Experts: Test your child for ADHD before sending them to school

Experts: Test your child for ADHD before sending them to school

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Ohio has one of the highest rates of children diagnosed with ADHD in the country.

Experts say ADHD cases are not necessarily increasing, but the disorder is often misdiagnosed.

Dr. Francis Rogalski of PediatriCare Associates says the most appropriate age to diagnose a child with ADHD is the third grade. This is because kindergarten through second grade learning is all based on memorization, like reciting the alphabet.

When children get to third grade, they are expected to integrate what they have memorized in the form of word and math problems.

Officials say if your child has a hard time concentrating, that could be a sign of ADHD.

They encourage you to visit a family doctor or pediatrician if you like your child exhibits ADHD-like behaviors such as:

  • Impulsivity - a child acts without thinking, like bolting across the street without thinking
  • Inability to concentrate - especially with things that are rapidly changing
  • Hyperactivity - teachers should pay attention if the child is doing anything to avoid schoolwork, like constantly getting up and leaving their seat

Dr. Rogalski said children can exhibit ADHD is certain subjects as well, with symptoms showing up in math class but not English, for example.

If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, Dr. Rogalski says parents should approach the school with a 504 plan, which would ensure that children receive accommodations to promote success at school.

"A child can have accommodations to promote success short of having a school-based tutor. So you might get extra time to take an exam or take your exam in a quiet place. The ability to have oral answers, the ability to have your exam read to you, take your exam on a keyboard instead of write it," said Dr. Rogalski.

The good news is, ADHD can improve in children and get better with time.

"All of those extraneous classes tend to go away and then ADHD seems to disappear, but really what happens is your job becomes your stimulant. So if you're focusing your attention on things that you like to do, the need for medicine often disappears," said Dr. Rogalski.

ADHD doesn't have to mean hard times or failure. If your child gets that diagnosis, approach the school with a plan that will follow your child throughout their academic career and help them grow.

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