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25
Mar

ADHD DIAGNOSIS

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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common child psychiatric disorder of hyperactivity, impulsivity and/or inattention. It is a chronic condition that affects people of all ages from young children through adulthood. Symptoms of ADHD are noticeable and diagnosed at various stages of life although more commonly in children before age 7 years.

In children with ADHD, symptoms may be apparent socially, emotionally, and academically. ADHD may lead to low self-esteem, poor peer relationships, delinquencies, and substance abuse.  Approximately 65% of children identified with ADHD since childhood will continue to exhibit symptoms as adults. To diagnose ADHD, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) is used.  Approximately 3% to 7% of children from ages 8 to 15 years old meet criteria for ADHD.

The diagnosis of ADHD can be divided into three (3) categories: predominantly inattentive,  hyperactive-impulsive, and combined type, which is both inattentive and hyperactive. The DSM-IV-TR lists nine (9) different symptoms for both categories of inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity.  To be diagnosed with one of the categories of ADHD, a child must present with 6 of the 9 symptoms of impairment in at least 2 different settings, such as classroom and home. These symptoms must be present for at least 6 months and must not be explained by other psychiatric diagnoses.

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