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Diagnosing ADHD in a Child

Many tools are used to diagnose ADHD in a child. Parents, family, and teachers will be asked to describe your child’s behavior. Healthcare providers and educators will observe and test your child. This process can also help rule out other problems.

Healthcare provider talking with woman and girl.

Adults describe behaviors

Your child’s healthcare provider will ask you to fill out a survey with questions. You will be asked to describe your child’s attention and behavior patterns. Think about your child’s past as well as the present. Other adults who know your child well can share what they have observed. This includes teachers.

Experts test and evaluate

Your child’s attention may be assessed by an education specialist. This may be a school psychologist. He or she may watch your child in the classroom. They will use certain tests to assess your child. These tests will look at your child's behaviors and contact with adults and other children. 

Tell the healthcare provider and education specialist if any other family member shows signs of ADHD. ADHD seems to run in families.

The healthcare provider and education specialist will look at all the information. If they diagnose ADHD, treatment can be planned. It will include plans for school, home, and social settings.

Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Paul Ballas MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 4/1/2020
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