Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a very common behavioral problem in children. The recurring factor in children who are diagnosed with ADHD is having problems in certain areas of life—home, school, work, and relationships. Actually, both children and adults can have ADHD, but it is typically diagnosed during childhood. There are medications available that can be taken on a daily basis to better help the individual focus and calm down. It is unbelievable the amount of parents who take their children to the doctor’s office for a diagnosis of ADHD so the child can be helped. Luckily, there are certain steps to take that can help a healthcare professional confirm a diagnosis and get treatment underway.
What is ADHD?
With ADHD, four main areas of impact are experienced in the individuals who have it: attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and boredom. “Attention” involves problems paying attention, focusing on a task or finishing a task, particularly if the task is not very interesting. “Hyperactivity” involves restlessness and being very bouncy. “Impulsivity” involves the lack of self-control. “Boredom” involves easily being bored unless the task is very stimulating (like a video game). ADHD can take a toll on a person’s life and responsibilities if it doesn’t get taken care of; it can affect behavior, learning, focus, concentration, and simply getting the job done.
Tests for ADHD
There isn’t just one test that can be done for a diagnosis, and from it a person be told whether or not they have ADHD. There is a multitude of things that a healthcare professional will do in an effort to come to a conclusion and secure a diagnosis and a treatment plan. A variety of tools is used for this. The doctor will take an inventory of the symptoms; there might be some medical tests done to rule out other causes of the symptoms; and the doctor will probably ask some questions about problems in the past and in the present. Sometimes, verbal and written tests are done to determine if ADHD and another condition are both present. Often, kids with ADHD have learning disabilities because of their inability to focus, concentrate, and finish a task. Thoroughly investigating the cause of the symptoms is important so the proper diagnosis can be made. As a child and as a parent, it is your responsibility to be totally honest with your healthcare professional while the evaluation is being conducted.
Certain criteria are studied for each individual case. The severity of the symptoms is examined because the symptoms must have a negative impact on the individual’s education, personal relationships, career, and/or social life to be considered ADHD. The period of time in which the symptoms started is also important to consider because ADHD starts in childhood. How long the symptoms have persisted is looked at because they have to have been going on for at least 6 months. When and where the symptoms appear is also important to consider because they must be present in several places, like at home and at school.
Once the necessary tests are performed, an exact diagnosis can be made. There are three categories of ADHD: ADHD, predominantly inattentive type; ADHD predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type; or ADHD, combined type. Occasionally, a child will be diagnosed with “ADHD, not otherwise specified” when he or she does not fit in to just one category.
There are tests available online to take that ask a variety of questions about symptoms, but the tests are not enough to diagnose ADHD. Seeking out a professional to evaluate, diagnose, and treat a child or adult is the best, and often only, way to go.
Comments are closed