Should I tell my child that she has ADHD?
Yes, your child may sense something or experience difficulties with friendships, school performance, getting things done etc. Understanding the symptoms of ADHD helps implement strategies for your child to use. Reading a story book together about ADHD may help you explain and talk about it together.
My child been diagnosed with ADHD and we are working with him at home and at school but my parents are “not on board” and it’s causing friction in our lives. What can we do?
Speak with your parents about ADHD, invite them to learn more by providing them with information or invite them to a PANDA conference. Ask them for their support and let them know how important it is to you that we all work together to help your child.
My child has many of the ADHD symptoms and I am wondering if ADHD may be the reason for the challenges we are facing at home and at school, what should we do?
Speak with your pediatrician or family doctor about your child and your observations, explain your concerns. Ask your Doctor if he or she has knowledge about the symptoms of Attention Deficit With or without hyperactivity Disorder. Not all doctors have an understanding of ADHD. Your Doctor can refer you for an assessment that is administered by a psychiatrist. This assessment gathers information from you the parent, the school and other people who intervene with your child. The assessment will provide you and your doctor with the diagnoses.
In addition check out our resources listed on this site for hospitals or clinics that provide assessments.
How do I tell my daughter she has ADHD with impulsivity?
Whatever your natural instinct is telling you is probably the best way to respond. It really depends on the age of your daughter; you must choose your words carefully, while still being truthful. Dr. Annick Vincent wrote a very good book on this subject: “My Brain Needs Glasses.” It presents many options on how to broach this subject with your daughter. You could begin by asking her some questions that would highlight her symptoms : “Have you noticed that you tend to jump on tasks quicker than expected? That you answer before I’ve even finished asking a question?” etc. Then, continue by asking her if these tendencies are causing problems at school, with her friends, or at home. You could then suggest some solutions or tips she might use right away, and eventually add any complementary strategy you’ve decided to use (psychoeducation, medication, etc.) Remember to always answer her questions to the best of your knowledge. You should also stress that she is a bright young girl and that ADHD is just something she’s born with (just like the colour of her eyes). Remind her that with the correct strategies in place her condition has positive effects (creativity, generosity, humour, etc.)
I hope it goes well!
for PANDA BLSO
I would like to know what concrete measures (financial or material) are offered by the government to support families living with a child with ADHD.
I look forward to your answer.
Your question comes at an interesting time because a petition was filed with the Quebec government last fall to adopt a more comprehensive approach to dealing with ADHD. Right now, families receive very little support from the government, which explains the motivation behind this petition. On a more local level, we are currently working on compiling a list of resources and services to help families dealing with ADHD, which is a good start.
Regarding financial support specifically, if the symptoms are severe enough that it hinders the individual’s daily life, you could ask your physician to fill out a Disability Tax Credit Certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency. This will give you a tax credit, and you will also receive child disability benefits paid on a regular basis.
As for school, many modifications and adjustments are possible (extra time to hand in tests, remedial tools used in class, etc.) and are increasingly adopted by school administrators for all age groups.
My daughter is in 4th grade and her teacher keeps telling us that she still has serious attention difficulties knowing full well that she takes medication for ADD. She does not want to adapt her teaching methods to accommodate my daughter’s specific issues related to organization and memory, and she does not want to implement any action plan. What can we do?
Medication is not a magic bullet, and while it can certainly have a significant effect on attention deficit symptoms, you should really start with the base — providing support and making adjustments at school and at home. Are there other caregivers in contact with your daughter when she is attending classes? If so, you could get in touch with them or with the school administration to discuss the possibility of implementing an action plan for your daughter. This is not something only her teachers can do!
Any adjustment and support you can provide is essential to your child’s development, both in school and at home. You have probably already adjusted your parenting style and the rules for your home. If your daughter’s teacher were interested in obtaining more information you can refer her to us, we’re always happy to help! Dr. Annick Vincent’s website is also a good source of advice and tips for people in your situation.
