“Stigma, just like a bad diagnosis, delays and thus denies treatment.”


Perhaps it is the stigma that has kept me from talking much about this: L has been diagnosed [by a licensed psychologist] with ADHD.  I am finally seeing a psychiatrist on Wednesday to discuss whether medication would be helpful in his case.  I am hesitant to medicate, but L has started saying things to me like, “I just can’t concentrate.” and “My mind is just so busy!”  It’s difficult now to keep him on task which is part of why C went to preschool these past two years; I’m concerned how it will go next year when they’re both home full-time.

Furthermore, it has been suggested by a therapist I was seeing a few years ago that I too might benefit from an evaluation.  So far, I haven’t done much about that.  :/  When ADHD first came up as a possibility for me, I did a lot of reading, a lot of crying, and a lot of denying.  I am a former classroom teacher who once believed that most ADHD diagnoses were excuses for normal childhood energy.  I have since realized this is a simplification of a complicated issue.  There is a good chance the therapist is correct about me.  It would explain a lot.  Whether medication would help me is still to be determined.

So stigma.  I’ve already had people suggest to me that medicating L is silly:  that’s the great thing about homeschooling–you can meet his needs without drugging him!  But we have tried multiple things to help L stay on task for even the shortest amounts of time, to make it “more interesting”, to find an instructional style more suited to his learning style, and yet he still struggles in areas that based on his level of intellect he shouldn’t struggle with. Disparaging ADHD meds as a whole belittles all that we have already tried and makes a very hard decision harder.

His psychological report said more than just ADHD, but that’s for another time if ever.  He is not his diagnoses.  He IS a silly, creative, enthusiastic, clever, energetic, feisty boy who needs more than the “standard American education” to meet his potential.  Homeschooling is part of that.  Medication may be another part.  I hope my friends and family will continue to support him and his needs.

One thought on “Stigma

  1. I will continue to love Liam and you no matter what kind of diagnosis you receive. Liam is a wonderful little boy who unbelievably will be 10 years old next week. He is Liam and if he is better with medication, that is a good thing. I know medication is not for all ADHD children, but it is not always the right thing to do. I know you and Tim will come to the right decision for him.

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