Psychological Testing for ADHD: What to Expect

May 03, 2023

misc image

Unfortunately, you can’t diagnose certain conditions with X-rays or blood tests. However, other types of assessments can help determine what’s behind issues like ADHD. Learn how psychological testing plays a role in this process.

Life would be much easier if every health condition could be diagnosed with a straightforward test made up of “yes/no” questions. In reality, many conditions are far more nuanced, making more involved assessments necessary in order to get conclusive insights. One of these conditions is ADHD.

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a common neurodevelopmental childhood disorder that can last into adulthood. While this condition isn’t life-threatening, it can cause problems with focus and behavior at different points in time. In some cases, symptoms can also become extreme, leading to challenges at home, at school, or with friends.

Fortunately, once you identify ADHD, there are strategies to manage these symptoms — and it’s never too late to get a diagnosis, even if you’re well into adulthood.

Our team at Associates in Behavioral Science offers psychological testing and evaluation in our practice in Berwyn, Illinois. These assessments can help diagnose numerous mental health conditions and neurodevelopmental disorders, including ADHD. Here’s what to expect from the process.

Testing for ADHD

To start, it’s important to note that there isn’t a single test to diagnose ADHD. Instead, experts often use a variety of assessments during the evaluation process. 

Types of testing used for ADHD might include:

  • Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC)
  • Conners Rating Scale
  • Child Behavior Checklist/Teacher Report Form (CBCL)
  • Tests of Variable Attention (TOVA)
  • Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS)

Each of these assessments look for specific symptoms, ranging from attention problems and learning issues to anxiety, depression, withdrawal, and aggression. 

Our team also uses psychological evaluations while diagnosing mental neurodevelopmental disorders, like ADHD.

Psychological evaluations and ADHD

Unlike other forms of testing, psychological evaluations work to help us better understand how a person’s brain works and the cause of the struggle. 

So, the tests themselves may not be able to say a person has ADHD. However, they can provide reliable information about impairments associated with this condition, like attention, inhibition, planning, and processing speed.

Types of psychological assessments might include:

  • General psychological testing
  • Neuropsychological testing
  • Personality tests
  • Cognitive evaluation
  • Interview evaluation
  • Direct observation

It’s also common to have questionnaires for parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, and other individuals associated with the person getting the assessment. Involving people in their circle can help answer specific questions associated with emotional, behavioral, or learning issues.

Reaching an ADHD diagnosis

Finally, a therapist takes all of this information, including school and medical records, to reach a diagnosis. This comprehensive approach using all these tools can help us identify an individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas where they may need additional support.

Living with ADHD can come with challenges, but an accurate diagnosis and expert support can provide the tools you need to manage the symptoms moving forward.

Common long-term management treatment strategies for ADHD include:

  • Eating a healthy diet rich in veggies, fruits, and whole grains
  • Getting plenty of exercise on a daily basis
  • Limiting screen time
  • Developing good sleep habits

In addition to healthy lifestyle behaviors, ADHD also responds well to a combination of medication and behavior therapy — and that includes parents! Remember, the best and most effective treatment programs rely on the child and their family, and we can give you the tools to succeed.

Want to learn more about ADHD? Our team can guide you through the testing and treatment options. Contact Associates in Behavioral Science to schedule a consultation at our office in Berwyn, Illinois today.