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to wonder if it's ADHD or my own bad parenting?

(48 Posts)
scampimom Mon 10-Apr-17 14:15:11

Reposted from the SN board for traffic, as I need a reality check!

Just wondering if I have just cause to go and see my GP about DD, or whether I'm just being PFB with poor parenting skills.

DD is 4 next month. She NEVER listens. Not to me, not to DH, not at nursery, and not at the dance classes or rugby classes we have now stopped taking her to. She gets wildly frustrated with things, having a total melt down if she can't do something yet very very rarely asking for help.

She cannot stick at a single activity for more than a couple of minutes, except for the odd time when she becomes engrossed - but even that lasts no more than 4-5 minutes. She's impervious to danger, always climbing, always moving, always throwing things around (sometimes in anger, but often just in play) without any regard for drinks or glasses or what have you.

She hates cuddles and kisses, but if she is in the mood and you ask her nicely (I don't believe in just grabbing children for a cuddle or demanding physical contact if they don't want to), she might give you a hug. It's usually a leap into your arms and then off again, though.

She's so bright, funny, and has lots of friends at nursery, but I think it's partly because she's so anarchic that she distracts the other kids and they find her funny.

I find myself getting so wound up I could strangle her sometimes. I am wondering if it's a good idea to go to the GP and have some investigations to rule out anything medical e.g. possibly hearing problems, or possibly ADHD. Apparently her dad (my DH) was like this when he was a kid, and was a nightmare to live with, but back in the late 70s there was "no such thing" as ADHD.

Does anyone have a LO with a diagnosis of ADHD that could offer some insights? What do you wish you'd known or done differently? Am I completely overthinking this and just need to look at my parenting and discipline skills?

brasty Mon 10-Apr-17 14:16:57

What do your friends in real life think?

Xmasbaby11 Mon 10-Apr-17 14:20:20

Hi, she sounds exactly like my dd..she is 5 and being assessed for ADD. She absolutely drives us crazy with her not listening and lack of attention.

Have any problems been flagged up at nursery? Dd was monitored from the age of 3. She is now at school and coping ok but teachers notice her poor concentration and it is holding her back.

acornsandnuts Mon 10-Apr-17 14:21:12

I would speak to nursery in the first instance. They will have experience either way and point you in the right direction for help.

Xmasbaby11 Mon 10-Apr-17 14:23:56

I would take her to GP and ask for referral to paediatrician.

I'm not sure I'd trust what friends think. They only see a snapshot. Mine said there was nothing wrong with dd and must have privately thought I was a crap parent. But every professional who's been in contact with her is concerned - nursery staff, paediatrician, teachers. So if you believe there's an issue, see someone asap.

Xmasbaby11 Mon 10-Apr-17 14:26:18

Sorry, just to add my dd is also being assessed for autism, which is often connected to ADHD or ADD. Apparently it is hard to diagnose in girls as it presents differently.

scampimom Mon 10-Apr-17 14:27:35

Thanks peeps - it was nursery who first said to us that she has problems listening to people, and following instructions, but they've not said anything more than that.

She'll be starting school in September and I worry she'll just be in trouble all the time if she carries on like this.

STFU Mon 10-Apr-17 14:28:38

You won't be able to get a diagnosis on MN. What do you think?

I'm sceptical about it and believe there is over-diagnosis but do believe it exists.

brasty Mon 10-Apr-17 14:30:31

It does depend on your friends. But sometimes poor parenting is very obvious to everyone around the person.

STFU Mon 10-Apr-17 14:31:33


I worry she'll just be in trouble all the time if she carries on like this.

I think good teachers are well aware of 'relatively good behaviour' ie. Timmy Typical may be praised for working silently for 30 minutes but your daughter's personal goal is to keep her hands to herself during carpet time.

There are bad teachers who may simply shout at her but they are few and far between and most will understand individual child's limitations and challenges and their respective behaviour.

ASDismynormality Mon 10-Apr-17 14:33:39

In the first instance get her hearing check. Then write a list of your concerns and ask the nursery to do the same - take this to the GP.

TheSconeOfStone Mon 10-Apr-17 14:35:06

My DD was like this. Still popular at 9 as she is very lively and imaginative. No problems at nursery but after two shit years st primary I went to the GP. My DD has been diagnosed with autism, would have been aspergers a couple of years. I was convinced it was ADHD but as she has grown she has calmed down physically but still often refuses to listen or concentrate.

My friends girls were similar (nursery friends) but have calmed down loads in infant school.

