ADHD Testing and Evaluations in Saint Paul
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, meaning a condition that impacts brain development and cognitive functioning. It is estimated to occur in about 5% of the population, although some surveys suggest a rate of up to 11% of the population. While ADHD is more common in males, females have higher rates of the inattentive presentation of ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD begin in childhood and often continue into adulthood. There are three types of ADHD: predominantly inattentive type, predominantly hyperactive/impulsive type and combined type.
Predominantly inattentive ADHD, characterized by:
Difficulty staying focused on a task
Not giving close attention to detail
Difficulty completing tasks
Mind wandering when listening to someone
Often losing things
Poor time management
Forgetfulness in routine activities such as household chores or paying bills
Predominately hyperactive/impulsive ADHD is characterized by:
Acting without forethought
Difficulty remaining seated for extended periods of time
Talking quickly and excessively
Being described as continuously “on the go.”
The combined presentation of the ADHD is most common and includes characteristics of the impulsive and hyperactive/impulsive types.
Should I Consider ADHD Testing?
If your child is experiencing the symptoms of inattention, disorganization, hyperactivity or impulsivity described above, psychological testing could be the first step in addressing and improving the areas of concern. Unidentified and untreated ADHD can lead to negative outcomes such as low self-esteem, conduct problems, difficulty maintaining friendships and poor school performance. However, with accurate identification and treatment, individuals with ADHD can be very successful in life. In fact, people with ADHD often have unique characteristics such as having a lot of energy, being highly creative and possessing the ability to hyper-focus that when appropriately harnessed can allow the person to excel in many areas. Although medication is the most common treatment for ADHD, other treatment options, such as cognitive or behavior interventions, are also effective at mitigating the symptoms of ADHD and can be more appropriate than medication for some people. Research suggests that a combination of medication and behavioral treatment is most effective for most people. Every person is unique and symptoms of ADHD present themselves and impact people in different ways. ADHD may co-occur with other psychological disorders, and sometimes other psychological concerns or life events mimic the symptoms of ADHD. Each psychological evaluation at Venture Therapy is tailored to the individual, and can help provide clarity regarding the underlying causes for concerning behaviors, as well as identify areas of strength.
What Happens During ADHD Testing?
There is no single test that can identify ADHD. A comprehensive evaluation is necessary in order to consider the factors that are contributing to symptoms and behavior concerns and provide an accurate diagnosis. Every evaluation will vary depending on the individual’s specific needs and concerns, but typical testing for presenting symptoms of ADHD will include clinical interviews, rating scales, cognitive assessments, achievement testing, observations and a review of previous assessments, educational records and medical records. Venture Therapy also utilizes the continuous performance test (CPT) which is administered through a computer and obtains direct information about an individual’s ability in the areas of inattentiveness, impulsivity, and sustained attention.
What to Expect Following the Evaluation?
When the testing is complete, results of the evaluation will be compiled into a comprehensive written report documenting the results of the testing, diagnostic impressions and a summary of recommendations. We will take our time to go over every page of the report with you, summarize key areas, and answer any questions you may have about the results or recommendations. The evaluation will offer insights into your child’s cognitive functioning and provide accurate diagnostic clarifications that will be a valuable tool for schools to use to provide appropriate and effective supports for a child at school. At Venture Therapy we have extensive knowledge of educational supports such as interventions, accommodations, modifications, 504 plans and special education supports, and can help parents navigate the complex school system in order to get the right supports to help your child be successful at school.