ADD ADHD testing analysis

Testing for ADHD (ADD)
Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder 

     Neuropsychological Testing     |     Executive Functioning     |      ADHD   

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When a client reports symptoms of Attention Deficit, we approach the test evaluations very carefully. This is because the behavioral symptom of inattention may be linked to many disorders and etiologies. A Psychological Assessment has the capacity to diagnose a condition such as ADHD, but it lacks the specificty to understand what is causing the symptoms. This is why we always recommend a Comprehensive Neuropsychological Assessment. Neuropsychological testing evaluates all the cogntive domains including:  Intellectual, Achievement, Attention and Working Memory, Language Functioning, Visual-Spatial funtioning, Executive Functioning, and Personality Development.  Evaluation of this last area is so important because cognitive disorders such as ADHD affect a person's self-confidence which can lead to anxiety, depression, drug-use, etc.  Knowing that there is a developmental antecedent to internalized or externalized symptoms is life-changing feedback for a client that struggles with depression or addiction.  

When a client is seen, testing may take a full day and cause cognitive fatigue. Therefore, a Neuropsychologist is trained to consider immediate factors that affect attention during testing.  For example, what part of the day the client is more inattentive, or if there were sleep or dietary issues on that particular day, as well as a host of other issues.   

When evaluating for ADHD, we are simultaneous evaluating and ruling out other issues that cause attention deficit:

  • Mood and Anxiety Disorders
  • Substance Abuse
  • Migraines
  • Post-Concussion symptoms
  • Seizure Activity (mild seizures are virtually undetectable but cause inattentive symptoms)
  • Sensory Integration Problems
  • Sleep Disturbances  (Insomnia or 
  • Autism-spectrum symptoms
  • Learning Disabilities


Additional References:

  • http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/11/neuropsychologists-evaluation-adhd.html
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2993524/
  • http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/733687_3
  • http://www.examiner.com/article/neuropsychological-tests-used-to-diagnose-adhd
  • http://www.commpsych.com/neuropsychological-testing-and-evaluation/

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