Testing for ADHD can be as brief as a school or pediatric screening; or, if a learning disability is suspected, it may be as comprehensive as a full psychoeducational evaluation or neuropsychological assessment. Typically, the protocol is somewhere in-between. At Brentwood Counseling, experienced psychologists and educational consultants help evaluate Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children, adolescents and adults using the following protocol:
- Parent Interview and Review of History
- Parent Rating Scales (ADHD, Developmental History, Behavior/Psychological)
- Teacher Rating Scales
- Self-Rating Scales (older students and adults)
- Consultation with referring therapist or physician (when appropriate)
- Extensive Clinical Interview with child, adolescent, or adult (typically requires two sessions)
- Observation of child in classroom (when appropriate)
- Psychological Screening to help rule out other concerns (e.g., anxiety, depression, behavior disorder)
- Written report
- Feedback session with parents to review results and recommendations for treatment, etc.
It is important to remember that ADHD is not a binary (yes/no) diagnosis that a certain score on a specific test can identify. Rather it is a continuum disorder that presents in varying degrees as a deficit in some aspect of self-regulation (attention, focus, hyperactivity, impulsivity). An ADHD diagnosis requires concerns in childhood that continue to have a negative impact over time in more than one setting (e.g., school, relationships, family, work). Even well-trained professionals can disagree as to causes of these problems with self-regulation, but basic symptoms are outlined in the Diagnostic of Statistical Manual (D.S.M.-5) and provide helpful guidelines for clinicians with the evaluation process. If a diagnosis is made, treatment options include behavioral/psychological interventions, environmental changes, parenting modifications, school accommodations, neurofeedback and, at times, medication.
If you are in need of ADHD testing, contact Brentwood Counseling Associates and connect with one of our experienced therapists.