What is ADHD?
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects a child’s behaviour. Children with ADHD experience difficulties in three main areas:
- Inattention – difficulty sustaining attention, easily distracted, often forgetful.
- Impulsivity – interrupts others, acts without thinking.
- Hyperactivity – restless, seems overly active, often fidgets.
These symptoms often affect other aspects of a child’s life, and can cause difficulties in their social relationships and academic performance. Children with ADHD who don’t receive appropriate help in managing their symptoms are placed at a higher risk of developing learning difficulties, risky behaviours, depression, anxiety, and relationship problems. As a result, it’s important to identify and treat ADHD as early as possible.
How is ADHD diagnosed?
Many of the behaviours associated with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder are developmentally appropriate in childhood. Therefore, it is essential that a comprehensive assessment is appropriately conducted to allow for reliable and valid diagnostic decisions. An assessment involves a diagnostic interview with parents and the use of behavioural rating scales to gain information about the child’s functioning at both home and school. In addition, a comprehensive child assessment provides deep understanding about how a child’s ADHD may be affecting their everyday lives. As such, our assessments uncover strengths and struggles in intellectual, learning and social functioning. An intellectual (IQ) assessment is an essential component of the ADHD testing process to rule out other difficulties (such as intellectual impairments or learning disorders). At Early Start Australia | WA | West Leederville, we take time to work with parents and their child to unravel the complexities associated with ADHD.
Our ADHD assessment process involves the following steps:
- Parent Initial Consultation – 50 minutes, with both parents where appropriate
- Intellectual (IQ) Assessment – 90 minutes, individually with the child
- Functional Assessment – 90 minutes, individually with the child
- Social, Emotional & Behavioural Assessment – rating scales completed, with parents and teachers
- Results Interpretation and Report Preparation – please allow 3 to 4 weeks following the assessment
- Parent Feedback Consultation – 50 minutes, with both parents where appropriate.
Is there are cure for ADHD?
Although there is no cure for ADHD, it is manageable. There are a variety of options available to assist children with ADHD and their families – different approaches will work best for different people. Therapy is often used to assist with the management of symptoms, as well as any related emotional or social difficulties. While medication is available to treat ADHD, many families choose to participate in therapy, or even employ a combination of medication and therapy.
We enjoy offering recommendations on how to support your child after an ADHD diagnosis, and how to continue to assist them into the future. When requested by parents, we make referrals to other medical and allied health professionals, including Paediatricians, Child Psychiatrists, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Specialist Educators.
For more information, please visit Early Start Australia | WA | West Leederville