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How You Know – Assessing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder



How You Know – Assessing Adhd


                        There is a site on the web dedicated completely to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. There is also a video series on this site available under FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions) which presents a variety of topics all focused on Adhd. The video series is about ADHD only, and was written and narrated by a professional clinician experienced in treating ADHD patients. He appears to be highly knowledgeable on the topic and professional in his delivery.

This is the seventh video in this series and teaches the viewer about the processes used to identify ADHD. This information can be very helpful to someone who suspects that a loved one, a family member or a friend may be suffering from ADHD. How does a person know if the suspected behavior should be analyzed professionally.  This video answers that question. The series itself is presented by MegaTech, Inc. which provides technological treatments for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  MegaTech, Inc. created the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity treatment game, called, “Cups and Balls,” which can be found on this web site free of charge! According to the narrator, Cups and Balls is therapeutically beneficial for a person with ADHD, helping them to increase attention span as well as the ability to focus on the task at hand.

                   The clinician who is the narrator of this video series, which can be found on the web site,, explained that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not diagnosed with an absolute medical procedure. There are no blood tests, x-rays, or hard diagnostic tools to determine the absolute diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  Brain scan imaging provides information on how the brain operates but, according to the narrator, doesn’t provide diagnostic information  specifically to identify Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is what is referred to as a syndrome. As in the other videos in this series, I found it necessary to turn to my old friend Daniel Webster for a definition. I looked up syndrome which was a term used to define ADHD.


© 12/2010 MegaTech, Inc.




Webster explained that a syndrome is a group of signs And Symptoms which collectively indicate a disease or disorder. Clinical professionals have a list of behavioral criteria for ADHD with which to identify it.  If the behavior of the person being evaluated fits enough of the criteria andthe ADHD behaviors are intense enough to consistently disrupt the person’s daily life, the individual would then be given the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

           The clinician further explains that it takes a professional in the field of ADHD to accurately identify ADHD. The professional has been trained to understand when to appropriately make such a diagnosis. These professionals include a pediatrician, a Psychiatrist, or even a Psychologist. Among the tests that professional clinicians use are client interview, as well as direct behavioral observation in schools, at homes, and in community settings. The professional interviews family, teachers, and other persons involved in the life of the client.      Another assessment process used is to study a collection of behavioral patterns.  Behavioral patterns are assembled by timelines for ADHD behaviors.  This data includes school reports of trouble, fantasy, or any behavior that might be dysfunctional in the learning process at school or disruptive in a home environment.  Pattern analysis includes frequency counts, durations and intensity of disruptive behavior in different settings and times . According to this video, the intensity of behavior patterns is a critically important key to identifying ADHD. The intensity of the behavior patterns being evaluated are usually measured on an Intensity Scale.

The narrator in this video series, which is found at, explained that there are many different psychological instruments used to assess Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The most common one, and often used is The Conner’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Scale.  The Conner’s has a Family Report Form and a Teacher Report Form.  These forms use the ADHD Behavioral Criteria and places each of these behaviors on an intensity measure of degree.  The Conner’s and other similar scales measure the amount or degree of ADHD behavior patterns exhibited. Other scales distinguish ADHD from other similar conditions, such as Asperger Syndrome or a cognitive disorder. 

The clinician then cautions viewers that they should be careful when selecting a professional in their area to assesses and diagnose their child, family member or loved one.  It’s important to find an experienced clinician who works with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. However, he further cautions that if the clinician works exclusively with ADHD, he may tend to see all behavioral patterns as ADHD when behavioral characteristics may be attributed or associated with something different or other difficult behaviors. Clinicians who work exclusively with ADHD sometimes are less objective and tend to see only behaviors looking through the lens of their ADHD predisposition. He explains that there are behavioral Disorders which share similar characteristics with ADHD and emphasizes that it is critically important to make an accurate diagnosis. A misdiagnosis is counterproductive to reducing the behavioral symptoms of ADHD. On the other hand, since ADHD is not an exact science, the clinician must be patient while spending the time to get to know the client and the behavioral patterns that are displayed. There is quite a bit of trial and error associated with attempting to make a diagnosis as well as finding the most fitting treatment plan and success for each individual person.  This concluded the seventh video which was on the Assessment Process, and can be found under FAQS at the web site, . This web site contained helpful information about   Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder for anyoneconcerned about this Behavioral Disorder.




About the Author

Gaillyn Hope is a former elementary public school teacher.  She is now a web writer, as well as a writer and teller of children’s stories. Her interest in ADHD was sparked by her connection to education

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Workshop Level II: Personality Disorders and Challenging Problems

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