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How do I know she has ADD?

Hi My 6 yr old is unfocused and doesn't listen in school or home. She is very smart and always says she is bored. We just had her conference with her teacher and found out that one on one she is great but in class she doesn't pay attention and just seems like she is inher own world. How do they test for this? It is all new to us.

 
issianemmi

Asked by issianemmi at 5:39 PM on Nov. 13, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
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Answers (10)
  • You have her evaluated by a psychiatrist. That is who is qualified to and trained in how to make that diagnosis. A pediatrician can recommend a psych eval, but should never diagnosis ADD or ADHD, as it is not their area of expertise. There are very specific criteria for an ADD diagnosis.
    aliceinalgonac

    Answer by aliceinalgonac at 6:05 PM on Nov. 13, 2010

  • Unfocused, doesn't pay attention, day-dreams. Yep, sounds like a 6 year old to me. Seriously, it's not likely that she has a problem. She likely needs to learn to self-regulate more and work on doing what's being requested of her. But if you want to have her evaluated, a psychiatrist is the one who is best to make that diagnosis.
    justnancyb

    Answer by justnancyb at 6:07 PM on Nov. 13, 2010

  • Even for children who have this diagnosis (more boys than girls, and the MOST over-diagnosed problem in recent years), behavior modification and good strong reliable parenting are the best resources available. As for the evaluation? Yes, a psychiatrist - after all, you don't see a podiatrist for childbirth, right? Go to the RIGHT doctor, not just "a" doctor (like a ped).
    Gaccck

    Answer by Gaccck at 6:15 PM on Nov. 13, 2010

  • While it's true there is no medical test for ADD/ADHD, there are very specific diagnostic criteria and there are very intentional evaluations. There are no medical tests because these are not medical problems. These are mental problems and therefore there are mental evaluations. And this is why the diagnosis should be made not by a medical practitioner, but by a professional who specializes in mental disorders. To see t if this diagnosis is present, consult a psychiatrist or a psychologist to arrange for an evaluation. Psychiatrists will often lean more heavily toward medication as an answer, as they have a medical background. But remember, this is not a medical problem and there are no medical tests to prove or disprove this. Psychologists will often lean toward positive interventions that can assist in dealing with the issue in a way that does not place the child at risk of adverse side effects from untested drugs.
    lovesergei

    Answer by lovesergei at 9:09 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • She's probably just bored if she's so smart. Look into gifted schools or signing her up for Suzuki violin...being stimulated can work wonders!
    BluDog

    Answer by BluDog at 5:53 PM on Nov. 13, 2010

  • There is no medical test to diagnose ADD/ADHD. The way it worked for my daughter was, the doctor gave us a set of evaluation papers, and her teacher a set of evaluation papers. Each day we would monitor her behavior and answer the questions that were on the evaluation forms. Her teacher did the same each day. We did this every day for a week. We then took the evaluation papers back to her doctor for review. She was in second grade at that point and doing horrible in school and at home. The doctor diagnosed her with ADHD. She was extremely hyper as well as not focused. He began her on Adderall and she is a straight A student now. She 's 12 now, loves school and hates everyone on earth except her friends at school. Go figure!
    lorig2010

    Answer by lorig2010 at 11:37 PM on Nov. 13, 2010

  • The test is more of a survey of observed habits. The parent does one at home. The teacher does one at school. The doctor considers both before making a diagnosis. It is a behavior problem and should be treated with behavior modification.
    Pnukey

    Answer by Pnukey at 8:47 AM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • There are specific criteria...true. But also some people have symptoms not necessarily typically found in the DSM. Some people have what are called atypical signs of ADHD.  Starting with your child's doctor is a good start but check lists are not necessarily comprehensive.  I would suggest starting with the doctor and requesting a referral for a therapist in your area who specializes in ADHD.  Depression and anxiety can also have the same exact signs of ADHD.  So...having a specialist who can slowly weed out what is going on can be the most benefitial.  It can take time, more than one visit, but well worth it if you want a more accurate diagnosis.

    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 11:05 AM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • When we suspected DS,11, was ADHD we went to his pediatrition and he gave us a set of questionairs for his teachers and for us. When they were all returned we brought DS into the office and they had him do a simple computer test that checked his attention span. After we all sat down and discussed what we thought was the best course of action for our child. We decidied to medicate. He takes Vyvance and is doing GREAT! He can now get his thoughts out of his head and his behavior is like night and day. He told me that when he forgets to take his meds his brain feels "fuzzy" and that he knew his behavior was wrong, but he just couldn't make it stop. Whether or not you would decide to medicate is a very personal decision that you have to make for your child. Good Luck!
    dmbutler

    Answer by dmbutler at 5:49 PM on Nov. 13, 2010

  • There really is no medical test for this. There are criteria a doctor can ask you about her behavior to see if she fits into that category. From what you are saying, that sounds so much like my son, (except he has the hyper part of ADD=ADHD) Medication does wonders for kids who truly have this. It allows them to focus & do well in school. You said it yourself, she's smart. It does take a while to adjust the correct dosage at first. A behavior modification plan at home & school can help keep her on track as well. Good luck.
    mrsmom110

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 5:48 PM on Nov. 13, 2010

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