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14 April 2009

Assessment of ADHD

Do you suspect that you child might have ADHD? Here are the steps to follow.

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Many restless and rowdy children are misdiagnosed with ADHD. A proper diagnosis of ADHD requires a comprehensive and multidisciplinary evaluation. It will be important to consult with teachers, a doctor, psychologist and other professionals.

The role of the doctor:
The doctor has to take a thorough medical and family history and should do a physical and neurological examination. It may be necessary to do tests to exclude medical illnesses that could masquerade as ADHD. If the child needs medication, the doctor will have to supervise and monitor it.

The teacher:
The teacher should evaluate and monitor the child's behaviour, work completion, achievement and social interaction.

The psychologist and other associated professionals:
The psychologist should facilitate the information-gathering process by liaising with parents, teachers and the doctor. S/he should also use a variety of psychological tests to measure IQ, social and emotional adjustment and specific learning disabilities.

Intervention:
Holistic intervention is the best and should include the following:

  • parent training with regard to management;
  • parent/child problem solving and communication training;
  • medication (if indicated);
  • teacher counselling about ADHD and training in classroom management;
  • social skills training in the classroom and at home;
  • individual therapy when justified;
  • parent/family interventions;
  • parent support groups.

Adapted from: Multidisciplinary Assessment of Attention Disorders by Barry Zworestine and Karin Seydel.

 
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