How Is AD/HD Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of AD/HD is based on the Diagnostic Statistical Manual 5th Edition (DSM V) diagnostic criteria. Some assessment scales, such as the Conner Scales, and others, may be helpful in the collection of the diagnostic behavioral features, required for or suggestive of the diagnosis of AD/HD.

In simple terms, all four of the following diagnostic criteria must be met for a diagnosis of AD/HD to be established:

  1. A persistent pattern of inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with function or development.
  2. Onset of symptoms before 12 years of age
  3. Several symptoms (inattention or hyperactivity/impulsivity) must be present in more than one setting (home, school, work, or at other places)
  4. The symptoms do not occur exclusively during a psychotic disorder (schizophrenia) or other mental disorder (anxiety, mood dissociative disorder, substance intoxication or withdrawal)

A more detailed understanding of the above criteria is provided by reading and understanding the DSM V criteria.