ADHD Diagnosis


The most comprehensive ADHD Program in NSW

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Intake & booking

Speak to our intake officer & case manager Rhianna Mott. Free consultation. Free information pack.

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Background screening

Complete online standardised psychological questionnaires.

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Initial interview

Meet with a specialists or our specialist team to plan for assessment and discuss goals.

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Assessment

Identify the root cause of any cognitive, learning, social, emotional or behavioural issues.

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Feedback session

Go through the results, areas that need treating, and follow-up recommendations.

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Parent Report

Extensive report outlining your child’s profile, any diagnoses, recommended follow-up, and strategies to manage weaknesses at home.

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Teacher Report

Where relevant you will receive an additional teacher report (no cost) with classroom strategies

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School liaison

If requested, we are able to have a meeting with the school or teleconference with teachers about issues occurring in the classroom.

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Cognitive training program

Treatment of any attention, executive or other processing issues through individualised cognitive training.

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Psychological &/or behavioural therapy

Management of any comorbid psychological or behavioural issues through both individualised therapy and parent management.

Using the latest scientific advancesStart here

 

Neuropsychologists have a very different way of diagnosing ADHD compared to the typical paediatrician due to their different type of expertise. Paediatrician will typically diagnose based on opinions of parents and possibly teachers through questionnaires and meeting with the family. Whilst a neuropsychologist we obtain the same developmentA neuropsychologist will typical take 3-4 hours to formally assess the child as well as look at the diagnostic criteria according to parent and teacher ratings. Formal and objective testing of attention skills is conducted in order to get an unbiased measure of what attention problems the child is experiencing. Part of the diagnostic criteria of ADHD is that a child is affected academically or socially, and this will also be assessed formally through testing by a neuropsychologist. A neuropsychologist is also specialised in looking at psychological and behavioural issues that often can present as attention problems, and other underlying factors are ruled out. Paediatricans and neuropsychologists often work together due to their different areas of expertise as neuropsychologist cannot medicate children.

Process at The Sydney Cognitive Development Centre:

Above we have outlined the different stages of assessment and treatment. During the assessment we aim to not only look at the attention issues your child is experiencing but also any comorbid issues, including social, emotional and behavioural issues both at home and at school. It is possible that emotional or behavioural factors may be creating symptoms of inattention, rather than a true attention problem, and this will need to be ruled out so that your child is not inaccurately misdiagnosed with ADHD. For example, children with anxiety and depression often fulfil many of the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, so it is important to pinpoint the causes of the attention weaknesses as obviously the therapies differ greatly. At the Sydney Cognitive Development Centre we pride ourselves on accurate and precise diagnosis as this leads to correct and targeted treatment, which leads to better outcomes and long-term prognosis. During the parent interview we also look at developmental history and other possible issues that may underlie attention problems either at school or at home (eg. visual and hearing issues, head injury, sleep problems, sleep aponea, etc).

As we only have specialist neuropsychologists conduct our testing our assessments are extremely thorough. We have outlined below the tests that we include. Obviously we tailor the testing to the child based on initial interview and standardised questionnaires as we will not put your child through unnecessary assessment. If no issues are reported in a certain area we will not test this area unless we see additional signs of issues on other testing completed. Often families are referred to paediatricians for ADHD assessment, however often these paediatricians will need to refer out for formal testing to obtain the following vital information for diagnosis (see below). Even a psychologist cannot conduct the tests below as the specialist tests (as noted) should only be conducted by someone with specialist neuropsychological training. Make sure that any person you choose to do your assessment can formally assess the skills below. It is felt that many people misunderstand what attention is. Attention is an umbrella term for many different skills and without formally assessing each aspect of attention, and truly understand what aspect of attention is affected, recommendations for remediation will unhelpful and often inappropriate. Attention testing is also the only objective way of assessing a child’s attention skills rather than just getting the opinion of a parent or teacher. Attention testing will show a parent how their child performs compared to other children their age on a range of tests and allows for the parent to understand the severity of the problem rather than being given a one-size-fits-all label of ADHD based solely upon the diagnostic criteria.

IQ test
  • Verbal intellect
  • Nonverbal intellect
  • Working memory
  • Processing speed
Academic achievement
  • Reading accuracy
  • Reading comprehension
  • Pseudo-word decoding (phonological awareness)
  • Spelling
  • Written expression
  • Numerical operations
  • Mathematical reasoning
Attention tests (specialist neuropsychologist test)
  • Visual attention span
  • Auditory attention span
  • Visual sustained attention
  • Auditory sustained attention
  • Divided attention (auditory vs auditory)
  • Divided attention (auditory vs visual)
  • Switching attention
  • Selective attention
Impulsivity (specialist neuropsychologist test)
  • Response inhibition verbally
  • Response inhibition visually
Executive functioning (specialist neuropsychologist test)
  • Planning
  • Organisation
  • Problem solving
  • Using feedback
  • Strategy generation
  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Self-monitoring
  • Time management
Emotional status (Standardised questionnaires & clinical interview)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Behaviour problems
Additional neuropsychological tests (if indication for additional processing issues)
  • Memory
  • Visual processing
  • Auditory processing
  • Motor issues