If you are concerned that your child or adult may have ADHD, there are many support resources available for you. There are many inattentive type ADHD groups that can provide a safe, supportive environment where you can share your feelings and thoughts about ADHD.
The only reliable way to accurately determine the true diagnosis of ADHD is through a proper ADHD test. ADHD testing will help identify ADHD type, degree, and possibly even shared medical conditions. ADHD can affect almost every area of a kid's life, from family and friends interaction to academics, socializing, and self-confidence. If you're like most people, the thought of having to administer a health test to a child who is often absent from school or has a difficult time paying attention makes you uncomfortable. Here's some helpful information to get you started.
Most professionals agree that the best way to diagnose ADHD is through a battery of standardized psychological tests known as the Wender-APG or Wender-LCG. These instruments are designed to measure various aspects of behavior and cognition in children. The most commonly used ADHD test instruments are the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Revised or WAI-R, and the Conners rating scales for Children-forthcoming and the ACT-E. In addition to these IQ tests, many health care professionals use clinical interviews to further examine ADHD patients' behaviors and tendencies.
The first step in getting your child or adult diagnosed with ADHD is to complete a comprehensive clinical interview or written screening. This involves obtaining a detailed history of symptoms and behaviors, any medications taken and reactions, vital signs, and other information that may be helpful in diagnosing ADHD. Interviews also give doctors an opportunity to learn about a patient's emotions and mental health, as well as to discover any mental disorders or developmental delays. Psychological tests are usually administered in tandem with a thorough physical examination, and results may indicate common physical problems or warning signs of other, more serious medical conditions such as diabetes or thyroid issues.
Once the history and medical histories have been obtained, the psychologist will begin to administer the actual clinical tests involved in diagnosing ADHD. The most commonly used instruments are the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised or WISC-R, and the Conners rating scales for Children-forthcoming and the ACT-E. The main differences between these two testing tools are their age range and their scoring procedures. While the WISC-R is often used to diagnose mild to moderate cases of ADHD, the ACT-E is more commonly used to determine whether the patient has ADHD or a different disorder. Psychological tests are usually performed side-by-side with clinical evaluations in order to determine whether the results from the psychological test are consistent with the results from the clinical evaluation. Usually, a psychologist will combine multiple psychological tests with a clinical assessment in order to get more accurate results.
Once your child or adult has received a clinical and psychological exam, the psychologist will likely send you to a psychotherapist or a clinical psychiatrist to determine whether there may be any other symptoms associated with ADHD that should be considered. The stimulant medications used to treat ADHD are very effective at reducing symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, but they do not address the other factors that may contribute to a positive diagnosis. In order to receive an accurate diagnosis of ADHD, it is necessary for a psychologist to administer diagnostic testing and a psychological screening in addition to the clinical evaluation. In some cases, an ADHD specialist may even decide to prescribe stimulants in addition to an ADHD test in order to achieve a more accurate diagnosis.
If you decide to pursue a clinical diagnosis, your child or adult will undergo rigorous testing, including blood and urine tests, testing of brain activity, psychological tests and a thorough physical exam. Once all of the required testing has been completed, your child or adult will be diagnosed with ADHD. The first treatment option available for ADHD is usually medication treatment. Although this can be effective, it is not without side effects. In order for this treatment to be effective, it is important that the patient is willing to adjust his or her diet, sleep schedule and other lifestyle habits in order to relieve the symptoms of ADHD.
A more recent method of diagnosing ADHD is to use the clinician-centered interviewing process. Using this process, a psychologist will use a series of questions designed to reveal specific aspects of behavior and personality. Interviews with a qualified ADHD specialist will include questions about the patient's academic performance, social relationships, functioning and any underlying symptoms. These questions will help the clinician to accurately obtain the information needed to make a proper diagnosis of ADHD.
If you are concerned that your child or adult may have ADHD, there are many support resources available for you. There are many inattentive type ADHD groups that can provide a safe, supportive environment where you can share your feelings and thoughts about ADHD. There are also local support groups that you can join locally that are specifically focused on adults with ADHD. These groups often have professional ADHD coaches who are available to help you work through your feelings about ADHD and help you develop a healthier view of yourself. You can also attend a support group just for adults with ADHD. This group can provide an upbeat place to share your experiences and learn new ways of looking at your life.
If you would like some further guidance and support on managing your ADHD, then you should contact your local experienced ADHD specialist for an in-depth ADHD assessment to improve your understanding of the disorder and to know what treatment method is fit for you or them.