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My 12 year old obviously has inattentive type ADD. I haven't wanted to diagnose her though, because until middle school, she had been doing okay in school (mostly A's, occasional B's). Middle school started, and the combination of the stress of middle school plus hormones has made her ADD infinitely worse, so I decided to have her evaluated and diagnosed. Her doctor said it was likely a "slam dunk" for ADD.... all we needed to do was have her teachers fill out the Vanderbilt assessments and send them back to the doctor.

WELL.... out of the 5 teachers who did the assessment, only ONE marked the assessment to show that my kid has ADD. WTH???? I have email after email from all of her teachers that say my kid sits in class doodling or reading a book, and that she NEVER pays attention or turns classwork in (usually because it's incomplete). One teacher wrote me a note one day saying that my kid was so distracted by the sparkles on her dress, she didn't even finish her test in class and ended up getting a 48 on it! BUT, according to the doctor, the teachers' vanderbilt assessments say that my kid doesn't have ADD.

The thing is, she would be totally failing if it weren't for the Herculean efforts that I invest in her schooling. I'm the one who makes sure my kid turns in all her work on time. I'm the one who writes little reminders and notes everywhere to help my kid remember to accomplish things throughout the day. I'm the reason my kid's grades are always up.... not that I DO the work for her, but I make sure SHE sits down and does the work. And I frequently go in and remind her to stay on task. And I talk through her work with her when she feels stuck.

Her teachers only have her for 40 minutes a day and she is 12 years old, and she was raised right. She has learned a lot of little tricks to help her remember things (she wears rubberbands on her wrist to remind her to do certain things, she writes notes on her hands, etc....). She is sweet and polite and respectful and she makes mostly A's with a few B's so she doesn't fit the "typical" ADD mold.

I'm just at a loss, because I don't know what to do next.... the teacher assessments don't match the parent assessments and because of that, her doctor won't give her a diagnosis.

Is it me? Is it possible my kid doesn't have ADD and I'm just a really horrible parent???
I can't speak specifically for your situation, but I can mention a bit about the teachers at my son's school.

When he was diagnosed he was in 2nd grade. It was one of his teachers that suggested we have him checked out to see what the official word would be from the teachers and the doctor.

And like you, we had some teachers that complained about his ADD like symptoms in school fill out the form saying that he had NO symptoms in their class, despite the emails and notes we had from them stating the exact opposite.

We've had him with ADD now for 5 years. And we've seen that often, even in a different school now (we moved him when the first school proved to be totally unwilling to actually work with him) there are teachers that don't WANT an ADD diagnosis for one of their kids, since often it means more work for the teacher. Even with a special ed diagnosis tossed in to help things, and to get extra help from special ed teachers for the inability to focus that well at school even when on meds, some teachers just don't want to have to deal with it.

Last year we had a math teacher (his first male teacher, 6th grade, who unfortunately was a total piece of useless trash since my son was SO excited to finally have a male teacher) that ignored the IEP and did nothing for the accommodations, and even the principal who put one of those accommodations in place (if homework goes for two hours, stop and let the teacher help him finish in school the next day) this particular teacher refused to. And the principal wouldn't support us when we brought it up.

Far too often, the schools and teachers just don't want to have to do that extra bit of work or attention for an ADD kid, since otherwise then it screws up their puppy mill mentality of pushing out a single lesson every day with no interruptions and no adversity. Kids either learn or they don't, it's not the teacher's problem. They put in their 7 hours a day and that's all they want to have to do now.

And I'm not saying that all are like that - we've had a couple that were just stellar, and if I could nominate them for some kind of award, I would. But we've also had the exact opposite, the ones who would've been better being born as a plant, so they could at least convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, since as a teacher they were a waste of carbon...

I'd approach the teachers who said one thing to you, and another on the sheets, and find out what and why, and put them on the spot to explain either the one stance they took prior to the assessment, or the stance they took after it.

Either way, good luck. I'm a single dad, and my son just turned 13, so I know how difficult it can be... Hang in there.
Hello marisuela,

My daughter, who is now 24 years old, was diagnosed with A.D.D. the summer before starting 3rd grade. I don't believe the school system is the best source to determine or evaluate a child for A.D.D.

We worked with a Child Psychiatrist who felt my daughter needed an evaluation by a Psychologist who did evaluation/testing for A.D.D. Testing was age appropriate and encompassed memory, math, problem solving, puzzles and more. One of the tools used was a computer that had specific games that can help in the diagnosis of A.D.D.

I had a whole bunch of forms to fill out related to my daughter and her behavior.

After all was said and done she was diagnosed with "inattentive" A.D.D. I then went to the school with this diagnosis and asked for special help for my daughter. When a child is diagnosed with ADD then there are options for help under section III, one of those options is an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

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