View Full Version : a bit nervous and confused before some testing

09-26-06, 09:34 PM
i'm a college student and, to make a really long story short, i'm pretty sure i have ADHD. (even if i don't, i'd like to get to the bottom of this.)

my school's counseling center referred me to the school's "psychological testing training center", who i called. they got some of my information, asked me a few questions about why i wanted testing and stuff, and told me that testing would be three or four sessions long, starting with an intake interview of sorts, which i have tomorrow. also, my testing will be done by grad students (all testing will be supervised by actual doctors, and all results signed off by actual doctors). cost is on a sliding scale and they told me it would probably be $500 for me.

considering this'll be 3-4 sessions, what might i expect?

furthermore, they asked me to bring in old report cards and my high school transcript. i can't get a hold of the old report cards and i totally forgot to get my high school transcript. also, while i had a lot of trouble with school when i was younger, i managed to coast with good grades, so these things don't really have "student can't focus" comments all over them or anything. my dad also doesn't know much of anything about my educational history. basically all i have to prove that i had trouble in school when i was younger is my word. i know you can't be diagnosed with ADHD as an adult without proof that there were problems during childhood so will my lack of tangible evidence screw me over? i'm kind of confused about this and it makes me wonder if paying $500 for testing is worth it if i can't find old report cards that won't make much of a difference anyway.

basically what i'm saying there is that i know it's possible i don't have ADHD but i don't want all the testing to point to ADHD only to hear i can't possibly have it because i got good grades as a child. could that even happen?

i'm done rambling sooo yeahhh i was just wondering what to expect because i'm kind of nervous. i haven't really been tested for anything like this before.

09-28-06, 01:14 PM
What makes you think you have ADD? Yes there should be signs in the past, for example I was in special education. You should have something notable in your past.

09-28-06, 01:30 PM
There is no single test for ADD, the diagnosis comes from the some of "evidence" your doc will find. So if one piece is missing (like your papers) he has to work with the rest.
Being forgetfull I was answering Chris2's question on paper the night before I had my appointment. It was a long list of things where I felt impaired by ADD.

What else can you expect? Depends, really. They have some tests where they see how good you are in situations where you have function in a boring task for a while. They also had me do an EEG, things like that. Most propably they will send you home with a questionary for your parents to see how they percieved you as a child.

If you're the hyperactive type and a bit like me, then bring your medical bills from all those broken arms, legs etc :)

Good luck! Hope you get an answer that helps you

10-02-06, 12:20 AM
while i had a lot of trouble with school when i was younger, i managed to coast with good grades, so these things don't really have "student can't focus" comments all over them or anything.
I had the same issues. What my evalation looked for was how I described school. While it never showed up on a report card, I'd go from an A to an E in one month cause I was bored with the material. (THen I'd get punished by my folks and my grades would go back up; they called it my mid winter slump). Just clearly explain when and how the symptoms showed up in school and what is was like dealing with it.

10-02-06, 07:28 PM
There might be behavioral issues, too, like how you got along with friends, or how you communicate with people. For me, I always felt like an outsider, like I was always missing the joke. I had problems with verbal impulse control, too, although I wasn't hyperactive.

What about things like keeping your room clean, at home? Were you able to do that? If so, how much energy/time did it take you? What did you do to organize yourself, otherwise, in school or other projects? Did you organize yourself, or did your parents totally do it, and you're now running into difficulties, because much of the structure they provided (meals, paying bills, roof over your head, etc.) is up to you?

According to Thomas Brown (check out his latest book on ADD), the self-report part of the testing is the most crucial for adults, because a lot of the things one tests for in children have been compensated for over time. (Basically, our life coping skills have taught us ways to mask our particular challenges so they don't stand out too much.) Also, much of the testing takes place in very controled environments, which don't necessarily imitate real life situations where an adult's ADD might encounter true challenges.

I, personally, am leery of grad students conducting the testing, because they are not necessarily as knowledgeable as they should be. If they are doing their work in ADD research, that's great, but this is still not insurance. I was not diagnosed the first time around b/c my university entrusted the testing to a postdoctoral student who didn't necessarily specialize in ADD. She missed some key signs, and I missed out on 2 years much-needed support services through the disability services office. The psychologist who tested me the second time around said that she had only been trained to see the things she now recognizes as ADD-related behaviors since she's been working at a clinic devoted exclusively to ADD.

One way you can protect yourself from this is to read up on ADD as much as possible before the testing has been concluded. If you don't know it all, tomorrow, you've still got time to learn more before they come to their conclusions. (the latest books by Brown, Hallowell and Ratey, and Solden all offer good information on indicators of ADD. This forum and several others are good resources, as well.)

For my second attempt at diagnosis, I submitted written descriptions of different behaviors I exhibited and struggles I'd encountered that brought out ADD-related symptoms. (You can submit this after your intake interview, too.) I also brought along my Mom to fill in childhood info I couldn't. The psychologist went through Brown's adult ADD scales with us, together, and it really jarred both our memories about behaviors we didn't realize were related.

There are a couple of questionnaires you can find online and fill out yourself. I don't have specific websites to offer, but found these when I did a general search on ADD. I also submitted these in my second round of testing.

I hope this helps.

10-04-06, 12:48 PM
Being forgetfull I was answering Chris2's question on paper the night before I had my appointment. It was a long list of things where I felt impaired by ADD. i wrote one of those lists. then i forgot to bring it. figures. :rolleyes:

i totally forgot i posted this here at all so if anyone's wondering, the lady testing me says that it's okay that i have no available school records. i was really worried that she'd be like, "no school records? oh well! can't help you now." the only evidence i have is anecdotal. they haven't asked to talk to my dad and since he's 150 miles away, i haven't offered to let them do so. the best he could tell them is "she says she always forgot to do her chores but i never believed her and i thought she was deliberately disobeying me. huh."

siiiiince i was asked why i think i have ADD if i have no records of it, i went to a private school for gifted kids when i was young and what should have been above-average performance was just average, but average is never alarming. the school was weird and liked to publicly humiliate kids who weren't the best and brightest so i didn't bother asking for help. it only took me until recently to realize that no, my homework was not supposed to take me six hours in fourth grade, even in private school. i always had extreme amounts of trouble with any sort of assignment where i had to read something and answer questions on it later. it always turned into "what? i don't remember reading that!" but these assignments were infrequent enough that, at the end of the semester, i'd still maybe end up with a B, which isn't cause for concern. it's actually my more recent scatterbrained behavior and inability to remember to get things done (can't even drive a car...too much to pay attention to at once, this was my big sign that something might be up) that made me even look back and think of my childhood in the first place. then it all came together. i can't even hold a conversation without forgetting what i was saying. sometimes i stop mid-syllable and start "umm"ing and my family is tired of 20 years of being unable to talk to me for more than 20 seconds. so yeah, i'm not just making this up.

anyway, so far i've done a continuous performance test with the "click everything but X" thing and the WAIS-III IQ test, which was...interesting, to say the least. i have some sort of achievement test and some self-assessment things to do next time and i guess a few weeks later they'll tell me what they think. the grad student seems to be really thorough and the whole thing is videotaped and watched by doctors, so i'm not really too worried. maybe i should be, but i'm not.

anyway thanks for your help even though i didn't even read anything when i was still worried :) and i'll check out the books if i remember to but who knows if i'll even get through them and/or retain anything at all :(

Matt S.
10-04-06, 03:40 PM
I am sure if you "ramble" or talk excessively doing the subject switch as you seem to do Your psych eval will put that in the symptom chart and if possible try to show impulsiveness examples or hyperactivity symptoms... If you have it there will be at least one or more areas where it would be obvoius...