ADHD Assessments for Children & Adolescents
If your child or adolescent has ADHD symptoms which are causing problems at home or school, early intervention can help. Gold-standard, evidence-based testing is individually tailored to your specific needs.
ADHD in Children & Adolescents
Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may struggle with inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity or emotional regulation.
ADHD can present in a couple of different ways:
- Only symptoms of inattention (eg difficulty focussing); or
- Only symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity (eg they seem to have an extra battery and are always busy); or
- A mix of inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms.
Why should I have my child assessed for ADHD?
If you are concerned that your child’s ADHD symptoms are causing problems at home or school, obtaining an ADHD assessment is the first step to understanding how you can help your child learn lifelong skills to flourish. An ADHD assessment will also help you to understand your child’s strengths and areas for growth.
Assessments tailored to your needs
Your psychologist will discuss with you exactly what testing is needed and helpful for your individual situation:
- For general treatment, your assessing psychologist can screen and make a provisional diagnosis based on clinical observations that allow us to begin therapeutic treatment and to provide support to you and your child.
- If a formal diagnosis is required, for example if you wish to talk to a paediatrician about medication for ADHD, we can undertake a full assessment, including a detailed report.
For information about ADHD assessments for adults, please click here.
The Assessment Process
When you call to enquire about an ADHD assessment for your child, our friendly Client Care Team will make an initial appointment for you with one of the psychologists at the READ Clinic who is experienced in ADHD assessments for children.
During your pre-assessment session the psychologist will start to assess your child, and will also discuss your needs and recommend what testing and assessments will be best.
Screeners / Questionnaires
Following the pre-assessment session, your psychologist will send screeners (questionnaires) which form an important part of the overall assessment. These screeners will be sent to you, your child’s school/day care and other relevant people. The screeners help the psychologist to get an overall view of the impact that your child’s ADHD symptoms are having on their life at home and at school.
Your child will usually be booked in for a 2 hour block of assessment testing. During this assessment session the psychologist will use various evidence-based tests to learn more about your child’s behaviour and functioning. The tests that your child will undertake will be determined based on their age, the reason for the report, and information from the pre-assessment session.
Tests may include:
- WISC-V: an intelligence test that measures a child’s intellectual ability and 5 cognitive domains that impact performance
- WPPSI-IV: measures cognitive development for preschoolers and young children
- TOVA: measures key variables of attention and inhibitory control that are the building blocks for our ability to focus, think effectively and develop healthy relationships
- TEA-Ch: assesses various attentional capacities in children and adolescents
During the ADHD assessment, your psychologist will also screen for a range of psychiatric disorders and neurodivergence, not just for ADHD. Please inform the psychologist if you are concerned about your child having additional psychiatric disorders. The psychologist may need to do further testing in these situations.
Your psychologist will give you two different report options. One option is a comprehensive report which includes a summary of all test results and what they mean, and include specific recommendations for your child. The more comprehensive and complicated an assessment is, the longer it will take your psychologist to interpret results and write an informative report. The report will include recommendations for treatment and support that are specific and tailored to your child.
The second option is to only have a diagnostic report which will not include a comprehensive interpretation of the results, rather it will mostly indicate whether your child meets diagnostic criteria for ADHD or not. Minimal psychometric results will be included in this version.
Report Feedback Session
The final phase of the assessment is a 50-minute report feedback session with the assessing psychologist. During this session the psychologist will provide the written report, read through it and discuss the results and recommendations with you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Costs vary depending on the level of testing required. Following your pre-assessment session you will be provided with a full breakdown of the testing, report and feedback costs.
Indicatively, ADHD assessments for children usually cost between $1,300 and $2,400.
Due to the demand for assessments, we operate a waiting list system. Should an opportunity come up to move your assessment to an earlier date, we will contact you.
Please call us on 4363 6600 to enquire about current expected waiting times.
Please note we will have several additional assessing psychologists available from April 2024.
You will need to discuss medication with your paediatrician or psychiatrist to ensure your child is prescribed the medication that is appropriate to your circumstances.
Please note a psychologist cannot prescribe ADHD medication, this can only be done by a paediatrician or psychiatrist. However the ADHD assessment report helps the paediatrician or psychiatrist determine the most appropriate treatment options.
There are also non-pharmacological strategies which a psychologist can teach your child to use to manage their symptoms. Your assessing psychologist can discuss these in more detail with you.
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 screeners and a 2-hour assessment session. This comprehensive approach gives your psychologist 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.
Central Coast Child ADHD Assessments Team
To enquire about ADHD assessments for children, please call us on 4363 6600.