Is there something about your child, that you feel is not right?
Is the daycare or school telling you that you may need to get your child checked out by the GP as their behaviour or social skills are not quite right for their age? Is the term ADHD being thrown around?
It is time to seek help.
ADHD could completely scare the life out of you or you could be ashamed about getting a diagnosis such as this, but I am here to tell you it doesn’t have to be scary or shameful.
You might not want to label your child with anything, trust me, I was there and I completely understand.
Unfortunately, with the school system as it is today, if you want help with your child through school, you must have a label for them to get the assistance that they need.
So, if you are suspecting there could be ADHD here are some tips which may help:
1) First, and I would say THE most important thing is, don’t be ashamed or scared. Quite honestly, this isn’t about you, it is about your child. You need to get them the help that they need.
If you let your own uncertainty get in the way, then they won’t get the help that they need. The sooner you get the help the better, this is imperative for them to be as successful as possible within the school environment.
2) Talk to your GP, if you suspect a behavioural disorder, start with the GP first. The GP is your basis to getting referrals to the required specialists.
If it is the school or daycare that has brought this up with you then ask them to write a report with their concerns and take it with you.
3) Once you have seen a GP, they may then refer you to a paediatrician for further investigation. Depending on where you are based and whether you go privately or publicly, the wait for a paediatrician can take anything from 3 – 18 months.
Take as much information as you can with you to the paediatrician, things like reports from daycares, schools, other activities and your own experiences. If you have particularly crazy behaviour even take some video footage if you can so the paediatrician can see this.
A lot of the time, no symptoms show in their doctors’ offices as we have probably experienced more than once.
4) Accept that medication may have to be an option. Medication has such a bad name when associated with ADHD that is hard to get rid of the stigma. Trust me, most parents who have medicated their children have gone through a lot of heartache to decide to medicate and have generally tried several other things first.
One thing I will say though, unless you have a severe case of ADHD where people are becoming seriously hurt with outbursts I would re-consider medication if you are offered it in the first instance. Most paediatricians won’t offer it in the first visit and you may need a few more visits before they will discuss it but sometimes you may get the odd doctor that will offer it as a solution on the first visit. Just ensure it is applicable.
5) Accept that everyone is different. ADHD can present very differently in many children because we are all different.
Of course, this means that different treatments also work for different people. There generally isn’t a ‘one size fits all approach’ you may have to try a variety of things before you find something that works.
6) There will be other therapists involved in your child’s care depending on which path you choose to take. You can have (not limited to) a paediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, occupational therapist, naturopath, behaviour therapist, ADHD Coach, nutritionist/dietician and many more if you choose to try different options.
7) Keep it positive. I believe for every negative aspect you find of ADHD, there is a positive. Although it can be hard at first to see the positive in anything as it can be a very hard road, it is important to try and stay on top of those negative feelings.
You have NOT done anything wrong, it is just a chemical imbalance in the brain and something you need to work with. These kids can be amazing if we get the opportunity to guide them correct and find something that interests them. To do that we need to stay strong and help them.
ADHD in the family can be a hard road and one where you feel you must be a constant advocate for your child. This can be tiring. Get support, ask friends and family to help where they can, educate people where you can on ADHD and it will become more accepting.
Remember, there is help there, you just need to search for it and become informed.
If you have any concerns, please contact your family GP. Share your thoughts with us in the comments.