This article on HuffPost about how many girls are missing being properly diagnosed with adhd until years of suffering got me going tonight.
This is such a good thing to know for any parent. As the article says, many girls aren’t diagnosed until late if they have the “inattentive adhd” type. Our daughter would have been completely missed if I hadn’t alerted her Kinder teacher and asked her to keep an eye out for possible symptoms (our oldest was already diagnosed with the hyper form of adhd). Within months she was telling me, basically, “You were right! I wouldn’t have noticed that when she was sitting so nice and quiet she was actually not “present” in the class at all!” By the end of Kinder, she had learned the sum total of whatever her teacher could teach her ….one on one, only. I asked her what she thought we could do to help her learn – “more one on one is about it” – assuming we didn’t want to drug her. So that’s a big reason why we began homeschooling her for 1st grade, and I’ve never regretted it. You know why? Because two of the top symptoms, anxiety and depression, simply aren’t an issue for our girl. I think anyone slowly falling behind in a standardized learning environment is obviously going to develop anxiety and depression, but because we have pushed her only at the level she is able to cope with, she simply isn’t. In fact, she is a wonderfully self confident girl who leads the whole family in imaginative play.
We also have other daughters, and I suspect at least one has the hyper form of ADHD. She would be diagnosed within weeks of starting school. Interrupting, constant chatter, inability to stand still for any length of time – this one homeschools standing up or dancing usually! I love that for her, homeschooling means she can get those wiggles out.
We still struggle though. We are waiting, have been trying to get, psych ed evals for our kids. We need to know if they have any learning disabilities that are complicating things too. We tried Intuniv with our oldest years ago and right now we’ve been trying short acting stimulants. So far I am really not impressed by the side effects. Yes, he or she can focus, but the appetite loss and the over-sensitivity to noise and activity when the meds wear off are really not good. There really is no good option – there is only the prioritization of effects. When does the ability to learn balance out the bad? We’re still struggling through it.