When her son Anthony was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD) at age 6, Mary Robertson quickly became an amateur travel agent
during his summer vacations.
She didn't have much of a choice. "One day Anthony came home hiding a
handsaw behind his back because he had sawed down a neighbor's tree to see how
old it was," recalls the oncology-nurse-turned-ADHD-patient-advocate. "I
realized pretty quickly that to stay at home and not have something planned was
not gonna work...
Teachers also are often asked to complete rating scales, such
Conners' Teacher Rating Scales, used to evaluate
the child's symptoms in the classroom.
Checklist/Teacher Report Form, which also evaluates classroom
Child Attention Problems, which monitors behavioral
changes when the child is taking medicine to treat ADHD.
Other people who know the child, such as day care workers or
relatives, can complete some of these rating scales also. Evaluations of a
child in different environments can help determine if the child has a behavior
problem related to ADHD.
If a child is suspected of having ADHD
after a doctor reviews the responses on these tests, the DSM-IV SNAP checklist
is often used next. This test contains subscales that evaluate hyperactivity,
inattention, and impulsivity to determine the specific type of ADHD that a
child may have. This test usually is completed by the parent or teacher,
although a doctor can also do the evaluation.