ADHD diagnosis & screening*

To obtain a full medical diagnosis of ADHD requires that your teacher or family doctor refer you to a specialist psychologist or psychiatrist who will perform an overall assessment of ADHD behavior through careful interviewing and observations.

This usually involves a series of consultations and separate interviews with the child and parents. It is important for the specialist to exclude any other medical conditions which may mimic ADHD or indeed coexist with underlying ADHD behaviors.

Only qualified specialist doctors can prescribe drug therapy for ADHD, so if your diagnosis was made by a psychologist, they would need to refer you to a medical specialist for this type of treatment. However, psychologists can provide other types of treatment like behavioral therapy and family therapy.

The diagnosis of ADHD is based on the assessment of a number of behavioral symptoms that are categorized into attention and hyperactivity/impulsivity sections.

The main criteria for ADHD diagnosis

The most common diagnostic guidance methods have been developed by the American Psychiatric Association. Several requirements or criteria are needed to satisfy a diagnos is:

  • Some symptoms of the condition need to have been evident from before 7 years of age.
  • The symptoms should not be exclusively or directly caused by other mental disorders (e.g. pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorder)
  • The condition must impair social, academic, or occupational activities
  • The condition needs to be present in more than one setting (e.g. school and home) and for more than six months prior to assessment.

If these requirements are satisfied and subjects show more than six or more positive responses to nine questions in each section, they would then satisfy the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD.

*Please note that Dore does not diagnose ADHD. The Dore Program does not require a diagnosis, and our assessments are designed to gather baseline information to identify both strengths and weaknesses to then put together a program designed to help!