If you have noticed that your child struggles to concentrate for long periods of time, has difficulty following instructions, often acts impulsively or is more hyperactive than his or her peers, you may be concerned that he or she has ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that has been clinically observed for more than 200 years. The disorder always begins in childhood and can continue to affect the sufferer throughout his or her lifetime. According to the Centre for ADHD Awareness in Canada, ADHD is the most prevalent childhood psychiatric disorder in Canada and occurs in 4% of adults and 5% of children worldwide. Ultimately, it is a disorder that makes it difficult for people to self-regulate emotionally and behaviourally, stay on task, filter distractions, and plan and execute daily tasks in an appropriate manner. Obviously, this can pose many challenges for children in a structured learning environment.
The whole concept of diagnosing ADHD is being widely challenged these days. Many believe it is grossly overdiagnosed, and some experts even advocate removing it as a medical condition altogether since it is not a disease but rather a set of behaviours based on how their brain is ‘wired’.
Diagnosing ADHD is typically done by a pediatrician or a clinical psychologist. To diagnose ADHD in children, at least six specific symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity need to be present on a regular basis for more than six months, while comparing the child’s behaviour with that of other children their age.
While most medical professionals may recommend treating ADHD with drugs, this is typically unnecessary. In most cases, the disorder can be effectively managed through drug-free neuro-developmental activities.
While there is no definitive test for ADHD in kids, there are tests that make it possible for you to judge just how likely it is that your child is suffering from the disorder. Maxi Mind Learning has developed an online ADHD test of this nature. This online test for ADHD is a screening test closely based on the “ADHD Monitoring System” developed by Dr. David Rabiner, Ph.D., a Clinical Psychologist, Senior Research Scientist and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Duke University’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. It is important to note that the test does not replace a full psycho-educational assessment conducted in person by an accredited clinical psychologist, nor does it provide a clinical diagnosis.
Nonetheless, the results of these few quick questions are highly correlated with the diagnostic conclusions provided by more intensive, detailed testing. The online ADHD test is specifically designed to evaluate the behaviour of children between the ages of 6 and 12 years of age.