How is ADHD Diagnosed?

ADHD can only be diagnosed by a qualified health professional. For an adult that would be a psychologist or psychiatrist trained to recognise ADHD. For a child a paediatrician trained to recognise ADHD might make the diagnosis. A full history and evaluation is carried out and symptoms are checked against a set of diagnostic criteria. DSM-5 is the latest standard.

A range of tests to exclude other causes of symptoms, eg hearing and sight, should be carried out before ADHD is diagnosed.

It is vital that an accurate diagnosis is made so the most effective treatment and support can be provided.

Treatment for ADHD

The most effective treatment of ADHD involves a range of interventions often referred to as the 'multi-modal' approach.

- Family support
- Educational support
- Medication
- Counselling/behavioural management
- Occupational therapy
- Speech and language therapy

Note: for people with food sensitivities in addition to their ADHD, diet modification can be used as an additional therapy. Diet modification in itself is not a treatment for ADHD.

Related & Co-existing Conditions

ADHD rarely ever exists by itself. Many people have co-existing conditions and issues such as:

  • learning disorders
  • speech problems
  • conduct disorders
  • depression and anxiety problems
  • poor self esteem
  • difficulties with assertiveness
  • poor social skills


Additional information