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Issues involving the assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD - Research Paper Example

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Title Author’s Name Institutional Affiliation Assessment of ADHD Medical assessment Medical assessment of ADHD starts with a diagnosis based the behavior of a person followed by an assessment to find out the possible causes of such behavior. First, behaviors are assessed to find out if they are within the scope of normal limits…
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Download file to see previous pages This stage of assessment is not common in general clinical practice. It requires assessment conducted by Health Professionals trained in Medicine, Psychology, Psychophysiology and Clinical Neuroscience or Nutritional and Environmental medicine. The assessment may include brain function evaluation through neuro-imaging, investigation of diet, nutrition and sensitivities to food. Tests may be conducted to determine the causes of metabolic dysfunctions, recurrent abdominal upsets and chronic ear, nose and throat infections which are probable causes of brain dysfunction and consequently abnormal behaviors and attention deficits (Brown, 2005, p. 21). Rating scales and check lists Rating scales and checklists assist clinicians to obtain information from teachers, parents and others about functioning and symptoms in different settings, which is important for a sufficient assessment for ADHD and monitoring its treatment. The symptoms must be manifested in more than one environment for instance in school and at home in order to meet DSM-IV criteria in diagnosing for the condition (Barkley, 2005, p.96). This is only one of many components of a comprehensive evaluation that should include interviews and medical examination. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the most commonly used scales are: the Child Behavior Checklist completed by the parent, Teacher Report Form (TRF), Barkley Home Situations Questionnaire (HSQ), ADD-H: Comprehensive Teacher Rating Scale (ACTeRS), Conners Parent and Teacher Rating Scales and the Barkley School Situations Questionnaire (SSQ). The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), says that ADHD-specific rating scales produce more accurate results when distinguishing between children whether a diagnosis of ADHD was initially conducted or not compared to global rating scales and nonspecific questionnaires that assess a variety of behavioral conditions (Barkley, 2005, p. 103).  Behavioral assessments Not all inattentive, overly hyperactive, or impulsive persons have an attention deficit disorder. This is because most people will at times unintentionally blurt out things, randomly shift between tasks, or become forgetful and disorganized (Jensen & Cooper, 2002, p. 41). To assess for ADHD, several critical questions are put into consideration. Some of these questions include: are the behaviors long-term, excessive and pervasive? Do they happen more frequently than in other persons the same age? Is it a problem that is continuous or just a reaction to a situation that is temporary? Do the behaviors manifest in different settings or only in a specific place? The behavior pattern of the person is then compared against a set criteria and characteristics of the disorder (Brown, 2005, p.33). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version IV (DSM-IV) manual contains these characteristics and criteria. Disorders with symptoms similar to ADHD One of the difficulties of using a questionnaire in diagnosing ADHD is that the condition is often accompanied by other disorders. Quantitative EEG which is an examination of brain function can do a better job in differenting between the disorders that have a lot of behavioral overlaps. The following are several of such disorders. Learning Difficulties: Many ADHD children also have a learning disability (LD). This means ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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