It is hard for a parent to determine when their child's behavior problems are not normal. If your child has a lack of focus and unexpected outbursts, then it could be a behavior disorder. You should talk to your child's pediatrician about your concerns. If your doctor agrees with your concerns, then he or she will refer you to a psychologist.
A psychologist can assess your child for attention deficit disorder (ADD). Read on to find out what criteria are used to diagnose ADD.
Check For Inattentiveness
Psychologists use guidelines established by the American Psychiatric Association to make a diagnosis. They start by looking for inattentiveness, which must occur in different settings. An inattentive child exhibits certain behavior. These symptoms include acting out in school, restlessness, not listening, poor organization skills, lack of focus and losing things. If a child exhibits several of these symptoms, then it is leaning towards a behavior disorder.
Check For Hyperactivity
To make an ADD diagnosis, your psychologist has to check for hyperactive impulsive behavior. A hyper and impulsive child exhibits certain symptoms. These symptoms include excessive loud talking, fidgeting, running, constantly climbing on things and trouble with waiting for turns. A child who demonstrates several of these symptoms is more likely to be diagnosed with ADD.
Check For A Combination of Both Disorders
Some children can exhibit symptoms for ADD and ADHD. The psychologist is looking for a combination of hyperactivity-impulsive and attention. If your child has six or more of inattentiveness symptoms, then he or she has ADD. On the other hand, if your child has six or more of hyperactive impulsive symptoms, then your child had ADHD. When six or more symptoms from both disorders are present, they'e diagnosed with having both ADD and ADHD.
After a diagnosis is made, your psychologist can start to focus on ADD treatment. Treating childhood ADD involves a combination of medication and psychological therapies. It also requires cooperation from the parents, doctors, therapists and teachers. They have to work together as a team.
Your doctor may prescribe stimulants. Stimulants improve concentration and reduce hyperactivity. Parents have to decide if they want to put their child on medication. If you choose to use medication, then you should combine it with counseling. ADD medication is most effective with counseling because your child learns coping skills.
You should not try to make a diagnosis at home. It helps to get your child evaluated by a medical health professional.