Diagnosing Learning Disabilities & ADHD

ADHD Evaluations

A comprehensive evaluation is necessary for diagnosing ADHD.

This enables us to rule out any other causes for inattention or impulsivity.

There is not one single test used to diagnose ADHD, instead, we use many pieces of information to determine if an individual has this disorder.

There are several reasons why an individual may struggle with attention and focus.  We want to ensure that we are getting to the root of the problem and ensure that no other learning disabilities or processing issues are present.  Our online evaluations take from 3-4 hours and do not center around just surveys and questionnaires.  Instead, our assessment includes:

  • an online, face to face, assessment of how the individual learns and processes information.
  • an assessment of academic skills to determine if there are any gaps present that may be caused by the inattention or are causing inattentive behaviors.
  • observations of how the individual works and behaves such as focusing, planning, organizing and executing tasks, as well as movement throughout the evaluation.
  • surveys that cover a wide range of executive functioning skills as well as signs of depression and anxiety. It will also look at their relationship with peers and parents. Additionally we may send surveys to observers like parents, teachers, or a spouse or a roommate to learn how others view the individual’s behaviors and skills.
  • a discussion with the individual to learn how they feel about their own struggles and what is happening each day both in and outside of school/work.

As part of the comprehensive online evaluation, we administer the Qb Check which is a computer based, objective measure of attention, impulsivity, and activity level.   Click here for information about Qb Check

Once the evaluation is completed, we can then determine if the individual meets the diagnostic criteria for an attention deficit disorder. To be diagnosed with ADHD, individuals must have six of the nine characteristics in either or both DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) categories listed below. (Adults must have five of the nine characteristics)

Predominantly Inattentive Type
Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes.
Has difficulty sustaining attention.
Does not appear to listen.
Struggles to follow through on instructions.
Has difficulty with organization.
Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort.
Loses things.
Is easily distracted.
Is forgetful in daily activities.

Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive Type
Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair.
Has difficulty remaining seated.
Runs about or climbs excessively.
Difficulty engaging in activities quietly.
Acts as if driven by a motor.
Talks excessively.
Blurts out answers before questions have been completed.
Difficulty waiting or taking turns.
Interrupts or intrudes upon others.

Combined Type
Individual meets both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive criteria.