In general, a kid must not receive an ADHD diagnosis unless there is evidence of core symptoms that have created major problems at school (and at home) on an ongoing basis. Kids with ADHD usually show signs of hyperactivity, inattention and impulsiveness. Yet, even in the event that a kid has shown some symptoms that may fall under these categorizations of behavioral disorder, one still needs to consult experts (or doctors) for proper assessment of the child’s condition.
There are no definitive or specific tests for ADHD. Instead, a certain diagnosis which involves several steps and the gathering of numerous information from several sources; this may include medical exams, information gathering, questionnaires or interviews and ADHD rating scales. A lot of factors contribute to this diagnosis, which includes family, schooling and the child himself; other caregivers will also be involved in the assessment process.
Typically, doctors diagnose ADHD when the child has shown more than six specific symptoms, for more than six months on a regular basis. Physical exams, medical history and even brain scans (that are noninvasive) are often required in the process; standard guidelines must be followed by the primary care doctor of the patient.
Inattentive types: Formerly called ADD, symptoms are often unnoticeable, since children under this type are not too active.
Impulsive/Hyperactivity type: Impulsive and hyperactive behavior can be seen in children.
Combined type (Impulsive/hyperactive/Inattentive). The most common type which shows the symptoms related with the three types.
Although signs can sometimes be seen in younger or preschool children, diagnosing this on children age 5 or below, can be very difficult. This is caused by the misinterpretation of signs shown, when in reality, may be attributed to developmental problems. In this case, younger children (or those at preschool age) need careful and proper evaluation from specialists such as psychiatrist, developmental pediatricians or speech pathologists.