Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (formerly known as ADD) is a disorder that includes symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, or a combination of those symptoms. The disorder can be difficult to diagnose, and there are a wide range of professionals that work with the disorder.
Why Pursue Testing for ADHD?
In severe cases, the disorder is often diagnosed with a visit to a pediatrician, psychiatrist or psychologist. In less severe cases, parents want to be certain that the diagnosis is accurate before pursuing medications and / or therapy for the symptoms, because the diagnosis is harder to make. Psychological testing can assess several different areas of functioning that are highly dependent on attention and concentration. The tests provide concrete evidence to support or “rule-out” an ADHD diagnosis and can function as a valuable benchmarking tool to be able to assess the effectiveness of future treatment.
What Test is Used to Diagnose ADHD?
There is no single test for ADHD. Psychologists use a variety of tools, depending on the specific symptom patterns, to measure attention, concentration, behavioral problems, impulsivity and organizational ability to help aid in diagnosing the disorder.
Is This Something I Can Get Done Online?
No. These tests are complex, take years to develop, and are effective because they compare each child’s scores to the scores of thousands of other children with known diagnoses. They also require substantial training to administer and properly interpret. The decisions made as a result of the testing are really important (deciding whether or not to treat the condition), so it’s very helpful to seek out the experience of a well trained professional.
Is this just computer testing?
No. There are some ADHD tests that are done with the use of a computer, such as those that measure sustained attention over time. A good, comprehensive ADHD evaluation should include data based on a range of methods, such as face-to-face evaluation, symptoms questionnaires, hands-on testing that can be observed by a Psychologist and sometimes, questionnaires provided by teachers and other caregivers.
What about ADD / ADHD in Adults?
It’s not that uncommon for a first-time diagnosis of ADHD to be made in adulthood. The disorder usually starts in childhood, but it was not as well understood a few decades ago. Adults that suspect they have a more difficult time with “staying on task” than other people their age can pursue ADHD testing to get a more definitive answer than they might find at their family physician’s office. If this difficulty is present, and interfering with work, we can communicate those findings to your doctor, so the two of you can decide if treatment is a good option to consider.
Does a Diagnosis Always Lead to Medication?
Not always. Medications are very effective for some of the symptoms of ADHD, though behavioral and cognitive techniques can help as well. Visit our ADHD Therapy Page for more information.
Are the Testing Services Covered by Insurance?
In many cases, yes. ADHD / ADD is a medical diagnosis that is typically covered by health insurance. If you policy covers Psychological Testing, you may be able to apply those benefits to these services. We can check your benefits, and explain how they would apply to testing.
How Do We Find Out if This is the Right Option?
You can arrange a first visit with a Psychologist by filling out our contact form. From there, your Psychologist can explain what tests would be helpful, how they work and what they assess, and how long the process will take. You are also more than welcome to schedule an informal consultation, free of charge to ask general questions about the services. Just give us a call, or fill out our contact form, and we’ll be happy to assist you.