ADHD Assessment & ADD Assessment
Children and adolescents who struggle with attention deficit require proper diagnosis so that an effective plan of action can be put into place. Although symptoms of ADHD and ADD prove challenging, developing the skills and structure to achieve one’s potential is not an impossible task.
In order to properly diagnose ADHD and a child’s/adolescent’s learning strengths and weaknesses, one of our certified school psychologists or clinical psychologists will conduct a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation. A comprehensive ADHD assessment through psychoeducational evaluation reviews not only concentration abilities, attention abilities, and struggles but also looks at learning strengths and weaknesses.
This type of ADHD assessment also rules out any other psychological or learning related issues a child/teen may be having that may be mimicking the symptoms of ADHD or contributing to the symptoms of ADHD. When simple screening tests are done without a more comprehensive look at a child/teen’s functioning, misdiagnosis can occur.
In addition to assessing learning strengths and weaknesses, along with any psychological issues that may be underlying the attention, learning and concentration issues, a thorough ADHD assessment from our child psychologists and certified school psychologists includes:
- Structured, clinical interview
- academic testing
- achievement testing
- behavioral checklists
- psychological testing
- when appropriate, observation
- motor functioning
- executive functioning
- learning abilities
- observing sustained attention
- the ability to shift attention
- level of alertness
Detailed assessments of the above contribute to an accurate ADHD assessment and provide useful recommendations for the future.
Following the evaluation, recommendations are then made with all of the information gathered in order to provide the child, parents, and school with specific strategies tailored to the child’s individual learning needs and/or behavioral issues. All ADHD assessments are tailored to our client’s needs in order to understand the underlying issues. A detailed and comprehensive written report and recommendations are provided along with a feedback session to review the results and recommendations.
These evaluations are conducted for children, adolescents, college students and adults. To learn more about ADHD assessment, evaluation and treatment with adults or college aged students, please visit our website for adult ADHD assessment and therapy services.
DR. GAIL REICHMAN-MANCINI, PSY.D
Dr. Mancini completed her doctorate in clinical psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where her research included a specialty in the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. She has been conducting comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations as well as overall treatment of children since 1987. In addition to providing school psychology, Dr. Mancini contributed to the standardization of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales-III and the Wechsler Memory Scales-III.
KAREN TARATUSKI, PSY.D.
Following Dr. Taratuski’s undergraduate work, she began her career as a Music Therapist, which led to her returning to graduate school to pursue her doctorate in clinical psychology. Dr. Taratuksi has always focused primarily on children, adolescent, and families. She spent many years working in public school as both a school psychologist as well as a special services administrator and she wholeheartedly values the importance of testing in order to get a better understanding of the child’s needs.
Dr. Jiang completed her graduate work at the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology at Widener University. She has extensive experience working with adults, families, couples and children and has extensive experience working with individuals who have faced significant trauma in their lives. Dr. Jiang is a highly trained and experienced evaluator.
Although all evaluations are tailored to meet our client’s needs, there are some standard processes involved when administering psychological tests as part of a psychological or psychoeducational evaluation. These steps include:
SCHEDULING AN ADHD ASSESSMENT IN PHILADELPHIA:
When calling to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive psychological evaluation related to ADHD for your child or teen, we will be asking you questions to discern the purpose of the testing. These questions ensure us that we are helping to set you up with the appropriate psychologist in our office with the appropriate expertise in the area you seek to assess. At times, we may have the psychologist speak directly with you to gather more information and ensure that you are comfortable with the person doing the testing.
COMPREHENSIVE & STRUCTURED CLINICAL INTERVIEW:
A comprehensive clinical interview is conducted in either our Philadelphia office. Incredibly valuable information is gathered during these interviews:
- Personal and childhood history
- Family history and current functioning
- Medical history and current functioning
- Developmental history
- Mental health history and current functioning
- Educational and work history and current functioning
- Relationship/social history and current functioning
- Substance use history and current functioning
- Legal history and current functioning
- Recent experiences that are impacting current functioning
- Other pertinent information related to psychological testing
When the adhd assessment is for a child, interviews are conducted not only with the child but with the child’s caregivers and sometimes with other individuals important to the child’s current functioning (e.g., teachers, other caretakers).
Often the psychologist conducting the testing requests the child’s caregivers provide any relevant documents regarding the child’s situation (e.g., school records, medical records). These documents may help the child’s psychologist develop a comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand.
In general, clinical interviews are more open and less structured than formal testing because this part of the evaluation allows for client to convey information and experiences in their own words. The clinical interview usually occurs at the beginning of the psychological assessment or testing in order to establish a good understanding of a person’s history and recent experiences that are bringing them in for the evaluation.
PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING FOR ADHD ASSESSMENT:
There are a number of different psychological tests that can be administered during the course of an ADHD assessment. Psychological tests are designed to assess an aspect of a person’s knowledge, skill, personality, intelligence, learning style, achievement, or a certain behavior. Some tests are norm-referenced and some tests are non-norm referenced.
Norm-referenced psychological tests
Normed-psychological tests provide information for how the person being tested measures compared to other individuals who have taken the test before and are included in the norming sample. This provides, as much as possible, a comparison between test takers.
Non-normed referenced psychological tests
In addition to the standardized, norm-referenced tests, psychologists may choose to administer one or more non-normed referenced tests, which are designed to measure a person’s level of functioning in the areas covered by the test. These tests can provide a wealth of information to the psychologist doing the evaluation.
OBSERVATIONS DURING ADHD ASSESSMENT:
Sometimes, especially with young children, a psychologist will request to observe the individual being tested in a natural setting like a classroom. This observation can be incredibly valuable to the psychologist because it allows them to understand the person in different contexts. For example, when evaluating a child, the child’s psychologist may want to see if the child behaves differently at school than at home, or assess how the child behaves around his/her peers, or find out if the child is treated differently than other students in the classroom.
This kind of information can enrich the assessment and help the evaluator get a more well-rounded picture of the person being assessed and allow for very targeted ADHD treatment recommendations.
ADHD ASSESSMENT REPORT AND FEEDBACK:
Once all the information is gathered, the child’s psychologist creates a comprehensive and integrated assessment of the individual, usually creating a thorough report with recommendations. This information is also communicated via a feedback session with the client.
An ADHD assessment is never focused on a single test score or number. Every person has a range of competencies that can be evaluated through a number of methods. Child psychologists are there to evaluate the competencies as well as the limitations of the person, and report on them in an objective but helpful manner.
Psychoeducational testing can be extremely beneficial for gaining a complete picture of a child or teen’s:
- Concentration/attention abilities
- Sustained focus
- Motor and executive functioning
- Intellectual functioning
- Achievement functioning
- Learning abilities and styles
- Learning strengths and weaknesses
- And other academic related issues
Psychoeducational evaluations for ADHD Assessment are incredibly important when a teen or child is struggling because recommendations to help learning at home and at school are made to aid in helping a child or teen attain emotional and academic success.
If you would like to meet or talk with one of our child psychologists in Philadelphia about ADHD assessment call us at (267) 861-3685, option 1. Or fill out our secure online form.