How will you know when you have the right ADHD medication and dosage?
TRACK YOUR OWN or your CHILD’S RESPONSE to TREATMENT!
You can’t notice small improvements or side effects without a monitoring sheet. The goal is to find the best results with the fewest side effects. Finding the right medication and dosage is seldom a straightforward process. It usually involves medication trials and may require many adjustments to dial in just the right combination. The better you keep track of improvements or problems, the more likely to best the best results from treatment. Don’t waste time or suffer needlessly on the incorrect type and/or dosage of medication.
Your prescriber may slowly increase the dosage, then back off when side effects begin to interfere. Other times, they will switch to a different type of medication altogether. It will depend on what you have to report. Even if you use supplements like Omega 3 Fatty Acids, how will you know whether they are helping if you don’t record what changes, if any, occur? For more on the alchemy of prescribing ADHD medication, see ADDitude Magazine’s 10 Medication Fallacies even Doctors Believe.
Pencil-and-paper treatment monitoring system developed by David Rabiner, Ph.D. Instructions provided for accurate reports. Download for free (Link works or copy and paste http://www.helpforadd.com/monitor.pdf )
CADDRA ADHD Assessment Toolkit 2011 – 48 page PDF with recommended assessment forms, screeners, and rating scales from the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance. Includes SNAP, Weiss Assessment forms, and others. Rating scales are for suitable for educators, children, adolescents, and adults.
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was designed as a brief behavioral screening questionnaire about 3-16-year-olds. It now has a version for 2 to 4-year-olds as well as one for over 18 – 25 questions – Choose from a wide variety of forms in a number of languages. Impact and follow-up versions are also available. Scoring is quite complex. Setting up an account to have them do it for 25 cents is difficult as well!
The Disruptive Behavior Rating Scale can be completed by parents and/or teachers to report the presence and frequency of symptoms of ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Conduct Disorder (Pelham, Gnagy, Greenslade & Milich, 1992)
The Impairment Rating Scale is a form that can be used by parents and teachers to indicate the impact of ADHD symptoms on important functional domains. (Fabiano et al., 2006)
The DIVA 5.0 – Diagnostic Interview for Adult ADHD. Sorry, there is now a charge for accessing this screener. DIVA 5.0 is based on the criteria for ADHD in DSM-IV. It assesses ADHD symptoms in adulthood as well as childhood, chronicity of these symptoms, and significant clinical or psycho-social impairments due to these symptoms. (Translated into about five languages so far. See Diva 2.0 for more.
NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Follow-up For teachers – Easy to fill out on-line, print out or email results to provider- Use Zero as a circle. 18 questions plus 8 questions evaluating performance.
Extensive SWAN Scale – Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD Symptoms and Normal Behavior – 90 questions – 30 for strengths
SWAN Strengths – 18 questions rating scale includes positive “weaknesses” and negative “strengths” scoring, assessing symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Parents are asked to compare their child’s behavior in a variety of settings over the past month to other children on a 7-point: 3-Far below, 2-Below, 1-Slightly below, 0-Average, -1-Slightly average, -2-Above, -3-Far above. Higher scores indicate greater symptomology.