How Is ADHD Diagnosed in Children?


Quick Answer

No specific test exists for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, but a physician may diagnosis a child with ADHD based upon a medical exam, information gathering, questionnaires and ADHD rating scales, states Mayo Clinic. A physician may perform a noninvasive brain scan to corroborate an ADHD diagnosis, reports WebMD.

Continue Reading
How Is ADHD Diagnosed in Children?
Credit: Stepan Popov iStock / Getty Images Plus Getty Images

Full Answer

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association have standard guidelines to diagnosis a child with ADHD, and a child should display at least six specific symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity. Some of these symptoms include not listening when spoken to directly, not following through on instructions, being easily distracted, fidgeting and squirming, and having difficulty quietly engaging in leisure activities. Additionally, to be diagnosed with ADHD, a child should have symptoms that last for more than six months and significantly impair the child's home and school life, states Mayo Clinic.

To rule out other possible causes, a physician may perform a medical exam upon a child. Additionally, the physician may grade the child's symptoms compared to standard ADHD rating scales, gather the child's personal and family history, as well as review the child's school records and interview the child's teachers. A physician may utilize a Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid, or NEBA, which measures the child's brain waves to determine if those waves correspond with typical activity from ADHD patients, says WebMD.

Learn more about Conditions & Diseases
Related Videos

Related Questions