Cristina Otaduy, M.Sc. “Professionals should value the relevance of AULA for ADHD diagnosis”

Cristina Otaduy, M.Sc. “Professionals should value the relevance of AULA for ADHD diagnosis”

Cristina OtaduyCristina Otaduy is the CEO of  the Child and Adolescent Center “Otaduy VIP Centre” at Valencia (Spain). She is a psychopedagogist, specialized in diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit, and Learning Disorders. She is a Master in Educational Orientation, Trainer of teachers, and besides its application in the clinical practice, she performs her doctoral dissertation with AULA test. 

-How did you become aware of AULA?

I knew it by means of a Google search. I was looking for something to increase knowledge about the ADHD diagnosis.

-How long have you been using AULA?

Approximately 2 years, almost since it was initially commercialized. It was because I saw it on the internet and I was very interested in its acquisition.

-How are children and adolescents adapted to using AULA?

Honestly, they like it a lot, I would say that they adapt outstandingly, since I have not had any patient yet who refuses to do AULA. Sometimes, when they see it, they event want to try it.

-Would you recommend AULA to any concrete population or professional profile?

Yes, I think about all those professionals whose speciality are learning disorders or education, or even in health domain in patients with ADHD, they should value the relevance of this tool for ADHD diagnosis. It is very important.

-What are the advantages of AULA in your professional work?

There are many, but one of the most important advantages for me is that it is a continuous performance test and patients agree to do it highly motivated. To some extent, with complete, first-person results. Because clinical diagnosis we obtain from DSM-IV-TR (now DSM-V) for parents and teachers are biased by third parties, either parents or teachers; while what we obtain by means of this test is information for the direct diagnosis of the child, as there is no confounding variable AKA “personal opinion of a third party” (parent or teacher). And a very remarkable second advantage is that, due to the discrimination performed by AULA between auditory and visual distractors, the test allows specifying the diagnosis and knowing which can be or explore which could be the sources or causes for the attention deficit (if there is any). And in addition, as AULA reports on the quality of attention focus, this information helps me after the performance of the intervention and the treatment (in my particular case, a psychopedagogical treatment).

-Have you notice any remarkable benefit using AULA versus other tools you may have used up to now?

Yes, AULA displays clinically and graphically a lot of detail about the disorder. I mean, you may meet many parents and teachers that say “this child has ADHD”, but when you administer AULA and they see it graphically displayed, to some extent that is more clarifying. And so far, as all the results between the relationship between AULA and DSM have been positive, there has been no problem. The test helps me a lot, because, in some way, they can see it. Teachers are delighted with the results provided by the test.

-Have you ever thought that AULA may provide something different, any improvement to be made?

Everything can be improved. I think that the most important issue is to keep working on it, to keep on with the research to be able to determine learning disorders, which have different parameters from an attention deficit, which is the main information provided by AULA.

-Is there any need not covered by AULA?

The most important one is that I would need normative data for patients older thatn 17 years old, for adults.

-What is your experience with the test like, both in your clinical and research work? 

The truth is that it is a very relevant experience, as it has been proved the need in schools, in education centers, for an early diagnosis, specially since children are 6 years old, of the existence or not of ADHD, because many parents do not know where the deficit comes from (or whether there is any deficit at al); however, when we administer AULA we see the differentiation between the visual and auditory attention features, and we see it very graphically, thus diminishing confounding variables. This is very important in my research, because it causes that my study is more scientific and reliable.

-What motivated at a very first moment your interest for developing a doctoral dissertation about AULA?

For me, it is an essential tool for the research work I am developing. Of course, I will add other tests to the protocol, but for me it is important since it provides me a fast first approach to my working domain (learning difficulties).

-Is there any specific improvement or change that AULA could undergo in order to facilitate your work?

I would like this tool to have specific parameters for dyslexia, for example, which is one of my specialities, at least, to formulate a pre-diagnosis of dyslexia. This would be very important both for me and for other professionals working in this same domain.

More information about the interviewee and its professional work at: http://www.cristinaotaduy.com/

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