How will my child be assessed for ADHD? | Best methods

Is your child distracted all the time? Does the little one face problems while focusing or being quiet? Is your baby failing to follow instructions both in class and at home? Pause. Your child may be suffering from ADHD. Relax. There is no need to get too tensed as ADHD can be cured effectively with time and proper diagnosis. But, before everything else, your question may add ‘how will my child be assessed for ADHD’.

This article deals with it. Read below.

What is ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder. It is one of the common neurodevelopmental disorders seen in children. ADHD starts in childhood and continues into adulthood. 

ADHD symptoms in children checklist

how will my child be assessed for adhd

Signs of ADHD in Toddlers:

It is not easy to tell if a toddler has ADHD. They are not usually diagnosed, but often certain behaviors can raise the doubt if the little humans are at risk of developing attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) opines that the condition can extend the stage of a toddler and remains active in teenage and even during adulthood. 

If you are wondering, ‘Does my toddler have ADHD?’ then the next discussion is for you:

Children over 3 years old show three main signs:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention, and
  • Impulsivity

Note: These particular behaviors can also be seen in kids without ADHD. A child can’t be confirmed having ADHD unless the typical symptoms continue for over 6 months affecting the capability of performing age-appropriate activities. 

You must take a lot of care if your toddler is suffering from ADHD, and doctors have prescribed medication for him or her. Usually, child psychiatrists prefer diagnosing school kids because they want to check if the specific symptoms are being shown in two or more settings like school, home, while with friends and relatives, etc. 

Notice if your toddler is showing these symptoms:

  • Having difficulty in paying attention
Can’t focus on single activity
Can’t follow instructions
Can’t process information
Can’t complete tasks and get bored easily
Can’t listen properly due to continuous distraction
  • Squirming and fidgeting
Excessively squirmy or fidgety
Never stopping
Constantly running from one toy to another
Talking too much
Making excessive noise
Can’t sit still for eating or reading
  • Impulsivity
Refusing to wait every time for their turn
Extremely impatient
Always interrupting when others are conversing
Unnecessarily commenting at wrong times
Very vulnerable to outbursts
Can’t control emotions
Thrusting in a group unwantedly without asking to join
  • Other typical signs of ADHD in toddlers
Lack of caution around strangers
Almost always aggressive while playing
Excessively bold behavior
Can’t hop on one foot even at age 3
Putting self and others at deadly risk because of fearlessness

ADHD quiz for you to find out about your child:

( Answer it wisely)

Does your kid get easily distracted often?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Frequently
  • Very frequently

Does your kid fail or struggle to follow instructions?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Frequently
  • Very frequently

Does your kid lose things in school often?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Frequently
  • Very frequently

Does your kid forget to do the common chores often?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Frequently
  • Very frequently

Does your kid become quickly frustrated if he/she comes across a difficult task?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Frequently
  • Very frequently

Does your kid fail to manage time and can’t complete tasks?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Frequently
  • Very frequently

Does your kid fail to pay attention to details?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Frequently
  • Very frequently

Does your kid face trouble being still and squirm?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Frequently
  • Very frequently

Does your kid face problems in participating quietly and talk excessively in a rapid manner?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Frequently
  • Very frequently

Does your kid find it difficult to take turns and keep on interrupting others?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Frequently
  • Very frequently

Does your kid find it difficult to cope with stressful situations?

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Frequently
  • Very frequently

This ADHD questionnaire for parents will help you to assess if your child possesses symptoms of typical ADHD, and if you find something to worry about, immediately consult a child psychiatrist without delay.

Types of ADHD

You must know the various types of ADHD in children to judge whether your little darling is suffering from it or not.

Mainly inattentive presentation:

In this case, your kid finds it extremely hard to organize a task or finish it, pay attention to any given details, and follow any conversation or instruction. He/she forgets details of a simple daily routine and gets distracted again and again.  

Mainly Hyperactive-Impulsive presentation:

Your child talks too much and fidgets. He/she can’t sit still even for a certain period like having food or doing homework. Little kids suffering from this problem jump, run or climb continuously. He/she is always restless and impulsive. The kid interrupts others very frequently, speaks at inappropriate times, and grabs things from other kids or people. The child finds difficulty in listening to directions or waiting for his/her turn. He/she is very prone to accidents and injuries.

The combined presence of both the types) presentation:

Your kid is showing symptoms from the above two types equally.

