With her tight bun and black oversized glasses the woman behind the desk seemed more like a librarian than psychologist. She was prim and proper in every detail, sitting ramrod straight as she leafed through the thick white report and cherry picked which psychological tests results to share. After 10 minutes of hearing “not on task” and “I had to repeat the question several times,” I stopped her
“Are you saying my daughter has ADHD or simply trouble with attention?” I asked.
“She has ADHD,” she deadpanned.
Anger and sadness fired at once. It was nine years ago Savannah was diagnosed with a rare endocrine disorder by another doctor at the same medical center. Hours of online sleuthing and downloading medical journals, I had diagnosed the condition before the doctor, but headed into that MRI that sticky July morning praying I had misinterpreted the information.
Similar feels arose as I rode the elevator to the psychologist’s 5th floor office that morning. I wanted to believe that the hours spent reading comments on chat boards and talking to friends was wasted energy, but the signs were there.
“There is often comorbidity with ADHD. I suspect oppositional defiant behavior,” the psychologist added.
I too for a long time, but unprepared to deal with yet another challenge, clung to the words of teachers who for years dismissed my concerns. Right then an image of Savanna’s special education teacher’s young expressionless face flashed.
“Nope, I don’t see a problem,” she insisted a few weeks back I when questioned her about Savannah’s behavior. She didn’t seem all that bright to me then, but now seemed dumb.
“Be grateful you caught it,” friends would later try to console me.
Right as they are I’m too worn out and tired to be one of those sunny-disposition moms capable of spinning my daughter’s special needs and any crises. “He set the couch on fire because he was upset and didn’t know how to express himself” I’ll hear them say. Those women are superstars in my opinion. Instead I hear ADHD and think, “F—-!” Another appointment. Another medicine. Another insurance form. Another battle with the Board of Education to get services. Another label.