Adult ADHD Assessment & Diagnosis
ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that affects about 4-5% of adults. Practitioners at the READ Clinic offer adult ADHD assessments on the Central Coast with short waitlists.
ADHD in Adults
Almost everyone, at some point in their life, experiences symptoms of inattention, difficulty concentrating, difficulty completing work and poor impulse control. ADHD however is diagnosed only when symptoms are severe enough to affect daily functioning in at least two settings — for example, at work and at home.
You don’t have to have a diagnosis of ADHD as a child to have it as an adult, but several persistent and disruptive inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms need to be present before the age of 12 for a formal diagnosis. It is also not true that individuals with a diagnosis of ADHD will grow out of the diagnosis. What we have seen is that the symptoms of ADHD change over time from childhood to adulthood.
Obtaining an ADHD diagnosis as an adult can help you recognise your ADHD-related symptoms and develop strategies and coping mechanisms to manage your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life. It can also help your family and social network to understand the nature of ADHD, its impact on your life and appropriate ways to provide support.
For information about ADHD assessments for children, please click here.
The Assessment Process
The Adult ADHD Assessment package at the READ Clinic includes a full mental health assessment, education around treatment options, and helps the seamless co-ordination of care including reporting to your GP and referral to a psychiatrist where indicated. Assessments are done by practitioners who have extensive experience assessing and treating adults with ADHD.
Your assessment starts with a number of specific assessment questionnaires which you can complete at home. Your practitioner reviews these questionnaires and if appropriate, will then schedule you in for a 2 hour assessment.
During the 2 hour assessment, your practitioner will explore your ADHD symptoms and the impact on your life both now and in the past. Your partner and/or significant person is also encouraged to attend part of this assessment as they can provide very useful information about the way in which your life is being impacted by your symptoms.
Following the assessment session, if your practitioner has determined that an ADHD diagnosis is met they will prepare a report which can be given to your GP, and will also make a referral to a local psychiatrist.
Please note completing the adult ADHD assessment package does not guarantee an ADHD diagnosis.
Frequently Asked Questions
While there are many non-believers and opinions about this disorder, there is no doubt that symptoms of ADHD are real, and ADHD is internationally recognised as a mental disorder.
There are evidence-based non-pharmacological interventions which include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). However it is worth noting that about 60% of adults experience improvements in quality of life and symptom reduction in response to medication treatment (source: American Association of Family Physicians).
As such, at the READ Clinic we typically suggest that both medication and therapy will provide you the best outcomes for your symptoms.
You will need to discuss medication with your psychiatrist to ensure you are prescribed the medication that is appropriate to your circumstances.
No, a psychologist cannot prescribe ADHD medication, this can only be done by a psychiatrist. However the ADHD assessment report helps the psychiatrist determine the most appropriate treatment options.
There are several advantages to the ADHD assessment package offered by practitioners at the READ Clinic:
- A shorter wait time allowing you to get an assessment here on the Central Coast without waiting for months.
- Comprehensive assessments – the assessment package includes self-assessment questionnaires and a 2-hour assessment session. This comprehensive approach gives your practitioner more time in the assessment to explore the ADHD diagnosis and distinguish it from other conditions, allowing for a more holistic understanding of your difficulties and guiding the selection of appropriate interventions.
- Assessment includes extensive psycho-education around ADHD and the treatment options including medication and behavioural therapy interventions.
- If your assessment indicates referral is appropriate, your practitioner can help you find a psychiatrist.
- All our adult ADHD assessments are sensitive and trauma-informed.
Central Coast Adult ADHD Assessments Team
To enquire about adult ADHD assessments, please call us on 4363 6600.