ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders related to children. It is often initially diagnosed in childhood but can also last into adulthood. In general, a child should not be diagnosed with ADHD unless the core symptoms associated with the disorder reveal themselves early in life (usually before the age of 12) and that these symptoms create a number of significant, ongoing behavioral problems at home and at school.
While there is no particular test for ADHD, a professional diagnosis should include:
- A Medical exam,to help rule out other possible causes of symptoms,
- Information gathering,which might include school records, current medical issues, as well as personal and family medical history,
- Interviews or questionnairesto be filled out by family members, teachers or other people with whom your child is in regular contact such as coaches or babysitters, and
- ADHD criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (orDSM-5), which is published in the US by the American Psychiatric Association and in Canada by the Canadian Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Resource Alliance (or CADDRA).
Although signs of ADHD can occasionally appear in preschoolers or in children even younger, diagnosing the disorder in a very young child is difficult because developmental problems such as language delays can and have often been mistaken for ADHD. If you live in Toronto, it can be difficult to know how to reach out for help — simply because there are so many options. In fact, many parents fail to fully understand the importance of early diagnosis of children preschool age or younger who are suspected of having ADHD. But the fact is that a medical specialist such as a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a speech pathologist, or a developmental pediatrician can help with learning disabilities in Toronto better than any other health care professional. A speech language center, such as Toronto’s Simone Friedman SLS will place emphasis on a proper diagnosis and evaluation with a team of medical speech specialists. For example, Simone Friedman IBI therapy services in Toronto has helped many children overcome difficult hurdles, and such a treatment could be the answer you’re looking for.
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
It always bears keeping in mind that it is not abnormal children to have trouble focusing and behaving during their formative childhood years. If you notice that your child is simply not growing out of these behavioral patterns, they may have ADHD, especially if the symptoms continue into late childhood and continue to cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.
Children with ADHD typically display warning signs including an obvious difficulty paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, acting out without thinking, or simply being overly active. A child with ADHD might:
- daydream inordinately,
- squirm or fidget
- constantly forget or lose things
- have a hard time resisting temptation,
- talk far too much,
- make careless mistakes,
- have trouble taking turns, or
- have difficulty getting along with others.
Simone Friedman SLS offers a number of speech language pathology options to help your child cope with, and eventually overcome ADHD. Treatment is offered in the form of individual sessions or as part of a social skills group (which is particularly helpful for children who have issues with group coping skills). Sessions at Simone Friedman SLS focus on:
- Facilitating the use of strategies related to educational needs (including reading, writing, listening, remembering, understanding, and discourse skill building)
- Developing executive function skills (including problem-solving, improving self-awareness through compensation activities, goal-setting and plan-making, initiation, organization, follow through)
- Liaising with the school to develop IEP goals and accommodations
- Assisting in the development of social and communication skills through a number of intervention programs, role play and peer practice scenarios
- Assisting loved ones and support staff to better work and communicate with children with ADHD
If your child is displaying symptoms commonly associated with ADHD or any other learning disability, book a consultation with a speech pathology professional in your area today. It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of being proactive — after all, every minute counts when it comes to diagnosing ADHD.