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Possible ADHD - should I get proper GP diagnosis or will school stigmatise?

(9 Posts)
HoneyKate Tue 21-Jul-09 14:45:14

Hi there, I would really be grateful for some advice. I suspect my daughter (9 in Aug) has ADHD. A friend has a son who displays similar traits to my DD and he has been diagnosed with ADHD and takes Ritalin as medication. Hubbie and I are dead against DD taking Ritalin and we have been reluctant to take her to the GP for an official diagnosis. However I now fear that we might be failing her because she is not doing well in school - her end of year report showed that she is far below average in everything - and I am really worried about her future. Hubbie feels that the school will stigmatise her if she is diagnosed with ADHD and he prefers that she is just thought of as a "difficult child". the thing is, she is into everything and has no concentration levels, eg you ask her to draw a picture, she does a scribble in 5 seconds, says "done" and wants to move on to the next thing....she interfers with what the other children in her class are doing and is always running around the room, seeing what everyone else is doing and not concentrating on her own work. At home we are very strict and can just about keep her under control but we only have 2 children to deal with and not a class of 30. She is so demanding and it really gets me down. Under neath it all however, she is a clever little thing, she has the most fantastic memory (better than mine!) and is capable of producing nice work but only if she is really forced to. She has always been like this, it's not a new thing. We adopted her at the age of 18 months. Any advice very welcome as I want her to reach her full potential at school. Many thanks.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 21-Jul-09 14:47:24

I'd look into this aswell, it can't do any harm and should help her. The GP can't diagnose this though, she needs to be referred to a paediatrician, they need information from the school aswell.

elvislives Tue 21-Jul-09 22:00:50

For ADHD to be present the child has to have problems in at least 2 settings ie home and school. If she's OK at home chances are it is not ADHD.

But if you think there is a problem it is as well to get it looked into. A dx will help her to get extra help at school and won't stigmatise her.

cory Tue 21-Jul-09 23:21:36

If she is labelled a "difficult" child, the school will blame her.

If she is labelled "ADHD", they are obliged to try to help her.

I know which I'd prefer.

Runoutofideas Wed 22-Jul-09 08:57:55

I don't think that HoneyKate is saying she doesn't have problems at home too, just that they are more able to manage her because of having fewer children than at school. I would definitely have her behaviour investigated further, as leaving her to be considered a "difficult child" cannot be helpful in the long run. Even if it's not ADHD you may be given some help in encouraging her to concentrate and be less disruptive in class. I hope it goes well for you.

elvislives Wed 22-Jul-09 09:11:42

Ah, you see I have a DS with ADHD and certainly couldn't "manage" him at home before the dx, even without 30 other children.

HoneyKate Wed 22-Jul-09 13:25:47

Does anyone have a view on whether perhaps she should repeat a year? Her end of term report showed that she is quite a bit below average in all subjects. She is a late August baby. We adopted her at 18 months, she was born prematurely to an underage birth mother so she didn't have the best start in life. If indeed she does have ADHD I would say it was mid-range, by which I mean her behaviour is not really really bad but it is not mild either. She is incredibly demanding but she has an amazing brain in there somewhere when she chooses to use it.

ottersRus Wed 22-Jul-09 14:50:04

If you really think she has problems, whether of an ADHD type or other, then please take her to your GP and ask for some help for her.

GP will not be able to diagnose ADHD, would have to refer to specialist, I would have thought child psychiatrist.

Treatment for ADHD is not just Ritalin, but can be psychological/behavioural management as well.

You should also be talking to her school about how you can support her and the school with whatever approach they are trying, and possibly asking for educational psychologist input if you really feel she is bright but significantly underacheiving.

mermaidspurse Wed 22-Jul-09 19:44:58

Sometimes labels come in useful for getting the help that your child really needs.
Ask to see your schools SENCO then as others have said its the ed psyc.

My nephew had nearly every label, spectrum thrown in his general direction at the same age. It got him help, a statement etc. Ritalin for a short time which almost seemed to 'bump start bits of his brain'
He has learnt methods to control himself to such an extent that you would never ever guess how troubled his childhood was, holds down a very tough job and has made a sucess of his life.
I say all this cos I know the long dark tunnel that my sister travelled with him.

I would also look at diet maybe?

A very interesting article in sat ed of The family section, Guardian on ADHD and stress in pregnancy.

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