Children and adolescents with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often have great difficulty paying attention and may not seem to listen when spoken to directly.They may be easily distracted by external stimuli and frequently have trouble finishing homework or chores.These kids can also be fidgety, restless and overly active, or they may frequently lose things (e.g., assignments for school, books, toys, etc.).They often have much trouble organizing and starting tasks.
Grades in school often suffer as a result of difficulty recalling material for tests and incomplete or lost homework assignments.ADHD co-occurs with learning disorders approximately 50% of the time.Interpersonal relationships frequently suffer as a consequence of the young person’s inability to inhibit impulsive behaviors and regulate intense emotions.A substantial portion of children and adolescents with ADHD also exhibit oppositional behaviors.Tests to assess for ADHD include the following:
Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) – a computerized visual continuous performance test for the diagnosis and treatment of children and adults with attentional disorders.
Brown ADD Scales – an initial screening instrument for children and adolescents who display symptoms of ADHD.The Brown ADD Scales assess a variety of ADHD-related cognitive impairments and symptoms.
Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF) – a test which assesses a child’s or adolescent’s everyday behavior associated with specific domains of executive functioning (e.g., planning, shifting tasks, decision-making, and regulating emotions).The BRIEF also serves as a screening tool for possible executive dysfunction.
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV) (for children 6-16 years old)
Working Memory Subtests – these subtests measure attention, concentration and working memory by evaluating a child’s ability to concentrate and retain information in short-term auditory memory.These subtests also measure a child’s ability to attend to, sequence, mentally manipulate and recall information.
Processing Speed Subtests – these subtests measure a child’s short-term visual memory and speed of processing new material.
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-III) – (for individuals 16 years and older) Working Memory and Processing Speed Subtests – these subtests assess the same abilities as the WISC-IV, only in adolescents and adults.