Does My Child Have ADHD?

According to the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is characterised by inattention and/or hyperactivity.

does my child have adhd


Examples of Attention Deficit (inattention)

If you have been wondering if your child might have ADHD, you have likely noticed your child:

  • has difficulties concentrating;
  • appears to not listen;
  • forgets instructions;
  • moves from one task to another without completing anything;
  • loses items at levels inconsistent with age or developmental level;
  • has poor time management;
  • is easily distracted;
  • has poor short term memory.

What is Hyperactivity?

The term hyper-active comes from the Latin: hyper = over. If you are concerned that your child may have ADHD, you may have noticed that they are indeed over active. For example, they may:

  • be constantly restless;
  • be a “fidgetter”;
  • be unable to stay in their seat at school;
  • frequently intrude into other people’s activities;
  • have little or no tolerance for waiting.

Diagnosing ADHD

In order for a diagnosis to be made, symptoms must have been occurring over a six month period, with a negative impact on social and academic activities. Symptoms must also have been seen over two different environments eg home and school.

It is important to remember that the symptoms listed above can also be experienced by many children and adolescents, without it leading to a diagnosis of ADHD.

Sometimes children can be affected by an experience in their life, which then results in behaviour which may look like ADHD. It is important for the psychologist to gather information to provide a holistic view of the child’s life and past experiences, when diagnosing ADHD.

If you are noticing symptoms of ADHD in your child, or the school has reported issues, diagnosis will require assessment by a registered psychologist.

Assessment will include information gathered from the parent/s, school and sometimes from the child or adolescent themselves.

Additionally, an assessment called the Conners 3 (Conners 3rd Edition) is used to obtain parent and teacher observations about the child’s behaviour. The assessment investigates six areas including:

  1. Inattention;
  2. Hyperactivity/impulsivity;
  3. Learning problems;
  4. Executive functioning;
  5. Aggression;
  6. Peer Relations.

The assessment also investigates the possibilities of conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder being present, both of which are common in children experiencing ADHD.

Price List

You will first have to book an initial appointment with registered psychologist Cassandra Gist to discuss your concerns prior to booking an assessment. Unfortunately, there are no Medicare rebates for assessments and a Mental Health Care Plan is not applicable.

An ADHD assessment, including 1 to 2 sessions of testing, 1 feedback session, scoring and interpretation, and report writing – is priced from $800.

Treatment for ADHD

Treatment for ADHD focuses on reducing the symptoms rather than “curing”.  Psychological options include:

  • Behavioural therapy to help manage the behavioural symptoms. Sessions will involve goal setting, establishing routines, and consistency for the child;
  • Family therapy to help relationships and ensure a consistent parenting method is established;
  • Improving social skills and problem solving to create a more harmonious environment;
  • Medication options to be discussed with your GP, paediatrician or child psychiatrist.

Children and adolescents with ADHD can cause a lot of stress for the family, as well as create relationship difficulties. If you would like some support for your child and your family, do not hesitate to book an appointment today..

Author: Cassandra Gist, BPsych (Hons), Cassandra Gist Psychologist BrisbaneMPsych, MAPS.

Brisbane Psychologist Cassandra Gist works with clients aged from two years old right through to adulthood. She has a special interest in working with children and their families around the diagnosis and treatment of issues such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

To make an appointment with Brisbane Psychologist Cassandra Gist, try Online Booking – Loganholme or Online Booking – Mt Gravatt . Alternatively, you can call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129, or Vision Psychology (Mt Gravatt) on (07) 3088 5422.