Child Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder | Is It Really ADHD?

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If Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is suspected, to whom can the family turn? What kinds of specialists do they need? Perfectly, the Diagnosis of Child Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder might be made by professional psychologists who are experts in ADHD or in the diagnosis of mental disorders.

Child psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, developmental/behavioral pediatricians, or behavioral neurologists are preferably appropriately for child differential diagnosis. Clinical social workers may also have such training.

The family can start by talking with the child’s pediatrician or family doctor. Some pediatricians may do the assessment themselves, but they often refer the family to an appropriate mental health specialist they know and trust.

There are also various state and local government agencies and volunteer organizations that can help identify specialists.

Specialty Can diagnose ADHD Can prescribe medication, if needed Can provide counseling or training
Psychiatrists YES YES YES
Psychologists YES NO YES
Pediatricians YES YES NO
Neurologists YES YES NO
Clinical Social Workers YES NO YES

The National Institute of Mental Health lists the following as possible causes of ADHD-like behavior:

  • A sudden change in the child’s life may happen due to the death of a parent or grandparent; parents’ separation/divorce; a parent’s job loss or other family crisis
  • Unnoticed seizures
  • A center ear illness that causes hearing problems
  • Medical disorders that may affect brain functioning
  • Underachievement caused by learning disability
  • Anxiety or depression.

Ideally, specialists check school and medical records, being particularly alert for school records of hearing or vision problems, and home and classroom environments.

Next, the child is interviewed and observed in order to gather information on the child’s ongoing behavior. Teachers who have worked with many children over the years often develop the reliably accurate judgment

The child’s teachers, parents, babysitters, and others may be interviewed. Tests of intelligence and learning achievement may be administered in an effort to discover any learning disabilities.

All of this information is put together to form a profile of the child’s behavior, which can, in turn, be used to make a diagnosis.

New Diagnosis of Child Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The first Diagnosis of Child ADHD was announced in January 2005. Researchers claim the diagnosis, which is based on examination of eye movements, is more than 93% accurate. The study was led by Giorgos Pavlidis at the University of Brunel, UK, who said, “Children with ADHD show the large difference in eye movements compared with normal children.”

The short (ten-minute) test is relatively easy for AD/HD sufferers to sit through and could benefit children as young as three years old. It is also thought that the test might indicate which patients are likely to respond well to drugs.

Is It Really ADHD?

Remember that not everyone who is overly hyperactive, inattentive, or impulsive has Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. After all, most of us sometimes blurt out things we don’t mean to say, jump from one task to another, or become disorganized and forgetful. So how can specialists tell if the problem is ADHD?

It’s basically a matter of degree; the diagnosis requires that such behavior is demonstrated to a degree that is inappropriate for the person’s age. The behaviors must appear early in life, before age seven, and continue for at least six months.

The behaviors must create a real handicap in at least two areas of a person’s life, like home and the classroom, or the classroom and on the playground. Thus, an individual who exhibits some symptoms but whose academic performance or social life is not impaired would not be diagnosed with Child Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Looking at it another way, we’ve already discussed the specific symptoms of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Specialists also consider several critical questions regarding the quality of those symptoms when determining if a child needs help: Are these behaviors excessive, Long-term, and Pervasive?

In other words, do they occur more often than in other children the same age? Are they a recurrent problem, not just to a momentary condition? Do the behaviors take place in various settings? Professional psychologists can give the solution after Diagnosis of Child Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with the help of DSM-V-TR.

Recommended Book: ADHD: What Every Parent Needs to Know

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