Troubles with attention and concentration are pervasive in our society. The demand to stay focused for long periods of time, but also to remain attentive to numerous things at once, is common place. We are staying in school longer, working more jobs, and managing more daily responsibilities than ever. At the same time, research suggests that struggles with mental health are on the rise. With all of the demands placed upon us and our children, it can be challenging to discern the cause of any struggles we may be encountering. I often hear clients complain about their inability to focus, plan, and organize their daily lives. Similarly, parents will often describe observing their child’s difficulties with completing homework assignments, doing well in school, or keeping their bedroom organized. The question I’m often asked is: Is this ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)?
ADHD symptoms can include troubles with both attention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Inattentive symptoms of ADHD include making careless mistakes, trouble sustaining attention, not listening to directions, struggling to organize and plan, disliking tasks that require sustained attention, losing things, being forgetful and easily distracted. While hyperactive/impulsive symptoms include either overt difficulties with remaining still or trouble with an inner sense of restlessness, interrupting others during conversation, trouble waiting for one’s turn, and appearing to have excessive energy. Generally speaking, ADHD is diagnosed during childhood, but it can be diagnosed for adults as well. When diagnosing ADHD, symptoms like the above would need to have been present since the age of 12. Nonetheless, there are other reasons that ADHD symptoms may arise after that age, and ADHD testing can facilitate clarity in diagnosis and treatment.
While ADHD has be diagnosed based on an interview, there are many conditions and situations that can cause symptoms similar to ADHD. Discerning if attention and concentration troubles are, in fact, ADHD can be done via psychological testing. Testing typically involves an interview in the office and completing some diagnostic questionnaires, which can be provided to both the individual and any other individual who has observed them at home, at work, socially, or at school. It can also include computerized testing and assessments of executive functioning, working memory, and cognition. For those struggling in school, a Learning Disability assessment is also appropriate.
If you are seeking reliable ADHD testing in Los Angeles, VOBH can be of service. We have psychologists trained in psycho-diagnostic testing who specialize in discerning ADHD and who can also make treatment recommendations related to ADHD or any other diagnoses.