Tests for attention deficit disorder
Symptoms and Diagnosis of ADHD
COVID-19: Information for parenting children with ADHD
Deciding if a child has ADHD is a process with several steps. This page gives you an overview of how ADHD is diagnosed. There is no single test to diagnose ADHD, and many other problems, like sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, and certain types of learning disabilities, can have similar symptoms.
If you are concerned about whether a child might have ADHD, the first step is to talk with a healthcare provider to find out if the symptoms fit the diagnosis. The diagnosis can be made by a mental health professional, like a psychologist or psychiatrist, or by a primary care provider, like a pediatrician.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that healthcare providers ask parents, teachers, and other adults who care for the child about the child’s behavior in different settings, like at home, school, or with peers. Read more about the recommendations.
The healthcare provider should also determine whether the child has another condition that can either explain the symptoms better, or that occurs at the same time as ADHD. Read more about other concerns and conditions.
Why Family Health History is Important if Your Child has Attention and Learning Problems
How is ADHD diagnosed?
Healthcare providers use the guidelines in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5)1, to help diagnose ADHD. This diagnostic standard helps ensure that people are appropriately diagnosed and treated for ADHD. Using the same standard across communities can also help determine how many children have ADHD, and how public health is impacted by this condition.
Here are the criteria in shortened form. Please note that they are presented just for your information. Only trained healthcare providers can diagnose or treat ADHD.
Get information and support from the National Resource Center on ADHD
DSM-5 Criteria for ADHD
People with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity–impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development:
- Inattention: Six or more symptoms of inattention for children up to age 16 years, or five or more for adolescents age 17 years and older and adults; symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months, and they are inappropriate for developmental level:
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
- Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
- Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
- Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
- Is often easily distracted
- Is often forgetful in daily activities.
- Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: Six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children up to age 16 years, or five or more for adolescents age 17 years and older and adults; symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for the person’s developmental level:
- Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
- Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
- Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
- Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
- Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”.
- Often talks excessively.
- Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
- Often has trouble waiting their turn.
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
In addition, the following conditions must be met:
- Several inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were present before age 12 years.
- Several symptoms are present in two or more settings, (such as at home, school or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities).
- There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, school, or work functioning.
- The symptoms are not better explained by another mental disorder (such as a mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, or a personality disorder). The symptoms do not happen only during the course of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder.
Based on the types of symptoms, three kinds (presentations) of ADHD can occur:
- Combined Presentation: if enough symptoms of both criteria inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity were present for the past 6 months
- Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: if enough symptoms of inattention, but not hyperactivity-impulsivity, were present for the past six months
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: if enough symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity, but not inattention, were present for the past six months.
Because symptoms can change over time, the presentation may change over time as well.
Diagnosing ADHD in Adults
ADHD often lasts into adulthood. To diagnose ADHD in adults and adolescents age 17 years or older, only 5 symptoms are needed instead of the 6 needed for younger children. Symptoms might look different at older ages. For example, in adults, hyperactivity may appear as extreme restlessness or wearing others out with their activity.
For more information about diagnosis and treatment throughout the lifespan, please visit the websites of the National Resource Center on ADHD and the National Institutes of Mental Health.
American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition. Arlington, VA., American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
Adult ADHD Test | ADDA
Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a relatively common, often unrecognized condition. It affects 4.4% of U.S. adults, but most adults with ADHD live with the symptoms and suffer the often-devastating effects of ADHD in their lives without identifying the source of their struggles. Instead, their difficulties are attributed to their own shortcomings.
Once diagnosed, many adults are happy to learn that they do not have a character flaw as aptly described in the title of one popular book on ADHD, “You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!” (a classic book for adults with ADHD).
Yes, Adult ADHD Exists
Many adults who suffer from untreated ADHD avoid diagnosis or treatment due to the negative stigma associated with ADHD.
Many people dismiss ADHD as little more than laziness targeted as a marketing opportunity by pharmaceutical companies. However, many years of scientific research confirms adult ADHD does indeed exist, and that ADHD diminishes adults’ quality of life.
