A Closer Look: What Is ADHD & How Is It Assessed?
What Is ADHD?
ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is commonly known as a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect a person's ability to control their attention and/or behavior. While the diagnostic criteria lists several symptoms associated with ADHD, the symptoms will vary from person to person. When thinking about ADHD, it is important to keep in mind that the biggest difference between a person with ADHD and a neurotypical person is the way their brain functions. The way an individual with ADHD thinks and processes information contributes heavily to their behavior and patterns. While some people see one problem with one solution, an individual with ADHD may see three different problems or three different solutions! They are wired to think outside of the box, even if it means that they have to burn more energy to get there.
How Is ADHD Assessed?
When assessing for ADHD, a testing psychologist will take into account many different factors, sources of information, and assessment tools to ensure you are receiving the proper answers to whatever questions you may have. Whether the evaluation is for you or for a loved one, the psychologist will likely take a deep dive into the behavioral patterns, developmental history, and other background information to fully comprehend how the person interacts and navigates in their everyday life.
Obtaining all of this information helps the psychologist to understand where the person may be having difficulty and what information will be needed for testing. Taking the step to begin an assessment for you or your loved one will often mean you need to meet with a private practice psychologist. This can be a great benefit when considering costs, client/psychologist relationships and familiarity, or general practice care.
During an ADHD evaluation, a variety of information is collected to provide the most accurate and realistic diagnosis possible for you or your loved one. An evaluation to consider ADHD can be completed in a number of ways. A psychologist may collect information in areas related to cognition/intelligence, academics (as needed), and social, emotional, and behavioral functioning. Formal measures of attention, executive functioning, and memory/learning may be administered as well.
What Does A Diagnosis Mean?
Luckily, for every new ADHD diagnosis, there is also a new resource, connection, or informative perspective that is also found. The research for ADHD has become more advanced, accurate, and accessible over the years. After receiving a diagnosis of ADHD, it may be comforting to know there are several tools at your disposal to help you or your loved one. A diagnosis of ADHD alone may be the only answer you will ever need but it may also provide you with a helpful starting point for what to do next. With the right diagnosis, you or your loved one will hopefully come to fully embrace yourself, understand what makes you different, and how you can move forward.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with ADHD, and you are trying to find a starting point to help them live their best life, please utilize all of the free resources and materials available through PEARS, PLLC. My goal is to educate both children and parents in this new adventure and to help you fully grasp how amazing this diagnosis can be.
Help You or Your Loved One Today!
If you believe that you or a loved one might have ADHD, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Heather Arduengo. She make it her mission to help you or your loved one learn more about yourself in a safe and empathetic environment, providing you with nothing less than accurate and meaningful results!