Not My Daughter: When A Father Denies An ADHD Diagnosis

After years of managing the conveyor belt of forms, appointments and tests tied to a special needs child, you want the path of least resistance.  So, when my daughter asked that I hide her ADHD medicine in her violin case and drop it off at school, I didn’t hesitate.

Insane?  Silly? Embarrassing?  Yes, I agree to all.  But, for me, drug smuggling was easier than dealing with a contentious ex.

When J, Savannah’s father, learned of her ADHD diagnosis his reaction was typical: denial followed by claims that I was “crazy.”  Even the doctors and therapists, with their stacks of tests results, couldn’t get him to budge.  One, having pegged J as difficult, advised I hide the medicine in Savannah’s coat pocket.

My luck he checked the pockets.

Then Savannah, of all people, suggested we try her violin case.  I was hesitant for obvious reasons, but it was easier than dealing with the ex’s threatening calls or another set of forms.  We don’t, unfortunately, have a Bruce and Demi type relationship.

That scheme lasted exactly one day thanks to a curious music teacher.

I persisted despite the setbacks and the ex’s claims that she is “perfectly fine” because one, I hold the trump card – full custody and decision making – and two, I’ve seen small increments of improvement.  For the first time ever my 9-year-old can sit do home.  This is huge.

Eventually, the school nurse did me a favor and ran interference with the doctor’s office and she now administers the medicine.  If this fails, I’m not sure if there is a plan #4.

5 responses to “Not My Daughter: When A Father Denies An ADHD Diagnosis

  1. You are absolutely doing the right thing by your daughter. Sometimes I’m sad for the 52 years that I didn’t have a diagnosis, wondering how different my childhood might have been. Your daughter is very fortunate to have such a good mom.


  2. I agree with Jan Hobbs. Your child is indeed fortunate.


  3. Oh, and I failed to mention: great post!


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