There is no lab test able to detect ADHD. Diagnosis requires an evaluation by a licensed clinician such as:
This evaluation is essential in determining whether ADHD is present, but also to look for any other problems or comorbidities. Evaluations should include the following:
- Detailed history including a description of symptoms, the timing of symptoms, any impairment in different areas of life, and any changes over time. Information from multiple sources including the patient, parents, and/or teachers is important.
- Developmental and Medical history
- Family history
- Observation of behaviors
- Questionnaires typically to be completed by multiple sources including the patient, parents, teachers, day care providers or any other frequent caregivers. These will not only ask about symptoms of ADHD, but also look for common comorbidities including anxiety, depression and learning disabilities.
- May include additional neuropsychiatric testing to look for learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities if indicated.
The DSM V criteria » is typically used to diagnose ADHD. Although this provides specific criteria for diagnosis, it requires a trained professional to determine whether ADHD is indeed present.
The best way to arrange an evaluation for ADHD is to discuss it with your primary care physician. In many cases, your primary care physician can diagnose ADHD. If not, he/she can make a referral to another provider who is able to make the diagnosis and arrange for treatment.
- Inform the scheduler that you are interested in discussing ADHD when you schedule your appointment to ensure that you will have adequate time to discuss all of your concerns.
- Bring a list of concerns and questions along to your visit to ensure that all of your questions are addressed.
- Arrive to your appointment early so that you are able to complete requested paperwork prior to the appointment beginning.
- Talk with teachers and other caregivers prior to the appointment to get their input