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How is ADHD diagnosed?

Assessment and diagnosis of child attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) must be performed by an experienced specialist clinician such as a pediatrician, child psychologist or child psychiatrist. Your general practitioner can make an initial assessment; however, they will usually refer your child for further assessment if they suspect ADHD. Some general practitioners have special training in ADHD and can manage children with the condition. For a child to be diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms and behaviors need to occur on a long-term basis (a minimum of six months). Assessment of ADHD is complex and can include: A medical examination to detect any underlying medical conditions; A mental health assessment; A developmental assessment to understand your child's overall development compared to milestones expected for their age; Assessment of your child's situation and needs including family, culture and education, and; Assessment of your child's behavior. Adult diagnosis of ADHD is initially carried out by a general practitioner, followed by a referral to a specialist clinician, usually a psychiatrist, for full assessment and diagnosis. A full medical assessment helps to determine whether there are any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to your symptoms. Your specialist will ask you about your symptoms and may also ask to speak with your partner or other family members. ADHD is only diagnosed if the symptoms create a serious disruption to your life.

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About this article

Author: Kellie Heywood
First answered: 27 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Votes: 130 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: ADHD


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