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How Is ADHD First Diagnosed?


How is ADHD first diagnosed?  There are a variety of ways in which ADHD is diagnosed.  Continue reading this article to find out these specific ways.

Symptoms Must Be Beyond The Extent That Is Normal For The Person’s Age

According to, the diagnostic criteria for ADHD states that the symptoms for ADHD must be “beyond the extent that is normal for the person’s age.”  Symptoms must appear before the age of 7 years old and occur for at least 6 months.

Symptoms Must Be Present In Two Different Settings

According to, symptoms associated with ADHD must be present in two different settings.  According to this article, these settings may include school, work, the community, social events, or at home.  According to psych central, if a child is overly active on the play ground but does not have problems concentrating on school work, he or she may not have a diagnosis of ADHD.

A Teacher May Notice The Child Has ADHD

According to, a teacher may notice a child has ADHD.  Sometimes it’s not the parent.  According to, “Teachers with experience of the disorder are particularly well-placed to identify the symptoms of ADHD, especially as the symptoms are particularly evident in the school environment when teachers have come to know how children “typically” behave.”

The Signs Of ADHD May Be Noticed Before A Child Begins School

According to, the signs of ADHD may be noticed before a child begins school.  These symptoms may appear when a child loses interest in playing a game or loses interest in watching a tv show.  This is often a sign of ADHD, Inattentive Type.

Ruling Out ADHD

According to, it is important to rule out the following before an individual is being diagnosed with ADHD:

  • A sudden change in the child’s life, such as death of a close relative, divorce, or a parent’s job loss
  • Previously undetected seizures
  • Middle ear infection, which can cause hearing problems
  • Other types of medical disorder that may be affecting the child’s brain
  • Learning disability
  • Anxiety and/or depression


To end this article, specifics have been mentioned that detail how ADHD is first diagnosed.  For instance, the following can be mentioned: Symptoms Must Be Beyond The Extent That Is Normal For The Person’s Age, Symptoms Must Be Present In Two Different Settings,  A Teacher May Notice The Child Has ADHD, The Signs Of ADHD May Be Noticed Before A Child Begins School.



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How Is ADHD First Diagnosed?

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2017). How Is ADHD First Diagnosed?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Jul 2017
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