Reasons for a Comprehensive Psychological Assessment
A comprehensive psychological assessment to determine whether ADD/ADHD is present offers a number of benefits over a diagnosis made by a primary care physician, a psychiatrist, or other medical professional. The benefits of our comprehensive assessments include:
- Acquire a comprehensive understanding of you or your child’s strengths and weaknesses across many areas of functioning (e.g., cognitively, academically, emotionally)
- Obtain a more accurate diagnosis
- Rule out other possible factors, such as learning disabilities and emotional issues, that might be contributing to or causing the difficulties with attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity
- Develop individualized recommendations to succeed educationally, professionally, and personally
- Gain access to academic services, interventions, and accommodations. These can include, when appropriate, extended time on standardized tests
ApaCenter assessments for ADD/ADHD are tailored to the individual but typically include the following components:
- Assessment of cognitive abilities to determine you or your child’s strengths and weaknesses in areas of cognitive processing including verbal reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, working memory, and processing speed
- For school-aged or college students, assessment of academic achievement to determine whether the student is learning academic material in reading, writing, and math at a level consistent with their potential
- Assessment of behavioral and emotional functioning including behavior checklists from multiple informants, parent interview, child interview, and more direct assessment of the individual’s emotional functioning when indicated
- Assessment of attention functioning under controlled conditions
- Behavioral observations during the assessment
Once the comprehensive assessment is complete, the clinician will write a report detailing the findings and recommendations based on you or your child’s strengths and weaknesses. The goal of our assessments is not merely diagnosis. At the ApaCenter, we consider the recommendations to be the heart of our assessments, and we take great care to individualize our recommendations according to our findings. The clinician will discuss the results with you in person and answer any questions you might have. You will be a copy of our comprehensive report for your records. We can also serve as an educational consultant or advocate to assist you in obtaining access to services and accommodations at the school and/or college levels including, when appropriate, extended time on standardized tests.
When to Consider ADD/ADHD Assessments
Attention difficulties can be the end result of other problems you or your child may face. Primary medical concerns that should be ruled out prior to considering a diagnosis of ADD / ADHD include vision and hearing problems or general physical health problems that could be screened for in a well check visit (e.g., thyroid problems or anemia).
If you or your child has been healthy with no significant physical concerns other than difficulties in areas such as attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, then a comprehensive psychological evaluation can determine you or your child’s strengths and weaknesses and rule out other concerns that can contribute to attention problems. Importantly, in order to gain access to critical academic services and accommodations at school and college levels, a comprehensive assessment is often required. Finally, if you or your child is seeking accommodations on standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, or MCAT, a comprehensive assessment is always required by their respective testing boards.
If you are interested in finding out more information about our assessments and services or to meet with a clinician at the ApaCenter, please contact us at (512) 891-1500. We look forward to assisting you in any ways that we can.