How do you go about getting ADHD testing for your child or yourself? Quite a bit of information must be collected in order for a medical professional to make the official diagnosis of ADHD. Some data is obtained through clinical interviews. In these interviews, you will be asked to complete behavior checklists or questionnaires for yourself or your child to give the professional more detailed information about the problematic behaviors. Obviously, it's important that you be as honest and objective as possible when filling out the forms so that a correct diagnosis can be made.
Further evaluations through observation and psychological and educational testing may then be performed. If your child is being evaluated, you and his teachers (or other important adults who observe your child's behavior in various settings) may be interviewed. A physical exam might also be suggested - this can be used to rule out any medical causes for the possible symptoms of ADHD. A family medical history is also helpful.
Here are a few questions you might want to bring up at the ADHD testing process:
1) Are there other medical or psychological conditions that may be the cause of what appear to be ADHD symptoms?
2) Could something else altogether be causing these symptoms or behavior problems?
3) Are there any environmental or situational factors that may make the symptoms worse or better?
4) Are learning disabilities a possibility?
More questions will probably come up as well. It's very important to ask any questions that educate both you and the doctor about what may be going on to cause the problematic behaviors. If and when a diagnosis of ADHD is made, you will most probably want to ask a bunch of additional questions regarding treatment options, parent education, and family support.
What kind of information should you have ready and available for the health care provider during the ADHD Evaluation?
It's a good idea to bring copies of any official records you may have such as medical, psychological and school/employment records. Also bring copies of any previous evaluations. Be prepared to give detailed developmental and social histories including pregnancy and birth history if at all possible. You'll want to have information available about any other professionals who were involved previously and that may have suggested that testing be done – this could include counselors, social workers, therapists, physicians, pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and teachers.
Most health care providers will actually send you a questionnaire to complete before the appointment so that you are ready to present them as soon as you arrive. Make sure to mark down any questions or comments that you have about particular questions, especially if there was some reason that you felt you couldn't answer them accurately.
When your child is the one in question for ADHD, make sure that you partake in a good interview. It's absolutely crucial that somebody sits down with you, as parents and spends at least 45 minutes to an hour with them.
ADHD testing should be involved and take a bit of time - it's extremely important to be able to get the correct results from these evaluations in order to come up with accurate solutions.