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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 11:39 am
frumama wrote:
Speaking as a mom with more than 1 child diagnosed with adhd, at this point a formal diagnosis isn't necessary. If your child is struggling with executive functioning skills the reason behind it doesn't really make much of a difference. Whether or not she has ADHD or not doesn't matter, you are still going to teach her the skills that she's lacking. You can always revisit and reevaluate the need to get a diagnosis at a later time if her situation changes.

I am aware that as she grows things might be more challenging and affect her more.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 11:43 am
amother [ Aquamarine ] wrote:
I think an evaluation and diagnosis, if appropriate, is absolutely helpful. You don't need to medicate just because you diagnose.

We evaluated and received a diagnosis, but are not medicating at this time. But the clinician who diagnosed was able to refer us to other relevant and helpful resources and also to make recommendations for non-medical interventions at home and at school. We went to a clinical psychologist (PhD, not MD), not a psychiatrist.

Your intuition is absolutely right OP, that your DD will benefit from building skills and habits, and also potentially being accommodated. Just because your DD's intelligence allows her to compensate now, it will not forever. DH and I were both the same type of kid, so we know from personal experience and that is why we are doing it differently with our own bright ADHD kid.

For me, the cracks began to appear around 6th grade. That was the first year I had a different teacher for every subject and many competing assignments to keep track of. I still aced my tests, but I began to be late with assignments or sometimes failed to hand them in entirely. I still managed to get in to a very academically intense secular high school and graduated with a slightly above average GPA. This sounds OK, but it was the result of a mixture of outstanding work and failing or incomplete work. Basically, I would procrastinate and flake, then pull extreme all nighters to ace tests or papers to compensate. The end result looked alright, because these things averaged out. I never faced academic sanctions or failed a class, but the process was emotionally awful for me. I went to a top college and majored in STEM and did the same thing. With a roller coaster performance of F's and curve-wrecking A+ work over a semester, I would wind up with somewhere between a C and an A for the course, and graduated with a slightly above average GPA. Good enough to get a great job after graduation, but it took a major emotional toll. I won't bore you with the rest of my life story, but there was more of the same.

Compensating for executive function skills with intelligence and spurts of adrenaline is possible, but it is not something that I want my child to experience and certainly I don't want her to spend decades doing so. I definitely recommend that you do everything you can to build the right habits now. It will be easier with an accurate diagnosis.

It’s validating to read this post. I see how she is at home and was keeping a real eye on her schoolwork, waiting to her from the teachers. I agree that the brains only accommodates up until the point and was so frustrated that the teachers don’t get it. “She’s so bright, it doesn’t make a difference”. I think it’s so short-sighted, and as a mother it’s my job to supply her with tools for life. DH has ADHD and he is pushing for help, we’re unsure about the diagnosis part.
How did you choose which type of professional to use?
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 11:45 am
shiraN wrote:
As a therapist, I would strongly recommend having her evaluated even if you don't want her to be medicated at this time. In addition to the benefits listed by some of the other members, it will help her understand what is going on inside of her, which can resolve a lot of the guilt that many children with conditions like these carry for not being able to be like everyone else.

Can you rcommend someone in Brooklyn?
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 11:48 am
We live in Brooklyn. Can someone please recommend a psychologist who can do an evaluation? What type of evaluation? (She mostly has focusing and executive functioning challenges)
I would travel for an evaluation but not for sessions after. Not sure if it’s the same provider who would do both.
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amother




Fuchsia
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 12:10 pm
My daughter was just evaluated and diagnosed with ADD (not in brooklyn) and I don't feel the need to medicate now. What exactly are the skills I need to be teaching her (not focused, not completing tasks, taking forever to do things) and how do I figure out what type of therapist she needs? I feel so lost in how to approach this.
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 12:18 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
It’s validating to read this post. I see how she is at home and was keeping a real eye on her schoolwork, waiting to her from the teachers. I agree that the brains only accommodates up until the point and was so frustrated that the teachers don’t get it. “She’s so bright, it doesn’t make a difference”. I think it’s so short-sighted, and as a mother it’s my job to supply her with tools for life. DH has ADHD and he is pushing for help, we’re unsure about the diagnosis part.
How did you choose which type of professional to use?

It was very important to me that our child be examined by someone who really specializes in ADHD, so using our regular pediatrician was out of the question. Also, we wanted to lay the groundwork for a potential longer relationship if and when more treatment was required and someone with whom we could discuss non-medical options as well, both up front and over time.

We went to our local Children's Hospital (not near New York, sorry) which has an overall reputation for excellence and has an entire department focused on research and treatment of ADHD. The head of the clinical division of that department was the one who evaluated our child. While I think we would continue to see him for follow-up treatment, they have every possible kind of professional on staff, so we would always be able to pull in a psychiatrist if necessary. Even if our current clinician relocates or retires, I feel like we will be in overall good hands.

