Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

School Testing for ADD

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Eileen S. Marzola, Ed.D.

Q: My son's teacher, the school principal, and I feel that my son is ADD. When I requested information on the testing that the school could perform, they said they couldn't test for ADD because it is a medical problem. Now I understand that he will need to see a doctor, but I was under the impression that they could do some of the testing. Can you tell me what tests they are required to do if I request it? Also, what tests can't they do, and where should I have those tests done?

A: If your son does have ADHD, the most common treatment recommended (and probably the most effective) is medication. Therefore, it's always a good idea to have a medical doctor involved in any evaluation for this disorder. However, if your son is having academic problems that may be related to ADHD, you can certainly request that he be given a psychoeducational battery of tests.

Since many children who have ADHD also have learning disabilities, these tests should give you more information about your son's academic strengths and weaknesses, as well as clues to his levels of attention under a variety of situations. This information would be extremely helpful in giving your doctor a well-rounded picture of your son. In addition, there are parent and teacher checklists (the Connors Scale is the most common one) that can also give you a better picture of your son's behaviors from at least these two viewpoints.

Most frequently, an I.Q. test (usually the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children or the Stanford Binet Intelligence Test) and a series of academic tests across the spectrum -- that includes looking at reading, writing, spelling, math, and general language skills -- are part of a psychoeducational evaluation. The I.Q. tests will give you an indication of your child's potential. The academic tests will tell you how he compares with his age or grade peers' performance.

More on: Expert Advice

For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks