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Usually, more than one professional assesses a child for ADHD symptoms.

Topic Overview

Physicians, clinical and school psychologists, clinical social workers, speech-language pathologists, learning specialists, and educators may each play an important role in the ADHD evaluation. As with adults, there are no laboratory or imaging tests available to make a diagnosis; instead, clinicians base their conclusions on the observable symptoms and by ruling out other disorders. They may also:.


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Doctors, specialists, ADHD tests—it may all feel a little overwhelming to pursue a diagnosis for your child. You can take a lot of the chaos out of the process with the following practical steps. Make an appointment with a specialist. As the parent, you can initiate testing for ADHD on behalf of your child. The earlier you schedule this appointment, the sooner you can get help for their ADHD. Give professionals the full picture. Your perspective is very important to the evaluation process.

Keep things moving. Check in with doctors or specialists appropriately often to see where you are in the process. If necessary, get a second opinion. But keep in mind that getting a diagnosis can be the first step toward making life better. An ADHD diagnosis may feel like a label, but it may be more helpful to think of it as an explanation. The diagnosis explains why you may have struggled with life skills such as paying attention, following directions, listening closely, organization—things that seem to come easily to other people.

In this sense, getting a diagnosis can be a relief.


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  8. Also keep in mind that an ADHD diagnosis is not a sentence for a lifetime of suffering. Some people have only mild symptoms, while others experience more pervasive problems. But regardless of where you or your child land on this spectrum, there are many steps you can take to manage your symptoms. It is important to understand that an ADHD diagnosis does not rule out other mental health conditions.

    Anxiety — Excessive worry that occurs frequently and is difficult to control. Symptoms include feeling restless or on edge, easily fatigued, panic attacks, irritability, muscle tension, and insomnia. Depression — Symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and self-loathing, as well as changes in sleep and eating habits and a loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy. Learning disabilities — Problems with reading, writing, or mathematics. Substance abuse — The impulsivity and behavioral issues that often go along with ADHD can lead to alcohol and drug problems.

    Updates on ADHD Diagnosis & Management

    A diagnosis of ADHD can be a great wake-up call—it can give you the extra push you need to seek help for the symptoms that are getting in the way of your happiness and success. The earlier you begin tackling the symptoms, the better.

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    Managing ADHD takes work. Finding the right treatments for you or your child is a process—one that takes time, persistence, and trial and error. Brown A. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Rochester, Minn. Voight RG, et al. National Institute of Mental Health. Accessed Jan 26, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is ADHD? American Psychiatric Association. National Alliance on Mental Illness. Ra CK, et al. For parents and caregivers.

    National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Bikic A, et al. Clinical Psychology Review.

    Topic Overview

    Partain PI, et al. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. Weydert JA, et al. Integrative medicine in pediatrics. Advances in Pediatrics. Catala-Lopez F, et al. The pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: A systematic review with network meta-analyses of randomised trials.

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

    Mazhar H, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine use in pediatric attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD : Reviewing the safety and efficacy of herbal medicines. Current Developmental Disorders Reports. Ahn J, et al. Neural Plasticity. American Academy of Pediatrics.

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Russell Ramsay, Bradley M. Rosenfield, and Lofton H. Latham and Patricia H. Volpe, R.