Importance of an Accurate ADHD Diagnosis – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that approximately 6 million American children between three and 17 years old have an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder diagnosis. Some children also have other related disorders that may affect their behavior, emotions, or mental state.
Some related disorders, including executive dysfunction, have symptoms similar to ADHD. To treat these children properly and give them a better chance for success, you must identify and understand all the conditions affecting them.
What Is ADHD?
A common condition in children and adults is ADHD, typically affecting them in three behavioral categories.
- Hyperactivity and impulsiveness
- Inattentiveness and difficulty focusing
- Combined symptoms
The earlier ADHD the diagnosis in a child’s development, the better they can adapt to schoolwork and social settings. ADHD often leads to school-aged children developing learning problems due to lack of focus, disruptiveness in class, and making potentially harmful actions. It can also cause low self-esteem and sleep issues.
Medications and therapy can address ADHD concerns, but affected children may also need an individualized educational plan for success in school. ADHD affects each person differently, and a proper diagnosis is crucial to getting them the help they need.
How Is Executive Dysfunction Similar to ADHD?
Executive function skills work together, allowing people to focus, handle emotions, solve problems, respond well to new stimuli, and organize themselves. These skills include:
- Inhibitory control
- Verbal working memory
- Visual working memory
- Set shifting
Children and adults with executive dysfunction typically have trouble performing specific tasks, including:
- Learning and retaining information
- Organizing their thoughts, emotions, and daily lives
- Problem solving
- Shifting between tasks and emotions
Finding the motivation to accomplish tasks is sometimes difficult as well. You’ll notice that these issues closely resemble the difficulties faced by those with ADHD. Treatment plans for ADHD and executive dysfunction aren’t necessarily interchangeable, so an accurate diagnosis is vital.
Does ADHD Affect Executive Function?
Many people with ADHD also have executive dysfunction. Children with ADHD often develop executive functioning skills more slowly than those without, leaving undiagnosed children at a disadvantage and without adequate coping skills.
It’s difficult for anyone to break ingrained habits and behaviors, but even more so when people don’t have the skills to enable it. Addressing potential problems like ADHD early in a child’s life lessens the negative impacts and the need to relearn appropriate actions, reactions, and behaviors.
Testing for ADHD at a young age will show each child’s strong points and areas of concern. An accurate and timely diagnosis can help pinpoint the treatment each child will benefit from the most, allowing you to customize plans to support growth.
How Can You Accurately Diagnose These Disorders?
Choosing the right ADHD assessment tools can give more accurate results. Learn more about helpful tools like the (Conners 3) Conners, Third Edition at WPS. Parents and teachers can help school children more effectively when they fully understand precisely how ADHD affects them as individuals.
WPS provides resources and high-quality tools so professionals can assess, diagnose, and treat people with special needs. For more information or assistance, contact WPS online.
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