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Posted by: on 24/05/2018

ADHD or Not- Why a Diagnosis is Important

ADHD or Not- Why a Diagnosis is Important

For a number of children with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), the first time their parents started discussing it was due to a call from their teacher. Most of the cases of this disorder are brought to the attention of parents by the children’s educators, either at preschool or at the elementary level. However, even though teachers spend the entire day observing the behavior of children, they may not always be right or wrong. Therefore, it is essential to get a proper diagnosis for anyone who exhibits any symptoms of ADHD. This is because there are a number of other physical and mental issues that can cause similar symptoms.

In order to help mental healthcare providers make a diagnosis, there are nine symptoms pertaining to inattention and nine more related to impulsivity and hyperactivity. Anyone suffering from ADHD should show at least six symptoms of every category for six months and to a degree that is disruptive, unsuitable for their age and impairs school, work or social functioning. The problem is that there is no single test that can be used for diagnosing ADHD. There are various tests that may be performed and input may be taken from different people involved in the child’s life.

If you believe your child is suffering from ADHD, you can start with taking an ADHD test online on behalf of your kid. It takes only a few minutes and will give you an idea of how you should proceed. When you have made up your mind about getting a diagnosis, the following steps can help you:

  • Reach out to the right professional

When you have taken the test and are certain your child has ADHD, the best thing you can do is to identify someone a mental healthcare professional who has expertise in this disorder. There are some schools that may have a psychologist who can help in evaluating the kids for ADHD. Other options that parents can consider include a pediatrician specializing in developmental issues, a child psychiatrist or a psychologist in the community.

  • Be prepared for a detailed discussion

Parents need to be prepared to discuss a lot of things with the healthcare provider. They have to inform them about the child’s behavior at home and in school, their behavioral reports and grades and medical history. Doctors may also ask about the family’s history of mood, medical and emotional issues. Parents should also tell the professional about the steps they have taken for dealing with the child’s behavioral and attention problems.

  • Coordinate with the teacher

In order to make an ADHD diagnosis, mental healthcare professionals usually consult with different people who play an important role in the child’s life. Since they spend a considerable part of their day in school, teachers are also involved in the diagnosing process. A teacher will be able to provide greater insight into how the child behaves outside of their comfort zone and the problems they encounter.

  • Don’t expect a drug

Just because your child has ADHD doesn’t mean that they will automatically be put on medication. Yes, medications can be helpful for some children, but it is not necessary or sufficient in each case. Medications are not a solution and it is important to teach children with ADHD tactics that can help them in changing their behaviors. The doctor or mental health counselor will help in coming up with a plan and how to teach it to the child in question. Again, the child’s teacher may have to be involved because this plan will be put into action at home and also in school for it to be effective.

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