The day I had long anticipated and dreaded came and went.
All three of my beautiful children now have a diagnosis for a nuerodevelopmental condition.
My middle child was diagnosed with ADHD two weeks ago.
I am so angry for her. Angry because she was born with ADHD yet for years anything and everything else has been blamed for her struggles except what was so obvious.
The phrase “people see what they want to see” has never rung truer. Or stung so much.
My child would have been diagnosed years ago if their school had backed us up. School frequently complained about her challenging behaviour yet when given questionnaires from CAMHS ( Children’s And Adolescent Mental Health Service) schools answers and our own didn’t tally.
Diagnosis is not about a label. That is something I want to make very clear.
My child is my child and is very much loved exactly they way they are. We have no desire to see her change.
All I have ever wanted is to understand and help her.
We first asked whether my child might have ADHD seven years ago. My child ticked all the boxes in our minds from a very early age.
Please stop and consider how much my child has suffered and lost because all those years ago no diagnosis was reached.
My child has lost out on years of specialist support. She has struggled alone, the huge toll of this is very evident on her mental health.
My child has struggled severely with concentration, she has lost out on years of schooling and learning. She doesn’t realise how smart she is because she measures herself against neurotypical peers who have not faced nor ever will face the battles she has.
My child has lost several friendships because her impulsive disruptive behaviour was seen as delinquent, she was seen as trouble and to be avoided. No one supported her or tried to understand.
The cost of a late diagnosis will likely effect my daughter for the rest of her life. The damage done is so deep and raw. My child believes they are worthless, that there is no point in trying. My child thinks she is broken and that this is somehow her fault.
I saw the questionnaires results this time from both home and my child’s new school it was heartbreaking to see just how off the scale my child scored in both settings. It is not like you could understand previous discrepancies because there was only minimal meeting the threshold. Right across the board even on the questionnaires my child filled in her difficulties were off the scale.
The further heartbreaking element to all this is ADHD is likely only the tip of the iceberg for my middle child. There is and has always been strong evidence of further neurodevelopmental conditions being present too, again no formal assessments were carried out previously because school didn’t back us up.
Schools appear to sit in a position of tremendous power over vulnerable families and children effectively acting as judge, jury and executioner in the lives of the young people they are meant to be enhancing.
Sadly I know we are not the exception. Many families fight the same battles day in day out. Something I do notice though is girls definitely are suffering far more because there is an assumption the neurodevelopmental conditions such as ADHD and ASD are seen as problems associated more with boys.