Every now and then, someone comes along and sums up this complicated condition in such a neat way. Dr Ned Hallowell, author of many books on ADHD, talking more in Additude online magazine this week about Girls and why they often go undiagnosed. In his short video here , he ends by saying something so simple – basically, if your child is underachieving then go and get them tested.
I am sure it may be woefully obvious to an outsider, but to a parent – it is a Very Big Thing, getting your child or teenager tested for a neurobiological disability. Nobody wants to think there is something wrong with their kid, and you don’t want your kid to think there is something wrong with them either. Especially if – in my case – they are now a teenager and fast growing up. But just as they grow up, so the stakes get higher, with grades and exams counting for more and more, and with their threat of slipping further and further behind.
So Dr Ned has a point – don’t complicate it. If your child presents – as so many ADHDers do (who can seem to effortlessly excel in professions like acting and stand up comedy, where their bundle of traits become a positive rather than a negative) as an articulate, engaged, and entertaining person- and yet woefully underachieves at school – get them tested.
It’s not complicated. It’s just about UnderAchievement. It’s something only a parent or a caring teacher can tell. That’s the only starting point you need for the journey. And if they don’t test positive for ADHD, then back to the drawing board.