Although there is no single medical, physical, or genetic test for ADHD, a qualified mental health care professional or physician can provide a diagnostic evaluation. This evaluation process includes gathering information from multiple sources, such as:
- ADHD symptom checklists
- standardized behaviour rating scales
- a detailed history of past and current functioning; and
- information obtained from family members or significant others who know the person well
ADHD cannot be diagnosed accurately just by talking to someone or from brief office observations. A person may not always exhibit the symptoms of ADHD in the office, and the clinician needs to take a thorough history of the individual’s life. A diagnosis of ADHD must also include consideration of the possible presence of co-occurring conditions.
Myth:I don’t have all the symptoms of ADHD, so I can’t have it.
Fact:You don’t have to display all the symptoms of ADHD in order to be diagnosed with it. For example, some people have the “inattentive” type of ADHD and may not show many signs of hyperactivity. Only a trained professional can determine whether or not you have ADHD.