For many parents, making an appointment and getting their child tested for ADHD can be a major step that may create a flurry of feelings and questions. How do you prepare for such an evaluation? What will the doctor or other healthcare provider need? How long will the testing take? What exactly does the testing involve?
The term “testing” is quite misleading. No medical “test” is currently available that can definitively determine whether or not someone has ADHD.
Testing for ADHD really means being evaluated for ADHD. Your child’s evaluation will involve a great deal of information gathering. Once the professional evaluating your child has all the necessary information, he (or she) will then make his best judgment regarding the presence of ADHD.
Before the initial appointment, you may receive several behavior checklists and questionnaires to fill out and bring to your first meeting with the doctor. These forms will include general information about your child and family, as well as developmental, medical and behavioral history. Complete all these forms and bring them with you to the first appointment.
A major part of your child’s evaluation will involve the parent interview. One way you can prepare for this interview is to think about and write down a list of your specific concerns regarding your child. Think about when and where these problems occur -– home, school, in the neighborhood or community, in after-school activities, with other peers.