Cookies are required to use some elements of this web site
You must enable cookies on your device or web browser to access this web site feature. To do this, you may need to adjust your internet settings.

How Is ADHD Diagnosed?

There is no simple test for ADHD. However, there is a standardized way that ADHD is diagnosed. To be diagnosed with ADHD, a person must have all of the following:

  • At least 6 inattentive and/or 6 hyperactive/impulsive symptoms for at least 6 months to a degree that is inconsistent with developmental level and that negatively impacts directly on social and academic/occupational activities (for people aged 17 and older, only 5 symptoms must be present)
  • Several symptoms present before age 12
  • Several symptoms in at least 2 settings (such as home, school, or work)
  • Symptoms that clearly interfere with or reduce the quality of social, academic, or occupational functioning
  • Symptoms that are not better explained by another cause
These are not the only factors that may be used to diagnose ADHD. Diagnosis should be based on a complete history and evaluation by a health care professional. Please see the symptoms of ADHD for more information on diagnosis. And remember, only a trained health care professional can accurately diagnose ADHD.

To determine if you have ADHD, a health care professional may:

  • Ask about your symptoms (current and past), including severity, duration, and how they affect your life, school, or work performance.
  • Ask your spouse/partner or family members about your current and past symptoms.
  • Review your school records to find out about symptoms you may have had as a child.
  • Ask if you have a family history of ADHD or other psychiatric conditions.
  • Ask if you have a history of mental health problems (eg, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder) to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
  • Perform a physical exam and ask about general health status to rule out other possible medical causes for your symptoms.

You are about to leave

Please be advised that Shire has no control over the content or presentation of the site you are about to view.


You are being directed to another website.