Is it really ADHD?

Hey there!! 👋

It was a quiet Saturday morning

Most of my house was still sleeping

As I sipped my coffee waiting for my poached eggs to be ready

I slowly scrolled through Facebook

These days I find myself looking for the simple things that will make me smile

With social media so loud and crowded these days

If I don’t intentionally look for the pictures of kids growing up or funny memes I just get frustrated

As I slowly scrolled, ADHD popped out and made me stop

It was a mom in a community parent group

She was pleading for guidance or direction from fellow parents in her community

Her 1st grader was just diagnosed with ADHD

She shared some of the behaviors her daughter is struggling with


Poor focus

Hard time sitting still


But she didn’t seem “sold” with the diagnosis

It made me wonder what made her seek help from a doctor in the first place

Did another parent say something to her?

Did an educator suggest she visit the pediatrician?

Was she worried that her daughter was struggling?

I started to comment and then noticed there were already over 50 comments on this post

In that moment everyone was an expert

That post triggered me

There are two ways to look at symptoms or behaviors

I’m calling these the two paths

Path 1: Go to the doctor, a kid checks the boxes of a diagnosis like ADHD, the family walks out with a diagnosis and referrals for therapy and medication

Path 2: Start peeling the layers back to figure out the cause of the symptoms, support the behaviors and symptoms by teaching new skills, and watch the kid grow

I focus on Path 2

Don’t get me wrong, a there is a place and need for a diagnosis

When I work with kids, parents, and educators, I don’t care what the diagnosis is

I care about the symptoms that are getting in a kid’s way to be his best

I peel the layers back to figure out the cause of the symptoms

And I teach new skills (to the kid, parent, and educator) to help the kid grow

In the case of the 1st grader on Facebook

Is it really ADHD?

I’m not one to say it’s not

She must have met the criteria listed

But while they were checking boxes

Did they ask about her


Sleep patterns



Early development

There are many things that can cause behaviors that look like ADHD

Does she actually have ADHD?

I choose to focus on Path 2

Let’s look at the symptoms

Peel the layers back

Offer support

Teach skills

And help her grow

Every kid deserves to be understood,

Karen 💜

PS — Download my free PDF that guides you through how to peel the layers back and discover the cause of the symptoms. It’s on my course platform for FREE.



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Karen Roach, LCSW

Karen Roach, LCSW

clinical social worker * educator * mentor * mom * kid champion * where big people come to help little people grow