Not everyone who is overly hyperactive, inattentive, or impulsive has an attention deficit disorder as most people sometimes blurt out things they didn't mean to say, bounce from one task to another, or become disorganized and forgetful.
To assess whether a person has ADHD, we consider several critical questions: Are they a continuous problem and not just a response to a temporary situation? Do the behaviours occur in several settings or only in one specific place like the playground or the office?
The person's pattern of behaviour is compared against a set of criteria and characteristics of the disorder. These criteria appear in a manual called the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5). Other potential causes that need to be screened out include; learning difficulties, oppositional issues, mood problems and medical conditions.
The comprehensive ADHD is a process conducted over 3 sessions with a qualified psychologist. The psychologist will ask you questions and administer questionnaires about your background, educational history and aptitudes and noted changes in your cognitive ability (ie memory, focus, concentration, distractibility) to determine if you may have ADHD or other related problem.
The ADHD screening and other assessments measure symptoms ADHD and are completed by yourself and family members who can provide a developmental and behavioural history. Medical screening and assessment through your GP, medical clinic or Psychiatrist will be required for further diagnostic data.
The ADHD assessment includes: