My Child's Evaluation for ADHD Made Me Feel Judged
My child is going through a formal evaluation for his attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which means I've answered approximately 506 questions regarding everything from how he acts in school to how I discipline him at home to which daily tasks he can accomplish by himself without being prompted. The doctor also took notes on how I interacted with my son, and by the end of the session, I felt like I had been evaluated as a mother as much as my child had been evaluated for ADHD. I felt insecure and judged.
To be fair, I pretty much asked to be judged when I admitted to my child's psychologist that a motivating factor in reaching out for help was that I'm having a hard time trying to manage his ADHD by myself. I might need help with this even more than he does. Still, though, it's difficult discussing that with a stranger (through a computer screen, no less), but I know I have to get over my insecurities if I'm going to get my child the treatment he needs. It's not about me. It's about him.
What to Remember During My Child's ADHD Evaluation
I'm Not a Professional When It Comes to My Child's ADHD
After every question the doctor asked, I wondered if I answered it correctly. I wondered if she approved of the way I talked to him, if she thought I sounded too harsh, or if she felt pretty certain that I had no clue what I was doing. I bet she could pinpoint all the things I was doing wrong and how I could improve--after all, she is a professional.
However, I'm not a professional, and I doubt the doctor expects me to be one. I'm just a mom who obviously needs help. The important thing is I'm reaching out for the help I need instead of trying to pretend that my child's ADHD doesn't exist. I might be making a lot of mistakes, but that isn't one of them.
When it comes down to it, I'm afraid of being labeled a bad mom who doesn't care about her child. I'm afraid of being told that my problem isn't my child's ADHD, but me. I'm not the problem, though. I'm the person trying to get my child help. Simply showing up for the appointment proves that I care.
I Don't Need to Save Face--I Need to Help My Child with His ADHD
I owe it to myself and my child, to be honest with his psychologist about his ADHD symptoms and how I handle them. I want to know what I can do to help him manage his symptoms and make life easier and more productive for both of us, and she can show me how to do that. For it to work, though, I have to be honest with her, even if it means tossing my pride down at the door and opening myself up to some much-needed evaluation.
I hope the doctor can point out all the things I'm doing wrong and how I can do it better. If I am doing something to aggravate my child's ADHD, now is my chance to fix it. All I have to do is be honest and humble. I can handle feeling a little judged if it means giving my little boy what he needs.
Do you feel insecure and judged when you go through an evaluation or discuss your child's ADHD with a doctor? Let's talk about it in the comments.
Sharp, S. (2021, September 1). My Child's Evaluation for ADHD Made Me Feel Judged, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, September 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/parentingchildwithmentalillness/2021/9/my-childs-evaluation-for-adhd-made-me-feel-judged
Author: Sarah Sharp
This is undoubtedly a read that so many parents will relate to and breathe a sigh of relief to read. These kinds of moments are ones that can leave us feeling isolated or additionally shamed, but sharing them will remind us that we are not alone in this - many parents feel this way. The more we have these conversations the more we can feel seen and supported.