Health and Psychology

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Wait, you mean I don't have ADD?

Posted by Margaret Donohue on August 17, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Attention Deficit Disorder is a frequently misdiagnosed condition.  Psychiatrists seem to think it can be adequately diagnosed by a parent and teacher questionnaire and a mental status examination and history. But then it doesn't adequately respond to medication so they start changing medications rather than reviewing the diagnosis.  


It's not how psychologists make an ADD diagnosis.


Parent and Teacher questionnaires are nice information, but do not offer objective data to form a diagnosis. Continuous performance testing using a Test Of Variables of Attention, or a Conner's Continuous Performance Test can provide a great deal of objective data on the type of attention difficulty and can help to differentiate other conditions that may seem similar to attention deficit disorder.


The most common conditions that seem to appear to be Attention Deficit Disorder are inadequate socialization, executive dysfunction, absence seizure, auditory processing disorder, and autistic spectrum disorders.  There are patterns of psychological test results that are expected with attention deficit disorder. If those patterns are not present the likelihood  that the diagnosis is Attention Deficit Disorder is low. 


Continuous performance testing is relatively inexpensive.  The equipment for the Connors is portable.  If you'd like an evaluation.  Contact us.

Categories: General Psychology, Brain Injury, Diagnosis

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