Wolff Center Child and Adolescent Health

Understanding ADHD: Assessments and Treatments

What is ADHD?

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that are more severe, frequent, or impairing than typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. While the exact cause of ADHD is not known, it involves a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors.

Symptoms of ADHD

The symptoms of ADHD are generally grouped into two categories: inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Inattention may manifest as difficulty sustaining focus, poor organizational skills, or a tendency to make careless mistakes. Hyperactivity-impulsivity can appear as excessive fidgeting, talking, or an inability to remain seated.

Diagnosis of ADHD

Diagnosing ADHD involves a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare professional. This assessment typically includes a detailed history of the individual’s behavior across multiple settings, such as at home and school. Tools like behavior rating scales and checklists are commonly used to gather observations from parents, teachers, and others who interact closely with the individual.

Innovative Tools for ADHD Assessment: The QbTest

One innovative tool used in the assessment of ADHD is the QbTest, which provides clinicians with objective data to aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of ADHD. The QbTest measures attention, impulsivity, and motor activity through a computerized test that combines attention tasks with motion analysis. This data helps in making more accurate diagnoses and in monitoring the effectiveness of treatment strategies over time.

Treatment Options for ADHD

Treatment for ADHD typically involves a combination of medication, psychotherapy, education or training, or a combination of these. Stimulant medications are the most common form of treatment and have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms. Behavioral therapy is another cornerstone of treatment, aiming to help manage behaviors, improve time management and organizational skills, and reduce impulsivity.


Stimulants are often prescribed to increase and balance levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Non-stimulant medications are also available and can be used as a first-line treatment or in combination with stimulants.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy for ADHD involves supporting the individual through behavior management techniques, such as setting up more structured routines or using planners and organizers to enhance task management. This therapy is often helpful for children and can involve parents and teachers.

Educational Interventions

Educational interventions can include strategies to help children with ADHD succeed in school, such as providing a quiet area to work, additional time for tests, or breaks between tasks.

Importance of Early Intervention

Early diagnosis and intervention can lead to better outcomes for individuals with ADHD. Effective management of the disorder can improve functioning in school, at work, and in interpersonal relationships. Early intervention also helps to reduce the occurrence of secondary problems, such as social difficulties and low self-esteem.


Understanding ADHD and the options available for assessment and treatment can empower those affected to seek help and achieve better health outcomes. With advances in diagnostic tools like the QbTest and comprehensive treatment approaches, managing ADHD effectively is more attainable than ever.

This article is designed to provide a well-rounded view of ADHD for individuals seeking information about its diagnosis and management. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have ADHD, it’s important to seek professional evaluation from centers like the Wolff Center, which specializes in pediatric and behavioral health services including ADHD assessments and treatments.