View Full Version : Testing


Pep1952
12-01-15, 04:52 PM
My son is 15 and a Sophomore. He was diagnosed ADHD at about 4 yrs old but I would like to have him tested privately again. Any suggestions where I should take him? I don't think he has ADHD, but ADD and possibly processing and memory problems. Who does this kind of testing for his age?

TIA

namazu
12-01-15, 06:13 PM
Hi, and welcome to ADDF.

What used to be called "ADD" is classified under the umbrella term "ADHD" in current terminology, even if the "H" part doesn't apply. Many people have some mix of symptoms that can evolve somewhat over time, or at least present differently depending on age, development, and circumstances.

There's something called "SCT" ("sluggish cognitive tempo"), which is shorthand for a cluster of symptoms that often occur in people diagnosed with AD(H)D, and sometimes in people who don't quite fit the ADHD diagnosis. It may be of interest to you because it includes some inattentive / memory / processing speed features. SCT is not a formal diagnostic label, and there's still quite a bit of debate in the scientific and clinical community about what it should be called, what exactly it is, if it even *is* a thing, and how it relates to AD(H)D as AD(H)D is currently defined. But it might be worth reading about if the descriptions seem to fit your son's difficulties. Here's one description of "Concentration Deficit Disorder/SCT" from Dr. Russell Barkley (russellbarkley.org/factsheets/SluggishCognitiveTempo.pdf) (PDF file). Here's a Wikipedia article on SCT (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sluggish_cognitive_tempo).

So your son's ADHD diagnosis may still be correct, even if he doesn't have many hyperactive or impulsive symptoms to speak of.

It's a good idea to seek further clarification if you believe he may have additional processing difficulties (which are common).

A full battery of psychoeducational or neuropsychological testing could help pinpoint specific processing and memory difficulties. Such testing may also shed light on your son's strengths, which may help in circumventing the difficulties. The documentation from this testing will also be helpful if your son needs to seek accommodations in school and/or for standardized testing.

Educational psychologists and neuropsychologists would generally be the types of clinicians who conduct testing and evaluation for learning disabilities, processing disorders, memory weaknesses, etc.

Be aware that private psychoeducational/neuropsychological testing typically takes hours, and is rarely covered by insurance without prior authorization and documentation of medical necessity.

If your son does not currently have a 504 Plan or IEP at school, and hasn't been tested by the school system since he was young, it might be worthwhile to seek the free evaluation that the local school district can provide. While the quality of the evaluation at school can vary by district and by psychologist, it may be perfectly adequate.

If you've already gone that route and weren't satisfied with the results, or are looking to get things done with less bureaucracy, the school's guidance counselors or psychologist may be able to recommend someone in private practice who could do a more thorough or independent evaluation.

Is your son currently being treated for his AD(H)D? If so, perhaps his psychiatrist could recommend someone local.

If you're near a university that has a medical center, see if you can contact someone in child psychiatry/psychology there. If they don't do the testing themselves, they should at least be able to provide referrals.

Finally, you can also check the Massachusetts referrals section (http://www.addforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=181)of the forum to see if there are any suggestions there -- or start a thread to ask for recommendations.

Best wishes!