ADHD Testing for Adults
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that begins in childhood and is evident in more than one setting. Symptoms tend to vary depending on the context within the setting (e.g., signs of ADHD are usually minimal or even totally absent when the person has consistent external stimulation, such as while playing video games, browsing social media or the internet). For adults, motoric hyperactivity is often less obvious, but difficulties with inattention, planning, restlessness, and impulsivity are often present. Three subtypes of ADHD exist including the predominantly inattentive presentation (colloquially referred to as "ADD"), predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation, and combined presentation (symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity). Learning disabilities frequently co-exist with ADHD.
Many adults have struggled with symptoms such as sustained attention, distractibility, focus, forgetfulness, organization, restlessness, or impulsivity since childhood, but may not have considered the possibility of ADHD until they've reached a point where their functioning is significantly impaired in their adult years. The sustained attention demands in university or the workplace can be overwhelming for people that have ADHD and frequently results in severe procrastination. Termination of employment due to frequent errors due to inattention and marital difficulties are just some of the other difficulties that adults with ADHD face.
ADHD testing involves a comprehensive psychoeducational assessment in order to gain a solid understanding of your cognitive strengths and needs, explore and rule out other possible explanations that can mimic inattentive or impulsive behaviour, and evaluate for possible co-exisiting conditions such as learning disabilities. The end result of a psychoeducational assessment is a one-on-one feedback session with you to discuss the findings, a plan to help improve your functioning and move forward, and a comprehensive formal report containing your test results, diagnostic impressions, and relevant recommendations tailored to you. When an assessment indicates the presence of ADHD and/or a learning disability, then strategies and accommodations can be identified that will help reduce barriers to your success in post-secondary school or help you advocate for reasonable accommodations in your workplace.