TITLE:  EVALUATING ADHD IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS: A Comprehensive Diagnostic Screening System

AUTHOR:  Gene Carroccia, Psy.D.

PUBLISHER:  Charles C. Thomas Publisher, LTD.

DATE: 2020

What is this book about?

Evaluating ADHD in Children and Adolescents: A Comprehensive Diagnostic Screening System is the ADHD diagnostic guide that assists clinicians to accurately conduct evidence-based ADHD evaluations, as well as identify and better understand the numerous other possible coexisting conditions that may present along with and worsen true ADHD, or cause ADHD-like presentations when ADHD does not exist.

Back book cover

This book is the ADHD diagnostic guide that helps clinicians provide comprehensive, accurate, and evidence-based ADHD evaluations for children and adolescents. It has three parts:

Part I presents the 10-Step ADHDology Evaluation Model to conduct evaluations and communicate findings with other providers.

Part II describes the numerous medical, sleep, neurodevelopmental, sensory processing, fetal substance exposure, psychological, trauma, and neglect conditions which can coexist with and even worsen true ADHD, or cause ADHD-like presentations when ADHD does not exist.

Part III is the Comprehensive Diagnostic ADHD Screening System (CDASS), a unique approach that utilizes user-friendly checklists to accurately evaluate ADHD by identifying its indicators, associated risk factors, and the conditions in Part II. The purchaser of this book can photocopy and use these checklists without additional cost.

This book will help you:

  • Confidently conduct ADHD evaluations
  • Identify conditions that coexist with, worsen, or mimic ADHD
  • Improve the accuracy of diagnosing ADHD and other conditions
  • Better understand and provide referrals for other suspected conditions

“Dr. Carroccia has mastered a vast and complex field and translated it into language and steps we can all use immediately. Practical, authoritative, and immensely helpful, this book is a godsend for clinicians and anyone else interested in ADHD.”- Edward Hallowell, M.D., ADHD Authority, Bestselling Author of Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction

“Evaluating ADHD is a comprehensive and highly practical guide to an evidence-based system for assessing ADHD. I highly recommend this excellent ADHD assessment resource.”- George J. DuPaul, Ph.D., Professor of School Psychology at Lehigh University, Prolific ADHD Author

“In this wonderful book, Dr. Gene Carroccia gives clinicians an immensely thorough and helpful system for effectively assessing and helping those with ADHD. A must-read!”- Sharon Saline, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist, Author of What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew

“If you evaluate ADHD, this book will tell you everything you need to know.”- Ari Tuckman, Psy.D., MBA, Clinical Psychologist, ADHD Author, International Speaker

Book highlights

  • Evaluating ADHD in Children and Adolescents: A Comprehensive Diagnostic Screening System, is for mental health therapists, pediatricians, psychiatrists, other clinicians, and school psychologists to help them accurately evaluate and diagnose ADHD, as well as identify many other potential conditions.  This research-based book provides clear information and checklists that can also be used by parents, teachers, and others to better understand the diagnostic process and other possible coexisting conditions.


  • This book is the first to present the numerous risk factors associated with ADHD and many potential conditions that may coexist with or mimic ADHD in a user-friendly checklist system that can be used during ADHD evaluations. Book purchasers are permitted to photocopy these checklists for repeated use.  This system can help clinicians (and parents) obtain a better diagnostic understanding of children and adolescents.  It is intended tobe a unique contribution to the clinical field.


  • This book provides descriptive information and checklists to screen for a number of lesser known conditions that many clinicians, and even neuropsychologists, may not typically consider when evaluating ADHD, such as concentration deficit disorder, sleep disordered breathing (including open mouth breathing and sleep apnea), visual and auditory processing disorders, other sensory processing disorders, partial sleep deprivation and inadequate sleep duration, non-verbal learning disorder, psychological trauma, immature STNR Reflex, prenatal alcohol and other substance exposures, attachment disorders, neglect and early pathogenic care with ADHD or ADHD-like features, gaming disorder, and other less appreciated conditions.


  • This book is composed of three parts:


Part I assists clinicians in conducting an effective ADHD evaluation using the clear 10-step ADHDology Evaluation Model (Chapters 1 and 2). Clinicians will also become aware of coordinating diagnostic and treatment services with other providers so children and teens can receive the best care.  Ways to improve effectiveness with diagnostically complex presentations are also


Part II describes the numerous conditions which can coexist with and even worsen true ADHD, or cause ADHD-like presentations when it does not exist. These chapters highlight these conditions and inform readers of specialists who can further evaluate and treat these conditions (Chapters 3 to 11).


