3 Things an ADHD Screening Test for Children Tells You

3 Things an ADHD Screening Test for Children Tells YouIs your child beginning to demonstrate some of the classic symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD?  Have you considered performing an ADHD screening test before taking your child to a doctor for an official diagnosis?  An ADHD screening test can be a valuable tool for parents, and the information collected will ultimately be very useful if a doctor’s visit is warranted sometime in the future. In this article we will provide a brief sample of an ADHD screening test, and discuss some of the things you will learn as the result of undergoing this process.

About ADHD and the ADHD Screening Test

ADHD is a neurological condition affecting approximately 10 percent of all school-age children.  The disorder is characterized by three main symptoms—hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention—although not all children with ADHD will display behaviors and characteristics of each symptom.  ADHD affects both boys and girls, but boys are diagnosed at a rate of 3:1 to girls.

The problem with diagnosing ADHD in children is two-fold.  First, many of the symptoms of ADHD are often found in other biological, mental and emotional conditions, and second, some of the classic ADHD behavior may merely be the result of a normal, yet slightly rebellious child.  This is why it is so important for parent to keep records regarding the frequency and severity of their child’s symptoms, as doctors will rely on this information when making a diagnosis.  Children who frequently display symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity and/or inattention are more apt to be diagnosed with ADHD, as are those children whose severity of symptoms interferes with their daily functioning.

An ADHD screening test is designed to measure the frequency and severity of each of the three main ADHD symptoms.  Parents will be asked a series of questions for each category, and for each question they will respond either:

  • A.) Never
  • B.) Sometimes
  • C.) Often
  • D.) Very Often

The following are some examples of the typical questions parents may be asked in each category:

Inattention Symptoms in Children

  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes frequent, careless mistakes when performing schoolwork or other activities
  • Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores and other duties.
  • Loses items that are necessary for certain tasks, including school assignments, toys, books and pencils.

Hyperactivity Symptoms in Children

  • Frequently fidgets with hands and/or feet or squirms in his/her seat
  • Frequently gets up from their seat during class when doing so is inappropriate
  • Constantly on the go, climbing and running even when he/she has been asked not to

Impulsivity Symptoms in Children

  • Blurts out answers during class before being called on by the teacher or before the teacher has finished the question
  • Constantly interrupts other people’s conversations
  • Intrudes on other children’s games and activities inappropriately

What Can Parents Learn from an ADHD Screening Test?

Besides learning a bit more regarding the frequency and severity of their child’s symptoms, parents also learn 3 important things through a screening test that can be beneficial in effectively treating their child’s condition.  These include:

  • When it’s time to visit a doctor to seek an official diagnosis and treatment plan
  • Changes that need to be made at home that can help accommodate for their child’s symptoms.
  • Changes needed at school, or how to help the child’s teacher accommodate for the child to improve academic and social success.

Parents who suspect their child may be suffering from the effects of ADHD would be well-served to perform an ADHD screening test before seeking a medical opinion.  Not only will this help them learn more about their child’s condition, but the notes they make on this screening test will later be invaluable information, helping doctors immensely when it’s time to create a comprehensive treatment plan.