Diagnosing ADHD | Evaluation Diganostic Work-Up
Here are the things that we recommend if you have a child that ought to be looked at for possible Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
- PHYSICAL EXAM - First, there should be an "adequate" physical exam by the child's pediatrician or family practice doctor. This doesn't have to be an extensive, expensive exam, but should be able to rule out possible problems like Mononucleosis, Thyroid problems, lead poisoning (if it is common in your area), and potential attention problems caused by medications, such as allergy medications. Then, with a clean bill of health, we move on to step two. . .
- EVALUATION FOR ADHD - Get an evaluation for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Usually a psychologist or other mental health professional will do this evaluation for ADD ADHD. The evaluation would include at minimum:
- Parent Interview
- Parent Rating Scales
- Teacher Interview if possible
- Teacher Rating Scales
- Child Interview
- Testing with Child
We look at this process in more detail in the next article.
- HOW TO FIND AN EXPERT - To find experts on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in your area you will have to ask around a bit. Ask other parents at your local CHADD chapter. Or call your local Psychiatric Hospital and ask for the Child or Adolescent Unit. Then ask for the "Charge Nurse." Ask the Charge Nurse who the best child psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists in your town are. They know.
Note: Only get counseling or therapy from professionals who have a lot of experience treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Therapists who do not have a lot of experience with ADD ADHD will just take your money and then, out of their lack of understanding, probably blame you, the parents, for the child's ADHD.