October is National Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Learning Disabilities month. How do you know when it’s time to seek an evaluation for ADHD or a learning disorder?
We talk with many parents who are fearful that testing will lead to labeling and other negative consequences. The truth is, most parents are relieved when educational or behavioral challenges are uncovered. Here are 7 signs that your child may need an evaluation for ADHD or a learning disorder:
- Your son or daughter is chronically underperforming despite being provided specific interventions at school to address their learning or behavioral challenges.
- Your child avoids reading, struggles to sound out simple words, has poor spelling, uses imprecise language or struggles to remember the name of things.
- Your child consistently struggles to complete and/or turn in homework. Every student has a bad class, day or week. However, if your child is consistently unable to complete their work in a reasonable time, a learning disability could be the culprit.
- A teacher, whether current year or in the recent past, has expressed concerns about your child not progressing at the same rate as their peers.
- You see disorganization in school, beyond the occasional lost permission slip or math worksheet. Students with ADHD and other learning disabilities have trouble keeping track of work and assignments or can’t break down assignments to complete a larger project.
- You are concerned about a specific behavior or learning challenge that seems outside the norm of their peer group.
- You have run out of options. When extra assistance from a teacher or school specialist, outside tutoring or other tactics haven’t helped, a comprehensive evaluation may be the next step.
If you suspect your son or daughter is having difficulty learning, it is best to first discuss it with school personnel. If your child is not catching up despite being provided help at school, a comprehensive evaluation can be a helpful tool.