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How did you broach the subject of getting tested with your child? (ADHD)

25 replies

Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 31/08/2022 07:15

I suspect ds (10) has adhd.

He is highly sensitive and gets really teary and upset easily. He also has enuresis (I think this is linked to adhd?) and when I took him to the clinic about it he was absolutely horrified, mortified and hated it.

I just don't want to "do it wrong"...I'd love him to be on board with it but I've no clue how to bring up the whole subject. I expect he will hate the thought of having something different about him.

Please please share your stories to help me get through it, give me some ideas, make me feel less alone etc.

tia x

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TeenDivided · 31/08/2022 07:21

With mine (not ADHD) I tended to identify things they knew they found hard and say 'you know you find X and Y hard? Well we are going to take you to an expert who might be able to work out why you find them hard and how best to help you'. So focus on the potential help, not identifying/labelling the condition.

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 31/08/2022 07:32

TeenDivided · 31/08/2022 07:21

With mine (not ADHD) I tended to identify things they knew they found hard and say 'you know you find X and Y hard? Well we are going to take you to an expert who might be able to work out why you find them hard and how best to help you'. So focus on the potential help, not identifying/labelling the condition.

That's a great way of doing it, thank you. Just trying to think though. The things that I can see that may mean adhd:

Constant talking
Feeling restless
Running around and playing, even in calm settings
Constant fidgeting or tapping
Frequently full of excess energy
Being excessively loud
Impatience and difficulty waiting
Interrupting other people
Not following through with tasks or homework

I am not sure these things would warrant a trip to an expert in his eyes, and he may just see those things as him being 'annoying' (as his brother may put it)

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 31/08/2022 07:34

Another example are his tiks. He hates talking about it and says they just make him feel better and he doesn't need help to stop them because he doesn't mind them. He gets very defensive.

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TeenDivided · 31/08/2022 07:36

Does he get into trouble at school (or elsewhere) for any of it?

You keep getting into trouble at school and we know you try hard not to and you say you can't help it, so we are going to see someone to see why you can't help it and whether they have any good ideas?

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 31/08/2022 07:40

Only that he talks too much at inappropriate times. They also say he often seems like he's not paying attention to what's being said but that in fact he is listening.

Otherwise all okay at school. I mean he hates going in with a passion but he has good friends and is always happy when I pick him up. Mornings are awful though. He complains from the moment he wakes saying school is like prison. When I pick him up he says school was good...

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TeenDivided · 31/08/2022 07:41

Hopefully someone else will have some better ideas. Smile

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 31/08/2022 07:42

It's been causing issues with his older step brother lately. Ds is very very full on amd needs constant attention. He goes to dss to play a lot, and even though dss is an introvert and likes playing on his own he will often feel he has to play. But lately he's been getting really annoyed with him and my ds has been coming to me really upset amd it's caused a lot of friction

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 31/08/2022 07:43

Maybe I can use that as a way to chat about it somehow

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LargeLegoHaul · 31/08/2022 10:15

I agree with Teen, go with we are going to see someone who can help us understand why you struggle with certain things and how we can help you.

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 31/08/2022 11:54

definitely agree with this approach.

just worried about his reaction, he is always very concerned with being different and gets very teary and upset very quickly. I really need to be able to deal with my own emotions better because I have avoided upsetting him in this way in the past, as I hate seeing him upset...

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LargeLegoHaul · 31/08/2022 13:41

DS’s concern about being seen as ‘different’ might stem from him knowing he is ‘different’ and struggles with things his peers don’t, so he doesn’t like anyone to draw attention to that for fear of rejection. You could reassure him that an assessment and any potential diagnosis won’t change who he is and he won’t have to tell everyone, but it will help him understand himself better and you understand him better so you can help him.

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 31/08/2022 14:03

LargeLegoHaul · 31/08/2022 13:41

DS’s concern about being seen as ‘different’ might stem from him knowing he is ‘different’ and struggles with things his peers don’t, so he doesn’t like anyone to draw attention to that for fear of rejection. You could reassure him that an assessment and any potential diagnosis won’t change who he is and he won’t have to tell everyone, but it will help him understand himself better and you understand him better so you can help him.

this is really helpful, thank you.

yes you are probably right about where his fear stems from. his teacher said he gets very upset when he gets things wrong in class, he just wants to fit in and be good at everything and it melts him when he can't get it first time. He convinced me that he hated a subject because it was too easy...when I spoke to his teacher she verified that he didn't excel in the subject...

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Dustinsdart · 04/09/2022 11:38

iI just posted exactly the same thing, before I saw your thread. I need to have a similar discussion with my DS(12) and just don’t know how to start it off. I think he’ll get really upset and angry with us, taking it as a criticism whereas I want to know one way or another so we can help him & understand him better. Have you had the talk yet?

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SquirrelSoShiny · 04/09/2022 23:22

Very useful timing we have the same dilemma- how to broach it. DC is still awake upset about hating school.

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 12/09/2022 19:56

I'm so sorry I fell off radar. Life gets in the way.

I still haven't had the conversation. But I intend to, this week. I still don't know what to say, I just think no matter how I say it, it'll go down badly. I'm so crap with stuff like this

@Dustinsdart and @squirrelsoshiny Have either of you had the chat??

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SquirrelSoShiny · 12/09/2022 20:27

I was recommended a book 'All Dogs have ADHD'. It fits a hyperactive profile better than inattentive but I may well use it to broach the subject.

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Dustinsdart · 12/09/2022 21:19

@Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears no I haven’t done it yet either, for exactly the same reasons! He’s just getting settled back in at school but I can already see the change in timetable etc is stressing him and he also seems to be doing some funny facial grimacing too so whether this is anxiety, tics, stimming or just that his glasses are a bit loose I don’t know! Really need to brave it though.

