adhd testing question

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by klmno, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My difficult child has diagnosis of depression and bipolar - all in question, with clear cycling lately. Now, when I look at these forms for adhd and the questions read "has child EVER.....", I'm thinking, what cycling child in an escalated mode has not done these things, which are basicly signs of being hyper (easily distracted, excessive talking, difficulty focusing, etc.) So, if these forms are answered honestly, wouldn't most kids, especially those with depression and/or bipolar, fit the criteria for adhd? Not that the label matters, but the medications and IEP are strongly effected by this.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    A questionnaire should not be a sole diagnostic tool. Other things have to be factored in and there are various ways/tools that professional use.

    Many, many disorders have symptoms in common. It's difficult for professionals to sort out say whether a child may have ADHD vs bipolar, ADHD vs Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), ADHD vs Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), etc. On "paper," the symptoms seem similar. And typically, children have coexisting conditions which just complicates the diagnosis process.

    Have you ever read the diagnostic criteria for various disorders? Usually the last entry will have words to the effect of, "The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder and are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder)." For ADHD see . I read that to mean other disorders should be ruled-out prior to making a final diagnosis -- but, I'm not a psychologist or doctor.
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Forgot to answer your question. lol

    Most kids have presented every symptom on an ADHD symptom list. The ADHD rating lists I've seen have a rating score of say, 1 - 4 pertinent to occurrence with 1 being something like "rarely" or "never" and 4 being "almost always." As I understand it, the info is then compared against what's considered normal for children of the same age.
  4. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    ADHD is a diagnosis of exclusion and MANY other conditions share the same symptoms.

    It is important to look at the whole picture: a manic child has all the symptoms of ADHD; however, ADHD (only) children do not cycle quickly and have clear mood problems that are not usually present with "simple" ADHD. All of this is complicated by the concomitance of disorders: it is possible for a child to have ADHD and unipolar depression, which although a mood disorder, looks different that BiPolar (BP) in most kids over 10.

    An IEP should be responding to NEEDS not labels anyway so while I get that the diagnosis makes a huge difference in medications, it shouldn't make a difference in the IEP.