ADHD Test

There is no ADHD test that can diagnose ADHD. Testing for ADHD must be done in conjunction with a complete history, and rule out the possibility of many other possible causes of the symptoms that are a concern.

The Term ADHD Test Implies...

The term ADHD Test implies that there is a tool or instrument that can diagnose ADHD just like you could use a blood pressure cuff to measure blood pressure, or a blood glucose reading to determine presence of diabetes. Although in many cases ADHD is felt to be a chemical imbalance, there is no test available that can look at the brain, or measure brain chemistry and then say: "This person has ADHD" or "This person does not have ADHD."

ADHD Testing

In todays culture of a "Pill for every ill" it is important to rely on standard criteria before a diagnosis of ADHD is made. The DSM IV -ADHD has established criteria for ADHD that is used along with a complete history and physical to determine if the symptoms that are present would correlate with ADHD. At the same time there are a number causes that must also be ruled in or out (Causes of ADHD) before a diagnosis of ADHD is given.

Do I Have ADHD?

The first step in determining the answer to this question is to be able to identify through an ADHD test or ADHD quiz which symptoms are present, how severe they and are they present in more than one setting. Following are 3 common screeners that are used:

  • ASRS Adult Screener - 18 Questions
  • ASRS Adult Screener - 6 Questions
  • Conners Child and Adult Rating Scales

It is important to get input from the patient and from other observers. The most important thing to remember as a parent is that you are in charge. If something does not seem right, then bring it up. If there are positive symptoms only in a partial setting, like the classroom and not at home or when playing sports then likely it is not ADHD. These screeners are designed to help you engage in a dialogue with teachers, doctors and other treatment team members.

Following is a list of additional assessment tools / ADHD Tests - that have been used that are based on the DSM IV criteria. Remember that none of these are considered diagnostic, rather they are simply tools to open a dialogue about symptoms present, their severity, and in how many settings they are seen:

  • Structured Adult ADHD Self-Test (22 Questions)
  • Jasper-Goldberg ADHD (24 questions)
  • The Vanderbilt Assessment Scale - Parent Informant
  • The Vanderbilt Assessment Scale - teacher informant
  • Snap IV Parent Teacher Rating scale
  • ADHD Symptom Checklist Child and adolescent version
  • ADHD symptom Checklist Adult Version
  • ADHD Symptom Checklist Adult version Observer Report

ADHD Diagnosis - Real Or Imaginary

Much has been written through the years about this. The problem is at least three fold:
1) Many of the symptoms of ADHD are commonly seen in everyone, especially children who have more energy than adults. This can lead to mis-diagnosis or overdiagnosis.
2) Follow the money: There is money to be made whether it is through book sales, herbal remedies, FDA approved medications or other treatment options - This is fine if you are getting results with no or little side effects.
3) The Majority of Medications still used today are potent neuro stimulants that can be addictive - some people argue that they are used too quickly and too often in your young people. When used appropriately there are many examples of very good outcomes. There are also examples where some patients had very serious side effects.
Most people agree that there are children, adolescents and adults who exhibit the symptom criteria described in the DSM IV -ADHD section to qualify as having a disorder called ADHD. The real question is: Have you had all treatment options explained to you?

ADHD Treatment Options

Consider All of Your Options

Part of the above argument is that in some cases the first and only treatment option explored or offered to the patient is prescription medication. This can be very effective and safe when used as directed under the supervision of a qualified physician. It would be a dis-service to not explore all options. Hopefully by reading this website and others you become equipped to ask a variety of questions such as:

Do I Have to Take That?!

Not one single treatment option or combination of options works for every one. Moreover, the best evidence suggests that using more than one treatment options works better than any single option alone - including mediation alone. Most clinicians are willing to work with parents and patients who take a real team approach to their ultimate treatment outcome. Even with ADHD symptoms some people are able to totally cope, develop, and succeed at school, at home and at work with little to no additional treatments. However, there are others who have ADHD symptoms begin to get in the way of success where interventions are the right approach.


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This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services.