Cognitive Testing ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – receives much discussion and scrutiny. The use of medication to treat ADHD in children probably receives the most attention in the realm of this sensitive subject. Perhaps the second aspect of the condition, ranked in controversy order, is the diagnosis of ADHD.
Because there is no simple blood test or imaging proof, cognitive testing ADHD may take a variety of forms, and often several are given to arrive at a diagnosis. Here’s what you need to know about cognitive testing ADHD.
Cognitive Testing ADHD
Start with a physical exam
Just about all doctors will start their diagnosis with a physical examination of the child. This is primarily to rule out other conditions that could be contributing to the child’s undesired behavior. The exam may focus on hearing and seeing abilities to eliminate shortcomings in these senses. The doctor may also question sleeping patterns and test for allergies.
Review the child’s behavior history
Once the probability of a physical disorder leading to the behavior issues has been eliminated, the second step in cognitive testing for ADHD is documentation. The doctor may record a history of the child’s behavior. The doctor will want the parents to note when the child exhibited ADHD behavior and ask for family circumstances that may have provoked or contributed to the actions.
Standards for a diagnosis
Doctor’s follow guidelines established by the American Psychiatric Association for making a diagnosis of ADHD. There is an evaluation of symptoms, reviewing where and how often they occur in the absence of any other learning, emotional, or mental disorders. Medical practitioners contrast these symptoms with what is considered normal for a child of the same age.
There are six symptoms that must have been observed over at least a six-month period for the diagnosis to be made. Included in the list of symptoms for this cognitive testing ADHD are the inability to pay focused or long-lasting attention, the appearance of not listening even when being addressed directly, and the inability to complete assigned tasks. To eliminate a setting bias, these symptoms must be observed in more than one environment.
Supplemental additional tests
There are other tests that some medical professionals choose to include when doing cognitive testing ADHD. Some doctors may choose to perform a Connors Continuous Performance Test, which looks at both the ability to focus and the likelihood of impulsivity. Other doctors may request an IQ test for the child.
This is often given in the form of the WAIS-II, which measures the child’s cognitive abilities through a variety of information handled by the brain. Summing the WAIS-II scores gives a measure of intelligence potential and determines the presence of a learning disability.
One of the best things to do early on is to document any of the situations you want to recall later. Be sure to include what happened, along with the date and details as to the setting as well as the event that occurred.
So often we think we will remember the date or the context of a situation but it is far better to keep a log using the same notebook and keeping it in the same place for easy accessibility. When you go to your appointments, you will be able to easily remember dates and occurrences, and it will help the professionals look for patterns of behavior, etc. Be especially aware for changes of routines and while traveling with kids.
The reassurance is when the cognitive testing ADHD has been completed, there is a level of reliability in the diagnosis. Until more sophisticated testing is available, parents of children can take heart that the tests that have been administered live up to the resources, while taking into consider the limits, of what today’s ADHD medical professionals, mental health professionals, and scientists have to offer.