If your child’s teacher tells you that she thinks your child may have AD/HD, you may want to consider getting him/her diagnosed. A diagnosis of AD/HD is not made until a thorough evaluation is conducted by a qualified professional. At times, teachers give feedback that is difficult to hear. Although this may be difficult to hear, it’s important to focus on the message that’s being conveyed: your child is having some problems that are interfering with learning. Your job is to find out what is getting in the way of his school success and to help your child learn social skills. Ask the teacher to describe in detail the behaviors your child is displaying in school that make him/her think of a diagnosis of AD/HD. Often times, when a teacher is suspicious of AD/HD, he/she may be witnessing the following signs of the disorder:
- Working below academic potential
- Lack of focus
- Interrupting conversations and/or activities
- Difficulty finishing projects
- Losing things
- Difficulty learning proper social skills
It is very important to know that AD/HD symptoms sometimes mimic characteristics of other problems, such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and certain medical conditions. For example, concentration difficulties are seen in both AD/HD and depression. Also, it is not uncommon for a child with AD/HD to also have learning disabilities and an inability to learn social skills. Thus, prior to proceeding with a plan of action, a thorough evaluation is needed to increase the likelihood that AD/HD is appropriately diagnosed.
Diagnosing AD/HD properly is not an easy task. Many tests are used. The process can be lengthy, sometimes requiring 6 to 8 hours of testing and interviews. Further, additional time is required for scoring tests, making interpretations, and writing reports. For a comprehensive evaluation, I recommend the following…. Click here to read more on AD/HD testing.