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Behavior Rating Scales for ADHD

Topic Overview

Written tests called rating scales are used to check for symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). These tests can help measure and compare a child's behavior with that of other children the same age.

It is best to complete one of these rating scales to help diagnose ADHD. The most common of these tests are completed by the child's parents and usually include:

  • Conners' Parent Rating Scales, which asks about the child's symptoms.
  • Child Behavior Checklist, which evaluates a wide range of symptoms.

Teachers also are often asked to complete rating scales, such as:

  • Conners' Teacher Rating Scales, used to evaluate the child's symptoms in the classroom.
  • Child Behavior Checklist/Teacher Report Form, which also evaluates classroom behavior.
  • Child Attention Problems, which monitors behavioral changes when the child is taking medicine to treat ADHD.

Other people who know the child, such as day care workers or relatives, can complete some of these rating scales also. Evaluations of a child in different environments can help determine if the child has a behavior problem related to ADHD.

If a child is suspected of having ADHD after a doctor reviews the responses on these tests, the DSM-IV SNAP checklist is often used next. This test contains subscales that evaluate hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity to determine the specific type of ADHD that a child may have. This test usually is completed by the parent or teacher, although a doctor can also do the evaluation.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Last Revised February 2, 2012

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