There comes a time in a parent’s life when you have a less that perfect conversation with your child’s teacher where you may get a report of your son or daughter’s misbehavior. For some, we can shrug it off and blame the interruption on a lack of sleep or some sort of disruption on the home front, but for others the conversation happens so often that the rose colored glasses have to come off and the parents must accept that their child may have something more serious than just an “off” day.
For the parents of these children words can start to be thrown around such as ADD or ADHD and with those words comes an almost automatic next step for medication. Parents may see their child as creative and spirited, where teachers and administrators see them as disruptive and uncontrollable.
Although it is understandable that teachers aren’t able to focus on just one student and neglect the rest of the class, the student in question still needs an advocate and deserves to receive the proper analysis. That advocate is their parent.
Parents should always get a second, and maybe third opinion before accepting a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. Talk to the child’s pediatrician and maybe a child behavior specialist to make sure that the diagnosis is correct and that the child does not have a different learning disability. It’s also good to do research on your own so that you can work with experts, teachers and childcare providers. You can also learn about alternatives to medications and what treatment is best for your child.
It is also important to ask lots of questions and not just accept what people tell you if you don’t understand. Don’t forget that just because they are the experts, you are the parent.
What do you think? Are kids being diagnosed too readily with ADD/ADHD? What else can parents do to ensure their child is being diagnosed and treated properly?