Assessing for ADHD is not as black and white as you might think. In fact, there are a number of things you should know before taking your child in for testing. Knowing this information will help calm fears, give you perspective and help you make the most informed health decisions for your child.
If you’ve done a Google search for “testing for ADHD,” you know that there are a number of self-tests online, but you really need to take your child to a professional if you want a conclusive diagnosis. A battery of tests may be necessary to understand what you are dealing with, which symptoms your child is suffering from and what you can do to help him relieve those symptoms, so he can get back on track and enjoy his childhood.
Assessing for ADHD: The Tests
- The WRAT is a test that looks for weaknesses in math, reading and spelling. This test will tell the medical professional if your child has a learning disability which can indicate how much difference between add adhd is affecting his performance in school.
- WISC-R is essentially an I.Q. test for kids between the ages of 6 and 16. It can be given to young children who don’t know how to read yet because it uses pattern recognition skills.
- TOVA is a computer test that takes approximately one-half hour to complete. This test records response times, inattention and impulsivity. It is sometimes administered after medication has been prescribed to determine whether the treatment is effective.
- Bender Gestalt Test – measures a child’s visual skills, neurological skills and emotional fluency. Uses this information to uncover learning disabilities.
A medical professional may use some or all of these test in assessing for ADHD. If the doctor or psychiatrist determines that your child has the disorder, then you will want to be armed with information about treatment options. Understand that most medical professionals are trained to prescribe drugs, so this will likely be the recommended treatment.
There are few things you should know about prescription medications for ADHD:
1) drugs do not work well for every child
2) drugs do not cure ADHD, instead, they just suppress the symptoms. As soon as your child stops taking them, the symptoms will return.
3) Drugs have side effects, some of which can stunt the growth and development. (This includes side effects like loss of appetite and difficulty falling asleep or sleeping through the night.)
This is why after testing for ADHD, many parents take the natural route. Herbal remedies formulated specifically to treat the symptoms of ADHD can be as effective as prescription drugs without the side effects. They also have no worries with regard to addiction or long term effects on the brain.