All the wrong decisions

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
All the wrong decisions
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 11:05am
I can't tell you how happy I am to have stumbled upon this community this morning. I am completely frustrated and defeated with this ADHD stuff...and yet we haven't even gotten started?!? I'm not sure I have the energy left for the next 14 years???

My daughter is 4. Her daycare provider first told me there were issues with Maya when she was just under 2. As a concerned parent like the rest of you- I'm willing to do what ever is necessary to help her- research, doctors, etc. We went to the pediatrician- he said she was too young to diagnose. "She's just in her terrible 2's" We eventually had to take her out of the daycare she was in because of her hyperactivity and biting. Thought that an in-home center might be better because she would get more individual attention, and more room to "run off her energy". Impulsivity got the best of her, and we were asked to remove her from that situation. Next school- same deal, major problems with hitting, not being able to sit in circle time, not being able sit and eat. Went to a new pediatrician hoping for answers- nope, she's still too young to diagnose. Her preschool teachers suggested that we have her evaluated by ChildFind program at the public school. We've done that TWICE now, and the first time they said she was too young- the second time, after several class room evaluations and tests, they say that she most likely has ADHD, but that because she's not in school yet, she doesn't qualify for an IEP. Her "disability" isn't keeping her from learning.

To speed this along, we've had to move to Philadelphia for job reasons. Starting her in yet another school kept me awake at night for months. The week she started, I sat down with the administrators and pre K teachers to review with them ALL the paperwork I have on her. It's been 2 months, and last week in a teacher conference, they asked us to remove her from their school because she's a "hazard" to the school. (She walks off the playground without remebering to tell the teacher where she's going)


Called our new pediatrician this morning demanding she be tested again and diagnosed. No problem, they said...our first available appointment is the last week of October!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO UNTIL THEN??????????????????

Why is this so hard?? I've read a ton of books- she is a CLASSIC ADHD kid. ALL of her teachers have recognized this in her, both my husband and I do...yet we've gotten NO WHERE!! We have "issues" EVERY SINGLE DAY with her. I can't quit my job and keep her in the house for the rest of her life... It seems like no matter how much I read and learn, we can't get through the first steps of dealing with this!!!

Does anyone know of a good doctor or school in the Philadelphia area that can help??

Sorry so long.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 11:22am
What part of Philly area are you looking in? I love my PED practice, and would highly recommend them if the area is good for you. Have you contacted CHOP or St. Chris hospitals to see if their timetables for evals are any better? Also, we just started with a psych practice that has several offices in the Philly area - so far we are happy with them, and maybe that would be a good option for you to check out for your dd. If you would rather take this off-line rather than discussing specific locations (that kind of makes me uncomfortable on-line), you can e-mail me at (just please post a "heads-up" here if you e-mail ... I don't check that account very often!)

Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 11:46am
You are doing the best you can with the help you have gotten. You have not made the wrong decisions, the day cares & the docs have let you & your dd down. I have been through it all. Asked to leave, told he was too young, listened to the complaints, did what they said I should do, nothing worked. I changed pediatricians, and at 4 my son was put on Ritalin, we also saw a certified child psychiatrist. We still had horrible problems, the med would work for a few weeks and his behavior problems would start up. We changed meds, still no help, we went to a psych hospital for an evaluation. My son(now almost 8) is ADHD & Bipolar, so we did have much more going on with him.

One thing that hit me was the place that said she was a hazard. All I could say was HUH? Just because she walked off, well, they should be watching her a bit better I would think. If the school is a federally funded school they have to help you, Can't just tell you she has to leave PreK. Look for another Pediatrician, or a certified child Psychyatrist (a psychologist wont help much, she is too young for therapy and most behavior mosifications). If everything points to ADHD then why not give her help?? At this age they are learning a lot about friendships & social aspects, nothing is helping her by taking her out. It wont all go away in a year from now will it? She will still be ADHD, right? Why not give her the help she needs now? Those are the questions I would ask the doc.

Good luck & let us know if you find another doc with an appointment with in reason, Geez Oct??? That's awful!

Avatar for littleroses
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 11:26am
Like many others, I had been steered in the wrong direction. I knew my daughter had troubles when she was 18 months old, only I didn't know what ADHD was. I repeatedly asked for help and never got answers or was put off. I was told by daycare my daughter was bad. I went to the school district for help and they said she was one point away from qualifying for early intervention on whatever ungodly scale that says a child is okay to suffer by one point. The pediatrician put me off, then the schools did also; long story. My daughter suffered terribly. If a child is floundering in kindergarten...there is a problem because I LOVED kinder when I was a kid. Who couldn't? From K to 2nd grade I heard a variety of adjectives regarding my daughter. Flaky being one from her 1st grade teacher. I had counselors and teachers who kept implying it was my parenting. I stay at home, have a consistent lifestyle, a great marriage, stable income... all the so-called "right" things for a kid to flourish. I am a consistent parent. I knew that if my daughter threw a fit in the store, to walk right out with her. I wasn't a dummy. Yet, I listened to these people and doubted my ability to parent. There's something wrong with her...there must be something wrong with mom.

That's why my child jumps fully clothed into the deep end of a swimming pool and not know how to swim. That's why my daughter jumps up and down in her chair, can't pay attention and can't learn as well as the other kids because I spoiled her. Well, I recall plenty of spoiled kids who were still able to learn. I regret doubting myself. Okay, even if it is all my fault, why can't we still get help?

If you truly feel something is not right, you need to ask and ask and ask again. Whether or not you get meds or still need help in some way. There are many people and professionals who do not even believe ADHD is a valid syndrome. These people also have not lived our lives.

So, although I do not have any good ideas for you, I do want you to know that your experience is not uncommon. You feel beat up on all sides and utterly alone trying to figure it all out. What bad parent would work this hard to find help? You're a good parent because you are trying so hard and you are so persistent. You are your child's ONLY advocate. Trust no one. Accept help they offer, but don't take it as gospel. At the end of the day, they don't have to take your child home and see her suffer. They don't have to see her come home from kindergarten one day so frustrated with herself that she asks at the tender age of 5 why she was ever born.

You need to be pushy and you have the right to expect some sort of help. Whether or not they want to diagnose her with ADHD, they need to help you figure out what to do to help her in the meantime (at the very least.)

I feel so much empathy for you, having been there. Good luck and hug your baby. This will get better.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
Sun, 05-18-2003 - 5:23pm
Thank you- very, VERY good advice. You're so right- I am her only advocate. I called all over town last week, and finally pushed hard enough to get her an evaluation appointment this coming Thursday. A small win- but a win none the less.

I feel like after 4 years, I've gotten the best information and the best direction from this message board. Thanks for helping me to regroup, refocus, and stay positive for my little one.