See how she is in school. The structure might be good for her. Might be worth having a chat with school early on with your concerns. I didn't and had a nasty shock at the first parents evening.

MissJSays Mon 10-Apr-17 14:36:43

I'd first ask to speak to the SENCO at nursery and ask if they have any concerns. They should have lots of advice for you and will be able to guide you through.
They will probably suggest having her hearing tested as this is usually the first thing to check with children

TheSconeOfStone Mon 10-Apr-17 14:38:20

I was blamed for being a poor parent by the school. According to the paed consultant DD would've been diagnosed sooner if it hadn't been for our excellent parenting. After 8 years of feeling like crap parents it was good to hear.

Shockers Mon 10-Apr-17 14:38:29

Your DD sounds a lot like my two. Their behaviour was really impulsive ; neither of them could sit and play with toys. They did both enjoy board games if the adult/s playing were patient though. They also enjoyed playing outside; they made an obstacle course out of all the playground equipment in the garden. Ball games with rules helped too. They were (and still are to a slightly lesser extent) very physical children.

We also really watched their diet. I know a lot of people don't agree that food affects behaviour, but I've seen it with my own eyes. Their diet is still pretty much unprocessed and it works for them even now, as teenagers.

Xmasbaby11 Mon 10-Apr-17 14:40:10

My dd is not in trouble with her poor listening at school because the teachers can see she's not being naughty. However, they struggle to get her attention and to focus. It does hold her back eg if she is practising her letters, she can only concentrate long enough to do one or two words at a time. Sometimes she can't do a phonics assessment because they just can't get her to focus.

So yes, you're right to be worried about how your dd will get on. Every professional I've seen has said better to seek help sooner rather than later.

All children are different though and progress at different rates. I noticed my dd was different before she was 2. If you're only a bit concerned now, at age 4, she may just be behind her peers at the moment and there's a good chance she'll catch up.

scampimom Mon 10-Apr-17 14:40:48

Some really helpful replies, thank you so much. It's so hard to know if you are a crap parent!

Shockers Mon 10-Apr-17 14:44:00

I agree with STFU too. We were really concerned that DS especially would be labelled as naughty at school. It was already happening by year 1. We moved him to an independent with a big emphasis on sport, where he flourished.

DD was in a MLD special school, where her behaviour caused chaos. After a really fantastic EP report, we managed to move her to an SLD school and we've never looked back.

Teachers who 'get it' are priceless.

harderandharder2breathe Mon 10-Apr-17 14:45:26

The consistency of her behaviour in different environments is one of the things assessed, I believe. And suggests it's not just you!

minipie Mon 10-Apr-17 15:14:32

From what I have read, ADHD is not often diagnosed before primary school age (there are exceptions but they are generally DC who are jumping in front of traffic and sleeping 4 hours a night - usually boys).

So, I would echo the posters who say wait a bit. See how school goes. If things are a problem at school then take it up with the SENCO. That may well be a better route into assessment than going via GP anyway.

How does she sleep? Apparently the symptoms of ADHD are very similar to the symptoms of chronic overtiredness (I have a 4yo DD who shows similar signs to yours... but she is always very tired so not sure how much to ascribe to that).

BillSykesDog Mon 10-Apr-17 15:17:20

I can't diagnose obviously, but I have known plenty of 4 year olds like that who have turned out to be NT and it's just personality.

Msqueen33 Mon 10-Apr-17 15:19:22

My dd is 7 and has a diagnosis of autism and ADHD. For us ADHD is very real. You cannot stop moving. Even when she is sat down and calm her body is still moves slightly.

When younger she struggled to concentrate, listen and focus. She's a lot better now. She struggles with some work and school due to her autism and anxiety.

scampimom Mon 10-Apr-17 15:19:59

She actually sleeps rather well - rarely gets up in the night, and generally sleeps through till gone 7. Then again, we have followed the exact same bedtime routine every night since about the age of 3 months, so that might be helping there.

minipie Mon 10-Apr-17 15:25:30

Ha - we have done the same re bedtime routine and DD still sleeps terribly! <sigh> Ok, not tiredness in your DD's case then.

Nellooo Mon 10-Apr-17 15:29:02

From what you've said here, it does sound like she has some attention difficulties. We've just had an ADHD diagnosis for DS. He's 7. The paediatrician said it is the earliest age at which she would diagnose, so by all means, see your gp, but you'll likely be advised to take on some behaviour management strategies in the interim until she is old enough for the formal diagnosis process.

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