ADHD and Psychoeducational Assessments

In our practice located at the Production Way Skytrain
Station we provide Psychoeducational and ADHD assessments. All Psychoeducational Assessments include an assessment for ADHD as part of the overall process. Our senior psychologist has over 30 years working in this field and is a Registered Psychologist who can provide a full diagnosis.

Many people ask about ADHD assessments when considering a psychoeducational assessment for their child, teen or even young adults entering college. “Is testing for ADHD part of the psychoeducational assessment?” They often ask this because their school hasn’t provided an ADHD assessment before, or may be refusing.

There are several reasons for this. First, a School Psychologist may or may not be a Registered Psychologist, and only Registered Psychologists can give a diagnosis of ADHD.

Second, from the perspective of most schools, they are not there to provide medical diagnoses. They are there to assess if a child meets the requirements of the Ministry of Education for a Learning Disorder, sometimes this process is called “Coding.” ADHD, in BC at least, has not received much attention by the ministry, and there are no special funds for students with ADHD as there are for students with autism, or severe illnesses. Because of this schools often assess for deficits in Executive Functioning rather than directly for ADHD. This provides important information that may be useful to the school based team when writing an IEP.

Even with an IEP you should be aware that most teachers have no specific coursework or training in classroom management, and little if any training in working with students with ADHD. At many school meetings I have attended teachers offer their opinion that
”ADHD isn’t a real thing.” This, despite the volumes of research on both the disorder, and the treatment.

You should be aware that the most useful treatment for most students with ADHD, in the classroom, are very simple behavioural interventions, some classroom accommodations, and the teaching of compensatory skills to the students. Every IEP should address all of these things.

You can find the Ministry of Educations guidelines for students with ADHD here:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/kindergarten-to-grade-12/teach/teaching-tools/inclusive/teaching-students-with-adhd.pdf

These are just a few of the reasons schools are reluctant to address ADHD when testing.

If you are concerned about your child having ADHD I would suggest going to the website of CADDRA – Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance. CADDRA is an independent, not-for-profit, resource organization for medical, healthcare and research professionals with an interest in the field of ADHD. Your family medical doctor should be familiar with these tools for assessment. Simply using a short 26 question form (often the SNAP-IV) is not enough to make a diagnostic decision. This site provides all the necessary tools for ADHD providers.

Another ADHD website that is useful is http://www.russellbarkley.org

Dr. Barkley is the leading professional in the field, while his books may be a bit “dry” he knows the facts better than anyone else I could recommend. There are numerous videos available by Dr. Barkley as well.

One tool for parents is the comprehensive list of classroom accommodations for students with ADHD. You will find that here: http://www.russellbarkley.org/factsheets/ADHD_School_Accommodations.pdf The website also includes many other tools.

In our practice we include the CADDRA materials in almost every psychoeducational assessment. The diagnostic process includes not just looking for signs and symptoms of a disorder, it is also critical to rule out other possible causes of the behaviours of concern.

For more information visit our main website page at www.relatedminds.com