There is no simple, “one-size-fits-all,” test for diagnosing ADHD. Nevertheless, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is being diagnosed more frequently today than it was a generation ago.
As clinicians nowadays, we know a lot more about how the brain works. Likewise, we have far better diagnostic tools to work with. Despite all these advances, however, there is still no simple, “one-size-fits-all,” definitive test to determine if a person has ADHD. Whether it’s a child or an adult, it’s the individual’s own story that makes or breaks the diagnosis of ADHD. This “story” is what psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers refer to as “the history.”
Children and ADHD
A common starting point for the diagnosis of ADHD for children is feedback from teachers and school psychologists. Their years of observing behavior in the classroom make them especially attuned to spotting certain key symptoms.
Adults and ADHD
While for adults, the diagnosis is more complex and not as clearcut. As you learn more about ADHD, you might start to think almost everybody has it. Many of its symptoms – like inattentiveness, procrastination, information overload – have become part of our modern way of life. As a result, it is easy to imagine you have ADHD when you do not. Don’t try to diagnose yourself though. Leave it to the professionals.
Professionals Qualified to Diagnose ADHD
Various professionals are qualified to diagnose ADHD. Child psychiatrists and developmental pediatricians have the most training in this area. Sadly, they are in short supply in many parts of the country. Therefore, if you are looking to have an evaluation done, a pediatric neurologist or a child psychologist may also be able to help. If they don’t have specific experience treating ADHD, they can provide you with a referral to a specialist who does.
Adults should look for a neurologist or psychiatrist who has experience in diagnosing and treating ADHD. Of course, if you live in (or can easily travel to) the greater Boston or New York City areas, we would be delighted to have you come to meet with one of our Hallowell Center ADHD experts.
“It is easy to imagine you have ADHD when you do not. Don’t try to diagnose yourself. Leave it to the professionals.”
How The Hallowell Centers Can Help
At The Hallowell Centers, we offer a variety of diagnostic and assessment tools to help us evaluate and understand your specific needs. Getting started is easy. Simply request a free 15 minute Patient Care Consult with our new patient specialist at a location convenient to you.
- Defining ADHD
- ADHD: The Gender Issue
- Dr. Hallowell Books on ADHD
- ADHD and Teens
- Diagnosing ADHD
- Symptoms of ADHD
- Treating ADHD
- Signs of ADHD in Adults
- Signs of ADHD in Children
- ADHD Myths and Facts
- Top 10 Questions on ADHD
- ADHD for Parents
- ADHD Family Summer Camp
- Essential Attitudes Developed in Childhood
- ADHD & Relationships
- ADHD for Teachers
- ADHD: The Heredity Factor
- ADHD Resources
- ADHD & Work
“It is easy to imagine you have ADHD when you do not. Don’t try to diagnose yourself. Leave it to the professionals.” Click here to learn how The Hallowell Centers get help make an ADHD diagnosis.