Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Individuals with symptoms of ADHD demonstrate a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity and or impulsivity.
ADHD Assessment for Children:
It is completely within the parameters of normal behaviour for a young child to be a bit boisterous and active. What’s the difference between energetic behaviour and ADHD? Children with ADHD generally present with extreme behaviours compared to same-aged peers. For example, they may be hyperactive, impulsive and or inattentive. Importantly, some children display more symptoms than others. Therefore, the severity of this condition varies.
These kids are very active (e.g., running and jumping non-stop). They can’t sit still and often talk constantly. Psychologists describe this behaviour as ‘being driven by a motor.’ Their inability to remain still may also make it challenging for them to sustain their focus for long periods. Yet, it is interesting to note that fast-moving images such as a computer game will sometimes hold their attention.
Some children can’t focus. Additionally, they may have trouble planning, managing and organizing their belongings or activities. They may start a task but never finish it. They may appear quiet but are seldom able to initiate a task, sustain their attention, and monitor their performance until they have completed the task.
Some children exhibit extreme hyperactivity, impulsivity and chronic inattentiveness. They might find it difficult to share, take turns, allow others to talk, finish homework or keep track of their belongings. Consequently, these children tend to experience more social and or academic difficulties.
Children with ADHD will often exhibit symptoms of other behavioural disorders such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) or Conduct Disorder (CD). They may be at increased risk for developing other mental health concerns or performing below their cognitive potential without early intervention and support.
ADHD Assessment for Adolescents
To some extent, neurological maturation seems to improve symptoms of ADHD. However, teens will often continue to be restless and struggle with time management, motivation and organization. Adolescents with ADHD often struggle to manage their impulsive tendencies. That is, they frequently engage in high-risk behaviours. For example, the incidence of alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, lying, stealing, and unprotected sex tend to be higher for these teens.
ADHD Assessment for Adults
Generally, adults don’t exhibit the same hyperactive symptoms as children because such symptoms change with maturation. However, other symptoms continue to create problems in their personal and professional life. For example, an adult with ADHD may keep their surroundings messy and disorganized. They may have a higher likelihood of abusing drugs and alcohol. They may drop out of school despite having the cognitive potential to succeed. They frequently leave their jobs on impulse, incur enormous credit card debt, and may show signs of extreme inattentiveness. Importantly, adults with ADHD tend to experience relationship problems directly correlated to their symptoms. Consequently, research suggests that adults with ADHD may experience a higher divorce rate.
Why Complete an ADHD Assessment
ADHD causes considerable impairment and makes it challenging for a child, adolescent or adult to accomplish their potential. Completing the assessment provides an opportunity to confirm whether interpersonal, academic or vocational challenges are related to a diagnosis of ADHD. After that, the assessment could open doors to gaining the treatment that is needed to function more effectively.