How Do I Know if I Have ADD and What Can I do About it?
One of the biggest challenges is actually not knowing if an Attention Deficit Disorder is the source of the issues you, or your child, are having. A missed diagnosis can lead to needless frustration, anger, and disappointment. A thorough evaluation, with a team approach of parents, teacher, Pediatrician, child, and Psychologist, is the most appropriate method.
Your child’s Pediatrician should provide a thorough check-up to rule out any other medical reason for the symptoms you or your child’s teacher are noticing. Your child, depending on their age, will have a self-report assessment to complete. There are separate assessments for parents and teachers to complete that provide history and observational data. Parents will be asked to provide a thorough history of their child’s development and observations about their behavior, activity level, attention, impulsivity, peer relationships, and the like. A Psychologist may also administer a computer-based assessment of attentional skills.
If the client is an adult, a somewhat similar assessment takes place, though there is more emphasis on the client’s self report, and if possible, that of a significant other. Computer-based assessment may also be provided, depending on the situation.
If a diagnosis of ADD is reached, there are many extremely beneficial strategies that can be taught to youngsters to help them feel more in control and help make the classroom and peers relationships positive experiences. There are very useful recommendations to be given to classroom teachers and to parents as well. In addition, assistance in obtaining accommodations in the classroom or for standardized testing situations can be provided. For adults, a diagnosis often provides clarity and opens the door to learning a variety of techniques that will make workplace and personal relationships more satisfying and successful and help reduce overall stress.
An experienced, Licensed Clinical Psychologist can help. Contact Dr. Risa Sanders with your questions and to schedule a consultation at (703) 919-1959.