Regardless of the stigma surrounding ADHD, knowing about your adult ADHD is preferable to struggling unawares. With an accurate diagnosis, many treatment options and coping strategies become available. ADHD is not a “one size fits all” disorder and many factors must be considered before a definitive diagnosis is made and an appropriate treatment is found.
It’s Better to Know
An ADHD diagnosis is not a death sentence, nor does it guarantee a lifetime of taking pills. Medication is not always effective, and there are many adults with ADHD who do not want medication as part of their treatment plan. However, without knowing you have adult ADHD, there’s certainly nothing anyone can do to help.
If you do have ADHD, you can rely on ADDA, the world’s only organization dedicated exclusively to helping adults with ADHD.
ADDA provides accurate and science-based education on treatment alternatives such as CBT, ADHD coaching, and medication, and as scientific research has proven the benefits of additional treatments, ADDA has also expanded its education efforts to include strategies such as mindfulness practice, exercise, diet and therapy.
The World Health Organization Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS) Screener*
The World Health Organization has prepared a self-screening ADHD questionnaire* you can use to determine if you might have adult ADHD. The Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS) Screener* will help you recognize the signs and symptoms of adult ADHD. The ASRS is comprised of 6 questions that are ranked on a scale of 0 to 4. If you have at least 4 of these 6 symptoms significantly, you may have ADHD and should seek out a formal diagnosis.
When you complete this Adult ADHD questionnaire, if the results seem to indicate you might have ADHD (that is, four or more of your answers in Part A are located in the grey boxes), then bring a copy of the questionnaire with you when you seek diagnosis to help with the diagnostic process.
A Good Starting Point
This screening test is a symptoms checklist for adult ADHD and not a diagnostic test. A full assessment and potential diagnosis of ADHD is not accomplished using an online test or during a quick doctor’s appointment.
A thorough evaluation usually takes more than one visit, and must be done by a professional who is trained in ADHD*. Other conditions can sometimes resemble ADHD, so it is important to work with a professional who is able to rule out these other conditions and make the appropriate diagnosis. Many psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists and some general practice physicians are trained to diagnose adult ADHD.
A thorough assessment requires a complete physical and psychiatric medical history as well as screening to rule out any possible physical disorders. All assessments should include an extensive interview with you and often with your significant other (other people are often more aware of your behaviors and struggles than you are), and the application of various symptom-rating scales. For accuracy, it is common to use more than one scale to confirm results.
*Note: The professionals qualified to diagnose ADHD, especially ADHD in adults, are defined differently by the governing bodies of mental and/or medical health professionals on a state-by-state and country-by-country level. The list of approved professionals to perform ADHD diagnoses therefore varies with each jurisdiction. T he process of diagnosing ADHD, particularly in adults, requires extensive knowledge, skills and training, not only to identify ADHD properly, but to separate comorbid conditions and correctly distinguish and diagnose other conditions which may mimic ADHD. Check with your local health care governing body for a definitive list of care providers deemed qualified to diagnose ADHD.
ADHD symptom test
The ADHD test includes many different symptoms that in one way or another indicate the presence of this mental disorder. However, the severity of the disease and its symptoms can vary greatly.
This test incorporates the results of previous studies to ensure the validity and reliability of the results for identifying symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Do you have symptoms of ADHD? For each following statement, indicate how much you agree with it. nine0003
The ADHD test (IDR-ADHDST) is owned by IDRlabs. It builds on the work of Dr. Lenard Adler and colleagues who created the ADHD Questionnaire (ASRS). This test is not affiliated with any particular researcher or organization in the field of psychopathology.
The ADHD symptom test is based on material that has been published in the following sources: Kessler RC, Adler L, Ames M, Demler O, Faraone S, Hiripi E, Howes MJ, Jin R, Secnik K, Spencer T, Ustun TB , Walters EE. The World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS): a short screening scale for use in the general population. Psychol Med. 2005 Feb;35(2):245-56. doi:10.1017/s0033291704002892. PMID: 15841682; Adler LA, Spencer T, Faraone SV, Kessler RC, Howes MJ, Biederman J, Secnik K. Validity of pilot Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) to Rate Adult ADHD symptoms. Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2006 Jul-Sep;18(3):145-8. doi: 10.1080/10401230600801077. PMID: 16923651; Adler, L., Faraone, S., Sarocco, P., Atkins, N., Khachatryan, A. (2018). Establishing US norms for the adult ADHD self-report scale and characterizing symptom burden among adults with self-reported ADHD. The International Journal of Clinical Practice. nine0003
The work of Dr. Adler and colleagues looks at the main symptoms of ADHD. This work also describes certain diagnostic criteria that are intended for clinical use by trained mental health professionals. This test provides information for educational purposes only. IDRlabs and this test are in no way affiliated with the above researchers, organizations or institutions.
