Neuropsychological Testing for ADD/ADHD

ADD/ADHD Testing

Fifth Avenue Psychiatry specializes in the accurate diagnosis of ADD/ADHD which often includes Neuropsychological Testing. Unfortunately, many adolescents, teenagers and adults go misdiagnosed. Psychological Testing can help distinguish an underlying anxiety disorder - or even normal energetic adolescents - from what is truly ADD or ADHD.

Depending on the presenting complaint, age and other factors a battery of psychological tests will be recommended. The specific group of tests can range from a small treatment focused battery to guide treatment to a thorough educational assessment that can uncover potential learning disabilities.

What tests are used to diagnose ADD/ADHD?

Neuropsychological testing involves a battery of objective and standardized tests. Usually, the doctor gets ADD/ADHD assessments from the parents, teacher or supervisor. Some common rating scales include:

  • The Vanderbilt Assessment Scale - reviews symptoms of ADHD according to the DSM-IV criteria. It also screens for co-existing conditions such as behavioral disorder, oppositional-defiant disorder, anxiety, and depression.
  • Behavior Assessment System for Adolescents - assesses hyperactivity, aggression and behavioral problems. It also addresses anxiety, depression, attention and learning problems and lack of certain essential skills.
  • Adolescent Behavior Checklist/Teacher Report Form - assesses physical complaints, aggressive or delinquent behavior and withdrawal.

Other important diagnostic tools include computer-based “continuous performance tests” where the adolescent or teen gives very simple responses (i.e., click a button) to a simple stimulus (numbers, letters, etc.) on a computer screen.

These tests are designed to be long and tedious so if an adolescent has ADD/ADHD they will be challenged. The attention they display in this test, and any subsequent mistakes or mistake patterns, are analyzed to help understand the individual weaknesses. Adolescents with ADD/ADHD will make specific errors on this test; some of which also measure hyperactivity.

These tests include Continuous Performance tests such as:

  • Individual Variables of Attention
  • Test of Variables of Attention
  • Connors Continuous Performance Test

Simpler Continuous Performance tests, which are shorter in duration and provide less sophisticated data, include:

  • Rapidly Recurring Target Figures Test
  • Digit Cancellation Tasks

Once there is an ADD/ADHD diagnosis, the doctor may request other tests in order to rule out other causes, such as:

  • Blood diseases, i.e., thyroid disease
  • Blood lead levels
  • CT scan or MRI for brain abnormalities
  • Encephalograph test brain waves to measure electrical activity in the brain
  • Hearing and vision

Contact Fifth Avenue Psychiatry

Office address:
3 East 85th Street
New York NY 10028
T. 212-734-0506

Or use the convenient Online Contact Form, by clicking here

Why Outpatient Treatment for Addiction and Alcoholism may be a better choice than Inpatient Rehab, and why you rarely hear this

This is my first blog entry and my hope is that through monthly posts, I and my associates, Dr.s Megwinoff, Bassett and Gottlich …

Why More Attorneys Are Searching for an Addiction Therapist Near Me

The Lawyer: The Partyer and the Alcoholic

It’s a tired popular media trope: the attorney, burdened by the stresses of work, pours a glass of bourbon at the end of …

Opiate Detox for Lawyers, Even Attorneys Get Hooked on Heroin

The Path to Opioid Abuse for Attorneys

Popular culture portrayals of the legal profession may draw young people to law school: giving impassioned arguments in front …