Who Can Diagnose ADHD?
A health professional who has training, experience, and expertise in diagnosis and treatment.
●General Practitioner, Pediatrician, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Pediatric Neurologist
●Psychologists can diagnose and provide counselling but cannot prescribe or recommend medication.
There is no blood test, brain scan, or medical procedure that will determine that an individual has ADHD. No single test, questionnaire, or source of information (parent or teacher) is sufficient for the accurate diagnosis of ADHD. Current best practice in evaluating children for ADHD, as outlined by the National Association of School Psychologists, requires the use of multiple assessment methods and sources of information.
What is a comprehensive ADHD Assessment?
- Developmental/medical/family history of the individual.
- Analysis of formal behavioural assessment rating scale results provided by caregivers, teachers, and/or others who know the child/adult well.
- Direct observation (if possible).
- Review of school records and/or progress reports (if applicable).
- Determination of other comorbid mental health disorders, if any.
- Diagnosis – one of the three presentations should be specified as well as severity level (mild, moderate, severe).
Considerations in Diagnosis
- Rule out vision or hearing problems.
- Medical problems may affect behaviour (medical exam).
- Comorbid mental health disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression, OCD, tic disorders)
What Can Look Like ADHD?
auditory processing issues?
sensory integration problems?
visual perceptual difficulties?
We cannot simply assume that a person who is inattentive, impulsive, or hyperactive has ADHD.
A comorbidity is a co-existing or co-occurring mental health condition.
The individual has two or more diagnoses.
- Parent/patient education should be the first line of defense in treatment and medication may also be included.
- It is always best to have an open and honest conversation with a family doctor or pediatrician when considering medication for ADHD.
- Do your research and ask questions
- Medication is a tool but it is not a magic wand. A small percentage of the population does not respond to medication.
- Pills don’t teach skills.
- Psychologists do not prescribe medication.
General Strengths of Individuals with ADHD
- Sensitive and empathetic
- Witty and humorous
- Out-of-the-box thinkers
-Presented by Rachel Rogers, Wednesday January 20th, 2021. ADHD Edmonton Adult Support Meeting.