Will an ADHD Diagnosis Saddle My Child with Stigma?

ADHD misconceptions and stereotypes scare many families away from an evaluation. Here, see those concerns debunked.

10/19/2021 10:00:00 PM

ADHD misconceptions and stereotypes scare many families away from an evaluation. Here, see those concerns debunked.

If you fear that an ADHD diagnosis will label your child for life, I get it. But as I found out with my own children, the positives of an evaluation far outweigh the negatives. Here, learn how to shrug off the concerns and stigma of an ADHD diagnosis.

, hearing loss, and more all cause symptoms that could be mistaken for ADHD. To appropriately address your child’s symptoms, it’s important to understand the cause. This knowledge will dramatically increase the chances of developing an effective treatment plan.

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5. “Pathologizing my child will make them feel like there’s something wrong with them, and lead to self-esteem issues.”Explaining to your child that ADHD means their brain works differently than others’ doesn’t have to be a bad or scary thing. Chances are, without understanding why they does things differently, they will sense they are different. Your child will know that they struggle in ways that other children don’t. They may get negative feedback from peers and teachers that they will internalize, without understanding the context for that assessment. That will lead to

self-esteemissues.6. “Doctors and teachers will force my child to take medication. We don’t want to put our child on mind-altering meds.”Neither a school nor a physician can force your child to take. That will always be up to you while your child is a minor, and your doctor will help you make an informed decision. headtopics.com

[Read: Stop Fighting Your Child’s Neurodiversity]As a psychotherapist who uses diagnostic information, I am pro-diagnosis. But as a parent, I’ve experienced the benefits of diagnosis up close. Years ago, an evaluation of my youngest child for what we assumed was ADHD turned out to be something else. That allowed us to offer life-changing treatment we would not have known to seek.

A diagnosis for my children with ADHD meant they were entitled to learning specialists who made a difference at school. It meant I understood what drove their difficult behaviors and reminded me to dig for compassion for their struggles in moments when I wanted to scream. It meant I could become Mamma Bear, standing up for my misunderstood children. And it meant I could excuse myself from feeling that I was a failure at parenting. A diagnosis is information. And information is power.

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Good article. I think the labels of 'weird', 'thick', 'lazy', 'stupid' etc are far more damaging and longer which is what children will hear if they're not diagnosed. To have the label is to understand it and know that you're essentially a 100m sprinter in a marathon. There is still a stigma attached to ADHD in many non-English speaking countries, including wealthy ‚Western’ countries like Austria, where we live. My 11-year old’s psychiatrist advised us not to tell his school about his ADHD diagnosis as there would be more to lose than gain 😢

standupkid I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 8 years old. I am 52. I went to boarding school and was taught discipline and perseverance. It has not been easy. Most importantly I have never seen my ADHD as a bad thing. I learned that there are good aspects to having ADHD & use it!

“My Childhood ADHD Diagnosis Was the Secret That Nearly Destroyed Me.”“The telltale ADHD symptoms that had followed me through my life – hyperactivity, distractibility, impulsivity, inattention, sleep problems, restlessness, and hyperfocus (to the point of obsession) – had actually led to an ADHD diagnosis some time in my childhood. But my diagnosis was kept from me for many, many years.” This is shocking that parents wouldn't disclose an ADHD diagnosis to their child--how frustrating it must have been!

Embrace Yourself (aka My Secret to Living Well & Productively with ADHD)Never apologize for your ADHD. Once you learn to work with your diagnosis, not against it, your life will improve — and you'll accomplish more important things with more clarity and joy.

'Q: What Are the Best Planners for ADHD Brains? Paper or Digital?'The best planner is a paper planner because it allows students with ADHD to truly see their time mapped out, plus the act of writing cements information in a way that typing does not. Writing things by hand has always worked well for me in exactly that way. It's the old hand-eye thing. It just helps the info get set in there better. Maybe different pathways are being utilized? Also, the slight slowing down helps. And I'm including taking notes, making lists, whatever.

“ADHD Is Too Often Overlooked in Women. This Needs to Change.”“Undiagnosed ADHD in women has far-reaching consequences that can impact every area of life. While an early diagnosis is best, a diagnosis at any age can start a woman on a new path that will change her life for the better.”

“My Childhood ADHD Diagnosis Was the Secret That Nearly Destroyed Me.”“The telltale ADHD symptoms that had followed me through my life – hyperactivity, distractibility, impulsivity, inattention, sleep problems, restlessness, and hyperfocus (to the point of obsession) – had actually led to an ADHD diagnosis some time in my childhood. But my diagnosis was kept from me for many, many years.” This is shocking that parents wouldn't disclose an ADHD diagnosis to their child--how frustrating it must have been!

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