ADHD NEWSLETTER from Patrick J. Hurley

ADHD – Proper Diagnosis the Key

June 2004 Volume I Issue VI

Statement: My intent in this newsletter is to express as quickly as possible my own beliefs and opinions on matters. I have no problems with people who disagree with my opinion and have even been swayed to rethink my position from time to time.

I wanted to let you know that our book many years in the making is still nearing completion, it is authored by me and Robert Eme Ph.D. and will be titled “Spinning out of control- ADHD and the Criminal Justice System.” It is designed for the police, jails, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation, prisons, halfway houses and parole officials. To learn more and get updates click here. Robert Eme e-mail is reme@argosyu.edu http://www.addcorridorcoaching.com/book.asp

It appears that many persons being diagnosed with ADHD today are still receiving these diagnosis based on oral interviews alone. Some are actually still being referred by a teacher to a family doctor and being put on medication.

I have several sisters in education as well as my wife so I am not trying to diminish the important role that teachers can play in identifying persons with ADHD.

I also am not questioning the abilities or experience of good practitioners in utilizing oral interviews in diagnosing ADHD. I just feel that without the combination of oral interviews and some good psychological screening test that some people may not get diagnosed or may get misdiagnosed.

I also believe that without these psychological tests which take the human judgment element out of the diagnosis to a certain degree that ADHD diagnosis are open to criticism by others. The testing gives documentation as well as the oral interview record to combine for a two pronged approach. I believe without this approach that the diagnosis of ADHD which cannot be seen on x-rays or blood test will continue to be viewed skeptically by many people. This hurts those of us who had the two pronged diagnosis as well as those persons who simply had the oral interview but were correctly diagnosed with ADHD. Perhaps a standardization of test could be addressed by the Psychiatric and Psychology fields.

Without proper diagnosis we may not be able to properly identify our specific problem areas which are vital in my opinion to the educational component of improving our lives. I have also had many people call me who had received their diagnoses based on oral interviews who struggled with acceptance of the diagnosis. I have recommended many of them go to a doctor who does the psychological testing and once seeing the results of those test have then accepted the diagnosis and moved on in a progressive manner.

In my own example my Psychologist uses both oral and psychological testing. Back in 1996 when I was diagnosed he interviewed me first and at the end of the interview said he felt that I had ADHD when I was younger but appeared to adapted well and probably didn’t need to pursue this. I was going through a divorce of my 23 year marriage at the time and told him that I wanted the test run anyhow. He agreed to do the testing.

He at that time administered about eight tests. On those test I did between 90% - 100% on six of them and 1% and 3 % on the other two. My Psychologist was surprised and said this was significant. We pursued the diagnosis. I was given a sample dose of Ritalin from my family doctor and returned to my Psychologist office. After taking the medication I moved up to mid range normal in the one test and just below normal in the second test.

More importantly I had a good immediate reaction to the medication in how my mind operated especially as it related to self defeating cognitions I had always validated in my head.

Prior to writing this newsletter I called my psychologist to get the names of the test he currently uses. Following is a list of those tests:
• Basic IQ test
• Beck Depression Inventory
• Selective Reminding Test
• Wechsler Logical Memory Subtest
• Benton Visual Retention Test
• Attentional Capacity Test
• Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test
• Stroop Color Word Test
• Connor’s Continuous Performance II Test

I would urge anyone that was diagnosed using only the oral interviews and whom has doubts to seek out a doctor who can administer the psychological testing. I would probably not have been diagnosed eight years ago had my psychologist not used the Psychological tests.

If you have any comments feel free to e-mail me a -short note- (if possible). I have ADHD too so I know how difficult it is to write short notes. addcorridorcoach@aol.com

FIRST EVER Poster devoted to ADHD view at: http://www.addcorridorcoaching.com/poster.asp

If you know on anyone who might like this newsletter please forward it to them and tell them to go to my web site http://www.addcorridorcoaching.com and sign up.
Have a great month. Talk to you soon.

Patrick J. Hurley

Author's Bio: 

ADHD Coach, 17 years as a Deputy Sheriff, 5 years as a probation parole officer.