Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) And Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
The ADHD Assessment Clinic @ Breakthrough Psychology Practice can help provide psychometric testing, and diagnosis of children with difficulties around inattention, impulsivity and concentration difficulties. Upon completion of Assessment and Testing, Clinical Psychologist, Narmi will provide you with a detailed written report and treatment recommendations.
How is ADHD/ADD diagnosed?
There is no single test that is used to diagnose ADHD. For a full assessment it is important to collaborate with your Psychologist, School, Paediatrician and/ your GP. The DSM-V’ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5)1, is utilised to help diagnose ADHD. This diagnostic standard helps ensure that children are appropriately diagnosed and treated for ADHD.
There are many other problems, like sleep disorders, hearing and vision problems, anxiety, depression, and certain types of learning disabilities which can have similar symptoms and hence must be first ruled out before the consideration of ADHD.
When to test for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children?
- Your child is highly impulsive and constantly ends up in trouble due to an inability to control his/her behaviour.
- Your child has a “short attention span” and he/she is unable remember simple instructions.
- Your child’s teacher or preschool teacher is concerned about behavioural issues or violence towards other children.
- Your child has no friends because he/she is “too intense” for other children.
- You or your family is concerned about your child’s behaviour or ability to follow instructions
The main benefits of Testing your child early:
- Obtain a diagnosis to help you understand the reasons for his behavioural, neurological and emotional difficulties.
- Assist your school and teachers understand how best to support your child’s learning needs & reduce behavioural and emotional difficulties at school and home. Early Intervention is the key to improved self-esteem and confidence.
- Ensure in the long-term that your child is not left behind in the schooling curriculum, rather thriving based on his abilities and the support that you and the child can receive.
What is ADHD?
DSM-5 Criteria for ADHD
Children with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity–impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development:
1. Inattention: Six or more symptoms of inattention for children up to age 16 years, or five or more for adolescents age 17 years and older and adults; symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months, and they are inappropriate for developmental level:
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
- Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
- Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
- Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
- Is often easily distracted
- Is often forgetful in daily activities
2. Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: Six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children up to age 16 years, or five or more for adolescents age 17 years and older and adults; symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for the person’s developmental level:
- Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
- Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
- Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
- Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
- Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”.
- Often talks excessively.
- Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
- Often has trouble waiting their turn.
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
In addition, the following conditions must be met:
- Several inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were present before age 12 years.
- Several symptoms are present in two or more settings, (such as at home, school or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities).
- There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, school, or work functioning.
- The symptoms are not better explained by another mental disorder (such as a mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, or a personality disorder). The symptoms do not happen only during the course of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder.
Based on the types of symptoms, three kinds (presentations) of ADHD can occur:
- Combined Presentation: if enough symptoms of both criteria inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity were present for the past 6 months
- Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: if enough symptoms of inattention, but not hyperactivity-impulsivity, were present for the past six months
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: if enough symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity, but not inattention, were present for the past six months.
Because symptoms can change over time, the presentation may change over time as well.
What does the Testing Process Look like at the ADHD Assessment Clinic @ Breakthrough Psychology Practice ?
Our Assessment and testing process is comprehensive and individualised.
We work with the industry gold standard batteries of test and ensure that we rule out any other learning difficulties or disorders present.
- Session 1: Parent Assessment (60 mins)
- Session 2: Assessment of IQ (2 hours)
- Session 3: Assessment of Achievement
- Information requested: Assessment of Emotional, Social, Behavioural functioning (Self/Parents/carers/teachers complete forms), Relevant tests of Attention
- Comprehensive Report (4 hours)
- Session 4: Parent feedback session (60 mins)