Dr. Ned Hallowell, ADD and ADHD expert and author of the best-selling books Driven To Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood and Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder, offers this quiz to determine if you may have ADD and need further evaluation.
The Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS) is a screening tool, not a definitive diagnostic test. However, it does give a short means of seeing if it is worthwhile to go on to a more detailed diagnostic workup.
If you get a positive result on the test, then you definitely ought to get a full evaluation. However, if you get a negative result, do not assume this means you do not have adult ADD. The test is only 70 percent sensitive. That means it will pick up only 70 percent of the cases of ADD in a random sample of adults.
The test consists of six questions. You should answer each with one of the following responses: "N" for never; "R" for rarely, "S" for sometimes, "O" for often or "V" for very often.
Here are the questions:
1. How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done? N R S O V
2. How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization? N R S O V
3. How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations? N R S O V
4. When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, how often do you avoid or delay getting started? N R S O V
5. How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands and feet when you have to sit down for a long time? N R S O V
6. How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, as if you were driven by a motor? N R S O V
Here's how you score the test:
If you answered "S," "O" or "V" for questions 1, 2 or 3, give yourself one point for each.
If you answered "O" or "V" for questions 4, 5 or 6, give yourself one point for each.
Now add up your points. A score of 4 or higher is a positive score. That means you ought to consult with your health care provider and go on to the next step in the diagnostic process.
Remember, this is not a diagnostic test. It is just a good, brief screening tool.