When to Have Your Child Evaluated for ADHD Deciding to give your child ADHD tests is a big decision for a parent to make. After all, it's normal for children to be hyperactive and dreamy, especially when placed in boring situations. So when should you have your child professionally evaluated for ADHD?
Many parents have noticed for years that their child is different from other children; after all, excessive energy, inattention, and poor control over emotions are symptoms that are difficult to ignore. They do their best to manage their children's disruptive behavior, but their efforts seem to make no difference. When these two factors meet and parents notice that they keep on struggling to help their child, they start to wonder if maybe something is medically wrong.
In some cases, a child's problematic behavior is pointed out by teachers, babysitters, or day care staff; parents receive complaints that their child behaves disruptively and is difficult to handle. Often, reports of ADHD-like behavior become more frequent during the child's first year or two at school. In the more structured setting of an elementary school, a child who cannot stay in his seat or be quiet in class will easily be noticed by a teacher. The parent is then advised to have the child evaluated for ADHD, but it's not uncommon for some to dismiss these complaints and remain unconcerned about their child's behavior.
At some point, a parent will admit to themselves that their child does have a problem. They'll turn to the internet and go to the library for information on how to manage the condition. Based on what they find, they might avoiding artificial additives, sugar, or enforcing more structure at home. While it's good to inform yourself about the condition, don't try to treat ADHD without professional advice. If treated incorrectly, ADHD can interfere with your child's development and place him or her at risk for dangerous behavior. Don't ignore the symptoms and hope that your child will grow out of it, either. Consider seeking the help of a professional if you notice the following behaviors:
For six months or more, your child is unusually inattentive, impulsive, or far more active than children of his or her age
For six months or more, teachers and other parents point out that your child is more inattentive, impulsive, or active than children of his or her age
You spend more time managing your child's behavior or keeping your child safe than other parents with children of the same age
Other kids avoid playing with your child because of aggressive, emotional, or hyperactive behavior. Your child does not get invited to birthday parties or play dates.
You feel exhausted when you spend time with your child and you worry that you might end up physically harming your child as a form of discipline.