Part II is composed of the following topics:

  • Risk Factors Associated with ADHD (Chapter 3)
  • Medical Conditions (Chapter 4)
  • Sleep Conditions (Chapter 5)
  • Neurodevelopmental Conditions (Chapter 6)
  • Sensory Processing and Motor Disorders (Chapter 7)
  • Prenatal Substance Exposure (Chapter 8)
  • Psychological Conditions (Chapter 9)
  • Trauma and Dissociation (Chapter 10)
  • Neglect, Attachment Disorders, and Early Pathogenic Care (Chapter 11)


Part III presents the Comprehensive Diagnostic ADHD Screening System (CDASS), an innovative and focused diagnostic approach utilizing checklists to screen for the types of ADHD, identify other potential conditions, and thereby improve the accuracy of diagnosing true ADHD. Some of these conditions are lesser known and are not typically considered.  These checklists can also help identify undetected conditions in children and teens who are not improving or only partially improving.


Part III is composed of:

  • Instructions for using the CDASS checklists and the Summary Findings Form (Chapter 12)
  • The CDASS checklists (Chapter 13 )
    • ADHD Types (2 checklists)
    • ADHD Indicators
    • Risk Factors Associated with ADHD
    • Common Coexisting Conditions
  • The CDASS checklists for the following conditions (Chapter 14):
    • Medical (12 checklists)
    • Sleep conditions (11 checklists)
    • Neurodevelopmental (11 checklists)
    • Sensory processing and motor disorders (9 checklists)
    • Prenatal substance exposure (2 checklists)
    • Psychological (10 checklists)
    • Psychological trauma and dissociation (3 checklists)
    • Neglect, attachment disorders, and early pathogenic care (2 checklists)

Three primary goals of the book

  1. Assist clinicians to be more effective in the ADHD evaluation process by following the ADHDology Evaluation Model’s approaches.
  2. Improve the accuracy of the diagnostic process by using the Comprehensive Diagnostic ADHD Screening System (CDASS) checklists. These should help to determine true ADHD, other conditions which may be causing ADHD-like symptoms, or both.
  3. Inform readers about these other conditions, and which specialists may be needed for the next step of appropriate care.

What makes this ADHD book different?

  • Simply, there are no other books of which I am aware that provides evaluation steps in a clear, comprehensive manner with user-friendly checklists to guide the ADHD diagnostic process for children and adolescents.
  • Clinicians often inquire about how to properly evaluate ADHD. Since one in ten children and teens have ADHD, there is a tremendous need for accurate diagnostic services.  Part I of this book presents the 10-step ADHDology Evaluation Model to provide clear and specific instructions to help clinicians provide these effective evaluations.
  • An important part of complete ADHD evaluations is to determine if other conditions coexist with ADHD, or may be causing ADHD-like presentations when it is not actually present. Many professionals are not aware of and struggle with correctly identifying these other conditions.  Part III of this book presents the numerous CDASS checklists to accomplish this.  The purchaser of this book is able to photocopy the checklists without cost for repeated use in their clinical work.
  • If other conditions are identified, clinicians often do not know where to refer clients for further assessment and treatment. Part II of this book describes the specialists for these referrals.
  • After evaluations are completed, clinicians frequently may not achieve the best practice of sharing their findings with professionals to coordinate care. This book assists clinicians with this aspect of care.

The author’s “why” 

As a licensed clinical psychologist, I have evaluated and treated hundreds of children, teens, adults and families with ADHD and other coexisting conditions.  As the director of an accredited doctoral clinical psychology internship program, I trained many doctoral interns to evaluate and treat ADHD.  Over the years I realized that many clinicians do not fully understand how to evaluate and treat ADHD in children and adolescents.  Without the proper foundation of accurate diagnostics to help families understand the challenges and needs of children and teens, families often cannot obtain the right treatment.  But while there are many with true ADHD, there are also many inaccurately diagnosed and improperly treated.  Thus, those with untreated ADHD, and other conditions, often continue to struggle with hardships and confusion.

True ADHD is a neurobiological condition that can significantly impair multiple areas of life.  It is a massive societal problem and all touched by it since about 1 in 10 children and teens and 1 in 20 adults have ADHD.  It is estimated that there are over six million children and teens in the United States with this condition.  ADHD is not easily determined, and accurately diagnosing it can be difficult.  For most, ADHD is not diagnosed with blood tests or brain scans, and relies on the clinician’s skills for identification.

Each person is unique.  Some have more straightforward and obvious presentations, while others are complex and confusing.  To make things more complicated, inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity can be caused by a number of medical, sleep, psychological, neurodevelopmental, and sensory processing conditions that can coexist with true ADHD, or cause ADHD-like presentations when ADHD does not exist.  Research has found that up to 80 percent of clinic-referred children and adults with ADHD also have at least one other psychological disorder.  Unfortunately, these other conditions are often not detected at all or until much later in life.  When they are not discovered and remain untreated, children and teens may only partially improve and entire families can continue to suffer.

I know there is a way out by replacing struggles with successes.  I have witnessed the progress and growth from my approaches.  I’m passionate about helping clinicians obtain a better understanding of the ADHD diagnostic process and treatment to transform the lives of entire families.  With the proper foundation of effective diagnostics, children and adolescents can receive the right treatments to change their lives.  Evaluating ADHD helps clinicians to better understand the ADHD evaluation process, provide more effective evaluations, and identify the other possible conditions that may coexist with or cause ADHD-like presentations.  This book provides professionals with these tools for results.