Who tests for adhd


Symptoms and Diagnosis of ADHD

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Reference

American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition. Arlington, VA., American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

Professionals Who Diagnose and Treat ADHD

When seeking an evaluation or treatment for ADHD, it is important to see a qualified, licensed healthcare professional. In addition to ensuring that a particular professional has the required training, it is also important to work with a professional who has experience in dealing with this disorder.

There are several types of professionals who typically diagnose ADHD. These include: physicians (especially psychiatrists, pediatricians, neurologists), psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners, and other licensed counselors or therapists (e.g. professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, etc.).

In addition to those who may diagnose ADHD, there are numerous other professionals who may have a role in providing treatment and other services for individuals with ADHD and related disorders. These may include various types of therapists or specialists (such as occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, behavior therapists, educational specialists, etc.).

While all of the above professionals can provide treatment for ADHD, only certain medical professionals can prescribe medication and perform thorough physical evaluations to rule out other possible causes of symptoms. These professionals are physicians (M.D. or D.O.), nurse practitioners, and physician assistants (P. A.) under the supervision of a physician. All professionals — including medical/health professionals and educational professionals — should work only within their scope of experience and expertise. It is important that all of the members of your treatment team communicate with each other on a regular basis.

The following resources may be helpful in finding providers:

  • CHADD Professional Directory
  • Your Primary Care Physician may be able either to make the diagnosis, or refer to another clinician with more experience in diagnosing and treating ADHD
  • CHADD members in your CHADD Local Chapter can sometimes be good resources and may be willing to share their experiences with professionals in your local community.
  • Hospital and University ADHD Centers can be a resource for a variety of services, including ADHD evaluations, referrals to local practitioners, and information on participating in current research projects.
  • Your Insurance Company can provide a list of clinicians with particular expertise who participate in your insurance plan.
  • Professional Associations will sometimes offer referrals or provide directories. You may wish to contact:
    • American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
    • American Academy of Pediatrics
    • American Academy of Neurology  800-879-1960
    • American Medical Association  800-621-8335
    • American Psychological Association  800-964-2000
    • American Psychiatric Association  888-357-7924
    • American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology 615-649-3085
    • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
    • National Association of Social Workers
  • Psychology Today provides a comprehensive and easily searchable directory of mental health professionals, therapy groups and treatment centers.
  • SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) maintains a directory of mental health services and resources in each state; 800-662-4357.

If you cannot afford services or do not have health insurance, please read the section on Public Insurance and Public Benefits Programs or contact your state department of health or mental health to locate a community mental health center near you.   See also this article: Ask the Specialist: I Don’t Have Insurance. How Do I Pay For Treatment?

ADHD in adults - treatment, symptoms, diagnosis

Make an appointment

Treatment of ADHD in adults

Rehabilitation clinic "A NEW DAY" specializes in the treatment of adults with ADHD. We have developed and effectively applied a set of rehabilitation measures for ADHD.

Individual approach

Each patient has his own doctor - a neurologist. He knows everything about the patient and his disease, if necessary, he can make adjustments to the course of treatment at any stage. The main thing is the result. At the end of the course of treatment, individually developed recommendations are issued.

Treatment is always a complex

Taking into account the variant of the course, the age of the patient, the severity of manifestations, the most appropriate methods and their combinations are selected: (BOS).

In everyday life, ADHD patients are not recommended to engage in those sports that involve a competitive nature and have a pronounced emotional component, for example, martial arts, team games. Useful jogging, swimming (non-competitive), cycling, skiing.

To improve the psychological and emotional state, reduce anxiety, overcome depression, sleep disorders, various methods of psychotherapy are used. The choice of a technique suitable for a particular patient is carried out by a psychologist or psychotherapist.

Relaxation techniques: special relaxation massages, relaxation sessions, medical treatment.
Cognitive training is used for attention deficit. Acupuncture (IRT) is traditionally used to restore the regulation of many organs, including the brain.

Innovative techniques

Translingual neurostimulation (TLNS) is an effect on the brain through the stimulation of tongue receptors. This is an advanced innovative technique, most effectively used in the treatment of diseases of the central nervous system, and as we know, ADHD belongs to such diseases. The use of TLNS allows you to restore the regulation of excitation-inhibition processes in a short time, which ultimately leads to an improvement in the course of ADHD, the best psychological and motor correction. In addition, TLNS has a positive effect on cognitive functions, such as concentration and memory, improves sleep, allowing the body to restore its neurotransmitter stores and have a good rest.

