ADHD Testing in Fayetteville
He fidgets, doesn’t seem to listen, has trouble focusing, and has difficulty completing the tasks asked of him. Sound familiar? Many parents wrestle with concern over whether their child has ADHD. As one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders in children, the CDC reports that approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age have been diagnosed with ADHD. But what does it take to accurately diagnose a child or adult, with ADHD? If ADHD testing is based on subjective evidence, how does a parent know the diagnosis is accurate?
Just as with any medical diagnosis, it must be based on objective and quantitative data as well as subjective evidence. The diagnosis should also only be made by a qualified medical professional. When most people think of ADD or ADHD, they think of hyperactivity, but it is more than that. ADD is no longer a diagnostically correct term. The diagnosis of ADHD is divided into inattentive, hyperactive, or combined. What many people call ADD is now classified as ADHD – primarily inattentive type. As defined by the CDC, a person with ADHD not only is overly active, they tend to have trouble paying attention. They may also have impulsive behavior that causes them to act without thinking. This can make performing seemingly simple activities quite challenging.
How is ADHD Diagnosed?
If a parent or teacher suspects a child may have ADHD, an appointment should be scheduled with the child’s pediatric provider to determine if ADHD testing is recommended. If ADHD testing is advised, a little homework is required. Before coming to the appointment, parents should complete the Vanderbilt Assessment Form, which can be found on our website here. The child’s teacher should also complete the Vanderbilt Teacher Assessment Scale found here. The completed forms should be brought to the ADHD testing appointment.
A 2011 CDC report on ADHD found that the average age of diagnosis is seven and 6.1% of children between the ages of 4-17 are taking medication for ADHD. ADHD has historically been difficult to diagnose accurately, and therefore many parents worry that their child will be misdiagnosed. To assist in the accurate diagnosis of ADHD, quantitative data should be used.
Combined with subjective evidence (Vanderbilt Questionnaire to be completed by parent/s and teacher/s) and a mental status examination, we are typically able to make a diagnosis of ADHD and provide recommendations for the most appropriate treatment. In more complicated cases she may offer a referral for a psychological assessment to be completed locally. You can find more information about ADHD testing in our Fayetteville office here.
The health of your child is a top priority for the team at Rainbow Pediatrics. If you suspect your child may have ADD or ADHD, please schedule an ADHD evaluation at our Fayetteville pediatric office.