A number of factors need to be considered when you are told that your child is ADD/HD. The first thing you want to do is to understand all you can about ADD/HD. You also want to sit down and list what it means for your child, as a unique individual being, to be ADD/HD. Remember that this diagnosis is observational in nature.
If your child is ADD/HD, then your child was born ADD/HD. What has happened that has made it need to be labeled now? What were the stops along way that led from high energy, curious, creative and bright to disabled? Start a journal about your child, ask for observations, especially from the people who are around your child when you are not.
Ask yourself and other key people in your child’s life questions like: Are there times of day, days of the weeks, or certain situations which seem to trigger the child? Keep a food log and keep track as much as possible of what your child is eating. Are their certain foods that cause spikes and crashes? Or certain foods that lead to acting out or melting down? How about certain situations or people? Did the child have a year at school, or experience at camp where their behavior seemed to go to unmanageable? Were there major shifts in your child’s world such as living situations, acquiring or loss of a close friend or family member?
Talk with your child and have them tell you as much about their days as possible and compare it with what other people experienced of them that day. See where they may be making incorrect assumptions or did not understand the larger picture of what was going on in a certain situation.
Keep in mind that all very bright children have a great deal going on in their head and are impatient to learn, to understand, and will disconnect when bored.
If teachers or other people are strongly pushing the idea that your child is ADD/HD, ask them to be as specific as possible as to why. In order to gain a better understanding of what is going on, enlist them in getting the answers to the questions you are keeping track of. Also, ask what they think the solutions are if your child is ADD/HD. If they want to move to a drug based solution, make sure you are clear if there are benefits for them to have your child drugged and easier to manage.
Maybe your child is gifted with ADD/HD, so what you want to stay clear on is: When did that gift become an unmanageable problem, and will medication solve problems or mask them? First, remember that many factors are going on in your child’s life which could lead to a request for an official diagnosis and a recommendation of medication, and that in medicating, those factors will easily get lost because the medication seems to solve all the problems.
As you draw the picture of your …