ADHD Testing with Children and Teens

Comprehensive Testing for ADD/ADHD

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ADHD Testing with Children and Teens 2017-09-11T20:59:07+00:00
ADHD Assessment

Could it be ADHD?

If you suspect that your child has problems with attention, focus, hyperactivity, and related struggles we highly recommend formal ADHD testing. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, also commonly referred to as ADD) is the umbrella term for several related symptom patterns.

ADHD is commonly misunderstood and misdiagnosed and a comprehensive assessment will help tease out the whole picture. ADD/ADHD very commonly co-exists with other disorders (including learning disabilities, anxiety, and depression – to name a few). Also, many children who are bright or gifted have been incorrectly labeled with ADHD, because there are characteristics of giftedness that overlap with ADHD symptoms. While it is possible to be gifted AND have ADHD, many children’s strong intellectual abilities go unrecognized because a formal assessment is never done. Quite often, giftedness is mistaken for ADD or ADHD and this leads to a treatment plan that doesn’t emphasize the whole child or focus on his or her strengths. Many times, the focus is on the deficits which takes a toll on a child’s self-esteeem.

Many people chose to consult a primary care doctor for consideration of medicine instead of seeking a formal evaluation. Self-report questionnaires often serve as the primary method for diagnosing ADHD at primary care physician offices. While interviews and questionnaires are quite useful in the diagnosis of ADHD, they are not sufficient to get the big picture. In those situations, there is a high risk of other key factors (such as giftedness or learning disabilities) being overlooked. In some cases, medication after medication is tried and none of them seem to work. These are the situations where it makes sense to take a closer look at whether ADHD is the correct diagnosis, or perhaps not the only issue going on with your child. ADHD testing can help bring your child’s true strengths and challenges into focus.

ADHD testing for teenagers

When Should I Suspect ADHD?

If your child has several of the following symptoms, you should consider scheduling comprehensive ADHD testing:

Inattention:

  • Does not pay close attention to details, or makes careless mistakes in homework, work, or other activities
  • Has trouble sustaining attention in tasks or activities
  • Doesn’t seem to listen when spoken to directly by others
  • Has trouble following through on instructions and/or does not finish chores or work
  • Dislikes, avoids, or does not like tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • Often loses things necessary for school, tasks, or activities (school assignments, pencils, books, keys, etc)
  • Is forgetful in daily activities
  • Is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli (sounds, activity, etc)
  • Daydreams
  • Has trouble getting organized

Hyperactivity:

  • Moves about, climbs, or runs excessively
  • Fidgets or squirms
  • Has trouble remaining in seat, when doing so is expected
  • Has trouble waiting in line, taking turns
  • Acts as if “driven by a motor”
  • Trouble playing in quiet leisure activities

Impulsivity:

  • Blurts out answers to questions
  • Often interrupts and intrudes upon others

ADHD Testing Process:

Even if your child has received an ADHD diagnosis from a pediatrician or psychiatrist, a comprehensive ADHD assessment offers many benefits. Around 40% of kids with ADHD also have co-existing struggles such as learning disabilities, anxiety, or depression. If your primary treatment for ADHD is medication or supplements and you are still seeing school struggles, there may be something else going on. Medication will not help a learning disability such as dyslexia.

ADHD also often interferes with academic performance and a detailed assessment can provide evidence needed for school accommodations (504/IEP plans). In addition, ADHD is commonly misdiagnosed among gifted students and it is important to ensure an accurate diagnosis for treatment planning.

Our highly skilled psychologists can help to confirm the diagnosis and recommend how best to move forward with treatment.

A Comprehensive ADHD Assessment Includes:

  • A detailed interview reviewing developmental history, social and emotional issues, medical history, and academic performance.
  • Behavioral observations in the office and, when feasible, in the school setting.
  • Formal testing to assess cognitive abilities, learning style, and objective measures of attention, concentration, and processing speed.
  • Academic testing to assess the impact of ADHD on school performance/learning and to determine if underling learning disabilities are present.
  • Social, emotional, and behavioral assessments.
  • Self, parent/observer, and teacher questionnaires and/or interviews.

When the ADHD testing has been completed, our psychologist will meet with you for a detailed feedback session to discuss results and recommendations and create a plan for moving forward.

If You’re Ready To Get Started

Do one of these three things:

  • Call us at 720-377-3250, ext. 1 to schedule an appointment for a Parent Interview to get the process started.
  • Click through to our online scheduling system and schedule an “Assessment Intake.” One of our staff will follow up to get more information.
  • Send us an email and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours with information on scheduling.

** If you would like to schedule an appointment in our DENVER office, you must either send an email or give us a call at 720-377-3250. 

Still Have Questions?

Dr. Terri Lucero, the Clinical Director at PEAK, is happy to speak with you to ensure that all of your questions about ADHD Testing are answered.

  • Call Dr. Lucero at 720-377-3250, ext. 2 to discuss your questions about the assessment process.
  • Send Dr. Lucero an email with your questions, or with a request to be contacted, and she’ll get back to you within 24 hours.