We often get requests for “ADHD testing.”
I understand that there is a lot of media attention (excuse the pun) on ADD, ADHD, impulsivity, inattention. However, symptoms of inattention or restlessness are common in many learning and emotional problems such as learning disabilities, anxiety, moodiness, and motivational issues.
So if I go to the car mechanic and ask him or her to check only my battery because of the screeching noise, I would be remiss in not also having the whole car looked at. The engine, brakes, and all that other car stuff that I know very little about but may in fact be part of the problem. Thus, I have to trust that the mechanic should look at the whole car so he can ultimately not only fix the screeching sound but also make the car run more smoothly.
After years of doing different types of testing, we have now made it a MindWorks policy not to do “just ADHD testing.” If you really want to find out why your child is having certain symptoms that may be affecting him or her at school and at home, we need to understand how the child learns, processes information, rule/out learning disabilities, and make sure that anxiety or depression is not creating these symptoms.
In the past, when we have only done “ADHD testing” (an IQ test, a checklist for attention symptoms, and a computerized test for viglilance and reaction time), we are often left with unanswered questions about why the child is struggling to read or is not doing well in geometry.
Like everyone, I am always a little suspicious when the car mechanic needs to check the entire car and am afriad that he is going to tell me that I am going to have spend money on x, y, and z, when I was only expected x. However, our testing comes from a health based perspective, so that we are identifying the strengths in your child to help overcome and compensate for the possible relative weaknesses.
So, next time you call ask for ADHD testing, expect me (or one of the other clinicians) to talk about why we feel it is important to take a whole child approach and not just focus on the battery. : )