If your child is showing signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, you may be wondering how health practitioners test for ADHD. The truth is that there are actually many tests to diagnose ADD and ADHD and that the best practitioners use a combination of these tests to determine whether or not a child has ADHD.
A good test for ADHD will involve information from several sources, including parents, teachers, and the child himself if he is old enough. For this reason, ADHD is difficult to diagnose in preschool-aged children. A different set of tests is required to officially diagnose very young children with difference between add adhd, so we will set that scenario aside for this brief article.
Different practitioners use different tests to diagnose ADD and ADHD, but the best of these tests are formulated specifically for ADD and ADHD instead of a wide variety of possible behavioural disorders. The tests will be administered to the child, and they will also include questionnaires for teachers and parents.
Most often, specially trained professionals will rely not only on written information provided by caregivers and the child herself, but also on interviews. This combination of methods ensures that a practitioner is making the clearest, most accurate diagnosis possible.
There are a few things you should know when going through a test for ADHD with your child. First of all, if your physician or psychologist is not taking his time with the test or is not using information from a variety of resources, he is not doing his job thoroughly enough. Either press him to be as thorough and accurate as possible or take your child elsewhere. Secondly, understand that even the most careful, deliberate professional can make a mistake when it comes to diagnosing ADHD because the diagnosis relies so much on information from third parties.
To lessen the possibility of an ADHD misdiagnosis, keep track of his behaviour very carefully for a period of several weeks or even months. If possible, have the child’s teacher keep a log of the times the child’s ADHD symptoms interfere with his functioning in the classroom or on the playground. Keep the same type of log whenever you are with your child; write down the date, time, and a detailed description of the incident whenever the child is showing excessive hyperactivity or impulsivity. Having such information written down will help your doctor make the most accurate diagnosis possible.
Lastly, you need to realize that as a parent, it’s up to you what you do with a diagnosis once it is made. Chances are likely that if your child is diagnosed with ADHD, your physician will suggest starting a medication regimen. Understand, though, that there are other options out there, even if your child is only borderline ADHD or shows some of its symptoms without being diagnosed with the disorder.