|It is difficult to assess AD/HD. This is because the
degree of attention deficit depends on the situation,
and person or people the person with AD/HD is with, and
the subject of focus.
When assessing someone for AD/HD, it is important to have
more than one evaluator in more than one situation. For
example, checklists are usually given to the parent(s),
plus a teacher or someone else who spends a significant
amount of time with the client.
It is also helpful to have a direct assessment of brainwaves.
The brainwave assessment helps determine if the part of
the brain associated with paying attention is under functioning.
This provides an objective assessment.
form of objective assessment is called the TOVA or Test
of Variable Attention. In this test, the client must click
a button when a box lights up on the top of a computer
screen, and not click the same button when a box lights
up on the bottom of the computer screen. Since attention
vacillates in someone with ADHD, a high number of missed
clicks, reaction time, and high variability reaction time
are three variables associated with AD/HD.
There are many other disorders that look like and/or co-occur
with AD/HD. These include anxiety and depression. A screening
test is done to look for these diagnoses in addition to
symptoms of AD/HD.
Intelligence testing is frequently used to help with the
diagnosis and to screen for learning disabilities that
are frequently seen with AD/HD.
The AD/HD assessment may include any or all of these components
depending on results of the initial interview.