People seek out a comprehensive ADHD assessment for a variety of reasons, including:
- To apply for accommodations at work or school such as extra time or a private room for tests
- To get concrete confirmation of a suspected diagnosis
- To gain a better understanding of the various neurocognitive strengths and weaknesses that may be impacting performance
- To get a more definitive diagnosis when multiple confounding factors such as comorbid anxiety, OCD, depression or addiction are making a precise diagnosis difficult through interview and inventories alone.
A comprehensive ADHD diagnosis usually consists of 6-8 hours of in-person testing completed over the course of 2-3 sessions. The testing includes a variety of tests including:
- A full clinical interview
- Cognitive testing (which often take the form of puzzles or games)
- Emotional Functioning inventories (true/false type questionnaires)
- Timed reading/academic testing
- Symptom questionnaires
- Record review
- Collateral data collection
All of this data is then collected, scored, interpreted and written up into a report, which is presented during a feedback session about 2 weeks after the final testing session.
The Feedback Session:
The feedback session usually takes 1.5-2 hours and is a time when the results of your evaluation, as well as the conclusions, diagnosis, and recommendations, are shared with you and anyone else that you would like to be present. This session is also an excellent time for you to ask questions and for you and your examiner to discuss the next steps that you can take. During the feedback session you will be given two (sometimes 3) written reports:
The full clinical report: this is a lengthy report that discusses everything- the history you shared, the review of records, the tests we completed, the results of those tests, a discussion of those results, a summary and diagnosis that discusses the overall conclusions as well as the specific recommendations we are making for you
A feedback report: this is a shorter, more approachable report that includes the highlights: your strengths and weaknesses, your diagnosis and an understanding of how your diagnosis and strengths and weaknesses play into each other to create the difficulties you are having, and the detailed and specific recommendations we are making for you.
A school report (if indicated): this is a redacted version of a full clinical report in which some, clinically insignificant or superfluous, information is removed so that you can apply for accommodations for a disability, without sharing sensitive clinical details with non-clinical school personnel.