You may be convinced that your child has ADHD just because you have noticed some hyperactivity, daydreaming or general restlessness and some scary impulsive actions. Of course it will be necessary to get a proper diagnosis and not to rely on your own home diagnosis. I know some parents who are so convinced that their child has ADHD that they will go the rounds of specialists just to find one who agrees with them! Hardly the best way of getting the proper ADHD assessment tests done and certainly not the way to give your child the best chance in life.
So, how do you get a proper analysis and make sure that the pediatrician has carried out all the standard ADHD assessment tests. The first thing to do is to be very wary of a specialist who assesses your child in about ten minutes and then gives you a prescription for a powerful mind altering drug which is fancy name for an amphetamine! Things have moved on, fortunately, but there are many unscrupulous doctors who are prescribing these drugs for two year old babies. There was a recent scandal in Florida which revealed this shocking fact.
Other shortcuts to avoid are the online tests which can be quite appealing in that they are fairly quick and easy. These are not accurate and cannot be relied on as valid ADHD assessment tests. Another pitfall to avoid is to ignore politely any advice given on medications by the child’s school teacher. I know of one school where the teachers insisted that the child be given Ritalin. The parents wisely moved the child to another school.
Another thing to insist on is to ask the specialist to actually rule out all the other conditions which actually mimic ADHD. There may be between thirty and fifty of them. Some of these are mentioned in a book by Dr. Haber called appropriately enough, ‘The Great Misdiagnosis’ and can range from thyroid problems, depression, sleep problems, hearing and vision difficulties and others too numerous to mention here. There is no clinical test for this mental disorder, unfortunately which just adds to the complications
What are the ADHD assessment tests that you must insist are used with your child before any diagnosis is made? There are various questionnaires to be filled in by both parents and teachers. Then the family medical history should be looked at. There are various scales used to assess and the main one is used is the Connors scale. These scales assess the child based on all the psychological, behavioral and learning behavior information gathered in the questionnaires.
If you are not satisfied with the ADHD assessment procedure, you should seek a second opinion. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, the next step is to look at the treatment options. I have prepared a website outlining the various possibilities. I hope this will shorten the learning curve for you!