What is ADHD Testing?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 January 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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ADHD testing is testing which is designed to be used in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This disorder cannot be diagnosed with a simple test or study, and a proper diagnosis requires extensive evaluation of the patient, along with interviews with people who work and live with the patient. ADHD testing can be approached from a number of perspectives, but in all cases, it is designed to provide supplementary information, not a final determination.

In some cases, a doctor or teacher may recommend ADHD testing for a child who appears to be demonstrating some of the symptoms associated with ADHD, such as an inability to focus, difficulty following directions, and restlessness. In other cases, parents may opt to take their children in for testing. ADHD can also be diagnosed in adults, in which case the testing is often recommended by a psychologist or physician who feels that an adult may have ADHD which is inhibiting quality of life or ability to function.

In ADHD testing, the patient is interviewed extensively. He or she is not tested in the traditional sense, but the interviewer may use puzzles, challenges, and other tools to facilitate the interview. The interview is used to gather information directly through a series of questions, and indirectly through observation of the subject. The interviewer may also want to talk to family members and people who interact with the patient regularly to learn more about the patient's unique situation.


In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, the subject needs to be meet very specific criteria. These criteria are designed to eliminate people who are experiencing behavior problems for other reasons, such as difficulties at home, and to precisely define ADHD so that care providers know what they are working with. If the testing reveals that the patient does indeed meet the diagnostic criteria, a diagnosis of ADHD will be given.

With a diagnosis and the results of the ADHD testing, a treatment plan can be developed. The testing can provide important clues which can be used to determine which techniques would be most useful for the management of ADHD in the patient. For example, some patients benefit from medications which are designed to help them focus. Others may not need medication, and could be better served with regular therapy sessions with a psychologist or another mental health professional. It may also be necessary to make adjustments to the patient's educational plan or work environment to make him or her more comfortable.



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