How is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosed in kids?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is really a diagnosis of exclusion in kids. That means other conditions that can be affecting attention and concentration have to be considered and ruled out. These can include depression, anxiety, trauma, difficult family circumstances, or maybe some medical conditions. Once any other source that could be explaining the troubles with attention and concentration have been eliminated, the diagnosis of ADHD is made.

Unfortunately, there is no objective test that can reliably measure ADHD. Doctors have to rely on examination of the child, a careful clinical history taking process, and collateral information from other informants, such as school teachers, parents, relatives, and the like.

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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.