Thoughts on A Second Diagnosis

I discussed our issues with Lily in Adjusting to A New World and Special Needs Round Two.

The results are back and I wasn’t far off in my thoughts- she has ADHD, the inattentive type. I was so concerned about an autism diagnosis that I barely looked at information on ADHD in girls. The diagnosis itself isn’t a shock, but my thoughts on it are a lot different than I expected.

I usually don’t use my blog to get so personal but in this case, I figured people wanted updates.

Ann, the same psychiatric nurse practitioner that sees Julian, did the evaluation. She told me that it isn’t uncommon for siblings to have ADHD, autism and other neurological disorders.

This makes sense- I met quite a few sets of siblings at the mental health facility I worked at. I also know a couple of sets of siblings in which ADHD or autism is involved. For example, Josh has four kids, two of which are on the spectrum. I do not know how he and his wife, Emily, function on a daily basis. Another friend, Lauren, has two sons with ADHD and one of them is also on the spectrum.

Girls with ADHD

So here I am, with not one, but two kids with ADHD. I will be honest here- I would have cried had she been on the spectrum. Handling Julian has not been easy. There have been massive meltdowns and shutdowns and times I just couldn’t reach him no matter what I tried.

It is good that I have some direction now- there is so much we can do to make her life a bit easier. We have made a lot of adjustments for Julian over the years so it’s not a second thought to do the same for Lily. Benny, her therapist, has returned from a 3-month position in Germany so that should be a good place to start.

Lily isn’t a fan of meds when she’s sick, so we are holding off for now. This kid makes all As and Bs even with attention issues. She’s not aggressive or having other issues that require meds immediately so she may not end up on them at all.

I told her to talk to Julian if she wants an idea of what it is like to take meds for ADHD because I am entirely clueless about how those medications make you feel. He has been medicated since shortly after his diagnosis. They have helped greatly and I do not regret that decision. As my mom once said, “We got Julian back.” Meds don’t fix everything, but they certainly help.

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I’m used to that feeling. I wonder if I can really handle this- I have that thought on an almost daily basis. I know I have support, but that thought creeps up a lot more than I would like.

I am, however, glad that I was able to get Lily this evaluation and the therapy she needs. I know not every kid is this fortunate. I have some reading to do and some changes to make. Wish us luck, because we will need it.

Pic courtesy of Pinterest

8 thoughts on “Thoughts on A Second Diagnosis

  1. mommatrek says:

    One of the things I learned after my son was diagnosed with ADHD and then autism was that if you have a family history of this kind of thing (which we do..mental illness runs all up and down my mom’s family tree, unfortunately) then your kids are more prone to it than a normal kid would be. AND if you have one kid with a disorder/mental illness, then the chances for kids 2- whatever number you have goes up by like 50-70%. And that honestly scared the SHIT out of me. It was one of the things that kept me from wanting to get pregnant a second time because I didn’t know if I was strong enough (mentally, emotionally and physically) to deal with a SECOND child with some kind of issue on top of having depression and anxiety myself along with my husband’s depression, anxiety and mild OCD.

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  2. lavenderandlevity says:

    ADHD can actually look a lot like ASD. Don’t ignore the sensory, social and emotional components just because it isn’t ASD. That’stoo often a mistake still made with ADHD kids, it seems. For me, my issues in those areas are close enough to ASD that I will often borrow solutions from ASD when none specifically exists for ADHD. It usually works. I wish I’d had access to OT for sensory issues in childhood. SPD is commonly comorbid in ADHD, as it is in ASD. I think OT would have helped me a lot. And, well, make sure she feels safe and loved and knows her worth isn’t tied to her performance or to “masking” successfully. ADHD kids hear an avalanche of negative feedback from peers and teachers and are incredibly emotionally sensitive. As she gets older, helping her maintain her self-esteem as she navigates neurodiversity in middle school and beyond is so, so important.

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