Diagnosis of ADHD and other related disorders

The diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

In general a child does not receive a diagnosis test for ADHD unless the main symptoms and characteristics of this disease starts showing at a very early age.  There is no one test which can reliably diagnose ADHD in children 100% of the time. But the combination of a few standard tests and diagnosis tools can pinpoint this disease with high accuracy.  The ADHD diagnosis test usually includes the following procedures:

  • A medical exam is taken in order to diagnose ADHD in the children.
  • Information on medical history of oneself and that of family members are gathered and evaluated. School record checks as well as behavioral analysis are also done in the diagnosis of ADHD.
  • Questionnaires and interviews given to parents, siblings, teachers and coaches are important references as to the behavior of the child and play an integral part in the diagnosis of ADHD.
  • From the collected information an ADHD rating scale adds up elements of ADHD-distinct behavior and based on that predicts the likelihood of the respective child suffering from ADHD. The higher the scale the more likely it is ADHD.

Difficulty in diagnosing ADHD in children:

Sometimes the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is difficult to recognize. This could occur when some of the diagnosis tools or other information is missing. Another reason is that some disorders have such similar symptoms to ADHD that they are often times confused with it. This is especially true with very small children, who often show the same conspicuous behavior in the face of many causes.

Disorders that can be confused with ADHD:

The attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a syndrome which is characterized by inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. As mentioned above, there is no such thing as a single medical diagnostic test for this disorder. Many methods have to come together as a mere prediction in some cases, hence a great overlap with other disorders that share the same symptoms with ADHD. The disorders similar to ADHD are mentioned as follows:

  • Mood disorders
  • Learning or language disorders
  • Seizure disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Sleep disorder
  • Substance abuse
  • Thyroid medication
  • Brain injury
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Mental retardation
  • Sensory disorders

Diagnosing ADHD in your child:

If you find your child having problems with understanding school lessons or language in general and in addition shows signs of hyperactivity, it is your duty to consult a specialist as soon as possible for a proper evaluation of this behaviour in your child.