Dr. Andersen Conducts Comprehensive ADHD Evaluations
Are you concerned about your child’s inattention? Are you concerned about their level of hyperactivity/impulsivity? If so, Dr. Andersen can assess whether or not your child may have Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
ADHD is easily one of the most common referral concerns. On occasion, ADHD is the primary concern and then sometimes the child’s attention problems are secondary to learning or emotional problems. Regardless of the case, ADHD is an actual condition. It is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) and is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (who published the DSM-V), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health as a medical condition.
Of course everyone has some degree of inattentiveness. However, at some point, the inattentiveness can become significant or severe to the point where it warrants treatment. In the school setting, when children have a medical diagnosis, such as ADHD, and it significantly impacts their ability to access the general education curriculum, they may be eligible for special education services (i.e., an IEP). Alternatively, if a child has a condition, such as ADHD that significantly impacts a major life activity (i.e., learning) they may be eligible for a 504 plan. This document is a great reference tool for the differences between an IEP and a 504.
It is important to note that for a child to be eligible for an IEP under Other Health Impairment (OHI), the health impairment must be verified by a doctor (e.g., licensed psychologist) or certified school psychologist. In some districts, school psychologists continue deferring the health verification certification to doctors (i.e., medical doctors and licensed psychologists). As a nationally certified school psychologist (NCSP) and Licensed Psychologist, when Dr. Andersen diagnosis ADHD, he is glad to fill out a school-based medical certification form upon request.
Treatment (Intervention) for ADHD. The good news is medication is not the only form of treatment or intervention for ADHD. In fact, medication is often the last thing Dr. Andersen thinks of when it comes to treating ADHD. First, neurofeedback has been recognized as a Tier I intervention for ADHD by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Second, depending on the type of ADHD (particularly the hyperactivity/impulsive type), assistance for the parents via a behavior coach can be helpful to teach parents how to manage their hyperactive/impulsive child (i.e., when it reinforce, punish, etc.). Third, psychotherapy (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy; CBT) may be beneficial to teach the child how to be mindful of their behaviors and thoughts, and how to make changes. Fourth, from a neuropsychological perspective, children with ADHD have impairment in executive functions. As such, an executive function coach can teach them ways to minimize their symptoms. Fifth, numerous intervention can be implemented within the school ranging from simple in-class behavioral modification techniques performed by the general education teacher all the way to special education placement. Finally, if all else fails medication may be pursued (Dr. Andersen is a Licensed Psychologist and not a medical doctor).
A comprehensive ADHD evaluation can pinpoint which treatment(s) would be best for your child. Moreover, Dr. Andersen can provide you with referrals to specific professionals to assist you and your child.
What Do You Receive with an ADHD Evaluation?
- Interview with the parent(s)/guardian(s)/individual
- IQ test (~1 hour)
- Attention/Executive Function tests (~1 hour)
- Social/Emotional/Behavior tests (~1 hour)
- Verbal Feedback (~1 hour)
- Written Report (~5 to 10 pages) with diagnostic impressions and practical recommendations
This evaluation is typically conducted over two sessions. The first session is for the initial interview and direct face-to-face evaluation with you or your child. The second session is to provide you with verbal feedback with practical recommendations, at which time you will receive a written report.
Moreover, medical doctors will sometimes request this type of evaluation to help assist in their decision making (e.g., medication). For individuals already taking medication for their attention, Dr. Andersen frequently conducts tests with the examinee off medication and then repeats the tests on medication to determine the medication’s efficacy. Dr. Andersen is not a medical doctor. He does not prescribe medication and refers individuals to back to their medical provider(s) to answer any medically related questions.