New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

ADHD in Boys

Who diagnosed your child?

My son (age 7) has always demonstrated symptoms of ADHD.  I remember saying when he was 2 or 3, “Yep, there is ADHD in our future!!!”  We completed the checklists for his pediatrician last year, and they showed him as having a tendency toward ADHD.  We decided to wait and see at that point, because it was not affecting his learning. He has gotten worse this year, not better.

He also has always displayed some sensory issues, but he never had enough symptoms for me to seriously consider autism or Asperger’s.  We had him evaluated by an occupational therapist this fall, and she said he likely has Sensory Processing Disorder - Sensation-Seeking Type.  In other words, he seeks out movement and motion.  Hmmm, easily confused with ADHD?  Yep.

I am fairly confident that he does have ADHD.  He has considerable difficulty staying focused on a task.  He is careless.  He is sloppy.  He is easily distracted.  He is in constant motion. 

I am just not 100% confident in the ADHD diagnosis.  No one has ever “screened him” other than the checklists that we filled out over a year ago.  I want someone to monitor him and work with him, not just medicate him. 

Did a regular doctor, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist diagnose your child?  What was the process?



I used a child psychologist and we they gave him many tests.  Originally a pediatrician said he had ADHD but I had many more questions that quite frankly he did not not know anything about.  So I then took him to psychologist with a PhD.  He has a severe learning disability.  I believe his behavior in the classroom are to escape/avoid academic tasks. His IQ is superior but he is many levels behind in reading.  Handwriting ugh!!!

Posted by Bd1974 on Jan 15, 2013 at 6:50pm

Your instincts are right.  You do need more than a checklist from you to diagnose ADHD.  Typically you need to get information from a parent, teacher, and an evaluation/observation from a professional.  The professional could be a pediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or licensed social worker.  Whichever professional you choose, they should have experience with mostly children.  There also needs to be impairment which could take place at home, school or with peers.  You mentioned SPD.  This is why you need a professional to evaluate and gather a lot of information.  Coexisting conditions such as SPD can mimic ADHD.  It’s really important to tease this out before you start medicating a child in my opinion.
-Katherine Price
Coaching Parents of Kids
with Special Needs.

Posted by KatherineADHDC on Jan 15, 2013 at 6:53pm

Pediatric Neuropsychologist it was a two day testing and discussion. One day was six hours and the other day was three hours. For younger children they break it up more and will even go to the childs day car or school.

Contact your local teaching hospital for information.

Posted by lucy67 on Jan 15, 2013 at 8:35pm

Our family physician initially diagnosed him and the dignosis was confirmed and expanded by an approximately 3 hour testing done by a clinical child psychologist. The advantage of this testing was the specific recommendations made to help him succeed in school.

Good luck

Posted by faye on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:16pm

Mitzi, that is a great article.  THANK YOU!


Posted by RunningMom on Jan 15, 2013 at 11:04pm

I’m so glad to be able to post this!  I took my 8yo to a psychiatrist, who talked with me for 20 minutes, explained that testing is expensive and the insurance won’t cover it, and showed me out the door.  Of course, she kept my co-pay!

The next psychiatrist asked me questions for 15 mintues (asked my son one) and gave me a prescription slip.  Boy was I mad!

I ended up with a child psychologist who’s been seeing him just about every week for a year.  After the first visit, she said it sounded more like depression than ADHD!  But after 8 months, we both came to the conclusion that I should think about medicating.  He’s not hyper, but the attention span is almost nil.

I saw another new psychiatrist who spoke with BOTH of us for a while and said he’d recommend Zoloft but I wanted to think about it and research why he’d use Zoloft.  The next visit he agreed to let us try Vyvanse.  It worked great for a few days but there was a wild depression that set in and we had to stop.

He’s now been on Zoloft for 2-1/2 months and it’s working out well.  He’s not doing perfectly but it’s much better.  He has a great teacher who’s willing to do a “star” chart in 1 hour increments with 4 goals for each hour.  This teacher is amazing!  So different from the dragon breather from last year.

My best advice, after all that, is don’t just accept the medication until YOU are comfortable.  Good luck!

Posted by Meg0422 on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:09pm

In addition to my previous post, I wanted to mention that one of my son’s classmates has sensory issues.  He had to wear a weighted backpack until 3rd grade.  I can’t remember exactly what it helped him with.  The school has a lot of good ideas for both of the boys!  Check with your school social worker and OT if you have them. 

Other ideas for my son, which didn’t work for him:
A pillow ring to sit on
A strip of fur on the desk to stroke
A lap board of some kind..can’t remember why
My friend uses a rubber band or hair tie around her son’s wrist

My son’s psychologist has been the biggest help though.  She pulled out her Asperger’s book and looked through it with me.  She meets with him almost every week.

The psychiatrist prescribes meds.  The psychologist takes the time to talk to him and teach him.  The pediatrician wants nothing to do with it.  And the school also works with him in a lunch group and sometimes individually.

It also came out that my son has a writing disability (dysgraphia) and finding out about THAT has been an eye opener.  The school has made accomodations for that as well.  He’d trigger every time it came to written work.  It looked a lot like ADHD but he just felt a lot of pressure from not being able to write.

Good luck!

Posted by Meg0422 on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:19pm

I am an Grandparent of a now seven year old boy, whom was diagnosed with ADHD in Kindergarten by a psychologist.  One of the teachers at that time asked was he Autistic, because he fidget in his chair.  which lead to having him assessed by a psychologist.
His parents struggled through his Kindergarten school year, since they were not ready to place him on medication. 
At the time and now according to his teachers he still exhibits ADHD behavior, but its sporadic according to their daily reports. 
He does not qualify for an IEP and at the time we knew little about 504 accomodations. 
I was/am not convinced that he has ADHD. 
He has an eye condition since birth where eyedrops, patching, eye surgery and glasses was done to correct the condition all by the age of three or four.  The surgery which was to relax the eye muscle,  worked for about an year to keep his eyes aligned.  In May of 2012, I learned about vision therapy and read some research, he began vision therapy one day a week for 30 minutes.  His teachers were notified about the condition and the vision therapy, provided them with documented information on how vision related problems mimic ADHD symptoms in children.  However based on the psychologist report,  the teacher checklist, his physician concluded and agreed that he has ADHD.
His parents finally agree to put him on ADHD medication and had three to choose from due to their insurance and they chose Vyvanse.  After reading posts concerning that drug.  I am not convinced that may be the correct ADHD medication or to medicate him at all.  We live in a small community in West Virginia, where some of the professionals mention are lacking to non-existant.  I will certainly share your comments with his parents before they begin medication this weekend.  Thank You

Posted by Help4Grand on Jan 17, 2013 at 4:48am

Reply to this thread

You must be logged in to reply. To log in, click here.
Not a member? Join ADDConnect today. It's free and easy!

Not a member yet? Join here »

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions