Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common condition in children that often goes untreated. According to a 2018 study, ADHD affects 6.4% of children and adolescents in Hong Kong. This condition can have long-term effects on children and adolescents and it can become more challenging to manage as they get older.
Although ADHD typically appears in early childhood, the effects of the condition can last a long time and affect many adults too. The 2018 study estimated that ADHD was present in 2.5% of adults in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has a healthy awareness of ADHD with ample public and private healthcare sector support. If you are concerned for yourself or your child and want to get tested for ADHD, here’s a guide in Hong Kong's testing process.
How is ADHD diagnosed?
While only those who have been tested for ADHD by a specialist can be given an ADHD diagnosis, you can start by carrying out a self-assessment test. If your self-assessment indicates that there are symptoms of ADHD, you might want to consider visiting a professional for a clinical diagnosis.
- Hong Kong Association for AD/HD preliminary assessment for children (in Chinese only) here.
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association online assessment here.
Delayed intervention in children, especially when they are over ten, can make the process tricky because the adverse effects of ADHD may have begun to take full effect. Some of these effects include anxiety and low self-esteem. The most common criteria to look for in both adults and children to determine whether they should be evaluated for ADHD are:
- Inability to focus on things that are not of interest
- Scant attention to detail
- Easily irritable
- Show signs of hyperactivity
A standard evaluation involves referencing a specific ADHD symptom checklist. This checklist includes questions about behavioural patterns, past and present information from the patient and their family.
In the case of children, a paediatrician, child psychiatrist or educational psychologist will assess for ADHD. These practitioners will have earned a psychology or a medical degree and have received training in ADHD.
Where can I get an ADHD diagnosis in Hong Kong?
When getting assessed for ADHD in Hong Kong, you’ll want to conduct thorough research to ensure that you are getting the treatment that caters to your needs.
Finding a specialist
The first step is finding a qualified specialist for an ADHD evaluation. Many qualified specialists and clinics in Hong Kong can help with ADHD consultation and assessment. This includes specialists both in the public and private systems. Whichever you choose, the consultation cost can vary greatly depending on location, facilities and specialist availability.
You’ll want to consider the costs of consultation and treatment, the language of your doctor, and whether your health insurance will cover the costs. Some specialists or clinics charge higher prices and there is a chance your insurance may not cover ADHD treatments.
For children under age 5, the Maternal and Child Health Centres (MCHC) in Hong Kong provide parents a range of educational services, including developmental surveillance help. If a child is suspected of having developmental problems by an MCHC doctor, they will be referred to the Child Assessment Service for further assessment with a team of paediatricians, nurses, psychologists and therapists.
Preparing for an appointment
You will want to feel as comfortable as possible with your specialist, since the assessment may include clinical tests, interviews, and behavioural observations that can take a while.
If the appointment is for your child, you should be prepared to give all the required details about them to your specialist. This is mostly because children may not remember everything about themselves and will likely be shy or quiet during the evaluation. It will also help your specialist get a better understanding of the situation.
You have to discuss any specific concerns you may have and your stance on medication as treatment for ADHD can consist of taking medication. You should also discuss follow-up and some alternatives to the prescribed medication if you are in doubt.
Getting assessed for ADHD in Hong Kong is not difficult at all. Many specialists in the city can carry out tests for you and your family members. The most important thing is to get assessed as soon as possible once you become aware of any worrying ADHD symptoms. Earlier intervention is likely to be more effective, whether you are a child or an adult.
Help at OT&P MindWorX
At MindWorX, we have a team of qualified psychologists who can help you better understand ADHD, its symptoms, and treatment options. Book a consultation to discuss your situation with a doctor and determine whether you or your child need to get tested for ADHD.
- HKU finds ADHD drug use increase in Hong Kong and 13 different countries. Research findings. (2018). Retrieved September 22, 2020, from https://www.med.hku.hk/news/press/ADHD_drug_use_increase_in_Hong_Kong_and_13_different_countries
- HKU finds ADHD drug use increase in Hong Kong and 13 different countries. (2018). Retrieved September 22, 2020, from https://www.med.hku.hk/news/press/ADHD_drug_use_increase_in_Hong_Kong_and_13_different_countries
- Diagnosis of ADHD in Adults. (2019). Retrieved 2020, from https://www.adhdaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Diagnosis-of-ADHD-in-Adults-9.pdf
- Press Release: LCQ15: Support for children suffering from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Retrieved 2020, from https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201806/27/P2018062700563.htm