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 12/09/2022 22:11

SquirrelSoShiny · 12/09/2022 20:27

I was recommended a book 'All Dogs have ADHD'. It fits a hyperactive profile better than inattentive but I may well use it to broach the subject.

Thank you I will check it out. Maybe some bedtime reading.

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 12/09/2022 22:12

Dustinsdart · 12/09/2022 21:19

@Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears no I haven’t done it yet either, for exactly the same reasons! He’s just getting settled back in at school but I can already see the change in timetable etc is stressing him and he also seems to be doing some funny facial grimacing too so whether this is anxiety, tics, stimming or just that his glasses are a bit loose I don’t know! Really need to brave it though.

Oh I feel your pain!! It's so hard isn't it. Ds has got some head twitching going on too...and started clicking his fingers incessantly too.

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OneLitreOfWater · 14/09/2022 16:41

Honestly, there is no way to do it that spares his feelings. My autistic ds was diagnosed at 2 and last year at 9 I felt he was capable of understanding. It's taking him a while to deal with it but he is. I so very much didn't want to, but I also know he would grow into understanding he was different and perhaps slide into self hating before he would ever be able to open up a conversation to me about it.

Ds18 was diagnosed with ADHD this year after completely failing at pandemic online learning and Googling to find out why he was the way he was. He

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OneLitreOfWater · 14/09/2022 16:44

... he's so much happier as medication is really working. But there's also so much he didn't tell me through the years about how his impulsiveness messed up his social life and how painful it was to concentrate.

I would approach it with something like, there's things you find more difficult in general, different to other kids, it's probably ADHD and luckily there is medication that can help.

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 15/09/2022 15:29

Thank you for sharing.

Last night we watched "The Disruptors" together (after I had watched alone to make sure it was something he would relate to) under the premise that I thought I might have ADHD (I think I do). He didn't know what it was and was interested in the concept so we watched it. He kept saying "thats me! Thats me" and admitted he thought he had OCD but now he thinks it might be ADHD.

He admitted that he got in trouble for things like tapping his pen on the table and not being able to sit still. He also related to one boy in the documentary who kept being sent out of class to sit in the hall. I asked whether that sort of punishment still happned these days (we are in the UK) and he said he was always being sent out of class to sit on the floor outside the classroom. I was shocked as I didn't think that still happened these days?? He isn't known for being a fibber but I dont know whether this it true or not? I will be calling the SENCO team next week, after I speak to him again and let him know we are going to help him with getting in trouble with the teacher. I think after the documentary he will be on board. It was really great because it showed all the positives of having this special brain, and all the successful people now and in history who had ADHD (or suspected ADHD) - he was particularly taken with Einstein and Tesla. The introduction to ADHD went better than I could have hoped!! And I am now confident in asking for a diagnosis, that he will have a positive attitude about it.

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Dustinsdart · 18/09/2022 21:13

Oh, that’s brilliant news @Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears . I’ll look out for that documentary - what channel was it on?

We finally had a talk with DS this morning after he had a massive meltdown about tidying his room. I asked him if he’d heard of adhd and he stormed out of the room before I’d said anything else at all, then hid and refused to speak to me. When he finally calmed down I explained what adhd was and asked him to listen to the list of symptoms/traits as I can see he often struggles with some things and I want to understand why he struggles so I can help him, and that I sometimes wonder if he might possibly have adhd. He listened quietly & then sobbed, saying he could relate to many of the symptoms and a lot of them do sound like him. We talked about how it’s not a bad thing and that many successful, creative people are ND.

We also discussed going to the doctor/school to initiate the assessment process and he seemed ok with us going to the GP but very worried about me telling school. I still worry we’ll be turned away, that they won’t support us because he doesn’t ever get in trouble at school. He behaves perfectly there (though I know he fidgets, taps, doodles etc in class but he’s not obviously disruptive). This is what’s made us doubt ourselves for so long but I think we have to see this through and know for sure, one way or the other.

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 19/09/2022 16:51

Dustinsdart · 18/09/2022 21:13

Oh, that’s brilliant news @Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears . I’ll look out for that documentary - what channel was it on?

We finally had a talk with DS this morning after he had a massive meltdown about tidying his room. I asked him if he’d heard of adhd and he stormed out of the room before I’d said anything else at all, then hid and refused to speak to me. When he finally calmed down I explained what adhd was and asked him to listen to the list of symptoms/traits as I can see he often struggles with some things and I want to understand why he struggles so I can help him, and that I sometimes wonder if he might possibly have adhd. He listened quietly & then sobbed, saying he could relate to many of the symptoms and a lot of them do sound like him. We talked about how it’s not a bad thing and that many successful, creative people are ND.

We also discussed going to the doctor/school to initiate the assessment process and he seemed ok with us going to the GP but very worried about me telling school. I still worry we’ll be turned away, that they won’t support us because he doesn’t ever get in trouble at school. He behaves perfectly there (though I know he fidgets, taps, doodles etc in class but he’s not obviously disruptive). This is what’s made us doubt ourselves for so long but I think we have to see this through and know for sure, one way or the other.

Just coming on reeeallly quick to let you know the documentary is on amazon prime...you have to pay for it but for me it was worth every penny.

I will be back later sorry got a million and one things going on xxx

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Cryinthepooltodisguisethetears · 19/09/2022 16:55

Also...if you have time...watch this it's an interview with Gabor Mate, who I know because he does a lot of work around trauma. I know the interviewee is controversial but try to put that to the side!! I'd love to hear your views.

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