Efficient ways of diagnosing ADHD in children


– Define ADHD and its main symptoms (hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattention)
– Explain why diagnosing ADHD in children is important and challenging
– Provide the main aim and objectives of the essay
– Provide an overview of the essay structure

Literature Review
– Review the current methods and tools for diagnosing ADHD in children
– Compare and contrast the strengths and limitations of different approaches
– Identify the gaps and limitations in the existing literature
– Provide a rationale for the chosen method or tool for the essay

– Describe the chosen method or tool for diagnosing ADHD in children
– Explain how it was developed or adapted from existing sources
– Explain how it measures the symptoms and impairments of ADHD
– Explain how it addresses the ethical and practical issues of conducting research with children

– Present the findings of applying the chosen method or tool to a sample of children
– Use tables, graphs, charts or other visual aids to illustrate the data
– Use descriptive and inferential statistics to analyse the data
– Highlight the main patterns and trends in the data

– Interpret and explain the results in relation to the research aim and objectives
– Compare and contrast the results with the existing literature
– Discuss the implications and limitations of the results
– Provide recommendations for future research or practice

– Summarise the main points and findings of the essay
– Restate the main aim and objectives of the essay
– Evaluate the contribution and significance of the essay
– Provide a clear and concise conclusion

– List all the sources used in the essay in Harvard citation format

Some possible sources are:

[1] NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scales. (2002). NICHQ. Retrieved from https://nichq.org/resource/nichq-vanderbilt-assessment-scales

[2] ADHD Assessments. (n.d.). Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Retrieved from https://www.sheffieldchildrens.nhs.uk/download/389/child-development/17117/adhd-assessments.pdf

[3] Ebell, M.H., & Siwek, J. (2019). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: screening and evaluation. American Family Physician, 99(11), 712–713.

[4] ADHD Screening. (n.d.). Australian ADHD Institute. Retrieved from https://www.adhdinstitute.com.au/adhd-screening/

[5] ADHD Assessment Forms for Children. (n.d.). CADDRA. Retrieved from https://www.caddra.ca/public-information/children/forms/

Efficient ways of diagnosing ADHD in children

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that affects about 5% of children worldwide. ADHD is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. Children with ADHD may have difficulties at home, school, and with peers, and are at increased risk of developing other mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

Diagnosing ADHD in children is not a simple task, as there is no single test or biomarker that can confirm the diagnosis. Instead, healthcare providers use a combination of clinical interviews, behavioral observations, rating scales, and standardized tests to assess the child’s symptoms, impairments, and developmental history. The diagnosis of ADHD is based on the criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), which requires that:

– The child has at least six symptoms of inattention and/or six symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children up to age 16 years, or five or more symptoms for adolescents age 17 years and older and adults.
– The symptoms have been present for at least six months, and are inappropriate for the child’s developmental level.
– The symptoms cause significant impairment in two or more settings, such as home, school, or social situations.
– The symptoms are not better explained by another mental disorder, such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, or mood disorder.
– The symptoms are not due to a medical condition, such as thyroid disorder, seizure disorder, or sleep disorder.

Some of the common symptoms of inattention include:

– Failing to pay close attention to details or making careless mistakes
– Having difficulty sustaining attention on tasks or activities
– Not listening when spoken to directly
– Not following through on instructions or completing assignments
– Having difficulty organizing tasks and materials
– Avoiding or disliking tasks that require sustained mental effort
– Losing things necessary for tasks or activities
– Being easily distracted by external stimuli
– Being forgetful in daily activities

Some of the common symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity include:

– Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirming in seat
– Leaving seat in situations when remaining seated is expected
– Running or climbing excessively in inappropriate situations
– Having difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
– Being “on the go” or acting as if “driven by a motor”
– Talking excessively
– Blurting out answers before questions have been completed
– Having difficulty waiting for one’s turn
– Interrupting or intruding on others

In addition to the DSM-5 criteria, healthcare providers may also use other sources of information to support the diagnosis of ADHD, such as:

– Parent and teacher rating scales: These are standardized questionnaires that measure the frequency and severity of the child’s ADHD symptoms and impairments across different settings. Some examples are the Conners Rating Scales, the Vanderbilt ADHD Rating Scales, and the Behavior Assessment System for Children.
– Psychological tests: These are standardized tests that measure the child’s cognitive abilities, academic skills, memory, attention, executive functions, and social-emotional functioning. Some examples are the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement, the Test of Memory and Learning, the Conners Continuous Performance Test, and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function.
– Medical tests: These are tests that rule out any medical conditions that may cause or mimic ADHD symptoms, such as blood tests for thyroid function, iron deficiency anemia, lead poisoning, or genetic disorders; electroencephalogram (EEG) for seizure disorders; or sleep studies for sleep disorders.

Diagnosing ADHD in children is a complex and comprehensive process that requires multiple sources of information and professional judgment. The diagnosis should be made by a qualified healthcare provider who has experience and expertise in assessing and treating ADHD. The diagnosis should also be reviewed periodically to monitor the child’s response to treatment and developmental changes.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Symptoms and diagnosis of ADHD. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/diagnosis.html

Mayo Clinic. (2019). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children – Diagnosis and treatment. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/adhd/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350895

National Institute of Mental Health. (2019). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and teens – What you need to know. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-in-children-and-teens-what-you-need-to-know

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