Diagnosing Attention Deficit Disorder in Children

If you suspect that your child is suffering from attention deficit disorder (ADD), it can be a troubling time for both you and your child. Kids with this disorder can struggle in school and have many issues at home and with friends. Parents can become quite frustrated with their child’s behavior, which might include forgetfulness, a lack of focus and an inability to listen to instruction. If you think that your child’s symptoms are getting in the way of his daily life and affecting his self esteem, it may be time to make an appointment with your child’s doctor. This is the first step in diagnosing attention deficit disorder and getting your child the help that he needs.

Criteria

There is no single test that can be done in diagnosing attention deficit disorder. Instead, your doctor will compile information that will include a family medical history and a general physical and neurological exam. He will also do an involved interview with you and your child, and possibly your child’s teachers. He will also spend time observing your child and running a series of psychological tests including IQ and social adjustment tests. There are also standard screening tools that are used in diagnosing attention deficit disorder that might be used in this situation. These are the standards for diagnosing attention deficit disorder that have been created by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Considerations

As your medical professional goes through the evaluation process, he will be looking for a number of different factors. The basic symptoms of ADD include inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. However, these symptoms alone are not sufficient in diagnosing attention deficit disorder. Considerations like the length of time that the symptoms have been experienced and how much they are interfering with daily activities will come into play as well. Your doctor will also want to know if you noticed any of these issues in your child prior to age seven, since this a consideration in diagnosing attention deficit disorder also.

With an experienced medical professional and some time for the evaluation process to be completed properly, you can rest assured that diagnosing attention deficit disorder will be the first step in getting your child the help that he needs. An accurate diagnosis will lead to an effective treatment plan that will help your child to manage his symptoms and improve his quality of life overall. Say goodbye to frustration and low self esteem and hello to a happier, well-adjusted child.

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