“I wouldn’t let them diagnose my son with ADHD. He’s way too smart to have that.”
I’ve heard variations of this. And I did not lose my cool, did not get angry, didn’t even blink.
It’s true that in rapid succession, thoughts went racing through my brain. Sad thoughts, nasty ones.
I wondered how people can manage to survive, being that narrow minded. But then again, narrow minded humans have been surviving for a long time.
I thought I should say “How fortunate that he has you to hold him back.” But I didn’t.
I bit back my tongue
You see, as misguided as this parent was, they were being this way out of concern for their child. They weren’t purposely depriving their son of care, they were protecting him from the evil they thought they perceived.
I thought to say, “Oh, too bad he doesn’t have ADHD, people with ADHD usually test higher in intelligence than the average person, but I guess you know your child best.” but I didn’t say that either.
I can be a bit …
Yes, it’s true, I can be kind of insulting, known for letting fly with derogatory little barbs. But quite frankly, if this persons child is a candidate for a diagnosis of ADHD there’s a rather good likelihood that they’ve experienced that type of wit. But possibly not, I held it in.
Another thought I had was to wonder how their child got into a position where someone, presumably with the authority to do so, was suggesting a diagnosis of ADHD.
A few last thoughts
Then I wondered what would possess someone to ask for and then deny the offer of help. I mean, if there was a situation where the child was standing out as needing some kind of help or understanding, and you were seeking that help or understanding, wouldn’t you be predisposed to trust the experts, ’cause if you weren’t, why weren’t you just in denial all along?
And then lastly I wondered what life was going to be like for this boy who might be like me, like us, but wouldn’t have a chance to experience the options available to those of us who are diagnosed, wouldn’t be able to experience the support of knowing others like us who would understand and even add to his life experiences. And I almost said “How can you do that to him?”
But I didn’t.
Instead I took a deep calming breath, arranged my thoughts, looked that parent in the eye and said, “So tell me, what is ADHD?”