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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How is ADD diagnosed?

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  • Serving the interests of children and young people with childhood language and related disorders View Profile

    There is no one test for ADD. An evaluation is conducted by a paediatrician (or similarly qualified clinician) taking into account the child’s presenting characteristics, case history, presence of other medical issues and/or disorders, functioning at home and school, social and emotional development. The criteria for diagnosis comes from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition (DSM IV).

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    I am a Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist who specialises in Adult ADHD, Jungian Psychotherapy, and the Psychological Medicine aspects of Chronic Pain conditions. View Profile

    Adult Attention Deficit Disorder is diagnosed by an expert in the field, either a Consultant Psychiatrist or a Clinical Psychologist with specific training in the assessment and diagnosis of the condition. 

    The United Kingdom Adult ADHD Network (UKAAN) recommends two assessment appointments during which a clinical history of symptoms is explored with the patient, as well as interviewing a next of kin, ideally a parent, who can provide a description of the patient's childhood and teenage years.

    The clinician will review school reports if available to assess the observations of teachers through primary and secondary school, and will be trained in and use the Diagnostic Interview for Adult ADHD (DIVA) which is the reliable diagnostic instrument for the diagnosis of Adult ADHD.

    The clinician will also assess for other associated mental health and physical health issues which may be associated with Adult ADHD and conditions which may present with impairment in attention and concentration needing treatment in their own right. 

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