The medical field relies on a variety of comprehensive assessments and tests to accurately diagnose ASD and ADHD because there are no quick and easy blood tests used to uncover these developmental disorders.
ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Many people are familiar with the common signs of ADHD. However, many don’t realize there are actually different types of ADHD:
- Inattentive ADHD (previously referred to as ADD)
- Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD
ADHD begins in childhood and, contrary to popular belief, you can’t just outgrow this disorder.
ADHD Diagnosis and Testing
The symptoms of ADHD are sometimes similar to other conditions, like depression and anxiety, so a thorough assessment must be made to diagnose ADHD in both children and adults. Since ADHD cannot be accurately diagnosed in just one short visit, our comprehensive evaluation process is performed in several phases.
Patient History and Interview
When evaluating a patient for ADHD, a diagnostic interview is the first, and often most revealing, phase of the process. This interview also includes a detailed history of the patient’s behaviors and functioning. This way, we are able to discuss a wide range of pertinent topics and ask follow-up questions.
Once we’ve reviewed the patient’s complete history and performed a comprehensive interview, we can compare all relevant signs and symptoms to standardized behavior rating scales for ADHD. Depending on our findings, we will perform other types of psychometric testing, as needed. It may also be necessary to test for the presence of other co-morbid disorders.
ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by a wide “spectrum” of complex symptoms that affect a child’s behavioral, social and communication skills. There is a group of five distinct developmental disorders that fall under the umbrella of ASD:
- Asperger Syndrome
- Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
- Rett Syndrome
- Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD)
ASD Diagnosis and Testing
Since there is no definitive medical or blood test that can be used to diagnose ASD, we will comprehensively evaluate patterns of behavior, communication and socialization to determine if your child fits the criteria for an ASD diagnosis.
The first phase of the evaluation consists of a developmental screening. During this screening, we look for telltale signs of ASD in the way that your child plays, behaves, speaks and learns. By observing your child in this way, we can pinpoint any problems.
After the screening phase, we will perform a complete diagnostic assessment. Depending on your child’s symptoms, this phase may include an evaluation of your child’s cognitive abilities, sensory-motor skills, adaptive functioning capabilities and language skills. These tests enable us to diagnose ASD and determine the type of treatment most appropriate for your child.
If you suspect your child suffers from ASD or ADHD, it’s important to see a medical professional, like us, who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of these types of disorders.