Continuity and recurrence

ADHD has a favorable course when properly treated. It is important to maintain the results achieved. To do this, at discharge, we give detailed individually developed recommendations. As long as there is any residual symptomatology, courses of treatment should be repeated, as a rule, 2-3 times a year.

Sign up for a consultation

Fill out the form

+7 (812) 603-70-10

Attention deficit disorder in adults

ADHD is a childhood-onset neurological behavioral disorder characterized by difficulty concentrating and maintaining attention, excessive motor activity (hyperactivity) and incontinence (impulsivity).

In recent years, the frequency of ADHD has increased, including among adults. It used to be thought that by adolescence, the symptoms of ADHD would significantly lessen or go away. However, now these ideas have changed: in 30-70% of cases, ADHD persists into adulthood. Most often this is due to insufficiently effective treatment in childhood.


More about ADHD

All processes occurring in the nervous system are based on two oppositely directed mechanisms: excitation and inhibition. Normally they are balanced. However, the formation of the nervous system does not occur immediately after birth. The brain is mainly formed before the age of 8 years, but finally only by the age of 25. Therefore, in children, arousal and inhibition often get out of control, in some cases leading to ADHD. Over time, the brain matures and the symptoms of ADHD improve or go away on their own. But even in an adult, cognitive, behavioral, and motor
disorders resulting from ADHD. That is why the prevalence of ADHD in adults, although it has increased in recent years, still remains much less than in children.

In general, the manifestations in children and adults do not differ, but there are features.

First, if a child does not have ADHD, then an adult will not develop this disease. Therefore, ADHD in adults is not a separate disease, but disorders that have persisted since childhood.

Secondly, in adults, attention disorders prevail over manifestations of hyperactivity. It is difficult for such people to concentrate and maintain attention, so many activities that require concentration may not be available to them. Hyperactivity can be manifested by restlessness, so sedentary sedentary work is not suitable for them.
Impulsivity can be manifested by conflicts in the family and at work.

And thirdly, the presence of ADHD in adulthood requires careful examination to exclude other disorders, incl. mental illness.

Manifestations of ADHD depend on the course of the disease.

Types of ADHD in adults

With a predominance of attention deficit disorder (deficit)

With a predominance of hyperactivity

Mixed ADHD

Symptoms of ADHD in adults

Symptoms of inattention (adults have at least 5 symptoms for at least 6 months):

  • Inability to pay attention to details, inattention errors
  • Inability to maintain long attention span Often adds up
  • 0 the impression that he does not listen to addressed speech
  • Inability to follow instructions, algorithms, for example, to fulfill conditions tasks
  • Resistance to getting involved in tasks, avoiding or active resistance
  • Frequent loss of things, especially those necessary to complete tasks
  • Easy distractibility to extraneous stimuli or thoughts (“hovering” thoughts)
  • Routine forgetfulness (errands, chores, being late)


Symptoms of hyperactivity (in adults, at least 5 symptoms for at least 6 months):

  • Constant movements in the hands, feet, fidgeting in a chair
  • Getting up from a place
  • Inability to sit still
  • Inability to pass time calmly
  • Constantly in motion, as if “wound up”, as if “attached a motor”
  • 1
  • Answers a question without listening to the question itself
  • Difficulty waiting in line
  • permissions.

These symptoms must reach a degree of severity that interferes with learning, communication, work. They should be observed both at home and in other places (at work, at a party, etc.). They should be noticed not only by relatives, but also by those around them.

    An additional examination may be required to clarify the diagnosis and exclude other diseases that have similar symptoms:

    • EEG (electroencephalography)
    • Doppler ultrasonography0101
    • Evoked potential (EP) method
    • Psychotherapist's consultation
    • Brain MRI
    • Psychiatrist's consultation (if indicated)

    )
    – ADHD CR (expanded complex)
    – Cognition CS (standard complex)
    – Cognition CR (expanded complex)

    – Psychotherapy ind. COP (complex standard)
    – Psychotherapy ind. CR (advanced complex)

    Comparative table of all programs

    ADHD in adults - treatment, symptoms, diagnosis

    Make an appointment

    Treatment of ADHD in adults

    with ADHD. We have developed and effectively applied a set of rehabilitation measures for ADHD.

    Individual approach

    Each patient has his own doctor - a neurologist. He knows everything about the patient and his disease, if necessary, he can make adjustments to the course of treatment at any stage. The main thing is the result. At the end of the course of treatment, individually developed recommendations are issued.

