a charity supporting parents & carers of challenging children
HELPP Help Education and Learning for Parents by Parents accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided in this web-site. We are not medical professionals and we are not giving any medical or professional advice or service through the publication or distribution of articles or comments on this web-site. Individuals with suspected or diagnosed disorders or syndromes, or any conditions discussed on this web-site should consult with a qualified professional for advice concerning diagnosis and treatment. HELPP is a Registered Charity, No: 1139691. HELPP is a Private Limited Company, No: 7434496. Copyright 2014 KieronDSmith all rights reserved. Revised: 29 October 2014
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Only healthcare professionals can officially diagnose ADHD.
One (or more) of the following types of healthcare professional could be involved in the process:
- Child psychiatrist.
- Child psychologist.
- Psychiatric social worker.
- Educational psychologist.
There are four main steps which a child psychiatrist or paediatrician will use
1. The healthcare professional will look for alarm signals:
- The child who significantly under-performs at school, despite having a normal intellect and no major specific learning disabilities.
- The child who has ADHD behaviour problems which are considerably worse than would be expected.
2. They will exclude ADHD look-alikes, such as:
- The normal active pre-school child.
- Intellectual disability.
- Hearing impairment.
3. They may also use some objective pointers towards diagnosis:
- Questionnaires by parents and teachers.
- Conners Teacher and Parent Rating Scales.
- Achenbach Child Behaviour Checklists.
- Edelbrock Child Attention Problems Rating Scale.
- Barley and DuPaul ADHD Rating Scale.
- DSM-IV or ICD-10 Criteria.
- Tests which measure the length and type of mental process (psychometric tests and profiles).
- Tests of attention and persistence e.g.
- The Paired Association Learning Test.
- Continuous Performance Test.
4. Detailed history
- Healthcare professionals have been trained to look at a detailed history of someone with suspected ADHD in order that they may recognise the smallest signs and symptoms.
Process for Diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder