How is ADHD diagnosed

How is ADHD diagnosed?

There is no simple, one-step "positive or negative" test for ADHD. It cannot be diagnosed by a blood test or a brain scan.

Determining if your child has ADHD involves undergoing assessment by a number of healthcare professionals in both primary care (general practice and community medicine) and secondary care (hospital medicine). The healthcare team will talk to, and observe, your child, but will also need to talk to you as the child's carer.

Your child’s teacher may be concerned first

In some cases the child's teacher is the first person to express concerns about their behaviour or performance at school. Even if this is not the case, it can be very helpful in making a diagnosis of ADHD, and in getting the best from treatment, for the healthcare team to liaise with the child's teacher. Information from school can help to build up an overall picture of the child's symptoms and the impact they are having.

Use the menu to find out more about who does what in diagnosing ADHD, and what you and your child can expect at each stage.

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Visit our resource centre for useful information and helpful activities for parents, teachers and teenagers living with ADHD.

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