Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children worldwide. Those who suffer from ADHD may have a more difficult time than others paying attention and concentrating because of hyperactivity or impulsive behavior. Diagnosing a child with ADHD is unfortunately not as straightforward as you may think. There are numerous factors to consider, and every child is different, which means diagnosing ADHD is an inexact science.
Here at Tots N Teens Pediatrics, our experienced providers have the knowledge and tools necessary to diagnose a child with ADHD. In some cases, a psychiatrist who is specially trained to understand this disorder may also be able to provide a diagnosis.
In recent years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has worked hard to make testing for ADHD a more streamlined, cohesive process. This is because there has been a wide range of criteria used by providers and psychiatrists alike to establish the diagnosis. In order to prevent misdiagnosis (a common problem), the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated the guidelines to include the following:
- ADHD testing and evaluation should be performed by the child’s primary care physician
- If a child is having difficulties in school, struggling with academic underachievement, or displaying behavioral problems, they should be tested by a provider
- Providers should always adhere to the guidelines set in place by the American Psychiatric Association, which states that the child’s symptoms should be present in more than one environment and their academic and social skills have been impaired for a minimum of six months
- Children who are suspected to have ADHD should be screened for other existing conditions, including language and learning problems, disruptive behavior, depression, anxiety, and aggression
There are several different ways in which ADHD can display itself, including inattentive presentation and impulsive presentation (hyperactivity). Children with inattentive problems linked to ADHD may display the following symptoms:
- Difficulty sustaining attention
- Listening problems
- Makes careless mistakes or does not pay close attention to details
- Difficulty following through with instructions
- Difficulty with organization
- Avoids certain tasks
- Easily distracted or forgetful
For those with predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD, the following may occur:
- Difficulty sitting still
- talks excessively
- Fidgets with hands and feet
- Blurts out answers before questions have been finished
- Difficulty waiting or taking turns
These are just a handful of the most common symptoms linked to the different types of ADHD. Our team uses the nationally-recognized testing tools to diagnose ADHD and will closely monitor your child’s condition through follow-up appointments, repeat testing, medication review, and ongoing communication about how your child is adjusting. If you have additional questions or would like to bring your child in for ADHD screening, please do not hesitate to contact any of our three locations in Mesquite, Plano, or Forney, Texas.