ADHD Screening & Assessment
ADHD Screening or Assessment: Right for You?
Do you feel that you're particularly disorganized, distractible or impulsive, but never had ADHD testing?
Do you wonder if you still have ADHD as an adult, though you were diagnosed as a child?
Do you struggle with time management, procrastination, meeting deadlines at work and wonder if your employer could offer accommodations if you had a documented ADHD diagnosis?
Are you in need of documentation for educational accommodations for standardized tests, exams, note-taking, or deadlines?
Perhaps you have heard of medications that help people with ADD and ADHD, and would like to find out if you should consider a trial of medication, or want to learn about other ways of managing your ADHD.
Do you worry that you're not meeting your potential, and wonder if a diagnosis of ADHD might help you get on the right path to a more successful life?
Many People Don’t Get ADHD Screening Until Later Years
According to the national ADHD advocacy organization, chadd.org , approximately 10 million people have adult ADHD. The psychological manual of mental health conditions (DSM-5) states that ADHD occurs in most cultures in about 2.5% of adults. Most people who live with ADHD have experienced some of the following:
Believing or being told that ADHD is an “excuse.”
Self-blame about not keeping up with expectations
Difficulty reaching their potential
Consequences from impulsiveness
Unhealthy coping habits
Many individuals don’t get diagnosed with ADHD until later in their lives. Women, for example, sometimes tend to be diagnosed later because they don’t outwardly express their hyperactivity.
Moreover, many adults with ADHD discover that life transitions may exacerbate symptoms. For example, if you are starting a new job, have an increased workload in college, or are starting a family, you might find yourself struggling to keep up with responsibilities.
If you are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to be screened and/or assessed. Obtaining a diagnosis may help you to understand your challenges, cope with changing demands and be better prepared for success.
What Is Involved in ADHD Consultation and Screening?
At the Adult ADHD Center of Washington, the purpose of the initial consultation and screening is to learn more about the symptoms and impacts you are experiencing. It also helps determine if it is likely you have ADHD, another diagnosis, or require more in-depth testing to clarify your diagnosis or to qualify for educational or employer accommodations.
Screening consists of two or three 50-minute sessions with a Psychologist or Clinical Social Worker. There will be an in-depth clinical interview at which you will be asked about your:
Educational and employment history
Personal life management
Family and relationships
You will be asked to fill out self-report questionnaires about your symptoms. With your consent, we may ask if someone close to you can fill out a similar questionnaire. Sometimes, we may ask you to provide academic records or employee evaluations to assist in diagnosis. Our team works collaboratively to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment options.
If you are diagnosed with ADHD, you may be relieved to learn that there is an explanation for the frustrating symptoms you have experienced throughout your life.
At your last consultation meeting, the clinician will:
Share the results of your questionnaire(s) with you
Discuss diagnostic impressions about whether ADHD and/or other issue(s) or diagnoses may help explain your challenges,
Explain the basics of ADHD as a neurobiological disorder
Offer a reading list that may help you learn more about ADHD
Talk about macro and micro strategies to address ADHD in adults
Provide information about additional treatment options we offer, including:
Individual or group counseling or coaching
Couples’ workshops or counseling
Referral to a psychiatrist or physician to consider a trial of medication, if appropriate
Assessment is more in-depth and comprehensive than the screening. We will consider this option if:
You need documentation to support accommodations for school or work.
Screening results are inconclusive
What Is Involved Psychological/Neuropsychological Testing?
In some cases a more in-depth evaluation is necessary in order to:
Objectively assess the nature, extent and severity of your difficulties
Assist with diagnosis and treatment planning
And rule out alternative reasons for attention related problems
Neuropsychological assessment consists of a series of tests that are useful in evaluating your:
Academic processes and achievement
Executive functioning skills
Testing can also assess mood, behaviors or other underlying psychological issues that may also impact attention and day-to-day functioning.
ADHD symptoms do not always occur in isolation. In addition to clarifying attention related concerns, a more in-depth assessment can help determine if you have another disorder. Some of these include:
substance use disorders
Psychological assessment is often warranted to determine eligibility for standardized testing, educational or work-place accommodations. The Adult ADHD Center of Washington has qualified professionals that will provide current and appropriate documentation that will meet necessary guidelines to assist in the process of determining accommodations for ADHD.
Overall, psychological testing is tailored to your symptoms and treatment needs. Typically, the first session will consist of a two-hour clinical interview, self-report inventories and a computerized test of attention. The next sessions can vary between three and four hours and will involve more in-depth testing based on the client’s concerns and the nature of the referral.
Our affiliated expert clinicians are understanding and empathetic. What we know—and you will learn—is that many successful individuals have ADHD. With that in mind, we will focus on your strengths as we help you identify them. ADHD is a neurobiological disorder that is not a character flaw. We will help you see that ADHD can be worked with in positive ways. And we are here for you to discuss your options and provide you hope of a more productive and fulfilled life.
Perhaps You Are Having Some Doubts…
“I was already assessed as a child. Do I need another test?”
It is essential to have an up-to-date diagnosis. Certain workplaces, especially in the federal government, require current testing to make accommodations. School accommodations and standardized test accommodations can generally not be made without proper assessment and documentation. Also, while it is now understood that adults do not outgrow childhood ADHD, it can be helpful to have a screening and/or assessment to better understand how ADHD may be affecting you now.
“There's a stigma to having ADHD.”
That stigma has changed greatly in the past few decades. Many people know and love someone with ADHD. However, we understand that it can still be uncomfortable to have your diagnosis known. We’ll keep your diagnosis confidential. The only individuals who have to know are the ones you want to tell. Being able to better understand and manage your ADHD symptoms may reduce discomfort you have about functioning “differently” from others in your workplace, school or home.
“This seems like a lengthy and overwhelming process.”
The screening and/or assessment is the first step of an investment in your long term improved functioning at home, work and in relationships. With appropriate diagnosis and treatment, benefits include increased productivity and efficiency, and the ability to better manage your work and home life and avoid wasted effort.
ADHD Screening and Assessment Can Change Your Future for the Better
We are here to provide answers, treatment options, and hope for a more manageable life. When you are ready to schedule a consultation with us, please call 202-232-3766 or email adultADHDcenter@gmail.com.