Clinical Tools Quick Links

Rating Scales and Checklists

Scales and checklists help clinicians to obtain information from parents, teachers, and others about symptoms and functioning in various settings, which is necessary for an appropriate assessment for ADHD and treatment monitoring. Symptoms must be present in more than one setting (for example, both at home and in school) to meet DSM-IV criteria for the condition. Such instruments are only one component of a comprehensive evaluation, which includes a medical examination and interviews.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the most commonly used scales are:

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, ADHD-specific rating scales are more accurate in distinguishing between children with and without the diagnosis of ADHD, than global, nonspecific questionnaires and rating scales that assess a variety of behavioral conditions.

For adults, these scales may be helpful:


Evaluation and Assessment Tools

Clinicians evaluating a child for ADHD use a variety of assessment tools to gather information. They will ask parents and educators to complete various forms, including checklists, behavior questionnaires, or rating scales. These tools are an essential component of a comprehensive evaluation for ADHD.

If the child is found to have ADHD, after a treatment plan is developed and implemented, the clinician will employ similar tools to request feedback from parents and teachers.

The articles listed under “Learn More” provide more information about these assessment forms and rating scales. You can also view some of the screening and follow-up tools.

Evaluating Your Child

NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scales

Recent Webinars For Professionals

Other Resources

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