ADHD Testing - Goodyear,AZ

Updated on September 12, 2013
D.D. asks from Goodyear, AZ
12 answers

What or how do you have your child tested for ADHD? What is difference from ADHD and ADD? What are your points of view for treatments? Are meds really necassary? Any and all comments welcomed. I just request they are done with respect for children or adults who have IT.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Testing is usually done by interviewing the kids, parents, and teacher and observing behavior. ADD is more of an older term. ADHD-I is now used more often to describe "ADD", which is inattentiveness. My daughter is ADHD-I, which means she is primarily inattentive and not do much hyperactive. I personally view ADHD as a nuerological disorder. I believe that the RIGHT meds can be instrumental in treating ADHD. If symptoms can be controlled merely through dietary changes and other methods, it was never true ADHD. Both my daughter and my husband have ADHD.
They are finding more and more that it is hereditary.

**EXCELLENT post Jo W.!

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answers from Washington DC on

Depends on the age of the child, the doctor doing the evaluation, and the availability of information.

My son and I both have have ADHD, but his is "combined type" and mine is "inattentive type." ADD is an older term (not actually used for diagnosis now) that referred to attention deficit without hyperactivity... it's what is not called inattentive type. A lot of people still use the term ADD or ADD/ADHD... it's not the end of the world.

For kids, evaluation usually involves a Conner's Rating Scale which asks you to indicate the extent to which the child exhibits various behaviors. It's completed by parents, teachers, and usually another adult who knows the child, to get a good sense of what's actually happening. It also involves some observation and interviews with the child and parent as well as a family history (ADHD is one of the most genetic psychological disorders).
When I was tested there was also a computer task I completed that measured my ability to attend to a task and avoid distraction... actually pretty cool... akin to the peripheral vision test at the eye dr, but I had to click a mouse every time a letter popped on the screen UNLESS the letter was an X.

For my son and I there is a definite neurochemical issue and the medication makes a huge difference in a way that other treatments, on their own, just can't. My son also has individual and group therapy with his psychologist, and individual and small group social skills training with his school counselor. For me, I KNOW enough about how to organize tasks, so when I take the medication I can actually DO what I know.

As with all things, the right treatment will depend on the person, but if someone truly has a chemical deficiency, your choices are ultimately either deal with it chemically or choose to cope with the deficiency.

Hope this helps.

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answers from San Francisco on

Our school offers testing through the school psychologist, and evaluations are done through questionnaires and input from the teacher, parent, psychologist and child's pediatrician (and the child him/herself if they are old enough.) Parents can (and are encouraged) to pay for evaluations from outside psychologists who specialize in these disorders as well, but that is often very expensive.
The H in ADHD stands for hyperactivity which refers to a physical aspect of the condition (inability to sit still, constant wiggling, talking/singing excessively, etc.)
Treatment depends on the child and severity of the condition. Our daughter is not on meds but she is able to function fairly well with her IEP and resource support. She is only a C student but she does fine socially and has NO behavioral problems so we choose not to medicate her at this time (her pediatrician is in full agreement and feels she doesn't need it.) HOWEVER, if I ever feel like she gets to a point where she is really struggling and meds might help I will not deny her that option.
***ETA: Patty K, teachers may have some input during the process but they have absolutely NO SAY in the final diagnosis and they certainly can't prescribe medication, so please don't put this on the teachers (as if they don't get blamed for everything anyway!)***

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answers from Rochester on

Talk with a medical doctor. That will be your first step. A school cannot make an ADHD diagnosis. You and your child's teacher(s) will be asked to complete a checklist of behaviors. Your child may also be observed by a school psychologist.

The difference between the two is that ADHD includes hyperactivity and ADD is just attention.

As a teacher, I have seen kids who have dramatic changes in their ability to focus and stay on task once they start on meds. That has led to more success in school. I have also had students who did not seem to benefit from meds. I have had many students who have told me how much better things are once they start taking meds. It can be tricky to find the right med and the right dosage. And with all do respect to someone else's response, teachers cannot make the decision if a child is medicated or not. You and your child's doctor are the ones who will have to make the decision about meds. A teacher can give you feedback on what they notice, but we have no say in if a child gets meds. And if a teacher has suggested testing a child for ADHD, most of the time it is out of genuine concern for the child and not how much easier it will make the class.

