What will a doctor do to diagnose ADHD in my child?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
When diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), your child's doctor will review your child's moods, behaviors, and physical symptoms. This diagnosis process is intensive and may take several visits. During these visits, you will be asked a number of questions, including whether your child's symptoms affect his school performance and social life. Many of these questions will come from standardized, structured questionnaires that are used by many ADHD specialists.

The doctor will observe your child and may choose to interview other important adults in your child's life, including teachers. A medical exam will often be performed to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions. To be diagnosed with ADHD, your child must have multiple ADHD symptoms that appeared before age 7 and cause significant problems in their life for six months or more.

Once your child is diagnosed, they can begin treatment for ADHD. The ADHD treatment may include medication and behavioral therapies.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.