How to Get Tested for Adult ADHD

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It is normal for children and adults to have trouble focusing or completing tasks at one time or another. However, how do you know when your difficulty with concentration isn’t normal and is causing significant distress in your life or the lives of your loved ones? How do you deal with the fact that your struggles haven’t gone away even now that you’re in college or have started your career? Do you simply grow out of ADHD? Unfortunately, research heavily suggests that children with ADHD do not just grow out of their struggles. The symptoms often continue into adulthood and can cause difficulty at school, at work, or in relationships.

As a licensed psychologist, I administer testing for adult ADHD to help people like you understand their struggles and develop solutions. I approach testing from a holistic perspective, which means I’m not just looking to diagnose you based on a set of symptoms. Instead, I’m interested in how your emotions, relationships, behaviors, and culture interact to get the best understanding of you as an individual. I utilize objective tests to compare your functioning with normative data and I also utilize qualitative data collection through clinical interview and behavioral observations to get a balanced and robust clinical understanding of your concerns. My comprehensive approach is intended to capture your strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and patterns so that we can develop personalized recommendations for your treatment.

Have You Ever Thought…

  • “Why do I always leave my work to the last minute?”

  • “I wasn’t listening to any of that.”

  • “Teachers always thought I was dumb and lazy but I really just didn’t know what was going on.”

If this sounds familiar, it’s likely you’ve also wondered if you have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Oftentimes, ADHD goes undiagnosed until adulthood because the individual is so used to invalidating the struggles they have. It can be tempting to assume that ADHD is a personality problem; however, it is a neurodevelopmental disorder: a medical diagnosis.

Common Signs and ADHD Symptoms

  • Daydream a lot

  • Forget or lose things a lot

  • Squirm or fidget excessively

  • Talk too much

  • Make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks

  • Have a hard time resisting temptation

  • Have poor time management skills

  • Have difficulty getting along with others

While adult ADHD may look different from person to person, it is important to consider these symptoms as a sign that you may be struggling with a clinically significant problem.

There are 3 different types of ADHD:

  1. Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: This used to be a separate diagnosis called Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) and includes those who are easily distractible, forgetful, and disorganized.

  2. Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: These individuals may be restless, fidgety, and impulsive in their actions or behaviors.

  3. Combined Presentation: These individuals experience equal symptoms of inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsivity.

How ADHD Testing Can Help

It can be tempting to think that since you’ve made it this far with your attention struggles, it’s not worth the investment of formal testing. However, a comprehensive ADHD assessment from a mental health professional provides more than just a “yes” or “no” regarding a diagnosis. The ADHD assessment process is designed to develop a holistic understanding of you as an individual and identify your functioning in many different areas, including cognitive, emotional, and social. While we will be able to determine an accurate diagnosis for ADHD, we will also see if there are other mental health struggles (e.g., anxiety, depression) that are contributing to how you experience every day life.

A comprehensive ADHD assessment results in a thorough conceptualization of your symptoms, your patterns of functioning, and how this relates to your life. It identifies your strengths and weaknesses in areas such as verbal comprehension, executive functioning, memory, and processing speed. I will integrate this information so that you learn specific ways to thrive in work or school settings. Whether or not you meet a diagnosis, you will receive specific recommendations for treatment and support on pursuing these suggestions.

How a diagnosis can help

Many people who have been diagnosed with ADHD find it very grounding to know that the difficulties they experience can be identified by a specific term that is backed up by research within the medical community. Having a diagnosis and understanding adult ADHD can help you find direction in pursuing help either from people in your life, a support group, or even at work. It can help you be an advocate for yourself with other mental health professionals. It can help you gain access to specialized ADHD treatment, including therapy or medication. And, it can qualify you for accommodations in your school or work environment based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Why I specialize in adults

While most psychologists focus on testing ADHD in children, I specialize in working with college students and young professionals. Oftentimes, people come to me because they were able to “get by” in grade school or were overlooked because they didn’t appear to be “that bad” at focusing. However, as your environment changes, you may start to realize that your strategies for coasting aren’t working anymore and it’s harder for you to manage your current responsibilities. I have significant experience in helping people like this gain self-understanding and get the resources they need to succeed.


ADHD Evaluation Process

1

Clinical Interview

45 to 90 minutes | Assessment rate

Prior to your first appointment, you will be provided with a packet of background information to fill out. This must be completed before your first appointment, as I use this information to create a personalized interview to gather clinical information. In this first session, I will follow up on certain questions to get a comprehensive understanding of your concerns, your history, and your goals for testing. For example, is there a family history of ADHD behavior? Did you have any developmental struggles? In what settings do you experience your difficulties? What other mental health or physical health issues might you experience that interact with or look like symptoms of ADHD? I'll use all this information to determine which tests we will complete.

Schedule a consultation

2

Psychological Testing

5 to 15 hours | Assessment Rate

In the second step of the assessment process, I obtain objective and qualitative data about you, your behavior, and your functioning. I will also request to speak with one person who knows you well (i.e., your informant) to get another perspective on some of your concerns. The objective data compares your behavior to other people your age with and without ADHD to determine if the symptom criteria and behavioral functioning style of ADHD are met. It also assesses your cognitive strengths/weaknesses and your personality functioning so we get a comprehensive understanding of you as an individual. This typically includes several testing sessions to evaluate cognitive ability (i.e., IQ testing), performance in ADHD-related areas of neuropsychological functioning (i.e., attention, memory, and impulsivity), and personality functioning. If indicated, this step may also include academic testing.

Learn more about Psychological Assessment

3

Data Analysis

3 to 12 hours | Assessment Rate

During the third step, I evaluate all assessment and testing data to develop a profile for you that highlights your functioning in the following areas: mood, cognition, and interpersonal. This will help determine if your profile is consistent with an ADHD profile and/or if it is consistent with another profile and you may meet criteria for another disorder (i.e. depression, anxiety, learning disability). While developing your profile, I review all testing data gathered from the clinical interview, behavioral observation, objective and performance data gathered from you, and the objective data from your informant. The information gathered will be developed into an written report of assessment findings along with diagnostic and treatment recommendations.

4

Results and Recommendations Session

45 minutes | Assessment Rate

Upon finalizing your profile and report, I will meet with you to deliver a written report of findings and explain your testing results. You will have time to ask questions and gain insight into my conceptualization of your results. I will provide you with several recommendations and point you to resources to gain specialized support. Recommendations may include pursuing individual or group therapy, getting an ADHD coach, meeting with a psychiatrist to determine suitability for medication services, and employing healthy lifestyle behaviors. We can also discuss how to seek support from your school or employer, and how to discuss what you learned about yourself with friends and family. This feedback session is typically 45 minutes and you receive a hard copy of the report.


Details

A psychological assessment is individualized per client based on the presenting concerns. See current fee schedule. Fees may be reimbursed by insurance and payment is expected at each session.

You're a complex person. You have real concerns and it’s time to find out what’s going on. I have confidence that a psychological assessment can help you find peace and purpose. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation appointment with me to ask your questions and begin the process of getting help.