Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the term used to describe a condition that includes a number of symptoms including impulsiveness, difficulties concentrating on one task, and hyperactivity. ADHD is not a disease, and therefore, it cannot be “cured.” With effective treatments and therapies, however, children and adults with ADHD can receive meaningful assistance and successfully integrate it into their daily lives.
A Brief Overview of ADHD
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are related, though distinct conditions. Both are neurological disorders, but only ADHD is defined by a consistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactive impulsivity that interferes with daily functioning in at least two settings (for example, at school and at home). ADHD impacts children and adults, boys and girls, and people of all backgrounds.
There are three types of ADHD:
- Predominantly inattentive type
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
- Combined inattention and hyperactive impulsive type
Most children who are diagnosed with ADHD display symptoms of the Combined category.
Are You Considering Testing and Diagnosis for Your Child?
People showing symptoms of ADHD can be diagnosed at an early age, though sometimes behaviors may only become apparent when a person’s circumstances change. Children, for example, are often diagnosed within the first few years of beginning school. If you are concerned about your child’s impulsivity, hyperactivity or ability to concentrate, ADHD testing and diagnosis is may be a crucial step in ensuring your child receives meaningful assistance.
Three Primary Benefits to Parents:
- Gain an accurate understanding of your child’s specific and unique needs.
- Get the assistance you need to plan for and provide a great quality of life for your son or daughter.
- Minimize the effects of anxiety and low self-esteem, consequences that often affect children whose behaviors draw negative or unwanted social attention.
What to Expect at Your Initial Consult
All testing and diagnosis begins with an initial 90-minute consultation between parents, your child and an Oxford CBT Clinical Psychologist. During that session, your psychologist will work to understand your concerns as parents while also observing your child’s interaction, communication and behaviour. Your clinician will also use the time to gather information relevant to your child’s medical history and ongoing health. They will also administer the RCADS questionnaire, which screens for anxiety disorders and depression.
At the conclusion of your initial consultation, your Oxford CBT clinician will be prepared to identify whether specific symptoms or signs warrant further exploration and/or testing. The psychologist will also formalize these findings in a report and email it to parents.
If traits of ADHD are identified, further assessments will be recommended and scheduled. Examples of common tests include:
- VANDERBILT, which screens for ADHD
- SHORT SENSORY PROFILE, which screens for sensory sensitivity
- ASSQ, which screens for high functioning autism
A Brief Overview of ADHD Testing
ADHD testing begins with behavioral observations in multiple environments, including parents, school and other professionals. Typically, we achieve this by asking parents and teachers (or other appropriate individuals) to complete one or more assessment surveys. These are important tools, as they helps identify whether your son or daughter demonstrates similar behaviours in more than one setting.
Diagnostic Report and Follow Up
Once all information has been received, a report will then be completed and sent to parents. Oxford CBT will also schedule time with you to explain the report and provide practical recommendations for moving forward. These recommendations usually include a block of sessions with a therapist.
The Diagnostic Report will provide the following information:
- A specific ADHD diagnosis, if applicable
- Detailed insights into your child’s specific needs and strengths
- Specific recommendations for ongoing therapies and support
- If necessary, the report may also recommend further testing for conditions not addressed by ADHD evaluations
Following completion of testing, we also recommend that parents consult with your child’s general practitioner, especially if medication may be a helpful option.
We Are Here to Help
Beginning the assessment process can be worrisome, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Contact us today with your questions. We’ll be happy to help identify the best next step for your family.