Hello! I have a 7-year-old boy with ADHD and I heard that there is an inexpensive test at the University of Montreal. Do you have more information about that? Not everyone has a spare $1,500 for specialized testing... Thanks!
I know there is an ADHD clinic at the Douglas Institute of McGill University that does testing and treatment. The test is targeted at children ages 6 to 12, and can officially confirm whether they have ADHD or not. Parents need a referral from the attending physician to get an appointment. For more information, please contact the Douglas Institute at 514 761-6131, extension 2093 (reception), or on the web at www.douglas.qc.ca.
My son’s childcare worker suspects he has ADHD, but he is barely 3 years old. Is it possible?
Hello. Yes, it’s possible if the symptoms are quite severe. Even at his age, symptoms like agitation and impulsivity can be detected. In general, ADHD is only diagnosed once children go to school, as they are more stringent about the types of behaviour they expect (sitting still, listening calmly, etc.) However, if ADHD symptoms are already present, you should implement some supporting strategies right away to help your son reach his full potential once he enters the school system. You should see our “Day to Day” section of our website for lots of ideas on how to proceed.
My son is almost 9 years old. He suffers from attention deficit plus impulsivity. This year, he has gone from a good (but restless) student, to a bad student who no longer seems interested in school. We spoke with the teacher without success. What can we do?
There are many strategies available to help children with ADHD. You could use tools such as cushions or heavy objects that would help your son stay focused. At school, you could ask his teacher to put up posters and charts to give him tips to follow about correct behaviour. A reward system could also keep him motivated. If major issues remain, even after implementing various strategies, then you might consider including medication to help your son manage his condition.
Can it be too early to seek help?
Let me explain...
My son will turn 5 in early October. During his annual check-up, the pediatrician told us he had several symptoms of ADHD. Since he is in daycare for another year, the pediatrician suggested that we wait until he enters kindergarten before starting an assessment (he will be almost 6 years old by then). This doctor added that maybe my son will grow out of it, and that it’s too early to do anything about this situation.
In addition, even though my son is slightly more difficult than my other children, it is mainly the comments from those around him and especially from the daycare that make me inclined to proceed with an assessment sooner than suggested by our pediatrician.
However, I trust this doctor and will probably follow his advice. Do you think my son could benefit from the various non-drug strategies offered in school? Should I attend ADHD conferences right away?
Thank you for your question, because many other families are in the same situation as yours. Getting an ADHD diagnosis is a multi-stage process, and we recommend you take your time to go through all of them. It is considered a “differential diagnosis”, because ADHD symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, such as anxiety disorder.
While your son is undergoing the diagnostic process, you should strongly consider learning more about ADHD and attending the conferences we organize. While these conferences are designed primarily to help children with ADHD, the strategies we discuss are suitable and useful for any children, whether they’ve been diagnosed or not.
Remember that you know your child better than anyone, and once you’ve attended one of our information sessions, you’ll be in the perfect position to determine whether or not he fits the ADHD profile.
Finally, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us by phone or email.
We hope to see you soon!
P.S. You can find the schedule for our conferences on this site.
Is there a cure for ADHD?
No. It is a neurobiological condition that is hereditary in 75% of cases. However, most people with ADHD are able to function and even thrive once they use certain supporting strategies, including psychoeducation, organization and structure, cognitive behaviour, medication, or a combination of the preceding. Once these are in place, the impact of ADHD symptoms is lessened and the person can reach their full potential.
Who can diagnose ADHD?
An official diagnosis of ADHD can only be made by a physician. This can be your regular family practitioner, or a specialist, such as a psychiatrist. That being said, not all physicians are comfortable performing this diagnosis, or even have the necessary knowledge to do so. In these situations, physicians should seek the assistance of Dr. Annick Vincent, an ADHD specialist based in Quebec City.
To perform a complete diagnosis, the physician will require an assessment by a psychologist, as well as observations from parents, teachers, and any other relevant adult figure in regular contact with the child.