How To Recognize the Symptoms of ADHD

By: infoserv
An ADHD diagnosis is not formal until formal tests have been given by a licensed psychologist or other mental health professional. Unfortunately, these days school teachers are the ones making the diagnosis when they usually have no qualifications to be able to do so. I think it is good to be cautious in diagnosing disorders and loosely labeling children with ADHD when that may not truly be the case. Often times symptoms of ADHD look like a lot of other things, and it is extremely important to a child's well-being to be careful in the process of evaluating them. It is important and essential, though, that school teachers are keeping their eyes and ears open while teaching. If they notice that a child is having more difficulties than other kids, first tell the parents. Then make sure that something is done about getting the child tested for ADHD and other learning disabilities. Some children do not get tested, and they struggle in school and life when they don't have to. Education and counseling early can really prevent children with ADHD in having as many struggles that tend to hold them back in various ways.

After is has been decided that a child should be tested for ADHD, it needed to be decided which ADHD test should be taken to evaluate for the disorder. There are a few different tests that will effectively diagnosis the presence of ADHD. The first step that should be taken, though, should be to rule out a physical disorder that has similar symptoms to ADHD. A general physician will be able to rule out that your child has some sort of physical problem, such as a thyroid problem.

After the child has seen a medical doctor, the next step will be to meet with a psychologist or other licensed mental health professional. They will be able to give your child the necessary tests to diagnose ADHD. You will be able to find specialists through CHADD, which is national organization that educates and helps people with ADHD.

When you find a qualified mental health professional, your first initial meetings will involve your child and a family member that has known the child since they were young. The mental health professional will get a detailed personal history from your child's point of view as well as the family member's point of view.

After this, tests such as TOVA (Tests of Variable Attention) will be given to see if there is the presence of ADHD. This test is a 23 minute test, and is accurate in distinguishing is a test subject has ADHD or not. I believe it is important to get formal testing to know for sure whether the child is struggling with ADHD or possibly something else such as a learning disorder.

Other disorders that could look like ADHD are depression and anxiety disorders, Tourette's Syndrome, early onset bi-polar disorder, conduct disorder and possibly other emotional problems or disorders. It is very important to keep this in mind during the process of evaluation.
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