Deciding if a child has ADHD is a several step process. There is no single test to diagnose ADHD, and many other problems, like anxiety, depression, and certain types of learning disabilities, can have similar symptoms.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5) is used by health professionals to help diagnose ADHD. It was released in May 2013 and replaces the previous version, the text revision of the fourth edition (DSM-IV-TR). This diagnostic standard helps ensure that people are appropriately diagnosed and treated for ADHD.
There were some changes in the DSM-5 for the diagnosis of ADHD: symptoms can now occur by age 12 rather than by age 6; several symptoms now need to be present in more than one setting rather than just some impairment in more than one setting; new descriptions were added to show what symptoms might look like at older ages; and for adults and adolescents age 17 or older, only 5 symptoms are needed instead of the 6 needed for younger children.
If a parent or other adult is concerned about a child’s behaviour, it is important to discuss these concerns with the child’s health care provider.
Six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level
Please note that the criteria (in shortened form) provided here are just for your information. Only trained health care professionals can diagnose or treat ADHD.