How is ADHD diagnosed?
There is no single test to diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and it is difficult to diagnose. Many of the symptoms, such as inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity, can also be a common part of a non-ADHD child's development.
Sometimes the more formal setting of starting school leads to an ADHD diagnosis, while some people may not be diagnosed until they are adults.
Parents who think their child may have ADHD should seek medical advice.
The doctor will ask questions to find out about symptoms and behaviour, when they started and whether these are affecting daily life. Problems like being unable to make friends, or not being able to wash or feed themselves, are called functional impairment.
The doctor will want to know whether ADHD symptoms happen at home or at school, or both.
They'll ask whether there's a family history of ADHD, as it may have a genetic component.
The doctor will also ask about other health conditions and about any major changes in family life, such as divorce or the death of a close family member.