Moving forward to the environmental causes of ADHD:

Major factors:

  • Smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy
  • Exposure to a toxin like lead
  • Low birth weight
  • Prematurity

Other environmental factors are:

  • Financial problems
  • Breakup in family
  • Exposure to violence
  • Bad or harsh parenting
  • Inconsistent caregiving to the child due to mental or physical inability of the caregiver

The main and the most vital question is:

Where to go for an ADHD diagnosis?

After reading the symptoms and completing the self-assessment quiz, if you think your baby has some of the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, first consider speaking to a general physician, or a child specialist or pediatrician first. Also, take the help of your child’s school teachers and ask if they have noticed something. Many times, you will be automatically informed by the school authorities if your child behaves oddly in school.

A GP is not supposed to formally diagnose ADHD. But, they will surely conduct a discussion session with you and refer a specialist to you who is the exact professional dedicated to answering your eager question “who can diagnose ADHD in my child?”

Questions the general physician or the pediatrician may ask related to the following:

  • Symptoms your child is displaying
  • Place and time of the symptoms
  • If the symptoms are affecting your child’s daily life
  • If your child is facing difficulty in socializing
  • If your child faced any drastic event recently like divorce or death in the family
  • If any other member of the family has ADHD
  • Other problems or health issues of the child

If the general physician or pediatrician comes to the conclusion that your kid may have ADHD, then first, the doctor will suggest a certain period of watchful waiting for approximately 10 weeks. In this period, you have to notice if the symptoms of your little one are increasing, decreasing, or staying the same.

You can undergo a parent training and education program based on ADHD for more clarity. This is especially for those parents who ask us “how can I help my child with ADHD?” 

For a formal assessment, take your child to the following professionals:

  • A child or adult psychiatrist
  • Any reputed learning disability specialist
  • Occupational therapist having specialization in ADHD
  • A social worker with expertise in ADHD

The specialists can always make an appropriate diagnosis after a thorough assessment that includes:

  • A physical examination to find out other possible causes for the ADHD symptoms
  • Reports from parents and teachers
  • Interviews conducted with the parents and teachers
  • Interview with the child 

There are certain ADHD assessment tools for children that act as behavioral assessments. 

Naming a few assessment procedures:

  • Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales
  • Conners Parent and Teacher Rating Scales
  • Vanderbilt Assessment Scales
  • Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC)
  • Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist
  • Barkley Home and School Situations Questionnaires

Can a child with ADHD lead a normal life?

Parents! You must acknowledge the fact that children with ADHD tend to become overwhelmed or frustrated very fast and with ease. They face difficulties in controlling their emotions, performing various functions, planning, paying attention, remembering details, prioritizing, being quiet, etc. Some of them do not mature as responsible adults. These kids suffer from low self-esteem, isolation, and rejection.

On the other side, there are children with ADHD who are very personable, charismatic, and famous. 

Naming few world famous personalities who had ADHD:-

  • Simone Biles
  • Michael Phelps
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Adam Levine
  • Howie Mandel
  • James Carville
  • Ty Pennington
  • Karina Smirnoff
  • Glenn Beck

So, you see, even with ADHD, your child can grow into a good and famous individual provided proper support and conditioning are being given to him or her. So, your child can lead a normal life after ADHD diagnosis, and find happiness and success. 


I think my son has ADHD: What should I do?

  • Decide the acceptable and unacceptable behavior in advance
  • Define specific rules, but allow flexibility to your child
  • Control aggression
  • Organize the life of your son/daughter and simplify it
  • Create a structure for him/her
  • Break each task into simple and manageable pieces
  • Encourage your child’s out-loud thinking
  • Include exercise
  • Calm yourself 
  • Regulate your son/daughter’s sleep pattern
  • Take breaks
  • Take your kid to a counselor at regular interval
  • Believe in your son or daughter

What to avoid if your son or daughter has ADHD?

  • Don’t be negative at all.
  • Don’t get tensed if your child can’t complete a task, instead be ready to make a few compromises.
  • Don’t lash out or be overwhelmed.
  • Don’t let the disorder of your child control you.

Act maturely and give time to your child to develop and act mentally and physically. Don’t rush. A child with ADHD needs extra care from parents, teachers, and guardians. With proper guidance, the disorder will gradually diminish from your children’s lives and they will surely live a happy and successful life in the future.

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