Observation to assess a child with possible Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There is no single diagnostic test for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) so different sorts of information need to be gathered, such as the following:
History of symptoms The precise nature of the difficulties, when they were first noticed, in what situations they occur, factors that exacerbate or relieve them.
Risk factors that could predispose the child to Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include difficulties and risks in pregnancy and during birth, for example if the mother was in poor health, very young or drank alcohol or smoked or had an extended or complicated labour.
Several medical conditions are known to be associated with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These include fragile-X syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, G6PD deficiency, phenylketonuria and generalised resistance to thyroid hormone.
Accidents, operations and chronic medical conditions such as epilepsy, asthma and heart, liver and kidney disorders all need to be taken in to account. Also of possible relevance is any medication the child is taking, as well as any adverse reactions they have had to medication in the past.
Past psychiatric history:
Enquiring about any mental health problems the child has had can help rule out depression or anxiety being behind the symptoms.
This means the level of their ability and what specific difficulties they have, how they function within their peer group and get on with teachers, and any behaviour difficulties such as suspensions or exclusions.
The mental and physical health of the child's parents and other family members can be relevant, particularly regarding the incidence of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or depression. Less then 1% have a family history but this is one of the research data base.
The family's social circumstances, such as housing, poverty, and social support may all have an impact on the child's behaviour. Less then 4 % has this problem but it should be taken into consideration.