Have you ever asked yourself, “Why seek a professional diagnosis? Why not just begin a homeopathic or behavioral treatment?” One dad, a prospective client of Jim’s, called and asked abruptly, “Why should I drop a grand with you to diagnose my son when I can just start counseling?” Jim explained that a thorough evaluation and proper diagnosis help determine the most appropriate treatment.
Let’s face it: You can build a house without a set of plans. It may take a lot longer, cost a lot more, and have hidden problems, but it can be done. Likewise, do you think a smart general enters a war without a battle plan? Absolutely not. So why start treating your son for something you suspect but haven’t confirmed?
The diagnosis serves multiple purposes. First, it may provide parents with a sense of understanding, which is often accompanied by relief. Parents may be relieved to know their child really does have something fundamentally different about his mind. The diagnosis also can help parents shift their mindset about their child.
Second, the diagnosis may provide you and your son with access to school services. Most public and private schools require a professional diagnosis or an evaluation to provide any formal accommodations. Accommodations are adjustments such as extra time to complete tests or homework, seating near the front of the class, or frequent breaks. Furthermore, as boys with ADHD prepare to take college entrance exams, a diagnosis and a complete evaluation report by a qualified individual are required to receive accommodations.