I am lucky and very grateful that my child's teachers were able to see the full picture from a very early age, that DC's above-grade-level performance was the result of compensating in short spurts of accelerated learning for long periods of wasting time. And they understood early that this would not be sustainable forever. Having a professional diagnosis and written evaluation might help in getting your child's teachers to acknowledge there is an issue.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 6:25 pm
amother [ Aquamarine ] wrote:
It was very important to me that our child be examined by someone who really specializes in ADHD, so using our regular pediatrician was out of the question. Also, we wanted to lay the groundwork for a potential longer relationship if and when more treatment was required and someone with whom we could discuss non-medical options as well, both up front and over time.

We went to our local Children's Hospital (not near New York, sorry) which has an overall reputation for excellence and has an entire department focused on research and treatment of ADHD. The head of the clinical division of that department was the one who evaluated our child. While I think we would continue to see him for follow-up treatment, they have every possible kind of professional on staff, so we would always be able to pull in a psychiatrist if necessary. Even if our current clinician relocates or retires, I feel like we will be in overall good hands.

I am lucky and very grateful that my child's teachers were able to see the full picture from a very early age, that DC's above-grade-level performance was the result of compensating in short spurts of accelerated learning for long periods of wasting time. And they understood early that this would not be sustainable forever. Having a professional diagnosis and written evaluation might help in getting your child's teachers to acknowledge there is an issue.

Sounds amazing. Good for you, she’s lucky you’re advocating for her.

Does anyone know if such a thing exists in NY?
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 6:26 pm
amother [ Fuchsia ] wrote:
My daughter was just evaluated and diagnosed with ADD (not in brooklyn) and I don't feel the need to medicate now. What exactly are the skills I need to be teaching her (not focused, not completing tasks, taking forever to do things) and how do I figure out what type of therapist she needs? I feel so lost in how to approach this.


I plan to read that book referenced earlier. There are also good books like Driven to Distraction (which I haven’t yet but should read bec DH has ADHD)

Has the evaluator given you any direction?
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amother




Saddlebrown
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 7:42 pm
She sounds a bit like me as a kid.
While I don't think a diagnosis is worth much (the diagnosis is 100% subjective and based on a checklist of criteria), an evaluation could be useful for a differential diagnosis-meaning, there could be something else going on other than Adhd, ranging from sleep apnea, to a bullying issue at school, and much more.
As far as skills, unless your child has severe ADHD which would require medication, she can definitely gain from learning skills, both organization skills, and mindfulness skills. I certainly came a long way-and I only started as an adult. As a professional, I took some of Sarah Ward's workshops and gained a lot on a personal level, so I recommend you find a therapist trained in her approach. Also check out Miriam Manela's website.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 7:43 pm
amother [ Saddlebrown ] wrote:
She sounds a bit like me as a kid.
While I don't think a diagnosis is worth much (the diagnosis is 100% subjective and based on a checklist of criteria), an evaluation could be useful for a differential diagnosis-meaning, there could be something else going on other than Adhd, ranging from sleep apnea, to a bullying issue at school, and much more.
As far as skills, unless your child has severe ADHD which would require medication, she can definitely gain from learning skills, both organization skills, and mindfulness skills. I certainly came a long way-and I only started as an adult. As a professional, I took some of Sarah Ward's workshops and gained a lot on a personal level, so I recommend you find a therapist trained in her approach. Also check out Miriam Manela's website.

Thanks for the input and resources. What type of professional would you recommend for the evaluation?
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EM1




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Apr 08 2021, 11:59 pm
I was doing research on executive functioning skills for a student of mine with ADHD and the book smart but scattered was highly recommended.
Here’s a link to it on Amazon, it’s only $14 Very Happy
https://www.amazon.com/gp/prod.....46908
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post Sun, Apr 11 2021, 10:07 am
One more thing, OP. It sounds like there is a possibility that your DD is "twice exceptional," I.e. she may have ADHD and also be gifted in one or more areas. If so, I think having her evaluated in both areas will be helpful to setting expectations, developing accomodations, and working with her teachers going forward.

In addition to having your DD evaluated for ADHD and to rule out other possible contributing issues like anxiety (which they try to screen for in the ADHD evaluation process), I think you should consider educational testing to assess for giftedness. There are places that specialize in this.

We haven't done that yet, but it is next on my to do list, having already gotten the ADHD diagnosis.

Some of the interventions that are recommended for ADHD can be counterproductive for a gifted child who has ADHD. Likewise, some of the interventions recommended for "regular" gifted children may not be suitable for a gifted child with ADHD.

If your DD does fall into both categories, then I believe that methodical evaluation and expert guidance will be even more important.
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