How Is ADHD Diagnosed?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, abbreviated ADHD, is defined as a persistent
pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than
is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. In the past, ADHD
was a disorder that was exceptionally rare or possibly even unheard of in most of the country.
Today, it is a common explanation for why many children, and even some adults, have trouble
focusing or paying attention. The question that is being asked, however, is whether or not
patients are being accurately diagnosed with this condition. Many clinicians are beginning to
wonder if ADHD is being over-diagnosed and over-treated. The diagnosis of ADHD is becoming
merely a simple, easy justification as to why students do not to pay attention during class or
display disruptive behavior. It is not taken into consideration that other factors may play a role in
the reason for such behavior. Cynthia Riccio, an associate professor of educational psychology,
believes that bias may be one of the influences in ADHD diagnosis. In addition, Yale Professor
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is becoming over-diagnosed in children and occasionally
even in adults, sometimes because of cultural bias. As a result, other possible illnesses are in turn
being overlooked in these patients.
Many years ago, doctors first began noticing symptoms of ADHD, such as laziness,
rebelliousness, and fidgetiness. However, at that point in time, this disorder had different names.
Healthcare professionals observed the children who displayed such behavior and were interested
in researching it. By 1987, the disorder was renamed again, finally to ADHD (Zambo, 2008,
pp.35-36). Since then, it has developed into one of the most common disorders among children.
Normally, the first signs of ADHD are noticed by the parents or teachers of the child. The
concerned parents then take their child to a doctor to have him or her examined to discover that