Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD cannot be diagnosed with physical tests, but a trained professional can help conduct a suitable evaluation process. A person (adult or child) who has ADHD feels unfocused, disoriented, and restless most of the time. The person may also suffer from frequent lapses of memory and demonstrate moderate to extreme hyperactivity. However, it is not correct to assume that every hyperactive and/ or restless child has ADHD.
Generally, psychology clinics follow the parameters prescribed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to evaluate and detect ADHD. ADHD is common in kids than in adults, and this mental health issue affects every aspect of life, including the development of academic, motor, and social skills.
General ADHD Symptoms
So how do you make a presumptive assessment of whether or not you should opt for a formal ADHD test? ADHD can be grouped into three broad categories; inattentive type, hyperactive type, and both.
Psychologists generally agree that an inattentive person must demonstrate six of the below-mentioned symptoms to be fairly classified as someone with ADHD. Zero attention to detail, poor listening skills, and an inability to focus on tasks are three critical symptoms. Problems in organizing activities, losing things frequently, easy distractibility, and a generally forgetful attitude are other symptoms. Avoidance of tasks that require focus and concentration is another red flag.
A hyperactive-impulsive type person must show 6 of the below-mentioned symptoms. Fidgeting, squirming and an inability to remain seated are common symptoms. Running and climbing randomly, problems in peaceful playtime patents, excessive chattering, answering questions before time, and not waiting turns are other red flags. A Hyperactive-Impulsive type of ADHD person seems to be driven by an invisible motor that just doesn’t stop.
The third kind of ADHD or the combined ADHD type, where the person is both inattentive and hyperactive, is the most typical manifestation of this mental issue. Unfortunately, this kind of ADHD is both difficult to diagnose, assess, and manage, which is why you should definitely seek help.
Scientific Modalities of Psychological Evaluation of ADHD
At our San Diego psychology clinic, we have a team of experienced psychologists who have decades of experience in sensitive management and evaluation of children and pre-teens who have ADHD. We generally disburse a Child Attention Profile (CAP) form to be filled up by the child’s educator or primary guardian and then schedule a BASC (Behavioral Assessment System for Children) based on the test findings.
We also have experts who evaluate CBCL (Child behavior checklist) to shift through seemingly innocuous symptoms like physical symptoms, aggression, withdrawal, etc. to determine the links and scales of ADHD and destructive behavior patterns.
If the child is between the ages of 6 to 16, we may also recommend a NEBA (neuropsychiatric EEG assessment aid) as a diagnostic measure. This NEBA test generated higher scores in teens and children with ADHD. However, it is advised to only go through NEBA tests after a trained psychologist has prescribed it, and there is a certified team evaluating the report. This is because NEBA, like other ADHD diagnostic measures, is a complicated process, and its reports can indicate a range of other medical conditions apart from ADHD.
Guidelines for ADHD Management
At our clinic, we present each person diagnosed with ADHD with a customized treatment schedule and reference charts. It is recommended that you walk in/ schedule an appointment with our trained psychologists for a complete evaluation if you/ your child display ADHD symptoms.
However, some general guidelines can be followed to avoid the development of ADHD. The minimization of screen time (including mobiles, tablets, laptops, TV, and other devices) is an essential guideline as scientific research shows a strong correlation between prolonged screen time and the development of ADHD. Incorporating a creative hobby in daily life activities is another tip as activities like painting, sculpture, music, etc. helps develop concentration levels.
Research shows that the prevalence of ADHD has risen to 65% in the last decade due to heavy media influences and consumerism. We live in stress, time-starved, and an artificial world where ADHD has become commoner than the common flu.
In this situation, it’s always helpful to remember that proper clinical guidance and evaluation and treatment by a trained psychologist can manage or even reverse ADHD.