ADHD assessment in children and teens
What Is ADHD?
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect children's behavior, cognitive functioning, and emotional regulation.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a condition that makes it unusually difficult for children to concentrate, pay attention, sit still, follow directions, and control impulsive behavior. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder While all young children are at times distractible, restless, and oblivious to parents’ and teachers’ instructions, kids with ADHD behave this way much more often than other children their age. And their inability to settle down, focus, and follow through on tasks in age-appropriate ways makes it very hard for them to do what is expected of them at school. It can also lead to conflict at home and difficulty getting along with peers.
ADHD typically manifests with a range of symptoms, and it's important to note that not all children with ADHD will display the same symptoms, and the severity can vary. The primary symptoms of ADHD in children can be categorized into two main categories: inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity.
1. Inattention Symptoms:
a. Difficulty Sustaining Attention: Children with ADHD often have trouble staying focused on tasks, particularly those that are not inherently interesting to them.
b. Easily Distracted: They may get sidetracked by external stimuli, even minor ones, making it challenging to concentrate.
c. Poor Organization: Difficulty in organizing tasks and activities, often resulting in a messy living space and disorganized schoolwork.
d. Forgetfulness: Frequent forgetfulness of daily responsibilities, such as homework assignments, chores, or appointments.
e. Avoidance of Tasks Requiring Sustained Mental Effort: A tendency to avoid tasks that require prolonged mental effort, such as homework or studying.
f. Losing Items: Frequently misplacing or losing things, such as school supplies, keys, or toys.
2. Hyperactivity/Impulsivity Symptoms:
a. Excessive Fidgeting and Restlessness: Constantly moving, tapping, or fidgeting, even in situations where it's inappropriate.
b. Inability to Stay Seated: Difficulty remaining seated when expected, for example, in a classroom or during meals.
c. Talking Excessively: Involuntary and excessive talking, often blurting out answers or comments before the question is complete.
d. Impatience: An inability to wait for one's turn, often interrupting others in conversations or games.
e. Difficulty with Quiet Activities: Struggles with activities that require calm and focused behavior, like reading or playing quietly.
f. Impulsive Decision-Making: Acting without considering the consequences, which can lead to accidents or risky behaviors.
Preschoolers and ADHD - How can I tell if my preschooler may require ADHD assessment?
Preschoolers with ADHD are more likely to be suspended from school or daycare because of their disruptive behavior. These kids have more trouble learning concepts at school, and many get special education placements at a very young age when compared to children without ADHD. As a parent/guardian, you will want to know where your child’s behaviors fit along a range of behaviors that are typical of kids the same age. Ask yourself, “When compared with other preschoolers of the same age, where does my child’s behavior fall?”.
Teens with ADHD
Teens with untreated ADHD have few tools and resources for managing their symptoms. As a result, they are more likely than their typical peers to have difficulty juggling multiple classes and extracurricular activities. Like other teens, teens with ADHD are separating from family and becoming more independent—but with fewer internal restraints, teens with ADHD are more likely to get involved in risky behavior. All these challenges can lead to harm and/or lowered self-esteem.
What age is ADHD diagnosed?
Many parents/guardians first observe excessive motor activity when the child is a toddler, but symptoms are difficult to distinguish from highly variable normative behaviors before the age of four years. ADHD is most often identified during elementary school years, and inattention becomes more prominent and impairing.
Why do an ADHD assessment at Manor Clinic?
We recognize that finally being tested for ADHD can be a big step. And that a private ADHD assessment is a serious financial investment. We offer ADHD diagnostic services by our highly experienced psychologists (ADHD specialists). As Manor Clinic is a multidisciplinary mental health clinic, our ADHD specialists regularly consult with our in-house consulting psychiatrist for diagnostic clarification and to make treatment recommendations. Our team has helped hundreds of clients with attention deficits get their lives back on track. Our team uses internationally recognized gold-standard assessment tools for diagnosing ADHD. This improves the diagnostic accuracy of the ADHD assessment.
The assessment process at Manor Clinic
Our ADHD specialists will collect information from several people who have observed your child, including you, other caregivers, and teachers, to make an accurate diagnosis. Parents/guardians and/or teachers will be asked to fill out rating scales before your appointment.
You and your child will meet with the ADHD specialist for about 60-120 minutes.
An ADHD assessment can include:
Questionnaires looking at how your child’s symptoms affect the different areas of their life, including how they behave and socialize and their everyday coping.
The child may be given tests like the Continuous Performance Test, which rates their ability to complete a repetitive task over a period of time and can provide a more complex picture of their ADHD symptoms.
Taking a complete history of your child’s mental health and development (learning and challenges in school, home, etc.)
Talking about your child’s current life, such as family structure, school functioning, etc.
Observing how your child interacts with the ADHD specialist.
Looking at coexisting mental health issues and conditions and also your child’s physical health
Recommended treatment for ADHD
Manor Clinic ADHD specialists will create a treatment plan to address your child’s psychological, behavioural, and educational needs.