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answers from New York on

Now this won't be popular, but I think kids are way over medicated because, teachers do not have the time to work with kids who might need a bit more. Sometimes I think teachers want a classroom of kids all the same.

Don't get me wrong there are kids that are truly ADD. Just seems like anyone who does not fit into the mold is ADD.

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answers from Chicago on

We began with his Pediatrician, moved onto a psychologist, and are with a Developmental Pediatrician. The next step is a Neurologist but it is not easy with out referrals and wait lists are LOOONG.

Our plan with the DP is to wait on meds until we allow a few new systems and interventions to be put into place and see their effectiveness first.

Meds and treatments are ALL a case by case situation, there is no blanket way to address Adhd/add.

Attention Deficit Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder - Add the Hyperactivity to the inattentiveness.

At least there is my short answer to your loaded question.

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answers from St. Louis on

There are a million questionnaires you fill out asking the same thing 20 different ways, then the teachers fill them out, pretty sure if your dog could hold a pencil they would fill them out as well. Then a diagnosis is made.

Here in the midwest, maybe the country, I will have to ask Friday, those questionnaires are designed by my children's psychiatrist. He is an amazing doctor and I can honestly say my son would not be as successful as he is had we not found Dr Constantino. Andy has PDD NOS ADHD and a couple other capital letter diagnoses. The rest of us are straight up ADHD.

With ADHD the part of your brain that contains executive function isn't stimulated properly. Pretty much think of flowing water with all the valves open. Everything is flowing in but there is nothing directing it, keeping out what shouldn't come in, then as it flows out same thing. The control mechanism of your brain just doesn't work right. This is also why so many with ADHD have genius level IQs. Part of what limits your intelligence is that control system.

All the correct medications do is stimulate your brain. It allows you to control those valves. Sure sometimes there is a shiny thing that I just can't resist investigating, like it rained 15 minutes ago, we haven't had rain in forever and this wasn't in the forecast. Good thing though, one of my coworkers had their windows down and of course, I had to share my discovery! :)

I can easily function without my medication, my intelligence allows that. I can do things better than normal folk, well at least in the field on thinking, trust me my social skills suck! So even when forced to slow down because I am not medicated I can still think a bit faster than y'all can.

Still the biggest thing for a child, the hardest thing in my childhood since I was unmedicated, was social skills. I was an outcast, I will bullied by my teachers and my peers, it was miserable. My kids have always had medication available, the two oldest stopped taking it in 5th grade because they had a handle on what was going on, they both started taking it again in high school because they knew they needed it. My older daughter is a teacher, she still takes it on days where she knows she will need it. I take it every day or I couldn't work in a noisy office.

ADHD is real, it is not a discipline issue. It is a disorder that craves structure. This is why the diet pushers seem to miss. If you have a disorder that does well on structure, then you implement a diet that requires structure there will always be an improvement. Not because the diet cured the child but because they structure helped the child.

In my opinion young children with ADHD NEED medication. They need to be allowed to live in a normal functioning brain so that they can self monitor when their brain is out of control. Only the person can tell when a they are out of control. Trust me! by the time people around me know I have lost it, I lost it hours earlier, maybe longer, and at that point there is little that can be done other than removing myself from the situation.

And sorry, I have to ask, why did you capitalize IT?

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answers from Norfolk on

It's going to depend on a lot of things.
For some people meds are absolutely necessary while for others they are not.

I've seen a kid in my son's taekwondo class bounce off the walls and other people to the point where every class was about this kid not listening or bothering other students (hitting/kicking/pushing when he was suppose to be listening) - people were really hating this kid - and his parents were adamant that meds were not needed and were bad for him.
He eventually dropped out of taekwondo and everyone heaved a sigh of relief but the sad thing was he didn't get any help for his out of control behavior and I'll never see how a medication could have been worse than his not being liked by anyone - not one single person.
It's hard to make friends when you're always hitting people.
His behavior was extreme and his parents were in total denial (in spite of being called to school constantly over his lack of self control).

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answers from Colorado Springs on

There is a good site to check, ADDitude's ADHD Experts Podcast and Live Webinars address topics that will help you better manage symptoms, your family, and your life. They are hosted by top experts in the field, all of whom are contributors to ADDitude magazine and

You can also "join the community" and ask questions, chat etc.

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answers from Chicago on

We started with school and had a psychologist work with him for several months. They said right away to do meds. I have chosen not to at this time.

