It can be quite a startling experience, one that most mothers never expect to hear.
The reality is that teachers will often be the ones to first recognize some kind of trouble. For me it was my sons 6th grade teachers telling me that they think my son might have ADHD. This led to some discussion within the family, and then making a phone call to the local psychologist.
The appointment went well, with the psychologist being both informative and helpful. I think my son was a little bewildered by the whole thing, he knew that he often get in trouble for acting out in school, but he didn’t really understand why he had to go to this doctor.
The psychologist explained the symptoms of ADHD to my son, and he agreed that there was some type of problem or disorder. The psychologist recommendation was to continue having meetings every few weeks to try and discuss school and behavior, and to visit a psychiatrist to try and get prescribed some kind of ADHD medication that might help my son concentrate and stay on task more effectively.
My son was on medication for several months and actually a few different medications within several months. The medications were somewhat effective, his performance at school improved somewhat, and his concentration showed some increase. He was more able to sit down and finish his homework with out getting distracted. His grades even increased a bit. But all was not as well as it seemed. The medication also has some side effects that middle school kids probably don’t really need to be subject.
My son grew tired, sometimes even nodding off throughout the day. His personality also changed. He seemed much more distant, and at some time more than a little spacey. This is what led to the change in medications to try and find the best one that helped his ADHD but also had mild side effects. Which worked the best? None of them, actually. My son decided that he didn’t want to take medication any more in High school and I supported his decision.
ADHD is known to become less pronounced as children age, this was the case for my son. He is in college now, and doing well, his grades are good and he is functioning great in the college environment. I have had discussion with my son, and he has an interesting take on the ADHD diagnosis.
He mostly thinks that drugs are not the best answer for treating ADHD. He preferred meeting with the psychologist and engaging in a helpful manner with him. He thought the psychologist had good advice about getting in to good study habits and how to manage his time. My son hasn’t visited the psychologist for several years now, but it is quite obvious that he was a good influence and mentor to my son.
In my experience, a good psychologist is an essential first step or part of helping to deal with ADHD.