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ADHD Diagnosis

At the Atlanta Center for Adult ADHD, a comprehensive diagnostic interview is conducted and validated intake questionnaires completed by the patient are reviewed. The patient is also evaluated for non-ADHD medical and psychiatric conditions that can cause concentration, attention, and/or hyperactivity issues.

Quotient ADHD computerized testing may be utilized to assist in diagnosis and follow-up.

Our questionnaires include the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist that was developed in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Workgroup on Adult ADHD. The following are questions included on the questionnaire:

  1. How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done?
  2. How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization?
  3. How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations?
  4. When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, how often do you avoid or delay getting started?
  5. How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands or feet when you have to sit down for a long time?
  6. How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor?
  7. How often do you make careless mistakes when you have to work on a boring or difficult project?
  8. How often do you have difficulty keeping your attention when you are doing boring or repetitive work?
  9. How often do you have difficulty concentrating on what people say to you, even when they are speaking to you directly?
  10. How often do you misplace or have difficulty finding things at home or at work?
  11. How often are you distracted by activity or noise around you?
  12. How often do you leave your seat in meetings or other situations in which you are expected to remain seated?
  13. How often do you feel restless or fidgety?
  14. How often do you have difficulty unwinding and relaxing when you have time to yourself?
  15. How often do you find yourself talking too much when you are in social situations?
  16. When you're in a conversation, how often do you find yourself finishing the sentences of the people you are talking to, before they can finish them themselves?
  17. How often do you have difficulty waiting your turn in situations when turn taking is required?
  18. How often do you interrupt others when they are busy?

The possible answers are Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often and Very Often. When “Often” or “Very Often” are given as responses, this usually signals a significant ADHD symptom. However, a patient must have several of these symptoms for ADHD in addition to be given a diagnosis.

At the Atlanta Center for Adult ADHD, we try to give as specific a diagnosis as possible. A patient can have a primarily inattentive-type ADHD, a primarily hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD or a combined-type ADHD and we will pin down the precise type of ADHD if possible so the patient can be treated accordingly.

Predominately hyperactive-impulsive type:

Fidgets with hands or feet; squirms in chair
Has difficulty remaining seated
Runs about our climbs excessively
Difficulty in engaging in activity quietly
Acts as if driven by a motor
Talks excessively
Blurts out answers before questions are completed
Difficulty in waiting or taking turns
Interrupts or intrudes upon others

Predominately inattentive type:

Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes.
Has difficulty sustaining attention
Does not appear to listen
Struggles to follow through on instructions
Has difficulty with organization
Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort
Loses things
Is easily distracted
Is forgetful in daily activities

Combined type:

Has both sets of inattention and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms

For cases in which the diagnosis is borderline or in which the patient would like additional confirmation, we utilize the Quotient computerized ADHD system which accurately measures motion and shifts in attention state to give a clear picture of the core symptom areas of ADHD:

Hyperactivity (the difficulty in staying focused and on task)
Impulsivity (the inability to control movement and sits still while working)
Inattention (the inability to inhibit inappropriate responses)

The Quotient ADHD Test takes approximately 20 minutes for adolescents and adults. The results are scored by a physician or advanced practice nurse and reviewed with the patient within a day or two after the test is taken.