ADHD Diagnosis: Life Interrupted Again

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.

4 responses to “ADHD Diagnosis: Life Interrupted Again

  1. I don’t want to sound like those others you have talked to, but I will say that it is soooo much better that you found out now, so you can help her along. Great news is you trusted your gut, got her checked out and now are able to make plans to improve home and school life. Yes, it may be another label, but sometimes labels help us find out who we can be. My guess is that your daughter is very creative, smart, witty and can be the life of the party. ADHD has some good along with it. Maybe you and her can research those strengths together.


  2. Not to sound like one of “those moms”, but it really is good your found out. Even better that you trusted your gut, got her tested and now are working on a plan to make things better for her at school and home. My guess is that your daughter is creative, smart, witty, and can be the life of the party. ADHD has it’s positives. You sound like you enjoy research, so maybe you and your daughter can research some of those great qualities of ADHD together. Yes, it will still be hard, but at least you can start to see the road, instead of fog. And this is coming from a mom of 3, 2 with ADHD and one with Dyslexia. I have both.


  3. muffythedramaslayer

    We have ADHD, Dyslexia, endocrine disorders (Diabetes Type I) and a slew of other learning disabilities going on over here. I know this is an old post, but just in case you’re hitting a low two and a half years down the road, keep going, don’t worry about every day being “right” and keep letting your daughter be the amazing person she is. It really, REALLY does work out down the road! And she really is just as amazing as you think she is, because look at what she’s overcoming!


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