AD/HD

AD HD

One of the most controversial medical conditions in the United States, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), is also one of the most common conditions affecting our clients. Many people believe that AD/HD is overdiagnosed, but the fact is that fewer people are receiving treatment for AD/HD than the Centers for Disease Control would expect to be in treatment. Family Psychology Associates are leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of AD/HD. Our assessment batteries not only try to identify AD/HD, but also search for the most common co-occurring conditions, such as learning disabilities, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and tic disorders. Oftentimes, the co-occurring disorder has a significant impact on how treatment plans are devised. We also consider conditions that may mimic AD/HD, such as sleep disorders and thyroid disorders.

At the conclusion of our comprehensive evaluation, we provide a set of recommendations for the treatment plan that matches your needs. We also educate you about AD/HD, so that you can be an informed consumer. Treatment of AD/HD often requires the contributions of many different healthcare providers and we serve as your care manager to help you navigate the complexities of the healthcare environment. Our clients often see three or more professionals, but it is critical to have a care manager to coordinate communication between all the healthcare providers.

AD/HD is an information processing disorder that affects a student’s learning. At Family Psychology Associates, we can advocate for your student in the development of an Individualized Education Plan or a 504 Plan. We are experienced in helping our clients obtain accommodations on standardized testing, such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, and even the Bar Exam.

AD/HD can also affect a person’s interpersonal relationships. Social interactions require information processing, so AD/HD can impair a person’s social skills or emotional regulation. We provide group therapy to help individuals learn how to express their feelings appropriately and develop empathy for the feelings of others.  We also provide parent training to assist with the challenge of parenting an AD/HD child. To schedule an appointment, visit our Contact Us page.

Dr. Smith: Evaluation of AD/HD and Learning Disabilities

Here are a few readings that may assist you:

Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Helps You See and Heal the Seven Types of ADD. Daniel Amen, 2013.

Smart But Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential. Peg Dawson and Richard Guare, 2011.

Smart But Scattered for Teens: The “Executive Skills” Program to Help Teens Reach Their Potential. Richard Guare, Peg Dawson and Colin Guare, 2013.

ADD in the Workplace: Choices, Changes and Challenges. Kathleen Nadeau, 2013.

Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults: A Different Way of Thinking. Lynn Weiss, 2005.

What does a comprehensive learning disabilities evaluation include?

The evaluation of a learning disability or dyslexia requires a test of intelligence, a processing measure and tests of academic achievement.  Additional tests include visual-motor functioning, copying/writing and reproducing geometric shapes.  Measures of memory, attention/impulsivity and executive functioning may also be included.  Each test battery is individually designed to examine the specific concerns obtained from parents and teachers.  The results of the tests are analyzed with computer assistance that helps identify patterns of strengths and weaknesses that could identify the best teaching methods for your child.  The results also determine if your child is eligible for accommodations on standardized tests or an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) in school.

  1. Do you review school records?  Yes, we ask that you provide them prior to the Initial Consultation including CTBS or ERB scores as well as conference reports, Benchmark scores or Academic Improvement Plans (AIP).
  2. Do you review previous evaluations from doctors, psychologists or speech, physical or occupational therapists?  Yes, they will be summarized in the history section of our evaluation report.
  3. Do you obtain information from teachers? Teachers may be asked to complete paper and pencil surveys or respond to on-line questionnaires.
  4. Do you have parents complete questionnaires regarding the student’s behavior, social development and independent living skills? Yes, parents complete the same surveys and questionnaires as the teachers, which allow us to compare a child’s functioning at home to the child’s functioning at school.
  5. Do you interview the parents and obtain a developmental history?  Yes the first hour of the Initial Consultation is a parent/child conference with the latter portion of the session conducted while the child completes an activity in a separate room.  This allows the parents to discuss anything that they do not want to discuss in the presence of the child.
  6. Do you interview the child to determine if learning problems could be related to social or emotional problems?  Yes the child is interviewed and a series of questionnaires will be administered based on the results of the interview and the age of the child.

How do you determine if my child has Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?

See our webpage on AD/HD.

How do you diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder?

See our webpage on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

How long does it take to get results of the evaluation and the final report?

A feedback conference is typically conducted 2 weeks after the last test session.  You are provided a Summary of the Test scores in a table format (the Appendix section of the report) and a formal report follows within 3-4 weeks.

Do you share the results with schools or other health care providers?

Evaluation results cannot be shared with any source without your written authorization or Consent to Release information.  You will be provided 3 test reports, 1 for your records, 1 for the school and a third one for your physician or related service provider.

Can the results of the evaluation be used to determine if my child is eligible for special education services through the public school system?

Yes, you can share the test results with your child’s Student Support Team.  They will likely need to gather additional information since they are following the Response to Intervention Process of eligibility determination.  You will need to become your child’s advocate as the school system process can be lengthy.  Your private evaluation can help expedite the process.

Can test results be used to determine if my child is eligible for a 504 Accommodation Plan?

Yes, you should initiate a request for a 504 Accommodation Meeting which typically consists of the school psychologist, social worker, guidance counselor, administrator, teacher and related professionals such as a speech therapist or occupational therapist.  This plan can follow your child throughout school.

Can the results of the evaluation be used to qualify a student for accommodations when taking standardized entrance exams such as the ACT, SAT, MCAT, GRE, or GMAT?

Yes, the student would need to make special application for extended time versions of the test which have specific dates and locations that may differ from standard administration requirements. The referring school must maintain eligibility records to show that accommodations have been in place.

How recent do evaluations have to be in order for a student to apply for accommodations on standardized entrance exams?

This varies per test but generally an evaluation is considered current if it was conducted within the past year.  If a previous history has been already established, test recency can span up to 3 years.  Please consult web sites for specific information for the SAT and ACT committees.  Educational testing services are becoming more specific each year in the determination of who qualifies for accommodations.

How is the cost of the evaluation calculated?

Testing fees are billed at $150 per hour. A partial evaluation is approximately $1700 and a full evaluation averages $2200-$2300 depending on the age of the client.  Please refer to our Psychological Testing Payment Policy for a further description of the fees involved.

How do you arrange for payment?

You will be quoted a fee and specific tests will be discussed.  An initial deposit (50% of the total fee) confirms your appointment and begins the paperwork process that parents and teachers complete.  The remaining 50% of the bill is due on the day you and your child come for the Initial Intake appointment followed by the initial test session.  We can take a credit card for reserving your appointment time.

How are the test sessions conducted?

On the initial visit,, we meet for the first hour and then the parent can leave the child for testing.  We usually have a snack or lunchtime together and your pick-up time will be prearranged. A second test session is usually required for younger children while adolescents typically prefer to remain for most of the school day with an informal lunchtime with the examiner.  This helps us develop a better rapport and allows unstructured time for discussions and spontaneous conversation.