6 Most Common Questions About ADHD Testing
3 min read
People tend to have a lot of questions about ADHD, and testing for it. That’s why we created a list of the most common questions we get about both!
1. What if I am not sure my child has ADHD?
Sometimes parents aren’t sure if what they are seeing is really ADHD related, or something else. That’s because ADHD can look different depending on the child. For example, oftentimes girls are underdiagnosed because they may appear less hyperactive than boys, even though they still struggle with inattention. Mood also plays a big role in our ability to concentrate. Just because your child has a hard time focusing in school or on homework, doesn’t necessarily mean they have ADHD. That’s why testing is so helpful! If you’re on the fence and you think finding out would be beneficial to you and your child, then you should look into testing to get a clear answer.
2. What if testing doesn’t show signs of ADHD?
This can be pretty confusing for parents when they find out that the symptoms are in fact, not ADHD. We still try to offer meaningful feedback and recommendations around what we are seeing, and the likely causes. We still try to recommend resources and tools you can use to help address the challenges that are there, even if ADHD isn’t.
3. What if testing does come back as ADHD?
This question can often be equally as scary for parents and even children, but it is going to be okay. There are so many resources available that can help children and their parents learn to live and thrive with ADHD. These are the resources that we go over in the feedback session. We aren’t in the habit of giving diagnoses and wishing you luck. We try to make sure to direct you to the resources and places that will be of help to you.
4. Is ADHD a learning disability?
No, ADHD is not a learning disability. Learning disabilities are disorders that can affect someone’s ability to take in and understand information, as well as express themselves. These can lead to challenges with understanding spoken or written language, accurately computing numbers, and so on. It’s important to think of ADHD as a difference in thinking rather than a learning problem. Better yet, it can be thought of as a superpower (even though it may not always feel like that). People with ADHD simply experience the world differently than others without it.
If you’re still not convinced, here is a list of well-known individuals who are known to or strongly believed to have ADHD: Will Smith, Jim Carrey, Justin Timberlake, John F. Kennedy, and even Albert Einstein (yes, that Albert Einstein)!
5. If my child does have an ADHD diagnosis, do I have to give them medication?
For clarity, I am not a medically trained clinician who can prescribe medication. This is a question that often comes up in testing. When ADHD seems to be present, it is sometimes recommended that parents follow up with their child’s doctor about whether or not medication is a good option for them. Ultimately, it is your choice whether or not your child takes medication.
6. Will medication fix the problem?
First, your child is not a problem. Their ADHD is not a problem. They are who they are and thinking of them (or their diagnosis) as a problem to be fixed often leads to friction between parents and their child. This is a trap parents often fall into, and there may be plenty of reasons for why. Regardless, thinking of them as a problem often leads to treating them like one, whether you mean to or not.
Second, even if your child is on medication, that alone will not teach them better study habits, how to stay organized, or not to climb to the top of a tree! These are all skills that still need to be learned. Medication’s job is to help slow their brains down long enough that they can learn how to do those things (or not do in the case of the tree). They will need to learn how to limit distractions, find ways of studying that actually work, and, above all else, recognize that the way they think and view the world is a gift, not a curse.
While this information might be helpful, we might not have covered all of your questions. If so, and you want help finding answers, give us a call today.
About Denis Mundere
Denis’s own sense of identity has been shaped by several unique life experiences. He was born in Nairobi Kenya and immigrated to the U.S. when he was 5.5 years old. He grew up in West Michigan before going to the U.P. for his undergrad at Northern Michigan University. He has since traveled back to Kenya and Tanzania to visit his family, while also building close connections to his friends and family in Grand Rapids. He even got to experience completing his master’s degree at Western Michigan University during a pandemic.View Profile