    Treatment is always a complex

    Taking into account the variant of the course, the age of the patient, the severity of manifestations, the most appropriate methods and their combinations are selected: (BOS).

    In everyday life, ADHD patients are not recommended to engage in sports that involve a competitive nature and have a pronounced emotional component, for example, martial arts, team games. Useful jogging, swimming (non-competitive), cycling, skiing.

    To improve the psychological and emotional state, reduce anxiety, overcome depression, sleep disorders, various methods of psychotherapy are used. The choice of a technique suitable for a particular patient is carried out by a psychologist or psychotherapist.

    Relaxation techniques: special relaxation massages, relaxation sessions, medical treatment.
    Cognitive training is used for attention deficit. Acupuncture (IRT) is traditionally used to restore the regulation of many organs, including the brain.

    Innovative techniques

    Translingual neurostimulation (TLNS) is an effect on the brain through the stimulation of tongue receptors. This is an advanced innovative technique, most effectively used in the treatment of diseases of the central nervous system, and as we know, ADHD belongs to such diseases. The use of TLNS allows you to restore the regulation of excitation-inhibition processes in a short time, which ultimately leads to an improvement in the course of ADHD, the best psychological and motor correction. In addition, TLNS has a positive effect on cognitive functions, such as concentration and memory, improves sleep, allowing the body to restore its neurotransmitter stores and have a good rest.

    Continuity and recurrence

    ADHD has a favorable course when properly treated. It is important to maintain the results achieved. To do this, at discharge, we give detailed individually developed recommendations. As long as there is any residual symptomatology, courses of treatment should be repeated, as a rule, 2-3 times a year.

    Sign up for a consultation

    Fill out the form

    +7 (812) 603-70-10

    Attention deficit disorder in adults

    ADHD is a childhood-onset neurological behavioral disorder characterized by difficulty concentrating and maintaining attention, excessive motor activity (hyperactivity) and incontinence (impulsivity).

    In recent years, the frequency of ADHD has increased, including among adults. It used to be thought that by adolescence, the symptoms of ADHD would significantly lessen or go away. However, now these ideas have changed: in 30-70% of cases, ADHD persists into adulthood. Most often this is due to insufficiently effective treatment in childhood.


    More about ADHD

    All processes occurring in the nervous system are based on two oppositely directed mechanisms: excitation and inhibition. Normally they are balanced. However, the formation of the nervous system does not occur immediately after birth. The brain is mainly formed before the age of 8 years, but finally only by the age of 25. Therefore, in children, arousal and inhibition often get out of control, in some cases leading to ADHD. Over time, the brain matures and the symptoms of ADHD improve or go away on their own. But even in an adult, cognitive, behavioral, and motor
    disorders resulting from ADHD. That is why the prevalence of ADHD in adults, although it has increased in recent years, still remains much less than in children.

    In general, the manifestations in children and adults do not differ, but there are features.

    First, if a child does not have ADHD, then an adult will not develop this disease. Therefore, ADHD in adults is not a separate disease, but disorders that have persisted since childhood.

    Secondly, in adults, attention disorders prevail over manifestations of hyperactivity. It is difficult for such people to concentrate and maintain attention, so many activities that require concentration may not be available to them. Hyperactivity can be manifested by restlessness, so sedentary sedentary work is not suitable for them.
    Impulsivity can be manifested by conflicts in the family and at work.

    And thirdly, the presence of ADHD in adulthood requires careful examination to exclude other disorders, incl. mental illness.

    Manifestations of ADHD depend on the course of the disease.

    Types of ADHD in adults

    With a predominance of attention deficit disorder (deficit)

    With a predominance of hyperactivity

    Mixed ADHD

    Symptoms of ADHD in adults

    Symptoms of inattention (adults have at least 5 symptoms for at least 6 months):

    • Inability to pay attention to details, inattention errors
    • Inability to maintain long attention span Often adds up
    • 0 the impression that he does not listen to addressed speech
    • Inability to follow instructions, algorithms, for example, to fulfill conditions tasks
    • Resistance to getting involved in tasks, avoiding or active resistance
    • Frequent loss of things, especially those necessary to complete tasks
    • Easy distractibility to extraneous stimuli or thoughts (“hovering” thoughts)
    • Routine forgetfulness (errands, chores, being late)


    Symptoms of hyperactivity (in adults, at least 5 symptoms for at least 6 months):