How is ADHD Diagnosed?

[How Is ADHD Diagnosed?]
[Understood, for learning and attention issues] [Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D. – Associate Director, Yale Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders]
Parents often wonder how can you get a diagnosis about whether or not a child has ADHD or doesn’t. There is no one test that makes the determination does a person have ADHD. There is no imaging picture that you can take of their brain. There is no blood test. There is no computer test. There’s no electroencephalogram. This is not something which is determined by any one single test. What’s really involved in learning about somebody enough to know if they have a diagnosis is a well-conducted interview of a mental health or medical professional who understands ADHD with the parents, with the child, also making use of information from school if they’re in school and from other people who can tell us more about how this child is functioning in aspects of everyday life. It’s usually a conversation, an interview or possibly a series of a few interviews between the professional and the parents and the boy or girl to be able to learn more about what is daily life like for them and how does it compare with what you’d normally expect for somebody else in that age. We want to know a little bit about what’s going on in the family, what stressors there might be that are causing pressures. We want to inquire about whether there are any health problems that have been difficult that may be contributing to some of the difficulties of this child. We want to know what other people in the family have had. Are there several other people — we know that ADHD is inherited and are there several other people in the family, close relatives perhaps, who have similar problems which would increase the likelihood? All the characteristics of ADHD, if you look at that list of symptoms and show it to anybody and say have you ever had this, everybody’s hand would be up and say sure, of course. But those symptoms that we all have sometimes, difficulty focusing, difficulty getting started, getting distracted too much, quitting too soon on a task, those are all things that everybody has some trouble with. The purpose of the diagnostic interview is to find out from the person and the parents and the teachers how this person really functions day by day compared to others of the same age. [female speaker] Key Takeaways There is no one test that determines if a person has ADHD. To get a diagnosis, a person needs to be interviewed by a health professional who knows a lot about ADHD. The interviewer asks about school and home to help determine how a child is functioning compared to kids the same age. [More to Explore on Understood] [ADHD Through Your Child’s Eyes] [Quiz: Could Your Child Have ADHD?] [ADHD by the Numbers] [Video: I Have ADHD and I Am…] [Understood | for learning and attention issues] [U |]

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