Understanding ADHD Assessment Tests

There are no ADHD assessment tests available that can absolutely confirm or refute the diagnosis of ADHD. There certainly is no blood test for ADHD. Of the assessment tools that are currently available, most are behavior check lists for both teachers and parents psychological assessment tools for mental health.

These rating scales can vary in content but are meant to bring to light behaviors that could be ADHD. Most will cite specific behaviors like not following directions, daydreaming, or your child’s level of activity. The behaviors are rated according to a variety of scales.

In determining if your child has ADHD, they may be given standardized academic and intelligence tests to see where their strengths are and their weaknesses lies. If your child is ADHD they may also have co-existing learning disabilities that themselves can trigger ADHD symptoms. This might come to light with standardized testing.

A complete physical should be done to rule out any health condition that could also trigger symptoms of ADHD. Chronic health problems can cause ADHD like behaviors in your child.

During the time of assessing your child, they might be interviewed as you might as well. This can shed light on how your child’s behavior is affecting the family or whether family stressors might be causing some of your child’s behaviors. ADHD does not come from bad parenting, poor teachers, or your child’s deliberate behavior. It is a real condition.

Traditionally, treatment has been stimulant medications and they do work for about three fourths of those who try them. Be aware, if you aren’t already, that stimulants are dangerous and very addictive. They can trigger sleep problems, irritability, and depression. They can also decrease your child’s appetite so you should watch for weight loss. Stimulants also have far reaching consequences in that if your child is on them for a long time, they will be more likely to develop depression and substance abuse as adults.

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