ADHD and the T.O.V.A Test

ADHD and the T.O.V.A TestQuestions from my inbox!

I get a lot of confused people emailing me for advice about the results of their T.O.V.A. test.

A T.O.V.A. test is a computerized test of attention, and stands for Test of Variables of Attention.

The email takes various forms, but generally fall into 2 categories. Either:

1) The person  has been diagnosed with ADHD after taking the T.O.V.A. test, and they don’t think they have ADHD 
2) The person strongly believe they have ADHD, but the T.O.V.A. test didn’t show that

The really important thing to remember is that the T.O.V.A. test alone cannot diagnosis ADHD. It might be part of the diagnosis process (or not), depending on your clinicians method of testing.

But ADHD can’t be accurately diagnosed just by using this type of computer test.

Getting properly diagnosed for ADHD isn’t a quick 20 minute activity (the T.O.V.A. test takes 21.6 minutes). It takes a trained professional many hours piecing together information which they get from you, your history, and information from people in your life. To learn exactly how ADHD is diagnosed, head here.

This is why getting an official diagnosis costs approximately $2000 (in Canada at the moment; which varies slightly, depending on which country you are in). A  T.O.V.A. test, by comparison, is approximately $400.

While taking a T.O.V.A. test might seem quicker and cheaper, it can be misleading and result in more time and investment further down the road.

If you have already used the T.O.V.A. test and are not happy with the result, don’t panic and don’t feel bad. Instead, start to research where you can go to be tested for ADHD in your area.

Here are a few suggestions:

1) Check out your local CHADD for a recommendation
2) Ask your ADHD friends who tested them
3) Ask your ADHD support group if they have a resource list
4) Go to psychologytoday.com directory
5) Ask your ADHD Coach or therapist for a referral
6) Ask your family doctor for a referral

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