What is ADHD?
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurocognitive disorder that involves a consistent pattern of difficulty (identifiable before the age of 12) regulating one’s attention, emotion, and behaviour. According to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), ADHD is a complex psychiatric condition that often persists over a lifetime. Symptoms can vary amongst individuals and present differently for boys, girls, men, and women, but fall into three categories:
Predominantly Inattentive Presentation — the person has difficulty with organizing or finishing a task. They find it hard to pay attention to details and find it difficult to follow instructions or conversations.
Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation — the person finds it hard to keep still. They fidget or talk a lot. The person is restless, impulsive and could interrupt others at inappropriate times. They have difficulty waiting their turn and find it hard to listen to directions.
Combined Presentation — a person whose experiences symptoms equally in both presentations described above.
ADHD usually becomes problematic for an individual once the symptoms begin to interfere with the quality of social, academic or workplace functioning. The diagnosis of ADHD requires a careful age-appropriate assessment of attention, executive functioning, and behavioural impairment. You can learn more about ADHD and its diagnosis at
Assessment / Diagnosis – Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (caddac.ca)
What is the process of an ADHD Assessment?
Before the first session, we will send you a background questionnaire to complete prior to your assessment. Other elements of the assessment include:
Interview with parents to collect developmental history
The psychologist may ask the child’s teacher to complete questionnaires and to speak to the psychologist about their observations of the child at school.
One to two hours of in-person testing with the child.
What is the outcome of an ADHD Assessment?
An understanding of your child’s attention and behavioural functioning.
The diagnosis of ADHD if present.
A list of recommendations for improving performance at home and school.
A referral to our consulting physician to learn more about pharmacological interventions available and their pros and cons.
Following the assessment, the psychologist meets with the parents and child to verbally review the results, recommendations, and next steps. This meeting usually lasts about an hour.
ADHD Assessments are offered for Children only as part of a psychoeducational assessment.