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What Kind of Testing Is for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

by Meadow Marie
  • Overview

    Children with ADHD tend to exhibit hyperactive behavior.
    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects both children and adults. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 3 to 5 percent of children have ADHD. Children with ADHD have problems paying attention, get bored easily and have a hard time following directions. Although these are common behaviors for children, they are more severe in children with ADHD.
  • Symptoms and Cause

    Children with ADHD exhibit symptoms that include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. In adults, ADHD symptoms take the form of low self-esteem and procrastination. The cause of ADHD is unknown, although there are a few factors that contribute to the diagnosis of ADHD, such as genetics, environmental toxins and exposure to tobacco and alcohol.
  • Testing

    There isn't any one test used for diagnosing ADHD. WebMD states that learning about the patient's mood, behavior, productivity and lifestyle is the tool most widely used. Tests used to check hearing, vision, lead levels and brain abnormalities may be done to rule out other problems.
  • DSM Diagnosis

    The diagnosis of ADHD is based on the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association, explains MayoClinic.com.
  • DSM List of Symptoms

    The DSM provides two groupings for diagnosis, stipulating that a child must exhibit six or more symptoms from these. The first is "inattention," which includes "often easily distracted" and "forgetful." The second is "hyperactivity and impulsivity," with subcategories such as "talks excessively" and "fidgets."
  • Treatment

    Treatment for ADHD is done with medications (ironically, stimulants such as Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine, says MayoClinic.com), behavioral therapy or a combination of the two. Treating ADHD should be tailored to the specific needs of the person with ADHD.

    References & Resources