Identifying Adults and Children with ADHD
It is not easy for a health care provider to diagnose ADHD in adults and children. Sometimes, a person will recognize the symptoms of ADHD in themselves when a family member is diagnosed. Other times, they will seek mental health services, and find that their depression, anxiety, or other symptoms are related to ADHD.
In addition to symptoms of inattention and/or impulsivity, adults and children with ADHD may have other problems, including:
- Chronic lateness and forgetfulness
- Poor organizational skills
- Low self-esteem
- Employment / school problems
- Short temper
- Difficulty finishing a task
If these difficulties are not managed appropriately, they can cause emotional, social, occupational and academic problems.
The Comprehensive Evaluation for ADHD
ADHD cannot be diagnosed accurately from just brief office observations. Many psychological issues may mimic ADHD symptoms, and a thorough evaluation is needed to make an informed diagnostic decision. Clinicians will vary somewhat in the procedures and testing materials they use; however, certain protocols are considered essential for a comprehensive evaluation. Our ADHD evaluation includes:
- A diagnostic interview, including a detailed history of past and current functioning
- A comprehensive history (developmental, medical, academic, work, social, family)
- ADHD symptom checklists
- Standardized behavior rating scales for ADHD
- Psychometric testing that evaluates memory and cognitive functioning
- Tests of Vigilance and Attention- Computerized diagnostic tools that measure shifts in attention state and reports quantitative data related to the core symptom domains of ADHD: Hyperactivity, Impulsivity and Inattention
- Screening for the presence of other comorbid conditions
What to Expect
The evaluation process can typically be completed in 1-2 extended office visits (2-4 hours). Within about two weeks from the completion of testing, a comprehensive and individualized psychological report is created which summarizes testing results, provides diagnostic impressions, and outlines recommendations for intervention. Clients will then have the opportunity to meet with their evaluator to discuss the results of the assessment.
Payment and Cost
Family Counseling Associates accepts most major insurance plans for our ADHD assessment services. Please contact us for more information.