We DO NOT evaluate ADHD in isolation
We do assess the entire individual for all areas of cognitive functioning (of which attention is only one domain), behavioral functioning (of which impulsivity is but one domain), emotional functioning, family functioning, and, as necessary, academic achievement. It is important to be aware that ADHD affects not only children but also adults.
Attention and distractibility are only parts of the overall cognitive (thinking) system which also includes memory, reasoning, language skills, visual-spatial skills, visual-motor abilities, and sensory abilities. Emotional issues which can mimic ADHD symptoms include anxiety, depression, family tension, bipolar disorder. In addition, other disorders must be addressed and assessed such as the possibility of: autism spectrum disorder, developmental disorders, etc. Academic areas which may likewise cause an individual to look like they have ADHD include dyslexia, math dysfunction, and test anxiety. At CMPS, we do not administer an “ADHD Test Battery” but rather a full, comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation to address ALL of these areas.
It is crucial to rule out all other areas which may be impacting an individual’s attention and learning abilities to assure that you are actually treating the accurate diagnosis. Compared to many other professionals who only assess attentional issues (i.e., only taking a history, requesting questionnaires, and perhaps administering minimal testing), CMPS staff provide a much more comprehensive assessment at all these areas which may be contributory. (You would not have much faith in a physician who told you, “So, this pain in your chest I am sure is related to your heart, so I am only going to do an EKG. We do not need to check your liver, lungs, kidneys, or do any other blood work.”)
The need for a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation to make accurate diagnoses and treat the proper symptoms is based upon the extensive work of James Hale: ADHD Medication Response and Ida Sue Baron: ADHD: A Neuropsychological Perspective Towards DSM-V.
If, as a result of our comprehensive evaluation, you or your child are found to meet criteria for ADHD, then CMPS provides a comprehensive treatment program to address the many difficult aspects of the disorder which typically exist including:
The most effective approach to treatment for children and adolescents with ADHD is a multidisciplinary approach. This approach includes multiple elements that work best together and support each other. All of the above treatment modalities have been found by the scientific literature to have very positive beneficial effects for attention, processing ability, and/or cognitive symptoms.
With ADHD, there are very often co-morbid (additional) symptoms or issues such as: learning disabilities, oppositional behavior, anxiety, poor self-esteem, poor social skills, etc. that may be exacerbating the individual’s difficulties. These co-morbid conditions must be addressed aside from simply the attentional processing dysfunction.
For further information regarding ADHD specifically, click here.