What is the Conners 3?

If you have been doing research on getting your child evaluated for Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder you may have stumbled across the phrase “Conners 3”. It can be easy to get lost in the acronyms and fancy psychology jargon. Let’s break down what the Conners 3 assessment is and the role it may play in finding a diagnosis for your child.

The Conners 3 isn’t a acronym per se but the number 3 represents that the assessment has 3 components: The Conners-P for the parent, the Conners-T for the teacher, and the Conners-SR for the child to self report. There are also a few subtests that are additional for teachers and parents to complete. A key element to diagnosis is understanding how symptoms impact life for your child in various environments and having the three components to the Conners 3 helps evaluate various perspectives as well as environments.

The Conners 3 is designed to to evaluate children between the ages of 6-18 but it is important to note that the self evaluation has a 3rd grade reading level. It is a relatively short assessment only taking an average length of 20 minutes for the full form, as short as 10 minutes with the short form, which is ideal for students struggling with attention issues. The Conners 3 is additionally designed to look at various disorders that commonly occur along with ADHD or are commonly misinterpreted as ADHD. These disorders like Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder have similar symptoms but the course of treatment may be different.

Why is the Conners 3 helpful? As mentioned earlier, the Conners 3 looks at symptoms in various environments which is a key aspect of diagnosis. It also breaks down the assessment into categories looking at items like inattention, family and relationship problems, hyperactivity, executive functioning, defiance and aggression and even learning problems. This assessment directly looks at the diagnosis criteria from the DSM-V and breaks it down into an easy assessment.

Why do I need a proper diagnosis? Well technically, you don’t, but there are many benefits in receiving a proper diagnosis. These benefits can range from special accommodations in school as well as ensuring the treatment plan established with your psychologist is accurate and the most effective. You can read more about benefits to diagnosis in a previous blog post.

If you have suspicions and noticed symptoms in your child that you think may be ADHD, or an additional disorder, the best way to proceed is to speak with a child psychologist. They can guide you in the process of receiving a diagnosis or even simply walk you through what the process will look like and allow to make an informed decision. Assessments like the Conners 3, are tools used by psychologists in order to help provide the most effective care. There are additional assessments available as well as various treatment developed for the benefit of children struggling with ADHD. If you would like to speak to a psychologist about your concerns for you child, book in a time to speak to a psychologist call us on (02) 6262 6157 or book an appointment online.

Related reading:

Diagnosed: The benefits of receiving a DSM-V diagnosis
How to Choose a child psychologist
What to look for in a child psychologist

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