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
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
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
And help her grow
Every kid deserves to be understood,