Rating Scale
Home Up Adult ADHD Causes Genetics Treatment Rating Scale Other Studies


http://www.neurotransmitter.net/adhdscales.html is a link for free rating scales.

Connor's Abbreviated Rating Scale is shown below, a total of more than 15 is suggestive of ADD/ADHD:

Not at all
Just a little
Pretty much
Very much
Restless and overactive        
Excitable, impulsive        
Disturbs other children        
Fails to finish things.
Short attention span
Constantly fidgeting        
Inattentive, easily distracted        
Demands must be met immediately
Easily frustrated
Cries often and easily        
Mood changes quickly and drastically        
Temper outbursts, explosive and unpredictable behavior        

SNAP Checklist Better than ACTeRS: The Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham (SNAP) checklist from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, revised 3rd edition (DSM-III-R) has been shown to have a sensitivity and specificity in excess of 94% to distinguish hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive children with ADHD from those without ADHD. This was based on criteria in the DSM-III-R. The DSM-IV SNAP checklist (available at www.adhd.net/snap-iv-form.pdf; scoring at www.adhd.net/snap-iv-instructions.pdf), based on the newer diagnostic criteria, has not been adequately evaluated. The ADHD Rating Scale-IV (in DuPaul et al, ADHD Rating Scale IV-Checklists, Norms, and Clinical Interpretations, available from Guilford Press) and the ADD-H Comprehensive Teacher/Parent Rating Scale (ACTeRS; available from MetriTech, Inc at www.metritech.com) are useful for their brevity, but they do not perform as well in differentiating children with ADHD from those without ADHD. Does a short symptom checklist accurately diagnose ADHD? Zolotor A, Mayer J, Hill J. University of North Carolina. J Fam Pract. 2004 May;53(5):412-6

Adult ADHD Rating Scales Oversensitive: Adult ADHD is estimated between 0.3% and 5% of the population, a huge range. Researchers examined the diagnostic and screening utility of three ADHD scales (Adult Rating Scale [ARS], Attention-Deficit Scales for Adults [ADSA], and Symptom Inventory for ADHD) in 82 adults presenting for ADHD evaluation. All three instruments were sensitive to the presence of symptoms in adults with ADHD (supposedly correctly identifying 78% to 92% of patients with ADHD), but a high proportion of individuals with non-ADHD diagnoses screened positive (incorrectly identifying between 36% and 67% of non-ADHD patients). Screening and diagnostic utility of self-report attention deficit hyperactivity disorder scales in adults. McCann BS, Roy-Byrne P. Compr Psychiatry. 2004 May-Jun;45(3):175-83. Ed: In fact, ADHD is not an illness.  It is a bunch of subjective symptoms artificially grouped together.  There are numerous medical illnesses of the brain which can have the symptoms of ADHD along with other symptoms.  These include a variety of genetic disorders, head trauma victims, sleep apnea victims, infants born to nicotine and other drug abusing mothers, children with high lead levels, etc.  Each of these is a different disease.  ADHD is not a disease.  If you gave stimulants to normal students, they would report better ability to focus.  They would sit more quietly.  Many would say that the stimulants helped them.  In fact, stimulants are vastly overrated.  It reminds me sometimes of the 1960's "OK everybody. Let's everybody get stoned" mentality.  There is no long-term research using double-blind studies showing improvement on academic or work performance.  While I will agree that it is likely that some, carefully selected children may need stimulants for behavior control, let's not fool ourselves.  Both stimulants and other psychiatric medications are being vastly over-utilized.