Testing For ADHD and Learning Disabilities
Have you ever wondered if you have ADHD? What about your child? Oftentimes, we might just write it off as “just a phase” or that we “need to buckle down.” It’s easy to joke about having ADHD or making excuses for ourselves or our children, however, making sure that you have the correct diagnosis is the most crucial step towards actually getting better.
What if your child is having learning difficulties and it’s not ADHD? Have you started treatment for ADHD and seen a reduction in hyperactivity but not an improvement in grades? It could be that there are learning disabilities or environmental conditions that are affecting your child’s grades?
ADHD and Co-Occurring Learning Disabilities
Today, we’d like to spend some time educating our clients and community about the importance of appropriate ADHD testing in order to receive a correct diagnosis. Somewhere between 30 – 50% of people diagnosed with ADHD also have a learning disability. There are a variety of learning disabilities including difficulties with reading, math, writing, fine motor skills, language, hearing differences between sounds, and interpreting visual information.
In order to get the best results, you have to cover all the bases with appropriate testing and evaluation. What if you didn’t have to wait a year or two in order to understand the type of support your child needs in order to get better and keep up with their peers?
ADHD: When and What To Look For
ADHD usually appears around age 7, however, it could come one earlier or later. Learning difficulties can manifest as early as preschool and can be discovered through high school.
Common skills that can be tested for include reading, writing, and arithmetic as well as organization and time management. In the next few sections, we’d like to look at potential warning signs that might indicate a learning disability:
- Language development and communicating thoughts.
- Basic motor skills which include walking and using basic tools like scissors
- Learning and identifying colors
- Socialization delays
- Problems following directions
- Lack of rapid letter recognition
- Problem with basic academic skills related to spelling, match, remembering facts, grammar
- Difficulty organizing, losing, or forgetting materials
- Challenges with oral instructions and expressing oneself
Here at PTI, we’re here to see people treated with respect and to help them get better. Relying only on medication for ADHD does not always get the best results, especially if there are co-occurring factors that are influencing your child’s academic or social challenges. We’re here to equip you and your child with tools to succeed.
As with all other mental illnesses and psychological conditions, the sooner you start treatment, the easier the recovery phase will be. In terms of ADHD and/ or a learning disability, waiting a year or two before receiving the correct diagnosis can lead to gaps in basic academic or social skills that might need to be addressed.