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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no single test to diagnose ADHD, because many other health conditions such as certain learning disabilities, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders can have similar symptoms. If you suspect that you or your child might have ADHD, the first thing you should do is talk to your doctor to check if the symptoms fit the diagnosis.
A person is diagnosed with ADHD if he/she portrays more than six symptoms of ADHD for more than six months. Additionally, the symptoms must be present in more than one setting since the age of 12. Depending on the type of symptoms, a patient can be diagnosed with either Inattentive Type, Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, or Combined Type ADHD.
Many healthcare providers. such as doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and pediatricians can diagnose ADHD with the help of standards from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) or the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. The diagnosis pertains to gathering of information from parents or caregivers about the child’s behaviors. Your doctor or your child’s GP may inquire about the following:
After this initial encounter with your doctor or your child’s GP, a “watchful waiting period” of about ten weeks may be suggested to see if yours, or your child’s symptoms get worse, stay the same, or improve. If the symptoms don’t improve, and seriously interfere with yours or your child’s daily life, you may be referred to a specialist for formal assessment. This assessment can be done by:
Such specialists will help identify what type of ADHD you or your child may be suffering from. Even though there is no single assessment to diagnose this condition, trained specialists in this area can help make an accurate diagnosis after a comprehensive assessment, which may include:
A detailed assessment of your child’s state may help establish if the child has ADHD. To be diagnosed with ADHD, the child must have:
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