Getting Your Child Evaluated For ADHD
Parents usually see signs of ADHD in their children long before they start school. Children have different rates in their level of maturity and they have very different personalities, attitudes, and energy rates, so it’s helpful to get an expert’s outlook of whether the behavior is appropriate for the child’s age. Parents can ask their specialists to evaluate whether the child has an ADHD or is just being immature, childish or unusually energetic.
If ADHD seems like a possibility, the family can turn to health professionals in the field of ADHD training or in mental disorder diagnosis. There are different specialists trained in different areas, such as psychiatrists and psychologists, developmental and behavioral pediatricians, neurologists and even clinical social workers. Parents should determine which specialist will be most suitable for their child by talking to their family physician and getting recommendations from him or her.
There are a lot of specialists who deal with ADHD. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications and treatments and provide a therapy program. Psychologists are qualified to diagnose and treat ADHD through therapy (but cannot prescribe medication). Neurologists are doctors who deal with disorders of the nervous system and brain, and they are also trained in diagnosing ADHD and can prescribe medication, though they don’t usually provide therapy for the emotional side of ADHD. In choosing a specialist, it’s important to look for someone with specialized training who has experience dealing with the disorder.
In getting the child ready for evaluation of his or her ADHD, the specialist first checks the child’s records, both educational and medical. The child’s needs and personal history are carefully considered and analyzed. The specialist determines what effect the child’s environment has on his or her behavior and how the parent and child deal with it. Then, the specialist collects information related to the child’s recent behavior and compares it with the warning signs of ADHD. The specialist also observes the child’s behavior in different environments, such as at home, school or in the community. People who are in contact with the child are asked for their observations on the child’s behavior. They are presented with evaluation forms or behavior rating scales. After the data gathering and observation, the specialist can now compare the child’s behavior to that of other kids in the same age group.
Most of the time children with ADHD are evaluated for mental health and social adjustment. A specialist conducts tests to check for a learning disability. Once all the information is gathered, the specialist answers different sets of questions to help him or her identify whether the child’s hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention are significant and long-standing. Some of these questions are: Which ADHD-like behaviors does the child show? In what situations? How often? How long has the child been doing them? How old was the child when the problem started? Are the behaviors seriously interfering with the child’s relationship in home, school or community? Or does the child have any other related problems?
Providing recommendations to school staff, selecting the right medication, seeking a more appropriate classroom setting, and helping parents and teachers to manage the child’s behavior are vital for an effective social medication. Once the disorder is identified, the child and family can get whatever help they need, whether it’s emotional, educational or medical.
Truly no single treatment is the answer for every child having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. If a child with ADHD has anxiety or depression, a combined treatment medication and behavioral therapy is usually best.
Source by Sue Perkins