ADHD Assessments

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. Symptoms of ADHD include difficulty paying attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. These symptoms can lead to difficulties in school, work, and personal relationships.

Diagnosis of ADHD involves comprehensive evaluation whereby a detailed medical, psychological and family history are gathered. It is also often recommend that medical conditions are ruled out as being a cause of symptoms by a doctor. We then often interview caregivers, family members, and schools to gather detailed history. The psychologist will also likely use rating scales and questionnaires to assess the severity of the symptoms, and may also observe the person in different settings, such as at home and at school or work. The assessment process typically takes around four sessions.

The diagnosis of ADHD is based on the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association. To meet the criteria for ADHD, a person must have six or more symptoms of inattention and/or six or more symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity, with some symptoms present before the age of 12.

It’s important to note that ADHD is a complex disorder that can vary widely from person to person, and there is no single test or procedure that can diagnose it. A thorough evaluation by a psychologist is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis.

Once a diagnosis of ADHD is made, treatment options can be discussed. Treatment typically includes a combination of medication and cognitive behaviour therapy, and may also include other interventions such as occupational therapy, and parent training. With appropriate treatment, individuals with ADHD can learn to manage their symptoms and lead successful, fulfilling lives.