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Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. Questions will be asked about when problems started, the behaviors a child has, and whether they affect normal function. Physical and mental health exams will be done. A child's behavior will be observed in many settings. Family, caregivers, and teachers will also be asked about the behaviors they have seen.

There is no test to diagnose ADHD. Other causes of symptoms will need to be ruled out.


  • About ADHD—overview. Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder website. Available at: https://chadd.org/about-adhd/overview. Accessed May 11, 2022.
  • ADHD. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/adhd.html. Accessed May 11, 2022.
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd. Accessed May 11, 2022.
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd. Accessed May 11, 2022.
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-in-children-and-adolescents. Accessed May 11, 2022.
  • Understanding ADHD: information for parents. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/adhd/Pages/Understanding-ADHD.aspx. Accessed May 11, 2022.


  • Kari Kuenn, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.