Home > Medical > ADHD > Overview 05 February 2013 How is ADHD diagnosed? There is no single test to diagnose ADHD. Instead, a comprehensive evaluation is required. 0 Pin It Ask ADHD Expert » Quiz Is my toddler eating properly? » Talk Parenting forum » Ask Paediatrician » Bizarre uses for bodily fluids Breathe for me There is no single test to diagnose ADHD. Instead, a comprehensive evaluation is necessary to:• reach a diagnosis rule out other causes for the symptoms • establish whether coexisting conditions are present. Such an evaluation requires time and effort and should include a clinical assessment of the individual’s academic, social and emotional functioning. In children, a careful history should be taken from parents and teachers. Often both a psychologist and a medical practitioner, usually a psychiatrist or a paediatrician, should be involved in the assessment process.Before reaching a diagnosis, it is important to rule out the following conditions, which usually manifest similar symptoms to those of ADHD.• Emotional difficulties/social and environmental problems. • Low Muscle Tone – some children have to focus so hard on sitting up straight that they fidget more. • Motor-co-ordination difficulties – if present this often leads to problems with task completion and the quality of work presented. It often coexists in patients with ADHD. • Sensory Modulation Disorders – These children have problems being tactile or light defensive. The noise defensive child has difficulty blocking out background noise when having to pay attention. • Global development delay - concentration and functioning should be evaluated according to functional, not chronological age. • Absence Epilepsy - often presents between ages six - 10 years. It is important to realise that some of the above can also be present in patients with a classical picture of ADHD. Other problems may present with symptoms suggestive of ADHD but often leads to a later diagnosis because the interaction with concentration problems is not explored. They often coexist.In order for a diagnosis of ADHD to be made the following conditions should be met• Some symptoms must have appeared by the age of seven. • At least six symptoms must be present and must have persisted for at least six months. • Symptoms must occur in at least two different settings (for example, at school and at home). • The symptoms must cause significant impairment of social and academic functioning. (Reviewed by Dr A van der Walt, MMed (Paed) BSc Hon (Human Genetics),May 2007 and July 2010) More in Medical What are the causes of ADHD? More: ADHDOverview advertisement Get a quote Selfmed - the one with the apple Momentum - save up to 35% on healthcare Medihelp - quality, affordable medical scheme cover advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Add your comment Thank you, your comment has been submitted. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Diet and nutrition Diet drinks 'as bad as meth addiction' Diet and nutrition Purple tomatoes more ‘tasty and healthy’ Medical Type 2 diabetes progresses faster in kids Mental health The science behind the itch Fitness Exercise should be core subject at school Medical Losing weight may ease heartburn From our sponsors Hill's Science Plan Canine Mini range What is Diabetic Neuropathy? There are more than 200 different viruses which can cause a cold A clinically proven skin care range is now available Live healthier Be vitamin-smart » A-Z of vitamins What is vitamin C? Ask the expert Why we need vitamin D Even in a country with an abundance of sunlight you might have a vitamin D deficiency. Here's why. Beat acne » Stars with scars Acne tips Skincare Myths about acne Through the ages, there have been many myths about acne. We list the myths and give you the facts.