While there is no definitive “test” for ADHD, what testing can do is help confirm the diagnosis and identify any hidden emotional or other issues. The testing itself involves a few hours of interviews and paper-and-pencil tests on cognitive style, attention span, memory, organizational style, specific aptitudes, and mood. When testing is done, it usually adds solid information to the often ambiguous diagnostic process.
ADHD impacts each client differently, depending on their characteristic strengths and challenges. ADHD symptoms describe problems controlling what a person engages in, the moment-by-moment selection of mental and physical activities, which are more at the whim of what is naturally engaging or not for the person.
ADHD diagnosis requires a comprehensive clinical interview covering both ADHD criteria and alternative explanation for symptoms. Neuropsychological evaluation or other tests of brain function are not required for the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) clinical diagnosis of ADHD. No inventory of symptoms or symptom scale is sufficient to make a diagnosis – it remains up to the clinician to determine if the criteria is met, no matter how the information is gathered.
How Elaine Can Help
I offer ADHD assessments to clients who would like to get clarity on this diagnosis. These assessments are usually completed over three to four individual therapy sessions and include self-assessment instruments. Please contact me for additional information.