Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Exams and Tests
The American Psychiatric Association
(APA) has established the symptoms and criteria for diagnosing
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These
criteria divide the condition into three basic types based on major
ADHD, predominantly inattentive
ADHD, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
ADHD, combined type
Also, some people are diagnosed with "ADHD, not
otherwise specified" when symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or
impulsivity are present but do not fit into one of the three types.
For adults with ADHD, the standard treatment is medication. But experts say
that ADHD therapy -- and other psychosocial treatments -- can play a key role
“I think for many adults with ADHD, therapy is essential,” says David W.
Goodman MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine.
While ADHD medicines are effective, they may not be enough. To use a phrase
popular among ADHD specialists, pills don’t build skills. Even with medication,
Also, children with
ADHD may have difficulty learning to read, write, or do math problems. Testing
learning disabilities will help teachers develop the
best educational plan for a child with these difficulties.
tests may be done to identify other medical problems that might explain the
child's symptoms, such as:
Hearing or vision impairment. This type of
disability often interferes with school achievement.
Lead exposure. Children who have even small amounts of
lead in their bodies can have symptoms similar to ADHD.
blood cell counts (anemia). This condition can cause low energy and poor
concentration. It can be diagnosed with results from a
complete blood count (CBC).
disease. Blood tests can help find out if a person has too much or too little
thyroid hormone, which also can affect energy and attention. This is more
common in adults than children.
Parents often question whether ADHD is overdiagnosed. Many
doctors and researchers believe that the increase in ADHD diagnoses results
from improved detection techniques, especially the standardization of
assessment criteria. Current and future research may help answer this
Many adults with ADHD have never been diagnosed or
treated. ADHD is a lifelong condition that, left untreated, can lead to low
self-esteem, frustration, school or job failure, drug abuse, and
depression. To diagnose ADHD in an adult, a doctor may
use the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS), a written test that consists of 25
questions about childhood difficulties that are often seen with the condition.
The scale evaluates the presence and severity of ADHD symptoms during