The ADHD symptom test is based on known research on the condition and other psychiatric disorders. However, all free online tests like this one are only introductory materials that will not be able to determine your inherent qualities with absolute accuracy and reliability. Therefore, our test provides information for educational purposes only. Detailed information about your mental state can only be provided by a certified specialist. nine0003
As the authors of this free online ADHD symptom ratio test, we have made every effort to ensure that this test is reliable and valid through numerous validations and statistical data controls. However, free online tests like this provide information "as is" and should not be construed as providing professional or certified advice of any kind. For more information about our online tests, please see our Terms of Service. nine0003
ADD test for children
The SDVG. LIFE site is a continuation of the book and therefore new materials must meet the same standards as the book.
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Pre-moderation has been introduced for the first few posts.
ADD(H) test for children
Test for ADD(H) for children up to 16 years of age inclusive in accordance with the methodology of the American DSM-V guide.
Number of questions: 18 .
For more information, see the article from the Notes. nine0003
To answer "Yes", the symptom must be:
- Stable during the last 6 months .
- Was expressed in measure not corresponding to the level of development .
- Had a negative impact on academic performance and/or professional activities .
The test is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose any disease. nine0003
Consult a doctor for diagnosis.
Often makes nervous movements with hands or feet, or fidgets and wriggles while sitting in a chair.
Often interrupts or annoys others.
For example, breaks into conversation, games or activities without invitation; can use other people's things without asking; for teenagers or adults - they can interfere with someone else's work or continue someone else's work themselves. nine0003
Often has difficulty waiting in line.
For example, in the shop or at the game.
Often blurts out an answer before the question has been fully asked.
For example, completes sentences when others are speaking; cannot wait for their turn to join the conversation. nine0003
Often too talkative.
It is often in constant motion and behaves as if a motor was attached to it.
For example, absolutely unable or unable to stay comfortably in one place in restaurants or meetings; perhaps people around him consider him a restless person or a person with whom it is difficult to deal with. nine0003
Often has difficulty playing or spending leisure time quietly.
Often runs back and forth without restraint or climbs in situations where this is unacceptable.
Note: Teenagers and adults may not be running, jumping or climbing but may be restless and out of sorts. nine0003
Often leaves his seat in class or in other situations where the person is expected to be seated.
For example, leaving one's seat in a classroom, in an office or other place of work, or in other situations where one is expected to be seated.
Often fails to pay due attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, and other activities. nine0003
For example, does not notice or skips details, the work is not done accurately.
Often forgetful in daily activities.
For example, forgetfulness in housework, while doing errands; for older teenagers and adults - they forget to return calls, pay bills, come to a meeting or appointment (to a doctor, for example).
Often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli. For older teenagers and adults, this includes thoughts that are inappropriate for the time / place.
Often loses things needed for lessons or classes.
For example, notebooks, textbooks, pencils, books, tools, keys, paper forms, glasses, mobile phones.
Often avoids, dislikes, or reluctantly takes on things that require sustained mental effort.
For example, schoolwork or school homework, for older teens and adults - preparing reports, filling out forms, studying long texts.
Often has difficulty organizing lessons and classes. nine0003
For example, trouble moving from one task in a chain to another, difficulty keeping materials and personal belongings in order, sloppy, unorganized work, poor time management, failing to complete work on time.
Often does not follow instructions to the end and does not complete class work, chores, or duties in the workplace.
For example, starts work, but quickly loses focus and easily wanders off topic.
Often it seems that he does not listen to the speech addressed to him.
For example, his mind wanders somewhere else, even if there is no obvious distraction.
Often has difficulty maintaining attention when performing tasks or during games.