ADHD – Assessment & Diagnosis

Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder according to Singh (2002) is a developmental disorder that is brain based and most often effect’s children. This developmental disorder can be characterized as a disorder in which affects one’s self control; primary aspects include difficulty with attention, impulse control, and activity levels usually diagnosed prior to the age of seven (Willoughby, 2003). It is estimated that nearly 4 to 12 percent of school age children have a type of ADHD (Pediatrics, 2000) Mental Health Assessment Tools.

There are primarily three sub-types of ADHD. Inattentive sub-type 1 is ADHD which those who manifest inattention without the presence of hyperactivity and impulsivity (Barkley, 2005). There is also ADHD sub-type 2 with symptomolgy related to hyperactivity and impulsivity (Barkley, 2005). Finally, there is ADHD combined sub-type which expresses the presence of all core characteristics of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. According to Pediatrics (2000) early diagnosis and management of these conditions can redirect these youth for greater educational and psychosocial outcomes.

According to Kamphaus & Campbell (2006) complexity and differences in core symptomatology regarding the nature of this disorder brings forth the logical assumption; that if a clinician is to test and evaluate an individual for ADHD, the assessment must be dynamic with the utilization of many different testing scales, different methods and information that will be collected across many different environments (p. 327). With this dynamic evaluation one must also consider the presence or absence of other disorders so common with ADHD; such as Learning Disabilities, Anxiety Disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, and Depression (Pediatrics, 2000). A clinician according to Pediatrics (2000) should realize that a thorough assessment may also occupy as many as three visits by the patient and family.

In order to effectively account for the complex and dynamic variables in regards to ADHD symptomatology, there are specific processes in which one must assess in order to gain an accurate picture for diagnosis, with special emphasis and analysis of information obtained from the child, parents and teachers if possible (Barkley, 2005).

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