Vanderbilt Diagnostic Scale for ADHD

Learn how to use the Vanderbilt Diagnostic Scale to test your child for ADHD.

Initially created to collect uniform data and to reduce the timing of lengthy interviews, the Vanderbilt Diagnostic Scale is one of the many tests used to evaluate children for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The Vanderbilt Diagnostic Scale is known to be a reliable and cost-effective way to collect information about a child by allowing teachers and caregivers to evaluate the child within a home and school environment using a standard form. Your health care provider may ask you to fill out this form – here’s what you need to know.

Filling out the form:
The Vanderbilt Diagnostic Scale form asks questions about social interaction, organization habits, listening, and the child’s overall well-being. Teachers and caregivers rate each question on a scale from 0-3 (never to very often). Unlike evaluating a child within a hospital or doctor’s office setting; evaluating the child within their daily routine is especially beneficial for an accurate diagnosis.

Returning the form:
After completing the form, return it to your health care provider, where it will be scored and will help determine whether a diagnosis of ADHD is made. The ADHD diagnosis may come with one of the various subtypes of ADHD which include:
• Inattentive
• Hyperactive/Impulsive
• Combined hyperactive/impulsive/inattentive

Additionally, the Vanderbilt Scale also looks for ADHD symptoms which may include:
• oppositional defiance
• conduct disorder
• anxiety
• depression

Talking with your health care provider is the best way to understand if the Vanderbilt Diagnostic Scale or other tests are needed to evaluate your child’s behavior. Communicate openly and honestly with your health care provider to ensure that your child receives the best diagnosis and treatment (if needed) for ADHD.

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt

American Journal of Psychiatry

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest