How To Diagnose Attention Deficit Disorder

Parents and teachers should be aware that assessment of Attention Deficit Disorder is quite a complex process. It should involve input from the child, his/her parents, relevant school staff, a psychological service provider or psychiatrist and a medical doctor. A thorough investigation would take the following factors into account:

  • Persistence and History of the Presenting Problem
  • Intellectual Functioning
  • Academic Functioning
  • In School Observation
  • At Home Behaviours
  • Medical History

What to Look For (must have at least 5 of these):

  1. Not just hyperactivity (or over-activity).
  2. Persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity or impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in similar aged peers.
  3. Onset before 7 years of age; although diagnosis usually is made well after this because it is harder for younger children to sit still and to pay attention for long periods of time.
  4. Impairment must be noted in at least 2 settings.
  5. Must have possessed symptoms for at least 6 months.
  6. Must be clear evidence of interference with developmentally appropriate social, academic, or occupational functioning.
  7. Is not better accounted for by another medical or psychological condition
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