ADHD Symptoms

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition affecting children and adults, often leading to difficulty in school or work. ADHD testing can help determine this condition's presence. Depending on the results, a therapist can recommend ways to manage the condition. Here is more information about the need for ADHD tests and what to expect during screening:

The Need for ADHD Testing

ADHD is a complex condition that affects how a person behaves, learns, and processes information. It can cause difficulty in school or work, leading to challenges with academics and career advancement. If left untreated, ADHD can lead to more severe problems like substance abuse, anxiety, and depression.

ADHD testing helps determine if the condition is present so that a person can receive the proper treatment. A thorough screening may also reveal other issues besides ADHD, such as learning disabilities or other mental health conditions.

Parents should especially be aware of the signs and symptoms of ADHD, as it's most commonly diagnosed in children. If your child exhibits symptoms like impulsivity, restlessness, fidgeting, difficulty with focus, poor organizational skills, forgetfulness, or hyperactivity, get them tested.

What To Expect During ADHD Testing

ADHD screening is conducted by a qualified therapist or psychologist because they have expertise in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. Here are some of the components you can expect the ADHD test to include:

1. Intelligence Testing

This test helps assess an individual's cognitive abilities and provides a baseline understanding of their intellectual functioning. The most commonly used intelligence tests for both children and adults are the Wechsler Intelligence Scales, with different versions available for each age group. During intelligence testing, the individual is asked to complete tasks requiring comprehension, reasoning, planning, and problem-solving.

The examiner observes the individual's performance and scores their responses based on standardized criteria. The test results provide a profile of the individual's cognitive abilities, indicating their strengths and weaknesses.

2. Basic Achievement Screening

Achievement screening evaluates an individual's academic performance and compares it to their expected level of achievement for their age or grade. Gaps or discrepancies in intellectual abilities are identified and may be further investigated.

Professionals may assess different academic areas, including reading, writing, math, problem-solving, and calculation skills. They provide standardized scores that compare the individual's performance to a normative sample of same-aged peers. If the test results suggest a learning disability, further testing may be necessary to pinpoint the exact area of difficulty and tailor the appropriate interventions.

3. Behavior Analysis/Teacher and Parent Surveys

Since behavior is a significant symptom of ADHD, a therapist will often evaluate how an individual behaves in certain situations. That includes surveys or questionnaires given to the person's teachers, parents, and other caregivers.

Some questions you can expect are whether the person needs help completing projects, paying attention, or following instructions and how often they forget to do tasks. The answers can provide a comprehensive picture of how the individual functions in different settings and help pinpoint disruptive behaviors requiring attention.

4. Direct Assessment of Attention

This component of the evaluation involves directly observing an individual's attention abilities. People with ADHD usually have difficulty concentrating or paying attention for long periods. The therapist may use tests like the Continuous Performance Test to evaluate an individual's attention skills. It presents several visual or auditory stimuli; the individual must respond based on specific instructions. The examiner can then observe and assess their performance.

5. Memory and Processing Speed Screenings

ADHD affects memory functions, so these tests can help determine if there is an issue in this area. They measure how quickly an individual can remember and process information correctly. The therapist may observe how quickly the individual can recall a set of numbers, complete word searches or puzzles, and complete comprehension tasks. If any issues are present, the therapist can recommend interventions to help improve this area.

Seek Professional ADHD Testing Today

ADHD affects many aspects of a person's life. If you suspect you or a loved one may have the condition, seek ADHD testing immediately. Early diagnosis and intervention may provide a better outcome and more tremendous success in managing the disease. A reputable therapist can help determine if the symptoms are due to ADHD or other underlying issues. They can then recommend suitable solutions.