ADHD & Learning Disabilities Evaluations
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder can be difficult for parents and teachers, but even more so for the child or adolescent with the condition. ADHD evaluations are conducted to acquire detailed information from the child, parents, teachers or other professionals concerned, prior to making a diagnosis. Additional areas related to ADHD, such as Executive Functioning issues are also evaluated.
ADHD evaluations and diagnoses are made in accordance with the criteria published by the American Psychiatric Association in their Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
In order for an individual to be diagnosed, they need to have a number of signs and symptoms under categories such as “inattention” and “hyperactivity and impulsivity.” These are uncovered during the ADHD evaluations that I conduct.
When completing ADHD evaluations, the following common behaviors are taken into consideration:
• Showing a lack of attention to detail
• Making careless mistakes
• Not listening or following instructions
• Difficulty during task organization
• Becoming easily distracted
• Exhibiting impulsive behavior
• Exhibiting hyperactivity
• Difficulty sustaining attention for extended periods
• Avoiding of tasks requiring concentration
• Failing to finish tasks and schoolwork
• Losing or “misplacing” items
• Fidgeting, disrupting class, and being very active
• Difficulty with “quiet time”
• Talking a lot and out of turn
• Interrupting others
When considering aspects of Executive Functioning, the following behaviors are taken into consideration:
• Time management
• Emotional regulation
• Information processing
• Prioritizing tasks
Once the ADHD evaluation is completed, it is easier to look at feasible management options and to understand whether the expectations placed on the child concerned are realistic under the circumstances.
Learning disabilities are a group of disorders caused by inadequate development, which can have a significant effect on a child or adolescent’s academic performance. Individuals with learning disabilities will have trouble with certain tasks within the school setting. Common learning disorders are dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia.
Learning disabilities or neurobehavioral disorders are stressful for the child and parents, but if not dealt with, they may affect the child’s long-term educational growth and development because they miss out on fundamentals taught early on, or they give up trying to achieve academically.
A learning disability makes it difficult for the child or adolescent to acquire academic and social skills that can affect more than just school performance. With repeated failure and ongoing performance struggles, the child may begin to develop low self-esteem or possibly additional emotional problems, such as anger, frustration, and sadness. This could result in the child acting out or withdrawing.
The lack of positive reinforcement that children with learning disabilities receive from their efforts at school may lead to the children giving up because they feel they cannot achieve as others do.
As a licensed psychologist, I am dedicated to helping the child, adolescent, or college age student and the family to identify and cope with the behavioral, emotional, and cognitive problems affecting the individual, and to enable them to achieve higher functioning and self-sufficiency.
Upon completion of an evaluation, I offer specific recommendations to assist in the school and home settings. These recommendations are reviewed in a feedback session following the evaluation.
Contact me, Dr. Tish Holub Taylor, to discuss your child’s ADHD and Learning Disabilities evaluation.