TOVA (Test of Variables in Attention):


This testing method is a 21.6 minute computerized Continuous Performance Test (CPT) with claims that it can "correctly identify 86% of ADHD cases." Our organization, Ablechild is a not-for-profit national parent organization has received reports that parents are being told by certain "professionals," and or "clinicians," that there is a test that will tell if their child has this diagnosis. They describe it as a flashing or blinking light on a computer screen. This test we know to be the TOVA.


"A computerized test that requires no use of language, no right-left discrimination, nor recognition of letters or numerals. Rather, the two visual stimuli are a large box containing a smaller box that is adjacent to the top or bottom edge of the larger box (see example). The stimulus of the inner box adjacent to the top edge is the designated target. The T.O.V.A. presents two 11-minute test conditions that involve frequent and infrequent presentation of targets".

Example of target and non-target stimuli for the T.O.V.A.

To be simply put, one is labeled ADHD by being too slow on where the image is - top, bottom, left or right sides.


FACT: There is NO valid test for ADD/ADHD. Though TOVA itself doesn't make claims that it diagnoses ADHD, only clinicians do, it clearly states that the test identifies ADHD over 86 % of the time. Simply put, terms such as "identifies" and "diagnosis" are one in the same. The users are just being clever wordsmiths.

The American Medical Association couldn't have said it any better when in 1999 they were quoted: "Informed consent can be effectively exercised only if the patient possesses enough information to enable an intelligent choice." Terms such as "identifies", "clinical decisions", "diagnosis," and "objective measures" are arbitrarily used to target our children for mental health invasive treatments without full disclosure. Full disclosure includes the risks of those treatments and any conflicts of interests. The public needs to "identify" who is conducting the research, what they are conducting it for, what claims they are making, and who stands to profit from it.

Parents are being misinformed nationwide when consulting with clinicians who are misrepresenting tests, such as the TOVA, as having the ability to prove a child has ADHD. One needs to be aware that the terms that clinicians can use in describing testing methods, such as "accurate," clearly misleads the person by implying that the TOVA itself is an accurate testing method to determine the diagnosis ADD/ADHD.

Buyer Beware! Terms are important and claims that "it is an accurate indicator of ADD/ADHD" are just not ACCURATE!

If you are one of the ones that have been told that the TOVA will tell you that your child has ADD/ADHD always remember this:

FACT: The TOVA has been determined to be unreliable as an indicator of ADD/ADHD. No State orLocal Government, or Federal Government Agency (NIH, CDC, FDA, DHE&W) has approved, certified, authenticatedor validated this test as being able to determine the presence of ADD/ADHD in life or at autopsy. Nor has the test Manufacturer provided us with a US Government Certificate of Compliance proving the tests validity and or acceptance.

This is what someone in the computer field had to add about the TOVA as well, proving more inconsistencies and further invalidating it as a "testing" method:

"I spent 25 years in the computer field and I know everyone's keyboard and CPU and monitor all offer different "response" times so if any of those response times VARY the end TEST results furnished by TOVA will include that variance and that will skew the over-all results. TOVA doesn't tell the end user this and ALL children's TOVA test results are based on the Child's RESPONSE TO the questions asked by the computer. This makes any accuracy "variable" and hardware dependent."

Are parents informed of this potential for inaccuracy? More importantly are the parents INFORMED OF THIS IN ADVANCE TO CHILD TESTING?








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