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How do I know if my child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Your child's doctor may make a diagnosis. Or sometimes the doctor may refer you to a mental health specialist who is more experienced with ADHD to make a diagnosis. There is no single test that can tell if your child has ADHD.

It can take months for a doctor or specialist to know if your child has ADHD. He or she needs time to watch your child and check for other problems. The specialist may want to talk to you, your family, your child's teachers, and others.

Sometimes it can be hard to diagnose a child with ADHD because symptoms may look like other problems. For example, a child may seem quiet and well-behaved, but in fact he or she is having a hard time paying attention and is often distracted. Or, a child may act badly in school, but teachers don't realize that the child has ADHD.

If your child is having trouble at school or at home and has been for a long time, ask his or her doctor about ADHD.

This answer is based on source information from National Institute of Mental Health.

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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.