Before an ADHD diagnosis


We suggest you do the following before having a psychological diagnosis:

  1. Physical checkup.
    Some physical ailments give ADHD-like symptoms. Your family doctor can eliminate these ailments. They include allergies, chronic ear infecton, lead poisoning, sleep disorders (get a referral to an ENT (Ear-Nose-Throat specialist) etc.

  2. Teeth and sight.
    If you or your child have eye difficulties. You may become restless easier. Problems with teeth can be a contributor to the behaviour.

  3. Have a hearing - speech test.
    Ensure that an Auditory Processing test is included in the hearing tests. Speech shoul include a pragmatic speech test.
    You can contact Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres.

  4. Check motor-skills issues.
    Issues with movement can be part of the diagnosis for ADHD. Don't ignore this vital sign. See an Occupational Therapist.


The group of ADHD professionals might include:

1. Neuorlogist/Neuoro-psychologist

2. Psychiatrist/Psychologist

3. Speech Pathologist

4. Occupational Therapist

5. Special Needs Teachers (if a child)


If you have taken the steps to eliminate other issues, then:

1. Print off the CADDRA forms for your agegroup. A link is under "Diagnostic information from CADDRA" on this Website.

2. Bring them to your diagostician.

3. Make sure the diagnostician does a differential diagnosis. This means that s/he eliminates other disorders through the process.

4. If you or your child has ADHD, develop a treament plan with your diagostician. This can include medications and/or behaviour modification, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Remember you are in charge of this treatment.

5. We offer some treatments, which are evidence based, such as the Working Memory training.

6. If you are a parent, take one of our Family School POP courses. You need special skills to deal with a child with ADHD. Normal parenting skills are not enough to assist these often very bright children.


Other disorders/illnesses/situatons that look like ADHD in children (alphabetical order):

1. A chaotic homelife -- separation/divorce

2. Abuse

3. Allergies

4. Anxiety

5. Auditory Processing

6. Autism (High functioning) (Aspberger)

7. Bipolar Disorder

8. Chronic ear infection

9. Depression

10. Early onset schizophrenia

11. Lead poisoning

12. Learning Disabilities

13. Neglect

14. Post Traumatic Distress Disorder

15. Sleep Apnea