Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Evaluations
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by developmentally poor concentration, excessive hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity. There are three different presentations or types of ADHD, predominantly inattentive presentation (formerly referred to as ADD), predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation, and combined presentation.
Our assessments for ADHD are tailored to the individual, but typically include the following components:
- Assessment of cognitive abilities to determine individual strengths and weaknesses in areas of cognitive processing including Verbal Reasoning, Nonverbal Reasoning, Working Memory, and Processing Speed
- Assessment of academic achievement to determine whether the student is learning academic material in reading, writing, and math at a level consistent with their potential
- Assessment of behavioral and emotional functioning including behavior checklists from multiple informants, parent interview, child interview, and more direct assessment of the child’s emotional functioning when indicated
- Assessment of attention functioning under controlled conditions
- Behavioral observations during the assessment
Once the comprehensive assessment is complete, our evaluator will write a report detailing the findings, with recommendations provided based on the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. The goal is not merely diagnosis, but suggestions for interventions that are tailored to you or your child’s individual profile. Whether or not you or your child receives a diagnosis of ADHD, recommendations to address difficulties you or your child may be exhibiting are an essential component of the evaluation. Our evaluator will discuss the results with you, in detail, and answer any questions you might have.
When to Consider an ADHD Evaluation?
Attention difficulties can be the end result of other problems you or your child may face. Primary medical concerns that should be ruled out prior to considering a diagnosis of ADHD include vision and hearing problems or general physical health problems that could be screened for in a well-check visit (e.g., thyroid problems or anemia). If you or your child has been healthy with no significant physical concerns other than difficulties with focus and attention and perhaps impulsivity and hyperactivity, then a comprehensive psychological evaluation can determine you or your child’s strengths and weaknesses and rule out other concerns that can contribute to attention problems.
Characterized by problems with inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity, ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is a serious condition that affects almost 10% of the population. These challenges can negatively impact school, work, and social relationships. At PACT, our professionals have extensive expertise in supporting children, adolescents, and adults with ADHD. Our psychological assessments can determine whether you or your child have this condition, distinguishing from many other conditions that can mimic it, such as depression, anxiety, slow processing speed, dyslexia, and working memory deficits. An accurate diagnosis is essential for effective intervention. Our assessments will have recommendations specific to you or your child’s unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses.
Our professionals at PACT also assess for various other conditions as part of the comprehensive evaluation. Many of these conditions, such as learning difficulties, auditory processing problems, and emotional distress can affect attention or be present along with ADHD. Having one condition doesn’t necessarily preclude the other.
Accommodations for Individuals with ADHD
Many people are unaware that children and college students who have ADHD may be eligible for educational services and accommodations through special education or Section 504. Services and accommodations may include modified testing environments, additional time during exams, or preferential seating. In addition, individuals whose condition is documented through a comprehensive psychological assessment are often eligible for extended time on standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, and GRE. Gaining access to such services and accommodations can be critical to meeting students’ educational needs and preserving self-esteem.
Additional Psychological Evaluation Benefits
- Improved grades
- Improved access to educational accommodations and services (e.g., additional time taking tests) in grades K-12 and/or college
- Improved learning and more effect study habits