Most recently I was working with a young woman who was very bright but had difficulties with her concentration, focus, organization, ability to stay on task, procrastination and had problems completing tasks. She was given two ADHD questionnaires; one for her parents to fill out and the other for her teacher at school. The parents returned theirs and it indicated many symptoms of ADHD but when I inquired about the questionnaire from the teacher, the parents reported the teacher didn’t fill it out. I inquired why that was, and they reported the teacher told them “Your daughter doesn’t have ADHD”. Naturally I wondered what medical or psychological training the teacher had that could allow her to make that diagnosis and asked the parents what basis the teacher made her assessment on. The parents indicated the teacher told them “She doesn’t have ADHD because she is very bright, is getting decent grades, and is able to sit still”
Naturally, like many of you who are reading this, I was very surprised that here in 2013, with all the awareness of ADHD, and ADD, that some educators are still somewhat naive about the differences between ADD and ADHD. Many people that I’ve treated indicated from early on in their formative years, they knew they were different from their school peers because they had problems that few of the other students had with concentration, focus, attention, task completion, procrastination and others but no matter how hard they worked it didn’t get better. What is most disheartening is that in some cases, teachers, parents, and other family members saw the clues but either denied them, or didn’t fully comprehend what they were seeing.
The young woman was tested and found to have ADHD, predominantly inattentive type and started on a regiment of medication, coaching and counseling and has made incredible progress. Gone are the anxiety, low self esteem and in their place is a bright, bubbly, cheerful young person who has seen her grades improve with less effort.
It should be noted here, that many many educators are aware of what to look for in their students and when they are suspecting ADHD/ADD they are notifying parents and counselors with recommendations that the student be seen by an ADHD specialist for proper diagnosing.
If you, or a loved one suspects they may have ADHD/ADD, find a local specialist to get a proper diagnosis.
If you are in the greater Portland Oregon (OR) vicinity, I would be happy to talk with you about ADHD/ADD medication, diagnosis, treatment, counseling or answer any other related questions.
As always I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, feedback and recommendations for future topics.