Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD/ADD, is a medical condition that causes behavioral changes, mainly affecting a person’s ability to pay attention. Adults or children suffering from ADHD find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time and have trouble controlling their impulses.
ADHD affects 4 percent of Americans, and ADHD symptoms can begin occurring in children as young as 3 years old. While not easy to diagnose, there are some behaviors that could indicate ADHD symptoms.
Children with ADHD typically lack executive functioning skills; they have trouble concentrating on activities, staying organized, and finishing certain tasks. ADHD can lead to a child having behavior problems and lack of social skills that make certain situations more difficult, such as attending school and playing with other children.
Adults with ADHD suffer similar symptoms and face many challenges, both personal and professional. They may experience memory problems, anxiety, or depression, all of which might lead to them suffering from low self-esteem due to a long history of difficulty meeting goals.
Myths and misinformation in the medical community of Houston and abroad have led to many inaccurate self-diagnoses. You might notice some of the mentioned behaviors and assume you or your child suffer from ADHD, but it is imperative that you get a professional evaluation done by a specialist. Make an appointment with a trained psychiatrist like Dr. Dawn Brown— The MD with ADHD™—to schedule an ADHD screening in Houston.
ADHD Testing; What does it look like?
ADHD is a neurological condition and requires medical testing to be diagnosed. ADHD testing is a complex process, and your ADHD specialist will likely take several steps to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.
Testing starts with a clinical consultation with a psychiatrist. This part of the ADHD evaluation can last for thirty minutes or longer—the more thorough the better. An ADHD specialist will ask the patient—whether that’s you or your child—a series of questions to determine any challenges and stressors/triggers. If necessary and with permission, the specialist will also interview family members, such as a spouse or siblings to get an outside opinion of the patient’s behaviors. This preliminary ADHD consultation will help your doctor determine additional screenings to help rule out other conditions that may be causing symptoms.
After the initial consultation, your doctor will use different tests to reach a diagnosis. The most efficient ADHD tests should determine whether a person has ADHD and identify any other mental health problems that cause similar symptoms, such as autism, anxiety, depression, bipolar, insomnia, or other learning disabilities. ADHD evaluation tests can last for several hours and be done over multiple appointments. Specialists use different testing methods, the most common one being rating scales. These rating scales can help determine the frequency or severity of ADHD symptoms, levels of functional impairment, and impact on quality of life. While rating scales don’t give a complete ADHD diagnosis, they help doctors see the bigger picture about behavior and monitor a patient’s progress. Other ADHD testing methods might include computer tests, intelligence tests, and broad-spectrum scales that screen for social, emotional, and psychiatric problems. If these tests do not help clarify or support an ADHD diagnosis, then Dr. Brown will recommend a psychologist’s involvement.
After the initial interviews and tests, your doctor might suggest neuropsychological testing. While not always necessary, a neuropsychological evaluation gives specialists better insight into the physical factors of the patient’s disorder and can also rule out other conditions similar to ADHD.
It is important to remember that people are unique. While there are three main types of ADHD, the symptoms might manifest differently in everyone affected by the disorder. That’s why getting tested by an experienced ADHD specialist is critical to obtain the right diagnosis and treatment. If you or your child have been showing signs of ADHD, your first step is to book a consultation with Dr. Dawn Brown at The ADHD Wellness Center in Houston. As a double-board certified psychiatrist, two-time #1 best selling author, and someone who lives with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder herself, Dr. Dawn is an expert in diagnosing ADHD in adults and children.
Get in touch with The ADHD Wellness Center in Houston today, so you can optimize your so-called disability into an AMAZE-ABILITY™!