Preparing For Your Child's ADHD Evaluation

There's no specific medical test that can pinpoint an ADHD diagnosis. The process of screening your child for ADHD is comprehensive and will involve interviewing the parents and the child, a physical exam, and psychological testing if necessary. The goal of the evaluation is to rule out any medical problems that could be contributing to poor focus, acting out behavior, or other symptoms that are present with ADHD. Once you determine that your child is not dealing with another underlying medical condition, a diagnosis of ADHD can be more conclusive. There are a number of types of ADHD evaluations, and your child's treatment provider will decide how to evaluate your child while in session.

Filling Out Paperwork Ahead of Time

If you were given paperwork to fill out prior to going to the evaluation, make sure it is as complete as possible. You will be asked questions about your child's behavior, their medical and developmental history, school issues, and basic information about the family makeup. The evaluation includes looking over the paperwork that you fill out carefully to assess your child as completely as possible.

Gather Your Child's Educational and Medical Records

Bring a copy of any medical records, school IEPs, testing results, and report cards to the evaluation. You can include the names of your child's teachers, as well as contact information. A thorough ADHD evaluation may include contacting teachers to see how your child behaves in the classroom and their ability to focus. Any records that you can bring to the evaluation will be useful to the evaluator. When your child is getting a comprehensive ADHD evaluation, historical information is essential to the process.

Talk to Your Child

Your child may be resistant to getting an ADHD evaluation. Let your child know that this is not a test for school and that they simply need to try and cooperate with the testing. It can be stressful for a child to go through any type of evaluation. Be reassuring, and let your child know that they didn't do anything wrong. When you are calm about the evaluation process, your child will be less stressed out. 

ADHD evaluations are a process. You might meet with the person doing the evaluation to discuss your observations. Your child will talk to the evaluator, and educational or psychological testing may be done. Sometimes it is clear that your child has ADHD after a short time together. Once you have a diagnosis, you can move forward with treatment.