The process of having your child assessed for ADHD can be confronting and confusing. Parents are often unsure of where to start, or what information is required.
Finding a paediatrician or psychiatrist who specialises in this area is essential.
However, the wait time in some cases to see a specialist can be several months for assistance with a developmental, behavioural or learning difficulty. Hence it is best to be well prepared so that you and your child get the best information and assessment at the time of your appointment. Use that waiting period to collect information to assist in the process and to make notes about your child, so that nothing is forgotten.
Your first appointment may take approximately one hour depending on the complexity, where your paediatricians or psychiatrists may explore a number of points listed below. If possible, it is best for both parents to attend as many of the appointments and, on some occasions, grandparents can be invaluable.
Below is a list of information you may need for your assessment with your child’s paediatrician or psychiatrist:
✔️ Pregnancy and birth details;
✔️ School reports;
✔️ Hearing test results if applicable;
✔️ Vision test results if applicable;
✔️ Parent and teacher ADHD questionnaires. It is helpful to have them completed before your appointment;
✔️ Psychology report, which should include an IQ test, literacy and numeracy assessment, classroom and playground observation;
✔️ Any allied reports: speech therapy, occupational therapy, social work, language development centre.
In addition to the medical, psychological and educational reports, it will be useful if you think about the following points, and perhaps make some notes:
💭 How does your child behave at home?
💭 How does your child behave at school?
💭 How does your child behave towards their siblings?
💭 What is your child’s behaviour like on family outings?
💭 How does your child cope with stress and what do they do?
💭 How do you parent them when you are both angry about something?
💭 Is sleep an issue? Do they have a good bedtime routine? Do they have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep? Do they snore?
💭 Describe your child’s electronic use during the day, evening and night.
💭 How would you describe your child’s diet?
💭 How does your child manage getting ready for school in the morning?
💭 How is your child coping with school?
💭 What does your child do at recess and lunchtime at school?
💭 How does your child behave after school?
💭 How do you and your child manage their homework?
💭 What information can you provide about after-school activities?
💭 Who manages to cope with your child best and what do they do differently?
💭 What does your child do when they are calm?
💭 Does your child manage to self-regulate?
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