Newsletter #3: Neurocognitive testing really can help diagnose ADHD
In case you didn’t know, March is national cheerleading safety month, national frozen food month and national caffeine awareness month. Of course, here at ADaptHD, every month is also international ADHD awareness month. It’s only fair, because after all, we have ADHD every month of the year! Which is why, as usual, we’re kicking off the month by highlight 1 scientific study, 1 interesting news item and 1 coping tip for people with ADHD.
Study of the Month: Neurocognitive Testing Really Can Help Diagnose ADHD
Researchers at the University of Iowa looked at the role of neurocognitive testing in assessing whether adults have ADHD, publishing their findings in February. They found no single neurocognitive test can reliably diagnose ADHD by itself, but that the results of neurocognitive testing combined with other information can help spot symptoms of ADHD.
In particular, the researchers found that taking into account family history of ADHD, self-reported ADHD symptoms, and reaction time variability, they were able to distinguish 87 percent of ADHD cases. Reaction time variability refers to the fact that people with ADHD tend to have more varation in how quickly they react to certain events than people without ADHD. The results of the study suggest that this neurocognitive data point in conjunction with family history and ADHD-related behaviors can reveal many, but not all, cases of adult ADHD.
Article of the Month: The Best ADHD Twitter Thread of All Time?
Yes, it’s true, this month’s article of the month is actually … a Twitter thread. But it’s a Twitter thread that tells you probably as much about ADHD as any traditional news article would.
In a series of 34 Tweets, journalist Yashar Ali opened up about ADHD’s effect on his life. Ali detailed how many aspects of ADHD are “stuff that doesn’t make sense to people without ADHD,” such as the fact that “difficulty starting things” can present an “enormously challenging problem” for ADHDers. The entire Twitter thread is worth a read for a concise but not over-simplified explanation of how ADHD impacts people’s lives.
Coping Tip of the Month: Schedule the Simple Things!
All of us with ADHD have those seemingly simple things like cleaning our desks or paying our bills that get put off beyond what’s reasonable. What’s sometimes helpful is to schedule these things in as a recurring, non-negotiable habit.
For example, maybe Tuesday at 7 PM is always time to clean your desk. Write that into your schedule, and over time it’ll become a routine habit. Maybe a certain day of the month is always bill paying day. Us ADHDers often struggle with planning, but by making something an event that always occurs at the same time, it’s sometimes possible to get to a place of doing that thing out of habit and therefore not needing to plan.
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Image: Flickr/Airman Magazine