Looking for an ADHD Summer Camp or School? Call Toll Free 866.828.1678

How To Find Out If Your Child Has ADHD

Many parents recognize their child has an issue at a very young age, but most wait until the child is older to address the behavioral problems. Often, the child's teachers are the first ones to voice concerns about behavior in the classroom.

"44% of parents who noticed their child exhibiting signs of problems with learning waited a year or more before acknowledging their child might have a serious problem." (Source: Roper Starch Poll: Measuring Progress in Public and Parental Understanding of Learning Disabilities)

School psychologists may be the first resource for parents. If the school does not offer such services, a trusted pediatrician may be able to give an initial evaluation and then recommend a psychologist, psychiatrist, or neurologist for further evaluation of your child's behavioral issues. It is important to find a specialist who has a strong background in treating children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The first course of action will be to rule out other factors that may be causing problems. Parents will want to discuss specific behaviors with teachers and others who have the ability to observe their child under normal circumstances. Parents might ask the teacher:

1. How does my child act in the classroom?
2. How well does he or she pay attention and follow through on tasks?
3. Have you noticed any behaviors that concern you?
4. What relationships does he or she seem to have with peers?

Remember that a child with ADHD may perform extremely well when it comes to specific tasks, but very poorly on others. It's a good idea to talk to any adults who have the opportunity to observe your child's behavior over a period of time.

If a child shows signs of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and underachievement at school, parents will want to have the child evaluated for attention deficit disorder.

To establish a diagnosis of ADHD, clinicians will use the criteria set forth by the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). The American Academy of Pediatrics sets practice guidelines for the diagnosis of ADHD. Any parent who is concerned with their child's hyperactive or impulsive behavior will want to review these guidelines so they are well-informed about the proper diagnosis of this disorder.

Are you frustrated with how your child's school deals with ADHD? There are therapeutic boarding schools that specialize in children with ADHD. Many of these programs, such as Stone Mountain School in North Carolina, offer a rural setting without the distractions of modern life that often exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD. New findings on how "green time" improves the behavior of kids with ADHD may also explain why these children often thrive in wilderness programs.

Share |