminess and so on.

    I can put in place all the ADD stuff for parenting (goodness, we have a ton of this stuff in place naturally just even without knowing this issue existed in our family till 3 months ago because we saw that’s what she needed- that tells ME enough just as it is!). But I want to know what you guys think. Should I leave it at that? Or what should I do?



    Post count: 6

    Hi there,

    I never had the same experience you had, my daughter got diagnosed last year and when I tried to find out more about ADD in girls I discovered that pretty much everything applied to me as well.

    That said, as a mom I think you know your child best. I know well enough that the behaviours the children show at school can differ tremendously at home. So the teachers and other professionals at school might not see what we deal with daily at home.
    At school my daughter does well, her test scores are great and don’t reflect the struggles I notice. She has a hard time with reading and writing (we are still looking into the possibility of dyslexia). Her teacher last year told her she just needs to read more, write more, practise more and get over her shyness.
    They didn’t see the anxiety and frustration with reading/writing that I get at home. My girl is definitely not shy, but shuts down when she gets overwhelmed.
    Soon I will go to school and push for an IEP (individualized education plan). Not because she is not doing well, but because I want her to get the best opportunity to shine. I don’t want to wait until her grades drop, until there IS a problem and she’s behind.

    Any way, long story…but what I am saying is: if you are convinced your daughter has ADD and will benefit from a diagnosis DON’T GIVE UP.  Write a list of things that you notice at home with your daughter. Make your own questionaire for the teacher, so the teacher may observe in a class room setting. If the school is not willing to help more at this time, maybe look for help or an assessment privately.
    I would definitely not give up, eventhough finding the right people to help is hard and takes time. Your girl deserves it ! And I think you can be the very best advocate she can ever have, because you know exactly where she’s coming from. You an explain the way she thinks, acts and feels to others (teachers, doctors etc), because you know from experience.

    Take Care,


    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
    Post count: 473

    Hi Tashg,

    Great questions. You tell your story very well. And I’m sure it’s a familiar one for a lot of people. Though we tend to think the opposite is true, that the school or teachers WANT to identity a child has having ADHD. But that seems to happen when it’s a boy and he’s acting out, and has other issues beyond the ADHD.

    If I were you… and I’m not… I would seek a second opinion. And keep track of the issues and areas where your daughter is struggling.  Gather evidence.  I find when I get into a doctor’s office, I forget everything, or at least some details, and on the way home I remember, “Oh, I should have…”

    And perhaps make sure her teachers understand what ADHD is, and how it shows up in your daughter. Make sure they understand it’s not about intelligence, or bad behaviour, and that so many girls get missed because they aren’t disruptive. (Our Comprehensive Guide explores this in detail. Especially the second video, Embracing the Diagnosis.)

    And the main thing I would suggest is keep doing what you are doing. And always be trying new strategies for yourself and for her to find what works. One thing I’ve found is that because it’s so situational, and my own work is so different from day to day, that I need different structures depending on what I’m doing that day. (Or what I’m supposed to be doing. Ha ha!)

    Keep us posted!


    P.S.: We’re launching a new video on parenting an ADHD child in the next few weeks. But it’s top secret. Don’t tell anyone. Cause it’s awesome.


    Post count: 1

    Hello, I think that as the parent you know your child best and it is probably a good idea to seek a second opinion.  Perhaps try taking her to a private psychologist or psychiatrist even her pediatrician.

    If she is diagnosed with adhd do you plan on using medication? I just ask because from what you are saying she seems to be doing well with a highly structured environment and some reminders. If she’s not having any problems ie low grades, extreme frustration with school work, low self esteem, social problems etc it might be best at least for the time being to just stick with the things you have already been doing to help her.

    I am currently going to school to become a special education teacher and one of the things you can have the teacher do is… When your daughter is given an assignment at school have the teacher keep on eye on the clock and every 15 minutes look at your daughter and record the time and whether or not she was attending to the task at hand. This will give both of you an idea of how well she is paying attention and it could be a tool for you to take with you when you try to get her diagnosed.


    Post count: 1

    Hi, I had my son diagnosed a while ago as highly autistic and ADHD (the hyperactive kind). He is what we call statemented for school. Primary school were helpful as he was mostly acting out there. Got to reading loads of books, went on various courses, still reading books to learn how to deal with him and got to one particular book and WHAM !!! the authors had written my life in it. Now I am working through stuff and on the waiting list for being assessed as an adult with AD/HD. I actually had the nerve to go directly to my local CAMHS to get my girls assessed. My eldest now has an assessment date – whoppee!!! Still waiting for other one. I know it is on its way.

    The video of “GRRR” when going through my daily life was exactly how I would describe myself before beginning to go through a grief cycle of acceptance”.

    One foot in front of the other on an hourly basis. Sometimes I even get things done that I planned 😀

    I have noticed that as I rediscover things and activities that I really enjoy doing I end up going through another grief cycle. I feel like I beginning to rediscover the real me. I am also learning to trust my instincts more.

    Thanks 😀

    Whole Sum Diane


    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
    Post count: 473

    @wholesumdiane, I love your thoughts. You really capture the one-step forward, two-steps back, three forward, one sideways, one back, two forward... pathway we follow as we deal with ADHD. Our own, or someone else’s.

    In our new video series on medication we interviewed 18 adults who shared their ‘medication’ stories. I was not surprised by the range of experiences. From the lucky ones, like me, who found the right medication quickly and found it made a dramatic difference, allowing them to stick to all the other tools and strategies that hadn’t worked before, to people who took months, or even two years to finally find the right amount of the right medication. And yes, one woman who had a bad experience because the ADHD medications interacted with other medications she was taking for other disorders. (That’s when it get’s really tricky.)

    But for perhaps 11 or 12 of the 18, it took a while to figure it out. And I admired them for sticking with it.  I suppose part of it was they noticed a difference right away, or sensed it could make a difference, and were willing to trust their doctor and stick with it.

    Oh, and yes, the other thing a number of people talked about, was finding the right doctor. In fact, even some of the doctors talked about the importance of finding someone who knows what they are doing. Not easy.

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