Making a diagnosis of ADHD may differ slightly depending on whether the therapist is assessing a child or an adult, but overall the assessment is likely to consist primarily of an interview with the person or their guardian as well as direct therapist observation. If it is a child of school age being assessed, your child’s therapist may ask your permission to ask the child’s teacher to report on his or her observations of your child as they compare to their same-aged peers. Your child’s therapist would then consider the teacher’s reports as additional information in a broader assessment of your child. In some cases, your therapist may ask your or your child to perform various paper and pencil questionnaires.
ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a relatively common disorder, occurring in about 5% of children and about 2.5% of adults (APA, 2013).
There are two types of ADHD. They include:
An individual diagnosed with ADHD is given one of three possible sub-diagnoses. If an individual experiences symptoms primarily in only one of the above domains, a diagnosis of either predominantly inattentive or predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation would be made. When an individual exudes both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms, a diagnosis of combined presentation is made.
A diagnosis of ADHD is given only when the present symptoms cause considerable interference in functioning across domains of the person’s life. Further, symptoms must have been present in the individual before the age of 12. Later onset of inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive symptoms may be indicative of other mental health issues, as many of the symptoms of ADHD can look like symptoms of other mental disorders. For example, difficulty concentrating can also be a symptom of depression, and fidgeting can also be a symptom of anxiety. Thus, it is important that a trained mental health professional perform a thorough assessment in order to make an informed diagnosis and rule out other mental health issues.
Don’t go another day wondering whether you or your loved one has ADHD. Mental health professionals at Great Lakes Psychology Group use evidence-based methods to make informed diagnoses of ADHD. Make an appointment with a competent therapist today at one of our convenient locations in the Metro Detroit area.