I homeschool, so no teachers were telling me that my son had issues. I have known since he was very small that he was much more active than other kids. I also knew that he misses a lot of social cues, often doesn't look at people when he is talking, and is behind his peers socially by a couple of years. Honest...when he was 5 he was still doing more parallel play than playing WITH other kids. My son has speech issues, and fine motor issues. All of these issues are on the same ones that kids on the autism spectrum have. Most of the same issues that sensory processing disorder have.
So why did I have him diagnosed if we weren't going to do medication (medical or "natural"?) Because I wanted to know how to teach my son best. That is it. Schools can do some stuff, saying that there is a problem, but they don't diagnose. So, now I have an idea of what we need to do for state testing (have an aid to keep him on track.) I have an idea of what to do to teach him - keep it low pressure so he doesn't "shut down" in his thinking (many ADD/ADHD kids perform worse under pressure.) I know I have to do most of the teaching in the morning, before he tires out.
Now, do I think that the doctor was totally correct? No - my son has vision issues that add the "H" to the ADD. Vision therapy is helping a lot with that, as well as some of his reading issues. I still see the impulsive and the distraction, but it has improved a lot.
Why are we not doing medication? Because as the teacher, I can adapt to him and how he needs to function. At such time as HE thinks he may need it, that is fine. Right now, we haven't even talked about it as he is only 8. Maybe high school, we will see. Maybe in the past teachers were more adaptable in the small country schools that only had 60 kids grades 1-12. Today's schools would make Mr. Ford (of the Model T) very happy at how much like a factory they are. My son would be the cog in the gears of today's school. Constantly running the opposite direction of the other kids. Not because he is bad, but because he just can't help himself. And just so you know, we limit sugar, my kids have not had soda pop that I gave them, and we eat a pretty healthy diet by today's standards. They get lots of sleep, are on a schedule/routine and know what to expect every day. They get plenty of exercise (no Wi or other games) and get plenty of outside time. And, we have rules and consequences, that are stricter than other families I have seen, but necessary so that I can keep track of my son. (I carried a leash in my purse up until he was 6 - because he was liable to run away, get distracted behind me, or start talking with and go off with strangers. I got a lot of "looks" but my child was safe.)
Now, ask me if I think that some. perhaps many, teachers are not able to teach to active little boys, and I will say yes. My daughter's kinder class was a case example of a long time teacher who, after the three week waiting period, had 8 boys leave the class because the teacher had inappropriate expectations about sitting still. Although I benefited from Title IX, I think that teaching has gone too far towards helping girls and has forgotten about the needs of boys. If this is the angle that you are reaching for, read the book "The Trouble With Boys" by Peg Tyre. Perhaps this book will help you define what the issue really is that you are seeing.
But, keep in mind, that most of us at this board knew long before any doctor or teacher told us, that something was different with our child/ren.
Oh - I so agree with you - you were certainly better in your post than I could have been - my mouth gets the best of me
homeschooling - oh right!!! - we got in battles since 1st grade - and I was a tutor from Jr. High thru College - I got paid in college - I know how to teach - but my ADHD son - couldn't do it - it wasn't worth the battle
I so know how you feel and EVERY child is soooo different