How Is ADHD Diagnosed?

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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.