The most thorough way to assess and diagnose ADD/ADHD in adults and children is via a clinical interview with the individual as well as relevant family members or partners. Unfortunately, there are clinicians not familiar with ADHD/ADD both over-diagnosing and under-diagnosing this difficult to identify disorder. Neither brain scans nor questionnaires alone have been proven to determine an accurate diagnosis. A neuro/psycho/educational assessment may be conducted to learn about the person's strengths and weaknesses and will be required if the person is requesting educational accommodations. In order to make sure our clients get the most efficient and economical assessment, we have four different types of assessment, depending on their needs:
At the Bay Area Center for ADD/ADHD, you can meet with a clinician to begin a clinical interview to determine whether you might have ADD/ADHD. This can be accomplished in one to three sessions where the clinician will interview you (if you are assessing for adult ADD/ADHD), or you and your child, have you fill out questionnaires about current symptoms, a questionnaire about childhood symptoms, review records, and talk to a family member (parent of adult as well as parents of children). This process can give us a clear understanding of whether or not you have ADD/ADHD, and the best way to treat it.
Comprehensive Assessment/Psychoeducational Evaluation
A comprehensive assessment is a more lengthy process, giving a full profile of strengths and weaknesses, and helping to assess additional difficulties such as learning disabilities or cognitive disabilities. This in-depth assessment may be necessary when needing to document one's learning differences in order to obtain accommodations in educational environments (elementary school, middle school, high school, college, graduate school) and on standardized testing and licensing exams (e.g., SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, LSAT, Bar Exam). The average comprehensive assessment takes 6-8 hours of testing, and 6-8 hours of analyzing the data and writing up the report (this is an average and some assessments can take more or less time).
For many children and adults with ADD/ADHD, an up to date documentation of how their cognition is affected by ADD/ADHD may be required for accommodations. When a child or adult has a clear history of ADD/ADHD diagnosis and treatment, and/or a past comprehensive assessment, we can provide a leaner, more abbreviated assessment and report, which meets the documentation requirements for accommodations using the most efficient and economical means. For more information about testing for accommodations on the SAT, LSAT, GRE, Bar Exam, MCAT, etc. please click here.
If you are interested in a medication only approach to treatment for ADHD/ADD (and not coaching or therapy at this time), we have two options. One might be having the psychiatrist evaluating you directly to determine if you have ADHD/ADD and whether medication would be an appropriate treatment.
Another might be a psychiatrist, general practitioner, or other professional requested you get an evaluation before they decide to prescribe medication. Our clinicians can evaluate for ADHD/ADD and provide you with an evaluation that you can then take to your health professional for the purpose of obtaining medication to treat ADHD/ADD symptoms.
Our clinicians are specialists in ADD/ADHD, so they will not only help you understand whether it is ADD/ADHD that you are dealing with, but help discuss your treatment options, and overcome the difficulties you're dealing with to reach your full potential.