I think my 6 y/o dd may have ADHD--or something else. She has always been a quite spirited child since birth. She has a wonderful, fiesty, confident, extremely outgoing personality. In preschool, she was always difficult, but not impossible, to manage. She is subject to having intense tantrums and often does not follow directions or participate in group activities. She also resists following routines and completing her school work, even though she can easily and quickly complete it.
While she has always had her challenges with controlling her behavior, she has always been a fast learner and among the most advanced learners among her peers. She also has a delightful personality and makes friends easily, despite the behavior issues.
Her behavior first started becoming an issue in Pre-K. Her teachers could not manage her and she was completely out of control. We moved her into a private pre-k that had a more challenging curriculum and her behavior improved significantly, although she still had issues with controlling her emotions, participating in certain activities, and completing work independently. The director of the school concluded that her behavior problems were mostly due to being a bright kid who wasn't being challenged enough. Also, there was a thought she would grow out of some of the behaviors.
Now that she is in Kindergarten, she is still cruising along easily academically, but it's becoming more and more clear to me that her behavior is not just a personality quirk.
Her school has already put in place several behavioral interventions and she sees a counselor once a week. It has worked somewhat, but she still does not complete her work in school, has emotional outbursts, does not listen to her teachers, etc.
Last week her teacher emailed me that she was still refusing to complete her work and that she had put in a system in place to get her to comply. The first week produced no improvement in her performance, and so her teacher told me that if there was still no improvement, she would be sent to the office.
This was the straw that broke the camel's back, and so I emailed back and asked if I should request that my daughter be evaluated for ADHD or other behavior disorder. Her teacher told me to hold off and to see how she responded to the new intervention.
I am getting frustrated because after all that we've been through, I think it is clear that there is something amiss with my daughter. I'm afraid that since she is such a fast learner that they are not taking the possibility that she may have ADHD as seriously as they would otherwise. I don't want to wait until she starts having problems academically too before someone steps in and recommends that something be done.
Should I go ahead and get her evaluated by a psychologist on my own, or should I wait for the school to conduct an evaluation? I am just so confused about what to do next. It seems that the school is already going ahead with interventions, so I don't know why they haven't ordered an evaluation already. It is just so frustrating watching my girl struggle. She wants to behave and knows what she needs to be doing, but it seems that she just can't control her behaviors.
You can request an evaluation for the school but I have heard that schools are reluctant in paying for them. If your medical insurance has coverage for a developmental pediatrician, they can also diagnose for ADHD. I took my son to a developmental pediatrician to check for ADHD on top of his ASD, it was a few months wait though.
One red flag that it might NOT be ADHD to me is that she is doing well academically - is it possible she is bored with the schoolwork and just not challenged enough so acts out? Either way, I would see if you can get a private child psychologist or developmental pediatrician to evaluate her. Even if the school does do an eval. I have found I always wanted a 2nd opinion!! (Both my boys are special needs.) Depending where you live too it may take quite awhile to even get an appointment so you may as well call and get on their list!!!
I was going to request that the school evaluate her, but have decided to go ahead and pay for a private educational evaluation. In asking around it seemed pretty unlikely that dd was going to qualify for special ed services and a specialist we talked to said that dd's school system would likely deny our request for an evaluation anyway. Also, the school can't make the actual diagnosis and if the school conducts certain tests, then a private specialist wouldn't be able to perform those same tests for over a year or more. It seemed like we were going to have to get her looked at by someone no matter what so we decided to just go ahead and get it over with.
MomLeslieM, I am very concerned about getting the correct diagnosis as well. A lot of her behavior does seem to fit ADHD but then again there are other things that can cause that too. We were able to find a specialist who gets high marks for distinguishing between ADHD and other possible causes. This specialist does a lot of work with kids in dd's school system, so the school administration really trusts her and will generally adopt whatever what she recommends. We are hopeful that we will get to the bottom of what is causing dd's behavior so that she can get a fresh start next year in first grade.
The specialist is completely booked until June though so we will have a few more months of the behavioral roller coaster. I meet with dd's teacher next week about all of this so hopefully everyone will be able to make it to May.
The specialist also costs big bucks even if insurance covers some of it, but it seems like it will be money well spent. With my HSA and Care Credit we should be able to swing it.
Oh oh this sounds EXACTLY like my son! He is struggling to function in class but at home he is bright and a fast learner. I have Sooo much to say on this topic I'll wait until I'm on my pc so I can type faster haha
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