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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

Identifying Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

02/11/2004

Question:

Hi, I have a child that had been having bad behavior problems in the past. She was biting the teacher at the age of four and had a hearing issue due to fluid. Now she is five and she has settled down, I could get her to sit in front of computer programs for quite a while and even getting to get her to sit down for some abc`s. How do I know if she has ADHD? Her behavoir problems are controllable most of the times now, but at the same time they still get out of hand. Tell me does this sound like ADHD?

Answer:

I am afraid at this moment in time, there are no medical tests or brain scans that can lead to a specific psychiatric diagnosis. The only way to know if a child is suffering from ADHD, or any psychiatric disorder, is to have a comprehensive assessment performed by a licensed mental health professional proficient in the area of assessing and diagnosing psychiatric disorders in children. To find such professionals, you many want to contact your local chapter of The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). Additional medical assessments by your granddaughter`s family doctor may also be necessary to rule-out any medical conditions. Since you noted a past "hearing issue due to fluid," you may also want to have her hearing checked to rule-out any hearing difficulties that may contribute to your granddaughter`s behavioral difficulties.

For more information:

Go to the Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mary A Fristad, PhD, ABPP Mary A Fristad, PhD, ABPP
Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University

Nicholas   Lofthouse, PhD Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University