Hello all. I am a single mother to a 12 year old boy with ADHD. I was never diagnosed, but from what I can remember from my childhood and to this day, I am pretty sure I have it. I’m having a very hard time with my son because my ex, his father, doesn’t want me taking him to possibly get diagnosed because he doesn’t want him “labeled.” Any advice would be wonderful. Thank you all.
The belief in avoiding labels sometimes really frustrates me. There are plenty of situations where labels are really useful. Labels can be validating that the things he finds difficult and the ways he feels different have a reason and he’s not “lazy/flaky/stupid”. Labels also help people find others like them and find solutions that are helpful. If your son has ADHD and you can confirm that then your family can be more effective in figuring out the best ways for him to thrive. Going undiagnosed and untreated leads to increased risk for things like financial problems, relationship problems, car accidents and addiction (I got those from fairly reputable sources, but I don’t have the references at hand to fact check it, so apply a grain of salt). Refusing to label it in many ways makes it so your son has to reinvent the wheel.
I deeply wish I could have gone through the diagnostic process as a child. It didn’t occur to anyone that I might have ADHD. I invented my own wheel, but I also suffered a lot and I think earlier intervention could have reduced that suffering.
I wish you the best of luck in helping your son
Hey there @CraftyHugz! Welcome to the forum
I have to say, I agree with @Ion here. There’s LOT of benefits and relived shame that comes from an official diagnosis. However, I understand it can be very difficult to navigate that with your ex. Maybe you could talk to him about how being labeled isn’t necessarily bad? Even then, I would suggest you go for an evaluation yourself. It can really help and you might learn tricks and tips that can help your son.
I hope you like it here, and don’t be afraid to ask more questions or poke around and see if you find anyone with a similar experience. good luck with everything!
Really glad this thread exists since I’ve also been wondering how to reply to that question - “But do you really NEED a diagnosis?”