The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008



When my daughter had a hard time sitting still during circle time at her first preschool, the director suggested she might have A.D.H.D. You’ve got to be kidding me, I remember thinking. She’s barely three, for God’s sake.

No one was going to slap that label on my child.

I’d read plenty of news stories, about the rampant over-diagnosis of A.D.H.D. and other behavior disorders in children. I’d shake my head in disdain at parents who doled out medication to their children as casually as if it was Gummy Bear vitamins. It seemed as if they were looking to make their own lives easier and shirking responsibility for their kids’ behavior.

My daughter has always been strong-willed, impulsive and hard to control. But even as she got older, and complaints about her behavior mounted, I didn’t want to believe she had a disorder.

When she started kindergarten last fall, though, I could no longer deny that my little girl was different from the average five-year-old. With her disruptive antics and inability to follow directions, she quickly became the queen of timeouts. She was also the first student in thirteen years that her teacher, a patient and wonderful woman, had to send to the principal’s office.

What I’d been so intent on avoiding -- labeling my daughter in a negative fashion -- was happening anyway.

She’s known as “the girl who misbehaves” by classmates and some teachers. She refers to herself as “the worst student in school.” And during the anxiety attacks she’s recently developed, she says things like “I wish I wasn’t on the planet anymore -- I make too many mistakes.”

My little girl’s crying out for help.

I’m finally listening.

Through her school, we just completed a comprehensive mental and behavioral evaluation. The results point to A.D.H.D. and an anxiety disorder. But I’m meeting with outside medical and mental health professionals to rule out other possibilities. I’m educating myself so I can make informed decisions about treatment options if she does indeed have A.D.H.D.

I can’t strip away the negative labels others may attach to my daughter. I can only do my best to get her the help she needs.

Hopefully that will be enough.

By Dorothy O’Donnell


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Good for you for being aware and getting help!
You can do it, Dorothy.
Love, Anjie
Been there. I tried so hard not to get my son labeled. Never thought I would be where I am now. Living with the label and thankful for relief it brought - I now know what I can do for my child and understand him better.

Step 2. Getting my family see my son for what he is and not the result of bad parenting.

The biggest lesson I learned - reach out.
You are not alone.

Don't think about it as a label but as a point on a map. A diagnosis just helps you get where you need to go, to make things better. I know this for sure! My sons have so many diagnosis I just laugh when I get another one. If you want to talk give me a shout!

The fact that Mom "listens" will help your daughter on her journey. Keep being her advocate and listening...I know you will. Great writing.
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