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HealthInfo Canterbury

ADHD tests & diagnosis

ADHD can be difficult to diagnose. There is no simple test your doctor can use to tell for certain whether your child has ADHD.

To diagnose ADHD, your doctor may ask you a number of questions about your child's behaviour and may physically examine your child.

You and your child's school teacher may be asked to fill in a form that rates how your child behaves in different situations, such as in school and in the playground, and when doing things that require concentration, like reading or playing a board game. Your doctor will then compare your child's behaviour to the symptoms of ADHD.

It's also important to check whether your child's behaviour is caused by other problems, such as anxiety, learning difficulties, or hearing difficulties.

If your child has moderate to severe ADHD, your doctor may refer your child to Child, Adolescent & Family Service currently based at the Princess Margaret Hospital. Your child will be seen as an outpatient.

The service uses a team approach to diagnose and manage ADHD. Treatment and interventions may include:

You may also want to pay to see a paediatrician, psychologist, or psychiatrist privately.

On the next page: Living with a child diagnosed with ADHD

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2018.

See also:

Preparing for your doctor's visit

Page reference: 6009

Review key: HIADH-15144