ADHD DIAGNOSIS

FORMAL DIAGNOSIS

Many of our clients do NOT seek to receive a diagnosis. It is often more effective to treat the unique characteristics which present themselves and avoid the negative effects of labeling and having a fixed mindset.

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On the other hand, it can be INCREDIBLY helpful to receive a diagnosis if it can help a couple reinterpret behaviors as a way of experiencing the world as opposed to a sign of bad intent.

Informal Screening Assessments

In such cases where a diagnosis is desired, clients start by taking the following on-line screening assessments (not definitive tests):

 

ADHD/Attention Deficit Disorder Test (ARCH Profile on Psychology Today)

Scale of 0 to 100. Higher scores indicates higher ability to pay attention. Qualitative results given. Please print them out and share them with your therapist.

PsychCentral On-line assessment

0-20     ADHD unlikely

20-39   Attention Deficit Disorder Possible

40+       Attention Deficit Disorder Likely

Formal Assessment

When a formal diagnosis is requested and both partners agree that it will be helpful, we use a collaborative process and involve the non-ADHD partner in the process as long as this process can be handled in an emotionally safe way. This often helps build an understanding of what the diagnosis actually means.

When performing a formal diagnosis, the steps include a review of:

  • DSM 5 ADHD criteria,
     

  • history of past educational experiences,
     

  • history of childhood development,
     

  • recent occupational success and struggles,
     

  • relationship history and functioning,
     

  • information about medical conditions from a medical professional,
     

  • review of other disorders frequently occur with ADHD (such as Autism Spectrum Disorder), or can mimic the symptoms of adult ADHD, and
     

  • input from other family members such as a spouse.
     

If deemed necessary, formal assessment tools can be administered including:
 

OVERLAP OF ASD AND ADHD

ADHD and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are neurodevelopmental conditions that frequently co-occur. Although twin studies suggest that there are shared genetic influences that lead to both, researchers have yet to find a clearly identifiable neurological reason for these to exist together.

 

Nonetheless, the overlap is significant. ADHD is present in 30–80% of individuals with ASD, and ASD is present in 20–50% of individuals with ADHD. The main areas of neurological overlap for ASD and ADHD are in the areas of attention processing, performance monitoring, face processing and sensory processing. Furthermore, people with ADHD and ASD are often considered to have a lack of concern or inability to react to emotions or feelings of others. Please talk to our therapist to help you explore the differences and make sure your condition is fully understood. 

DSM 5 Adult ADHD
ADHD symptoms in women
asd vs adhd table
ADHD-Autism-OCD differences
Hugging Couple in Nature

“Showing kindness towards those who are different and embracing our imperfections as proof of our humanness is the remedy for fear.”  

 

 

Emma Zurcher-Long of Emma’s Hope Book