Do you wonder if you or your child has ADHD, or if the diagnosis is correct?
Learn about our 7-POINT Computer-Assisted Diagnostic Evaluation for ADD/ADHD
Our comprehensive 7-POINT Computer-Assisted Diagnostic Evaluation for ADD/ADHD combines
the latest State-of-the-Art technology with expert clinical judgment
There has been growing public controversy over the diagnosis of ADHD. Most professionals agree that there are far too many children receiving the diagnosis (and medicine) without an adequate and thorough evaluation. Unfortunately, many believe that the diagnosis of ADHD is entirely subjective and even arbitrary. In reality, there are clearly-defined criteria for the diagnosis and there are well-established evaluation and diagnostic techniques that, along with good clinical judgment, can yield an accurate and valid diagnosis.
At the Owens Center we use a 7-point comprehensive evaluation procedure that includes objective performance testing, standardized information collection from parents and teacher, observations, history, interview, and screening for other problems that may look like ADHD. After gathering the necessary information, we make an informed and accurate diagnosis and recommend an effective and practical treatment plan.
The diagnostic evaluation is thorough and typically takes place over approximately three hours. The evaluation starts with an initial interview with parents for history and information gathering, clinical interview and observations with child. Parents are given pre-interview information sheets to complete to make the intake process more efficient; in addition parents are given two versions of standardized tests and rating scales, one form for them, and another for the childís teacher(s). Following the interviews, the child is given a computerized test of attention and self control to provide an objective measure of concentration, impulsivity, and in the case of OPTAX tests, hyperactivity. If indicated, other testing is performed. After the data is collected and the tests are scored, we review the findings, make certain clinical determinations, and have a feedback session with the parents to review the results and the recommendations. The goal is to present recommendations for practical parenting strategies, as well as educational and treatment recommendations. If additional testing is indicated, the options will be reviewed. In addition, parents will be given a written report of the findings and recommendations that can be shared with the childís physician, therapist, or teacher. More specifically, the evaluation includes the following 7 elements:
1. Interview with parents, to obtain history and description of current functioning, including strengths and problem areas.
2. Interview with child, including behavioral observations during a variety of tasks, including play activity, discussion, conversation, structured activities, and formal task settings.
3. Comprehensive Behavior Rating Scales, completed by parents and teachers, to help determine presence of ADHD as well as identify other emotional/behavioral disorders. We employ well-established standardized rating scales prominently used in both clinical practice and research, such as the BASC (Bahavioral Assessment System for Children).
4. Objective Testing with child: OPTAx or Conner's Continuous Performance Test
These are computerized tests of attention and self control that gives the clinician an objective measure of how an individualís performance compares with same-aged peers on a number of tasks measuring impulsivity, inattention, and in the case of OPTAx, hyperactivity. The OPTAx may used for children ages 6-12; the Connerís CPT is used for other ages.
5. Determination if either brief screening or full evaluation for other co-existing educational and/or emotional problems is needed (e.g., Learning Disabilities, mood disorders). There are certain learning, mood and behavior disorders that can look like ADHD, but require different treatment. In addition, many individuals with ADHD also have another co-existing condition that needs to be identified for proper and effective treatment. For example, among groups of children with ADHD, studies have shown that 35% of them also have some form of academic problem or learning disability (most commonly in writing, secondly in reading). For these individuals, measures of intellectual and academic functioning should be evaluated to help determine if they need school-related support or remedial services. In addition, a large percentage of children with ADHD also have difficulties with anxiety, depression, or behavioral control that may require clinical attention.
6. Feedback Meeting with Parents and if appropriate, with the child to review findings, diagnosis, and to make recommendations regarding not just for treatment or therapy, but also including education as well as practical parenting approaches and techniques that can help the child and family..
7. Written Report of Results and Recommendations will be provided to the parents. At the parents request and consent, the written report can be provided to family physician, pediatrician, and/or school personnel at the parents request. In addition, if needed, we can make a referral to a physician or psychiatrist for medication
Other Optional Procedures include:
1.Telephone interview with childís teacher
2. Visit to School for Classroom Observation
Evaluation for Adult ADHD is similar to the child evaluation (includes computer-administered test of attention and self control, history, clinical interview), but uses age appropriate self report and collateral (other) reports (e.g., spouse/significant other).