ADD ADHD testing analysis

Testing for ADHD (ADD)

     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 AD/HD, but it lacks the specificity to understand what is causing the symptoms. This is why we always recommend a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. Neuropsychological testing evaluates all the cognitive domains including:

  • Intellectual
  • Achievement
  • Attention and working memory
  • Language functioning
  • Visual spatial functioning
  • Executive functioning
  • Personality development

Evaluation of this last area is so important because cognitive disorders such as AD/HD 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 simultaneously 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  
  • 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/