Monday 31 October 2022

Taking an online 'ADHD' test

Every now and again, there is a test published to help the reader see if they might be on the autism spectrum.  Often they coincide with an article on the subject.  Last year published research showed that parents of autistic kids often have autistic traits too.  Most times that I see a test like the one in The Telegraph online but I've also seen a few for ADHD recently too, and yesterday I filled one out. 

When our first child, Anthony was diagnosed with Autism (ASD) aged 4, it was explained that 'genetics' could be one of the 'causes' of his condition.  When our second child David was also diagnosed before his 4th birthday, it seemed more probable. By this point we had gathered an in depth knowledge of different traits and how they displayed in our very different kids with ASD.  But we could also spot tendencies in ourselves.  

Then at 7, we thought Anthony's difficulties didn't all fit with his ASD diagnosis and after a bit of research we thought he might have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  He just seemed to struggle in areas that were not always consistent with his ASD diagnosis and ticked a lot of boxes with ADHD.  

Many kids with ASD have comorbid conditions, one's that are likely to co-occur and having both ASD and ADHD is quite common indeed. Our real concern was that it could mean Anthony needed some different types of support or medication to help him. 

So we went to the neuro department at a hospital a good while away across London and Anthony sat, squirmed and didn't answers during a test and assessment.  When we got the report it described that Anthony need a score of 70/100 for a diagnosis and his score was 92.   So yes, ADHD.  

But as he has grown (I can barely believe he is 14 years old already) and I've become more familiar with the condition I've often thought I'm more likely to have ADHD than ASD.   No surprise, the online ADHD agreed with me. 

I found that whilst I was answering the questions for me, I was also aware of the answer that would indicate ADHD; 'Do you find you lose important items?' ....tick, 'Do you lose interest in finishing tasks after the main part is completed especially if it is not of interest'...major tick.  'Do you focus on small things instead of the larger project'... tick. I was also pretty sure of the answer that would apply to our, Anthony, and knew if I filled out the questions as him it would result in a high ADHD score (obviously). What I found more interesting though was that I thought Anthony would fill out questions differently now compared to seven years ago when he was diagnosed.  

Anthony's views of his own skills have matured over the past years and is awareness of help and how we have helped him has had an impact.  

Seven years ago we helped Anthony with many things.  We organised what he needed for school for him and organised all his clothes.  Anthony would be lost if his shoes were not at the bottom of the stairs to put on so that's where we would always put them at night.  Seven years ago therefore he would not have thought he lost anything, because it was always back in place.  

Now we have given him more responsibility and he has things he treasures and does not want to lose - like his phone! So now we help him with strategies to find things, which means he understands that he loses things a lot. 

On the other hand, he probably would still answer some things without regards for his challenges.  For example, Anthony definitely loses interest in finishing tasks after the main part is completed especially if it is not of interest to him.  I'm right now looking at an open half almost emptied dishwasher.  

Anthony will have put all the 'easy' things away and then stopped when its got complicated like he doesn't know where everything goes or the remaining items require more care eg. they are glasses. Often Anthony just gets distracted and so doesn't even recognise that this has happened.  I'll call him down to finish it and he won't even realise that it's the same job he didn't previously complete. 

So it's something we are working on, but I'm pleased that I can see the change and recognition of himself in his challenges as it's the way to come up with strategies to help.

As for me?  Well I'm pretty sure if I went to The ADHD Centre  I'd find that I would be diagnosed as having the condition. But honestly I don't know what I would actually do about it.  The truth is that throughout my life I've come to realise that I'm good at somethings and struggle with others.  I know that without strict watching of a clock I will be late.  I know that it's much better if I organise everything in the calm of the evening before the event than the day of.  But I also know that I'm great in a crisis as I'm very focused on solving the problem at hand... just not great at any of the to be followed up later tasks.  

This means that I've got a set of strategies that mean I can get on, I can do well.  In fact I would have said in a job interview 20 years ago that organisation was one of my strong points... because I'd had to be organised to turn up on time - at least for me!  And this means whereas Anthony's ADHD diagnosis was really helpful, I'm probably just about OK as I am.   But I'm still learning and thankfully, so is he. 


  1. I totally relate to all this! But like you, I reckon I've got by OK so we just keep going don't we?!

    1. So lovely to hear from you Steph! Yes indeed, we just get on with it. But I think I appreciate and understand myself more and that’s only a good thing! Thanks for. commenting x


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