My son seems to have an intolerance to gluten, Along with gluten free, he is dye free, and High Fructose corn syrup free.

As an added treatment we are doing acupuncture. My son loves it, he said it makes him feel more relaxed. We have noticed a huge difference in him, things are running much more smoothly now. We had an awesome summer. By the way, there are no needles for his acupuncture it is magnetic and my son is 5.

My med or not to med decision will be based purely on how well my son is or is not learning. I will not be pressured to put him on meds, just to make it easier for the teacher. They can be flexible and do their part. ( his teacher for Kindergarten is awesome) We have an IEP, and there are extra resource teachers in his room daily. So far this year things have gone very well.

We went gluten free in Nov. And started the acupuncture in April. My moms neighbor asked if we had changed our mind and medicated him, We have not, but she said that he is more calm and relaxed from the previous summer. To me that is a sign we are moving in the right direction. It does take time no matter what you do.

You will have to ask yourself at what point are you going to make the decision to medicate. But only you and your hubby (possible child) can make that decision.

Gluten free for us was done on a whim because of my sons crazy behavior. It turns out that the gluten was hurting his tummy. Summer of 2012 he would tell us his tummy hurt daily. Not once has he said it this summer and his actions are backing that up.

You are going to get a range of answers on this.. I met someone who was our waiter one night. They said he was diagnosed with ADHD and they proceeded to put him on meds. IT was not the right choice for him, they did it for a day or week and brought him up to a doc who did sensitivity testing.. he was allergic to list of items, once they took those foods out of his diet he was fine. I believe in exhausting all options before making any decisions.

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answers from Sacramento on

There will be a ton of questionnaires, along with a lot of medical appts. with specialists like child psychiatrists and behavioral therapists, who will evaluate your child and the forms. It can be a long process.

ADD isn't a term used anymore. It's now known as ADHD-inattentive type. That means there's no hyperactivity associated with the condition. ADHD-combined type includes both the inattentiveness and hyperactivity.

Treatment options will be discussed with the specialists. Don't try to treat ADHD on your own with so-called natural "fixes." Work in conjunction with medical specialists who see and treat ADHD successfully all the time. There are a lot of unregulated products and scams out there, and you can waste valuable time and money (and potentially hurt your child) when you could be listening to the doctors' advice.

In my experience, medication is EXTREMELY beneficial. It completely turned around our son's life. He fits in with his peers when he's on it and has excelled academically. Without medication, we'd be looking at hiring a private special ed teacher to try to teach him at home, he's so out of control. Even then, he wouldn't learn much because he just can't focus or control his body without medication. Medication connects the dots in his brain in ways none of the therapy and parenting strategies we tried every did. Therapy is definitely essential to the process, but alone we found it wasn't enough.



answers from Phoenix on

My oldest son has ADHD and we had him tested at the ADHD Clinic at Phoenix Children's Hospital. I don't recall having "a ton of appts" as someone mentioned. I chose the clinic as opposed to our pediatrician because the dr's at the clinic are specialized and I felt this was an important enough 'condition' to warrant the extra cost of a specialist. We were give questionnaires to fill out and another copy for my son's teacher to fill out.

It took us a little time to make the decision to with controlling it with meds as opposed to diet. It's been 2 years now and my son is thriving and focused. He has dyslexia as well and even with his challenges, he tested well enough to be placed in the gifted program at school. Something he couldn't have done without the meds to keep him focused in class.

If you go the medication route, you my find you'll have to try a couple before you find one that works well. We were lucky and the first one prescribed worked beautifully. The meds used to treat ADHD are a controlled substance. We go back to our regular pediatrician every 6 months for a medication check visit (we went Phx Children's just for the diagnosing). Kids bodies change so there will come a time when the meds will need to be adjusted as far as which one and strength.

These medications can cause the child to loose their appetite. The first year we visited the dr a little more often because my son, who was thin to start with, lost 13lbs when he started the medication. He made some changes in his diet and once he got back up to where he should be and held steady, the frequency of our visits dropped to once every 6 months.

My husband and I struggled with the diagnosis. The dyslexia diagnosis came around the same time. Every parent wants their kids to be the best they can be. I didn't like the thought that my son had ADHD and needed daily medication but because we got the diagnosis and we addressed it, my son CAN be the best that he can be. Feel free to message me if you have more questions. Good luck.

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