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E. How to Approach the ADHD Diagnostic Process

Narrator: This is Science Today. It's estimated that one to three children in any classroom of thirty students is suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, says parents concerned that their child may have ADHD need to initiate a behavioral assessment.

Hinshaw: The first thing to look for is: Are problems of inattentiveness, forgetfulness, not following directions, impulse control problems, have they been present for some time? Are they happening both at home and at school? Is a child pretty extreme compared to her-or in the case of boys, his-age mates?

Narrator: In such cases, Hinshaw warns that parents cannot rely on a brief doctor's visit for an accurate diagnosis, and should pursue a thorough assessment.

Hinshaw: Thorough history, information from home and school, looking at the symptoms over time, and ruling out a good many conditions that may look like ADHD. That's all part of the diagnostic process.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.