When a child begins exhibiting signs of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, parents face the very difficult decision of whether or not to have their child tested for the disorder. This decision can be an agonizing one, involving a range of emotions, but in the end most parents decide that it is definitely more beneficial to find out for certain if ADHD is the culprit behind their child’s behavior and begin a helpful treatment plan, than it is to ignore the problem and continue to allow their child to struggle. However, parents who decide to seek testing for their potentially ADHD-affected child still have one more obstacle to deal with: convincing their child to cooperate with the testing. In this parents may face an all-out struggle, and continued resistance can result in turmoil, triggering worsening behavior and a whole new set of problems. Fortunately, there are many strategies parents can employ that can help convince their child that testing is probably a good idea.
How to Convince Your Children to Go for ADHD Testing: Education
Most ADHD-affected children, especially as they get older, already have a notion that something is not quite right. They may struggle academically in school, even though they know all the answers; they may have trouble making friends, despite their repeated efforts to fit in; and they may frequently get in trouble at home and at school, much more than their other classmates. These academic and social deficiencies can make them feel different and alone, which can ultimately lead to sadness, depression, anxiety and isolation
However, when children understand that the problems and struggles they consistently face may not be their entire fault, but rather the result of a real medical condition that is common in children, it can feel like a huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders. When children become educated on the effects of ADHD, its symptoms and the treatments that can help, they are usually much more amenable to getting tested for the disorder, as it is only through testing and diagnosis that treatment can commence.
How to Convince Your Children to Go for ADHD Testing: Prevalence
Parents should talk to their child about the prevalence of ADHD in children so they won’t feel like an outcast. ADHD is a disorder that affects approximately 1 in 10 school-age children in this country—a fairly substantial percentage that means in a classroom of 30 children, on average there are 2 additional children besides your child who are also facing the same types of struggles. This type of information can go a long way towards making your child feel a sense of normalcy and in many cases will convince him/her that testing is a good idea.
Parents may also want to point out to their children the number and names of famous people who have similarly struggled with the symptoms of ADHD. These lists are very popular, and can usually be found on many online sites, with names that range from Winston Churchill to Albert Einstein to Tom Cruise. This tactic can be very convincing when coaxing your child to cooperate with ADHD testing, as it shows your son or daughter that ADHD does not have to be a roadblock or obstacle to their future success.
As you can see, the general theme behind all these “convincing strategies” is to remove the stigma that is often associated with ADHD. Once children understand how the disorder is affecting them and see that they are not, by any means, alone in what they feel, the likelihood that they’ll cooperate with ADHD testing will dramatically improve.