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Testing for ADHD in Children

It’s estimated that more than six million children are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sometimes called attention deficit disorder (ADD). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood.

If your child has difficulty paying attention, is overactive, displays impulsive behaviors, exhibits a combination of these behaviors, or others that cause you concern, talk to your pediatrician about getting an ADHD assessment.

Symptoms of ADHD

There will always be moments when young children have trouble sitting still or paying attention. However, if it’s happening all the time, talk to your doctor and ask questions. Children with ADHD don’t grow out of these behaviors. If anything, these behaviors can become more severe and cause challenges at school, home and with friends. Each child who has ADHD experiences different levels of symptoms, but there are a number of common behaviors.

ADHD or ADD symptoms will likely include some of the following:

  • daydreaming
  • frequently forgetting or losing things
  • squirming or fidgeting
  • talking too much
  • making careless mistakes or taking unnecessary risks
  • impulsive behaviors
  • has trouble taking turns
  • has difficulty getting along with others

Our pediatricians and family medicine doctors use the NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment as part of diagnosing ADHD or ADD. This detailed questionnaire is filled out by parents and teachers to give us an overview or your child’s daily behaviors and interactions with others.

One of our primary care doctors will also observe your child, gather information from multiple adults in your child’s life and possibly ask for psychological tests to get a complete picture. If your child is given an ADHD diagnosis, a number of treatment strategies will be put in place. Some children benefit from ADHD or ADD medications.

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