Adhd Testing & diagnosis in colorado Springs & denver

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders in the United States.  ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder.  This indicates that ADHD generally manifests during the developmental period, and symptoms are often observed before the child enters grade school.  In addition, ADHD can cause deficits in the child’s ability to function in personal, social, and academic domains. ADHD is defined by impairing levels of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity. Brain and Body Integration’s ADHD testing in Colorado Springs & Denver does not use the terms ADD and ADHD separately to refer to inattentive and hyperactive presentations of this disorder.  Instead, there are three types of ADHD: Predominantly Inattentive Type, Predominantly Hyperactivity/Impulsive Type, and Combined Presentation.  The Inattentive Type is defined by deficits in attention, the Hyperactivity/Impulsive Type is defined by hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, and the Combined Type is defined by both Inattention and Hyperactivity/Impulsivity symptoms.  In diagnosing ADHD and its various subtypes, an individual must display a certain number of symptoms within these categories. In conducting ADHD testing in Colorado Springs & Denver, we adhere to the diagnostic criteria of the DSM-5-TR) as our basis for giving a diagnosis of ADHD.

Inattention: ADHD Disorder

  • Makes careless mistakes/lacks attention to detail

  • Difficulty sustaining attention
  •  Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly

  •  Fails to follow through on tasks and instructions

  •  Exhibits difficulties with organization

  •  Avoids/dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort

  • Loses things necessary for tasks/activities

  • Easily distracted (including unrelated thoughts)

  • Is forgetful in daily activities

Hyperactivity and Impulsivity:

  • Fidgets with or taps hands or feet, squirms in seat

  • Leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected

  • Experiences feelings of restlessness

  • Has difficulty engaging in quiet, leisurely activities

  • Is “on-the-go” or acts as if “driven by a motor”

  • Talks excessively

  • Blurts out answers

  • Has difficulty waiting their turn

  • Interrupts or intrudes on others

Our ADHD testing in Colorado Springs & Denver diagnoses an individual with the Inattention Subtype if he or she displays six or more symptoms of inattention; and when diagnosing the ADHD hyperactive/impulsive subtype, an individual must display six or more symptoms of hyperactive/impulsive behaviors. If someone meets the symptom threshold on our test for ADHD for both Inattention and Hyperactive/Impulsive Subtypes, then they can be diagnosed with the Combined Subtype.  Our testing must take into account that these symptoms cause impairment in daily functioning or development in order to meet the criteria for this disorder. In addition, the aforementioned symptoms must be present before the age of 12 years old, and symptoms must be present in two or more settings (i.e. home and school).  For example, if the symptoms only occur at home and in no other setting, a child may not meet the criteria for ADHD.

Diagnosing ADHDSymptoms of ADHD can be observed when the individual is a toddler, although symptoms are difficult to distinguish given the typical developing behavior of a toddler.  Thus, diagnosing ADHD is much easier to identify during the school-age years when symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity impair the child’s ability to function effectively at school. Symptoms of ADHD are relatively stable in early adolescence, although hyperactive behavior generally becomes less pronounced in late adolescence and adulthood. Many people state that children tend to “grow out of ADHD” as they become an adult.  However, studies have shown that a substantial proportion of children that were diagnosed with ADHD remain impaired by these symptoms into adulthood. 

What causes ADHD? There is no one smoking gun in this scenario, although research has identified that environmental and genetic factors play a role in the development of ADHD.  In addition, there are different disorders that share features of ADHD, but they should not necessarily be considered symptoms of ADHD.  For example, a child may not pay attention in class due to oppositional and defiant behaviors.  Or a child may display impulsive behaviors at times that manifest in the form of an intense behavioral disruption that is out of proportion to the stressor that contributed to the disruption (as opposed to a more frequent pattern of impulsive behavior).  In addition, there are several other behavioral and neurodevelopmental conditions that contribute to symptoms of inattention and hyperactive/impulsive behavior (examples can include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Depressive disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Substance Use Disorders, Personality Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Medication-Induced Disorders, and Neurocognitive Disorders).  Given the multitude of disorders that might present similarly to ADHD, an accurate assessment is needed to diagnose ADHD. Thus, our ADHD testing in Colorado Springs & Denver conducts a psychological evaluation can be given to assess for the presence of various symptoms to determine which disorder/s are responsible for the child’s behavioral presentation.

(Please be aware that most insurance plans do not pay for ADHD testing.  Please consult with our office to determine what type of evaluation will be the best fit for you or your child).