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Thread: How is an ADD diagnosis arrived at?...

  1. #11
    KaylieS Guest


    She needs to take the CPT!

    The CPT - Conners' Continuous Performance Test - is about the most objective test you will find. It is a computer test and can be taken at any age once they know their letters.

    It gives a % match to a "normal", to inattention, and to impulsivity.

    If the psychologist or psychiatrist doesnt' have teh CPT, I'd ask them to see if they can find one who has it that can administer it - it's a very common and very well regarded test for adhd and add...generally the computer test and the conners rating scales go together.

    We have the CPT here b/c of the counseling practice. I've given it to my dd before and I"ve taken it (just out of curiousity)


  2. #12
    ReneeNJ's Avatar
    ReneeNJ is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Jan 2006


    Emma's ADD (primarily inattentive type) was arrived at by a combination of factors -- our observations, teacher observations, scales, and a learning evaluation. Her teacher (two years, multi-age classroom) tried numerous things in the classroom -- behavior cards, positive reinforcement, etc. were unsuccessful. For her classroom teacher, it really came to light mid-year of first grade when we started to discuss how to spur Emma's intrinsic motivation. Her teacher also had the school counselor come in and observe her as a somewhat neutral third party. I approached the ped at her 7-yr old well-child visit at the end of first grade. The ped pooh-poohed me and said she was young and working at or above grade level, not disruptive in the classroom, etc. I was trying to start the eval proces that summer/fall and got distracted by own health issues. Her teacher continued to work w/ her but we both strongly suspected ADHD and we all knew that Emma was not working up to her potential (although she works well above grade level in some areas). DH and I have not nominated Emma for G&T (w/ her teachers concurrence) b/c of our concern about her potential failure b/c she can't show what she knows.

    Her teacher painted a very good "portrait" of Emma in report card notes, etc. I had her fill out a scale we got from the ped in the previous year and another scale that the teacher had seen (I think it was Vanderbilt) and liked. I sent all of this in to the ped before our visit this past June along w/ scales DH and I did and results from Emma's standardized testing. I was loaded for bear and was NOT going to be brushed off. He listened, somewhat begrudgingly, and suggested a learning evaluation. We saw a PhD psychologist who did testing on Emma and also had us fill out the Connor's scale. For Emma, the scales alone suggest ADHD.

    The psych said that she has ADD primarily inattentive type and suggested that she would respond well to meds. Emma has been on Ritalin LA (time-release Ritalin) for ~6 weeks and we haven't notices a huge difference at home but we don't see her when it is active in her system. I'm not sure that it is doing much nor that it is the right drug or even that meds are the right answer.

    We knew that something was different w/ Emma from age 3 when we started having conferences w/ preschool teachers about behavior. Emma was a community peer in an integrated classroom and her teachers were very good and knowledgable. B/c Emma is a very bright (she is scary bright to me) and is not generally disruptive in the classroom, I think that many people do not see her issues. Thankfully she had a wonderful classroom teacher the past two years who understands Emma's potential and how much she is capable of doing.

    From what I have read, ADD is typically diagnosed later in girls an signifcant self-esteem damage can be done prior to diagnosis when it is diagnosed late. We have been very open w/ Emma discussing it (she eavesdropped on a chunk of the conv w/ the psych). I personally also suspect that there may be some auditory processing stuff going on but it is hard to separate from the ADD. I intend to have some further auditory processing assessment done once we have the ADD "under control". FYI -- Emma is a third grader this year.

    Good luck on this journey!


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