How to Get Tested for ADD

By Charlie Gaston

Attention-deficit disorder or ADD/ADHD is a condition that is associated with impulsivity, hyperactivity and/or inattention. Based on psychological and behavioral patterns, ADD is diagnosed largely on subjective criteria. According to "Born to Explore! The Other Side of ADD," the exact symptoms associated with ADD are also associated with a wide variety of other factors including brain defects, allergies and giftedness. Common ADD symptoms include the inability to concentrate to an extreme degree, disorganization, irritability, broad mood swings and boredom, difficulty relating to others and quick decision-making that results in sweeping regrets immediately thereafter. The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) is available to adults and children in search of information about ADD. Use the ADDA website to find health care professionals, counselors, advocates and support groups who offer assistance to people with ADD, if you do not have a physician. A local health care professional can make arrangements for you to test yourself or your child. Testing, in most cases, consists of an interview, physical examination and behavior-rating scales or checklists for symptoms. Both children and adults can be tested for ADD.

List of Items Needed

  • AD/HD (ASRS) Adult Self Report Screener
  • Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS)
  • Computer with an internet connection
  1. Complete the AD/HD (ASRS) Adult Self Report Screener. Take the test online and then discuss the results with a physician. With your physician, examine how and when you should undergo clinical testing, so a diagnosis and treatment plan can be determined. If diagnosed, ask the physician to explain his method for determining which treatment will be used to manage the symptoms and challenges you face. Verify the follow-up process for monitoring the efficacy of medication prescribed for the condition.

  2. Complete the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS). Adults not previously diagnosed with ADD as children, may be asked by some physicians to complete a written test that consists of 25 questions about childhood difficulties. The test is not always administered; however, it is the benchmark for testing as of 2009. Discuss the scale with your physician and determine the best treatment option for your symptoms.

  3. Undergo additional testing. Agree to additional verbal and written tests to rule out thyroid disease, seizures and low red-blood-cell counts (anemia), if a definitive ADD diagnosis cannot be made. Your physician may also diagnose you based on your developmental history, current behavioral habits and family medical history. It is common for patients to be tested for these and other behavioral disorders during the diagnosis process. However, being diagnosed with ADD does not mean that other behavioral or physical disorders will occur. Additional tests are used for screening purposes only.

Tips and Warnings

  • Self-diagnosis is not the same as being diagnosed by a health care professional, so seek diagnosis early and disclose all symptoms.
  • ADD is a lifelong condition that, if left untreated, could lead to self-worth issues and social anxiety.

© Demand Media 2011