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ADHD Assessment: Procedure For Accessing An ADHD Child

ADHD Assessment...

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If you are having any concerns about your child's development or behaviour you should discuss the matter with your doctor.

And it is up to you to assure that before any diagnosis is given in regards to your child's health, that your child has received proper professional assessment.

It is important to note that teachers, school administrators, child care providers... or 'helpful' neighbours... are not capable of giving a fair or accurate ADHD assessment on any child.

An accurate assessment must be performed by an experienced health care professional. The assessment goes beyond ticking off a checklist, and must not only include interviews with you, your child and teachers, but also must include a full medical examination.

Medical Examination as Part of Accessing ADHD

It is imperative that an assessment include a medical examination. Symptoms that may seem to be caused by ADHD may actually be caused by other medical conditions.

An assessment should include hearing and vision testing, because hearing and vision loss can affect your child's attention and success in school.

The assessment should also include testing for lead exposure, thyroid problems, dyslexia, and blood testing. Any of these conditions can produce symptoms which may be misdiagnosed as ADHD symptoms.

ADHD symptoms often mimic the symptoms of other disorders. These disorders include depression, anxiety, autism and bipolar disorder.

In some cases your child may have co-existing disorders. It is important to get a full assessment of your child so that you can have a complete outline of your child's potential challenges.

ADHD assessment should also include testing for learning disabilities. A high percentage of ADHD children have one or more learning disabilities.

Understanding the extent of your child's learning disabilities can ensure that the best education plan is established for your child.

Procedure for Accessing ADHD

In addition to the medical testing of your child, the health care professional should study your child's medical history in relation to their mental, physical and emotional health, including prenatal care and any complications that may have been present at birth.

When conducting interviews for assessing ADHD the health care professional should gather information form a Behaviour Rating Scale which is filled out by you and your child's teachers. Your child should have both a written test and a personal interview.

When the health care professional considers the behaviour of your child, they are looking for behaviours that are beyond age appropriate.

Extreme behaviours, and behaviours that affect your child in more than one setting... home and school... may be deemed ADHD behaviours.

The major behaviours the health care professional will be looking for in the assessment are categorized into three ADHD subtypes...

  • Hyperactive Behaviours; affecting how your child moves.
  • Impulsive Behaviours; affecting how your child behaves.
  • Inattentive Behaviours; affecting how your child concentrates.

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