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Different ADHD Screening Methods Used to Diagnose the Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is commonly diagnosed during childhood. However, it can be difficult to determine if the child really has this deficiency; some children are more active and have trouble concentrating and need time to vent. There are several ADHD screening tools that professionals use to help determine if a child has the disorder or is simply busy.

Child behavior checklist

The behavior checklist is often used as a starting point to determine if further testing is needed. It is primarily used for children ages 6 to 18 and contains a 3-point rating system, where 0 is not true and 2 means very true. Parents or teachers answer 120 questions rating how the child behaves both at school and at home. A score on this checklist can indicate the presence of possible disorders. It also shows how the child externalizes and internalizes problems.

Vanderbilt Teaching Rating Scale and Parent Rating Scale

Teachers who may suspect that a student has Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder use the VADTRS in the classroom. These professionals rate the student according to 43 different criteria. With the exception of the performance section, the higher the score, the more severe the condition. In the performance section, a high score indicates exceptional academic and classroom behavior.

Parents also use this classification system to help professionals diagnose the disorder. Caregivers are asked to rate the child 45 different according to their perceptions of school performance. They also rate the child’s social capabilities and functions.

Conner rating scale

Like the Vanderbilt version, this test asks teachers and parents to rate the child on different criteria. This test consists of around 27 or 28 questions divided into four different topics: oppositional, cognitive, ADHD index, and hyperactivity. This test uses a four-point rating system that rates the child from 0 to 3. Like the other tests, the higher the score, the more severe the problem.

Quotient system

In addition to surveys completed by parents / caregivers and teachers, clinicians can use the quotient system as part of the ADHD assessment process. This machine measures how restless the child becomes and how distracted he is. During the 15-minute test, the child sits in front of the computer and is prompted by the machine to perform a variety of tasks. While used as a tool in addition to parent and teacher observations, this machine can confirm the diagnosis and can be used to rule it out.

ADHD assessment is a process that begins with teacher and parent observation. Not all busy or active children have this disorder. Some kids have no trouble paying attention during class, they just have a lot of energy to burn off. However, only a doctor can determine if the child really suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. By sharing these observations with the child’s pediatrician only then, a true diagnosis can be made and a plan can be determined to help the child.

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