Assessment Process for Self-Referred Clients
To help clarify whether an adult ADHD assessment is appropriate, you are first advised to consider the following:
- Complete and self-score a free screening checklist (Click Here)
- Talk to your GP about your symptoms, and if necessary, get a referral to Perth Adult ADHD.
Day 1 at Perth Adult ADHD Clinic
60 minute block: clinical interviewing about non-ADHD psychiatric disorders, including those that present like or frequently co-occur with ADHD, and developmental history. You must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to this appointment, so that you can complete a psychometric questionnaire and an information sheet.
If, towards the end of the first session, a more focused assessment for ADHD is deemed worth-while, you will be given a range of other psychometric questionnaires to take home. You must complete the questionnaires and bring them with you to the second assessment session, along with any school reports that you can find. Such information helps to streamline and enhance the validity of your assessment.
Day 2 at Perth Adult ADHD Clinic
60 minute block: neuropsychological screening assessment (see below for a description). Note, this will not be conducted if you can provide evidence that similar testing has been conducted in the recent past.
30 minute break: at which time questionnaires, school reports, and cognitive testing results will be reviewed by the clinician.
60 minute block: includes a focused adult ADHD diagnostic interview. Ideally, a significant other, who has known you since childhood (e.g., a parent / sibling / childhood friend) will accompany you to this part of the assessment. If it is more appropriate, a phone interview with this significant other can take place sometime during the preceding week. At the end of the session, diagnostic feedback and treatment recommendations will be provided, including whether you might benefit from cognitive-behavioural skills-based therapy, and meeting our consultant psychiatrist to review the assessment and potentially explore medication options.
Why does an adult ADHD assessment take longer than most other psychological assessments?
- There is considerable symptomatic overlap between adult ADHD and many other psychiatric disorders, including particular anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, and substance use disorders (the list goes on). Identifying the features unique to each disorder can take some time.
- It is very common to find co-occurring psychiatric disorders in adults with ADHD, and these too require careful examination.
- Because some of the psychotropic medications used to treat adult ADHD have the potential to make other disorders worse (e.g., psychotic disorders, bipolar disorders), it is critical that these other disorders and one’s family mental health history (if available) be clearly identified, so that precautions can be taken around medication if necessary.
- Finally, because many ADHD symptoms are experienced by ‘neurotypical’ people to some degree, a variety of sources (i.e., psychometric questionnaires, interviews with significant others, reviews of school reports) are needed to help determine clinical significance.
What should I do if the assessment does not detect ADHD but instead detects another psychiatric disorder?
- Our clinical psychologist and consultant psychiatrists can provide you with therapy and/or medication options for a wide variety of adult psychiatric disorders, if appropriate. They can also recommend other clinicians and/or services.
Can I complete Day 2’s assessment across two days, rather than 1?
- Of course! For many people, it is more affordable to split the second day of assessment into two days.
What is a neuropsychological screening assessment, and why is it helpful?
- It assesses for particular cognitive weaknesses which are often associated with adult ADHD. It is not relied on to validate a diagnosis, but it can be helpful if a diagnosis is unclear, and it can help to inform treatment planning.
0416 817 107
(upstairs, look for the green tree logo),
Chelsea Professional Centre,
145 Stirling Highway,
Nedlands WA 6009