Our son was pretty young when he was diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive type. He was halfway through second grade. He would have been seven, turning eight. It would have taken us much longer to have my son tested for ADHD if it weren’t for his second-grade teacher. I am incredibly grateful for her.
I have a hard time remembering what happened last week, let alone ten years ago! Bear with me while I recall these events. When my son was a baby, I never really noticed anything, at least not that I remember. I didn’t start seeing anything different until he was a little older. I think I wasn’t paying much attention because we focused on understanding his tactile defensiveness and getting a diagnosis for that.
Looking back on it, the only thing that I remember that would have made me question ADHD is that he could never do two-step commands. I always had to ask him to do one step at a time. For example, I could never ask him to put his shoes on, get his coat on, and then put his book bag on in one sentence. I had to break up my instructions.
In first grade, his teacher mentioned that he had difficulty following directions. I just thought that was my son being my son. I didn’t know anything about it, so we didn’t do anything. His first-grade teacher ended up having my son tested at the school without our permission. That made me pretty upset. I wasn’t upset that he got tested, just that his teacher didn’t inform us or ask for our approval. With that incident with his teacher, we didn’t do anything further.
When he got in second grade, my son’s teacher talked to us at Parent-Teacher Conference. She said the same thing as his first-grade teacher. He had a hard time following instructions, and he got distracted easily. She was the one that said we might want to get him tested outside of school. That is where his diagnosis started.
After we met with her, I contacted his pediatrician. We met with him, and he referred us to a specialist at the university where we live. Once we met with the specialist, he decided that my son needed to get tested. That was a significant process. We had to fill out pages and pages of paperwork about my pregnancy with him, how delivery went, how he was as and baby and a toddler, and how he was at home. His teacher also had to fill out paperwork on how he was at school. The paperwork took us a couple of weeks to complete.
Once all the paperwork was complete, the doctor had us bring our son to the office so he could have some testing done on a computer. I am not sure what he did on the computer. We were not allowed in the room while he was taking that test. I think they explained it to us, but I can’t remember what it was.
After all of that, the doctor finally told us that he had ADHD. He explained that there were different types and that our son had the inattentive type of ADHD.
I would love to say that we came home and researched ADHD and what it was and how to deal with it, and we became experts, but that is not how it went at all. After all of my research, I am still learning new things about ADHD every day.
That was our experience getting our son diagnosed. I would love to hear from others about your experience of having your child or children diagnosed.