Suspect my 8 year old step daughter has ADHD

Kristin - posted on 08/06/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )





I've been with my husband for about 4 years now. He has an 8 year old daughter, I have a 10 yr old son and 7 yr old daughter. His daught displays all the symptoms of ADHD, even the hyper activity, which I've read is not always the norm for girls. She fidges constantly, has a problem making or keeping friends, every place she goes looks like a tornado hit it once she leaves, she can't follow directions unless you sit with her and explain everything step-by-step, she loses things, can't remember things, blert things out, interrupts, lies, pushes to the front of lines, acts boy crazy (inappropriate behavior around boys and men) just to name a few. She has problems in school, periodically. We did ask her teacher last year if she felt there was a problem because she would come home with green and yellow days (behavior issues) most days of the week. Ususually not paying attention in class, interrupting, not being courtious to her classmates, etc. I was so happy when my husband decided to ask the teacher because I had noticed the problem much early but he insisted she was normal. Whenever I brought it up, he would rationalize that it was because of the divorce, or because she used to be an only child and now had to deal with sibllings. Always an excuse. Well, the teacher said she didn't think her behavior too out of the ordinary for a second grader, so my husband now feels she is normal and nothing needs to be done. His ex-wife has emotional and learning issues, yes, diagnosed, not just him complaining about her, so it doesn't seem like it should be too out side the box to have his daughter at least evaluated. But I can't seem to make him or the ex believe there is anything out of the ordinary. They just think my kids are more calm and organized than she is, and that the divorce was hard on her. Which make no sense as their divorce was amicable and they still work together for their daughter. My children were abused, went through and incredibly messy divorce which took years before I could get them away from their abusive father and get custody. Yet they are fairly well adjusted and we don't have any of the issues with them that she has. I don't know what to do. As a step-parent, I don't think i have any rights to have her test without the biological parents permission, and never would go behind my husbands back. But something needs to be done. I worry about my step daughter as she gets older, especially because of her behavior around men, which we of course try to teach her is inappropriate, but i've read destructive behavior goes along with ADHD, especially when undiagnosed. She is a difficult child to maintain close feelings for, although I do try. I try not to treat her differently than my children, but sometimes it's difficult as her behavior is so out of line. Does anyone have any advice on how to get her dad to see the real issue at hand?


Ev - posted on 08/06/2013




I feel for you in this situation. But I also know as a divorced mom with two kids who also went through a bad divorce and custody case, that all kids are different. Just because the parents remain amicable through a divorce does not mean that the children do not go through it okay. Divorce no matter how it goes is always deter-mental to children and they take it hard as it is. Some take it harder than others. My own kids had a hard time dealing with things and one was 12 and the other was 5. But like yours, mine have been good students, behaved for the most part, and also knew the rules etc. But my son had one more thing on his plate than his sister had, he was later diagnosed as Autistic but with school helping he got his help and now you can not tell he had any of the symptoms of it. Both are hard working kids.

As to your step daughter....she reacted differently to her parents divorce. She took it harder. Your kids took the divorce as they did and were resilient even with all that went on in your post. It is very likely that the divorce and having a new blended family to deal with has added stress to her life and she is not handling it in the same resilient way that your kids are. Some take changes better than others.

If you have tried several times to get this child's parents to get her evaluated and they have not done so. there is only so much you can do. And as a step parent, in most places they do not have any legal means to get things done even when the bio parents don't see the need that is there.

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