What to do to get help with ADHD and skeptical parents?!

Question: What to do to get help with ADHD and skeptical parents.?
I have many of the symptoms associated with ADHD like:
-extreme lack of focus (I should have started my homework 2 hours ago!)
-inattentiveness (can't concentrate on something for more than 15 minutes)
-trouble staying organized
-lots of daydreaming

I have never gotten higher than a 3.2 GPA even though my SAT/ACT scores put me in the 90th percentile (I tend to concentrate more on these tests since they are only several hours). This has been going on like this since the 5th grade and I have a feeling that ADHD is a strong possibility. However, my mom is extremely skeptical about it and just thinks that I'm lazy. She says she knows what she is talking about (she is a nurse), but I don't think that she knows much on this situation (she thought that the only symptom of ADHD was restlessness and that Adderall was a sleeping medication!). We're going to see a doctor soon. Will the doctor ask her questions too and can her responses possibility affect my test results(e.g. my tests results come negative for ADHD even though I may actually have it).?
Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.Health Question & Answer

Hi, many parents are skeptical about ADHD mainly because they don't know much about it, and it sounds like your's know very little about it.

Thats ok, your doctors will understand this. When you are diagnosed they will interview you and if you do have genuine ADHD this will be obvious just from your interview. They will ask you question and no doubt want to look at your report cards and probably run a variety of tests on you. If you truly do have ADHD it will be diagnosed no matter what your parents say. In fact the doctors will probably be able to explain ADHD to them much better than you can and they will begin to understand more about the condition.

However, remember that everyone has a different length of attention span and different level of organisation. You may be lower than average but that does not mean you have a disorder. From your description of yourself it sounds more like you dont have the disorder. Of course you should get tested anyway because you might, it is very hard to describe yourself fully in a little yahoo answers question and there may be thinsg you arent telling us.

1. A 15 minute attention span is very, very long for someone with ADHD and if you can concentrate this long it is unlikely you have the disorder. For those with undiagnosed ADHD often 5 minutes or 10 minutes is a struggle. You may just have a short attention span.

2. Not starting your homework also isnt a sign, this is simply procrastination. Most with true ADHD have often not even done homework once in their entire lives by the time they are 15 or 16.

3. Irritibility is not a symptom. There are 3 main symptoms
1. Attention deficit
2. Hyperactivity
3. Poor impulse control

Most people with the disorder have significant problems in all three area's. You can be diagnised with just the attention deficit problems but they must be very, very severe to warrant a diagnosis.

To better understand the symptoms

1 Attention deficit - difficulty concentrating even for a few minutes, inability to complete work in the required time, underachivening for potential, getting bored and losing interest very quickly in things, easily distracted, cant stay on task, doesnt pay attention and drifts off when being spoken to directly. Report cards are generally full of comments like "could do better if tried, or if applied self better.

2. Hyoeractivity - restlessness, constant talking, tends to be very loud, fidgets and fiddles constanly, cant sit still or stay seated when required, requires a lot less sleep than the average person, exsessive energy, feels or appears to be driven by a motor, runs about and climbs a lot when it is innapropriate, gets hyped up very easily and has trouble settling down.

3. Poor impulse control - often in trouble, doesnt condider the consequences of action just acts now and thinks later, lives in the moment with little regards to the future, doesnt seem to learn from mistakes, impatient and incapable of waiting turns, interrupts and intrudes on others, blurts out answers before the question is finished, makes silly or careless mistakes in schoolwork.

There are 3 other essential features to ADHD and you must have all of them in order to be diagnosed.

1. It must be chronic. This is an inborn life long disorder, it does not appear at the age of 8 or 10 or 12. In order to be diagnosed you must have been sufferring from these problems your whole life and there must be evidence of this from at least as early as kindergarten and 1st grade. If you didnt have these problems since you were very, very young then it is not ADHD.

2. It must be pervasive. This is not a learning difficultly it is a behaviour disorder that affects all aspects of your life. In order to be diagnosed these problems must be present at school at home, when doing chores, when watching tv, when socialising with friends, when playing sport, when doing things you love and so on.

3. It must be severe. Everyone in the world has problems with attention from time tot ime, some more than others but that does not mean it qualifies as a disorder. In order to be diagnosed these problems must be significantly more severe than in others you age and have caused significant inpairment in your ability to function.Health Question & Answer

There's nothing wrong with asking your mom to wait outside until after you've talked to the doctor if you're afraid she'll try to make it seem like there's nothing wrong. Having her talk to the doctor afterwards will help her understand better what's going on.
This is your life, don't be afraid to do what you think is best!
And you're not lazy, don't ever let anyone put you down, ok.?Health Question & Answer

you will be the one who is analyzed for ADHD, you mums answers won't effect that. but tell the doctor, straight-up, that you disagree with your mom if she trys to take control of the visit. Get you homework done already. even a little at a time.Health Question & Answer

You can request to speak with the doctor alone if you want. If they test you, she won't be in the room anyway. My son is 10 and he has ADHD, most of the symptoms you listed. Lack of focusing, sometimes outbursts, restlessness, hyper activity. She has nothing to do with what you are going through, although it is known to be genetic also. Anything she says is not going to impact the final results. I wish you the best of luck and hang in there.Health Question & Answer

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