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ADD/ADHD

ADHD Symptoms

ADHD:What Do We Do?

ADHD:Ritalin a Wonder Drug?

ADHD Diagnosis

ADHD Diagnosis: Page #2

ADHD Developmental Course

ADHD and Disruptive Disorders

ADHD Assessment for Your Child?

 ADHD Assessment Page 2   

Cause of ADHD: Is it biological?

Cause of ADHD: Is it environmental?

ADHD Drugs

ADHD Drugs Page #2

ADHD Drugs and Side Effects

ADHD Drugs: Predictions of Effectiveness

Antidepressants for ADHD?

Antihypertensives for ADHD

ADHD Symptoms: Using Behavioral Management  

10 Things You Can do to Help Your Child With ADHD.  

  Help for Adult ADD/ADHD- The Fundamentals You Need to Know   

 Website Map/All Articles 

 

ADHD Assessment for Your Child?

ADHD Assessment: Page #1

ADHD assessment of your child will begin with a multisource, multimethod approach.  Usually, clinical interviews with parents and children, supplemental information from school reports, rating scales completed by teachers and parents, and neuropsychological test data are frequently used. In addition, ADHD assessment frequently incorporates the use of structured and semi structured interviews.  Generally, adults are considered to be the best informants of disruptive behaviors in an ADHD assessment. However, children and adolescents may also provide important data in reference to internalizing symptoms and some of the more infrequent behavior problems such as some of the more antisocial acts. 

ADHD assessment also utilizes rating scales to facilitate the systematic acquisition of information about the child's behavior in different settings in a cost-effective manner.  Most of these rating scales are standardized and provide scores that are comparable to other children (and also in adults) in their peer group.  The systematic use of these ADHD assessment instruments helps ensure that a complete set of specific behaviors is assessed at different points in time, to ensure the accuracy of an attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) diagnosis.  The high rate of symptoms shared by other psychological diagnoses (comorbidity) makes it absolutely essential to use these rating scales. 

 

There is a growing number of rating scales used to determine whether an individual or child has ADHD.  Some of the more common ADHD assessment tools are the Conners scales and the Achenbach scales, which are available in both parent and teacher versions, and possess a good solid basis in researching the norms (normal behaviors) of the specific peer groups.  The Conners Teacherís Rating Scale-Revised (CTRS-R) is a 28-item scale that is more for children 3 to 17 years of age.  It is a good scale in differentiating between hyperactive children and normal children (which are clinically referred to as non-hyperactive children) and  learning-disabled children.  It is also sensitive to medication effects.  The Conners Parent Rating Scale (CPRS.-R) contains 48 items and has data supporting the scaleís ability to differentiate groups of ADHD children from normals as well as being sensitive to the effects of treatment.  The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is a 138-item parent report questionnaire that has been found to be useful for children between the ages of 4 to 16 years old.  This ADHD assessment tool assesses a broad range of behavior problems and competencies and generates T-scores for two broadband factors (i.e. internalizing and externalizing).  The CBCL is also available in the more recently developed Teacher Report Form which is similar to the parent form and is usually used for children aged 4 to 18 years old for the assessment of ADHD. 

ADHD assessment tools and rating scales have several limitations and a diagnosis of ADHD should not be based upon this data alone. Interviews by trained mental health clinicians with children and their parents form the core of the diagnostic process. Interviews usually follow a loosely structured format that is flexible enough to allow for the in-depth exploration of relevant clinical information by the clinician.  It is absolutely essential that the interviewer correctly inquire about all of the symptoms of ADHD as there are many common comorbidities (overlapping symptoms with other diagnosis) making it imperative that the interview will follow a somewhat structured questioning format.

ADHD Assessment Page #2

Some information from DSM-IV-TR Mental Disorders Diagnosis, Etiology & Treatment

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic  MA Licensed Psychologist   Ph.D. Candidate  (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)

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