ADHD Testing (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
When to Be Evaluated for ADHD
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, any school-aged child who has a history of academic or behavioral problems who also has symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity should be evaluated for ADHD. More specifically, symptoms which may suggest ADHD include being unable to sit still, having poor ability to concentrate, poor listening skills, daydreaming excessively, acting without thinking, and poor school performance. These symptoms can prompt the child's health-care professional to consider the diagnosis of ADHD.
How to Find a Specialist Who Can Diagnose ADHD
All pediatricians are trained to screen for ADHD using readily available screening tools mentioned above. In addition to the screening, there are also developmental specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other behavioral specialists who are trained to evaluate for other learning differences and associated mental-health problems. The pediatrician can refer the child to a specialist if needed.
Screening for ADHD in Adults
Although the hyperactive and impulsive symptoms usually improve as children age, at least one-third of all children with ADHD continue to exhibit some symptoms into adulthood. Often adults can also be diagnosed with ADHD and ADD. That means that there are probably quite a few adults who haven't yet been diagnosed with ADHD who might benefit from evaluation and treatment. The evaluation of adults with ADHD is not as well established as it is in children but has matured over the last 10 years. In general, it involves a complete developmental history, symptom review, objective assessment of intentional deficits, medication review, and evaluation of other mental-health disorders. Some of these tools include the Childhood Symptom Scale, the Wender Utah Rating Scale, the Adult ADHD Rating Scale and Symptom Checklist, and the Connors Adult ADHD Rating Scale. If this initial evaluation is unclear, patients should be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist for more complete study. There are a number of medical conditions that can mimic ADHD symptoms in adults, including thyroid disease, liver disease, and some drug interactions, each of which is considered when evaluating an adult for ADHD.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2014
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