If you suspect that your child has problems with attention, focus, hyperactivity, and related struggles we highly recommend formal ADHD testing. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, also commonly referred to as ADD) is the umbrella term for several related symptom patterns.
ADHD is commonly misunderstood and misdiagnosed and a comprehensive assessment will help tease out the whole picture. ADD/ADHD very commonly co-exists with other disorders (including learning disabilities, anxiety, and depression – to name a few). Also, many children who are bright or gifted have been incorrectly labeled with ADHD, because there are characteristics of giftedness that overlap with ADHD symptoms. While it is possible to be gifted AND have ADHD, many children’s strong intellectual abilities go unrecognized because a formal assessment is never done. Quite often, giftedness is mistaken for ADD or ADHD and this leads to a treatment plan that doesn’t emphasize the whole child or focus on his or her strengths. Many times, the focus is on the deficits which takes a toll on a child’s self-esteeem.
Many people chose to consult a primary care doctor for consideration of medicine instead of seeking a formal evaluation. Self-report questionnaires often serve as the primary method for diagnosing ADHD at primary care physician offices. While interviews and questionnaires are quite useful in the diagnosis of ADHD, they are not sufficient to get the big picture. In those situations, there is a high risk of other key factors (such as giftedness or learning disabilities) being overlooked. In some cases, medication after medication is tried and none of them seem to work. These are the situations where it makes sense to take a closer look at whether ADHD is the correct diagnosis, or perhaps not the only issue going on with your child. ADHD testing can help bring your child’s true strengths and challenges into focus.