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October 12, 2010

Trying to understand Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD , is a difficult process because the symptoms vary from person to person and there are no specific tests that can verify if an individual has the condition. According to Toronto area ADHD specialist and medical doctor, Umesh Jain, there are not any simple tests that can tell you if you have ADHD or not. Determining whether an individual has ADHD or not is still a matter of making an observational diagnosis.

Because of this, the process of obtaining a proper diagnosis is often difficult, confusing and frustrating. It may take several visits to a family doctor, followed by additional visits to one or more specialists. On top of this, the process will require input from other individuals such as teachers, caregivers, coaches, family members and friends.

To help parents and individuals working through the process of diagnosing ADHD , the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance, or CADDRA, provides a wealth of information on its website . CADDRA is a national organization, headquartered in Toronto, that provides support, advocacy and information for individuals, families and health care professionals about ADHD and ADD .

Just one of many helpful resources available on the web site is guidelines for assessing ADHD. For those just starting out on the long process of assessing the condition, it may be helpful to review these documents. A copy of the guidelines overview and instructions can be downloaded here .

While the diagnosis of ADHD should be managed by a qualified health care provider, a review of the assessment tools can provide insight into what the process may entail. Understanding and knowledge is the first step in managing the many challenges of the condition. If ADHD is positively diagnosed, individuals and parents can find more useful information on the CADDRA web site or through other support organizations such as at the Totally ADD web site.