If you have a child who seems to act out more than others or who has a difficult time concentrating on homework and other tasks it may be time to find out if they have ADHD. ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and effects many child and even adults in our country. But how is this disorder diagnosed? Here are some things you and your doctor should be looking for.
Signs of the disorder are sometimes seen in the child before they even become of school age. Toddlers that have a lack of attention and are easily bored with watching TV or playing games can have ADHD. If a young child seems hyperactive or simply out of control this can be a sign as well. While these behaviors are somewhat normal in young kids it is recommended that they are seen by a doctor if these signs seem more prevalent than in other children their age.
When you do decide it is time to see a doctor they will sit and talk with you and your child to get a little background on the situation. They will try and rule out any other things in their life that could cause this type of behavior. Other things that can make a child act out of control or lack attention are a sudden change in the child’s life such as divorce or death in the family, an ear infection that can cause lack of hearing, a learning disability, or anxiety and/or depression. These other possibilities will be ruled out by talking with you and your child plus any necessary testing.
Once other things have been determined as not an issue with your child, ADHD testing will begin. A specialist will put your child in different situations and monitor how their emotions are handled. Situations can include doing homework, putting together a puzzle, playing a board game, being put in a noisy room, etc. During this time of testing your doctor may ask you and your child’s teachers to fill out assessment forms to see how the child interacts at school in comparison to home. Be prepared to answer questions such as:
- Do excessive behaviors affect all aspects of your child’s life?
- Do you see these behaviors happening more in your child than those children they interact with?
- Are the behaviors continuous or do they normal stem as a response to a particular situation?
- Do these behaviors only happen at a certain place or are they happening at home, school, playground, etc?
There is no one test to pin point if someone has ADHD; therefore, doctors rely highly on your accounts and information. Before you actually take your child in to see the doctor try to remember times where your child has displayed ADHD tendencies and write down these occurrences. When you, your doctor, and your child’s teachers work together this deficit can easily be controlled. Children who are diagnosed with ADHD go on to live happy and productive lives thanks to all of those that helped in the diagnosis.
Tyler Clark works for the Liahona Academy and is an expert in ADHD information and knowledge.