ADHD Test in Hong Kong : Your Complete Guide

Does your child have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? This is a serious problem that causes difficulties in concentration and slows down cognitive development. If not addressed urgently and adequately, the problem can escalate and extend to adulthood.

In Hong Kong, even though ADHD affects less than 10% of the population, it is well known and recognized among scholars and health specialists. One of the most important things in addressing ADHD is the diagnosis, which brings about one question, “What is the best ADHD test?”

This post digs deeper into ADHD to determine what it is, the main causes, and testing in Hong Kong. 

What is ADHD?

Before looking at the main ADHD tests, it is important to understand what it is. ADHD is a common atypical neurodevelopmental condition that is characterized by impulsiveness, inattention, and/or hyperactivity.

ADHD always result in behavioural challenges at school and in social settings. The condition can cause serious disruptions in a patient’s life, severe impairment, and a sense of missed potential. Adolescents and adults with the problem of ADHD are at a higher risk of suffering from depression, anxiety, and job instability. 

Causes and Risk Factors of ADHD

ADHD condition is associated with abnormally low levels of neurotransmitters between the basal ganglia and prefrontal cortical area. Because these regions are responsible for a person’s executive function, a kid’s attention, working memory, and emotion control are negatively affected. 

The exact causes of ADHD in Hong Kong and globally are still unclear, but researchers suggest that it might be heredity in the majority of the cases. Other risk factors include: 

  • Alcohol intake during pregnancy.
  • Maternal smoking.
  • History of encephalitis.
  • Brain injury.
  • Low birth weight. 
  • Epilepsy. 

ADHD Test: What Do Doctors Look For?

One fact about ADHD is that it cannot be diagnosed with a physical test, such as an X-ray or blood test. Instead, mental health professionals use an evaluation process to establish whether you have the condition. 

During this evaluation, the medical officer collects information about the patient to establish if the criteria for ADHD are met. These criteria are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is the official guide for testing most mental disorders. 

ADHD Diagnostic Criteria 

Regardless of the ADHD presentation, whether hyperactive, inattentive, impulsive, or a combination, there are a number of conditions that have to be met, including the following: 

  • Several symptoms being present before twelve years-old. 
  • ADHD symptoms being present in multiple settings, such as school, home, and workplace.
  • The symptoms have to be interfering with or reducing daily functioning. 
  • The depicted symptoms are not explained using other mental medical conditions. 

The Inattentive Type 

For a child below the age of 16 to be considered to have ADHD, he/she must have six or more symptoms of inattention. However, those above 17 years have to exhibit five or more symptoms. These symptoms must be evident for no less than six months. See the symptoms below: 

  • Disregarding details. 
  • Difficulty staying attuned to activities. 
  • Not listening when spoken to. 
  • Failing to finish tasks, following instructions. 
  • Poor organizing ability. 
  • Dislike for long-term tasks. 
  • Losing track of crucial items, such as school materials and wallets. 
  • Being overly forgetful. 
  • Getting distracted easily. 

Hyperactive/ Impulsive Type 

During an ADHD evaluation, the medical expert will also check for the presence of the following hyperactive/impulsive-related symptoms. Again, the symptoms must have manifested themselves for at least six months: 

  • Regular squirming. 
  • Ignoring instructions and remaining in one place.
  • Feeling restless in situations where movement is discouraged, such as a classroom. 
  • Being unable to participate in leisure activities quietly. 
  • Talking excessively.
  • Trouble waiting for your turn. 
  • Intruding in conversations. 
  • Blurting out answers before questions are finished.

Once a diagnosis is completed, your doctor will classify ADHD based on severity. 

  1. Mild: This implies that you are only exhibiting minor impairment in functioning, but the symptoms meet the criteria for ADHD diagnosis. 
  2. Moderate: Impairment, in this case, is more severe. 
  3. Severe: Being classified as “severe” implies that a lot of symptoms for ADHD are present, and the impairment is significant. 

ADHD Assessment Process

Although it can vary, the process of an ADHD test in Hong-Kong takes about four hours for an adult. In Hong Kong, the process involves an in-person interview covering topics such as family, health, development, and lifestyle history. 

During the psychological test, your Hong Kong medical expert might request interviewing other people close to you, such as your partner or family member. This is crucial because these people might have observed additional behavioural changes that you might not be aware of. In the case of a child, the doctor might want to talk to the day-care provider, teacher, or coach. 

The doctor uses rating scales, questionnaires, and measures of sustained distractibility and attention during the assessment. Here are the common things that you might be asked to elaborate on during the assessment: 

  1. Do you quit tasks? How often, before getting a task done? 
  2. How often do you forget appointments? 
  3. How often do you misplace things, say in a single activity or day?
  4. Do you have challenges sitting still?
  5. Do you find it challenging to relax?
  6. Do you get distracted by things that are around you? How often? 

To make the diagnosis complete, your Hong Kong medical practitioner might also want to scrutinize your medical history. This is crucial to rule out medical causes of the problem. Furthermore, screening for learning disabilities might also be required. 

ADHD Test in Hong Kong

If you think that you, your child, or a person who is close to you has ADHD, it is paramount to get an ADHD test and medical assistance as fast as possible. Indeed, many people feel good and get some relief by simply explaining what they feel to a medical practitioner. 

Remember that you should not feel rushed about the decision to jump into treatment because Hong Kong medical experts are very meticulous and will want to prove the problem beyond a reasonable doubt, all about ADHD treatment.

For them, addressing the problem of ADHD is not an issue for you alone, but a journey that doctors commit to moving together with you from the start to the end. So, do not let ADHD distress you or those you love anymore because an expert is waiting to help.