Logo — Neuro Psych Evaluation
Logo — Neuro Psych Evaluation

ATTENTION DEFICIT / HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) classifies ADHD within four subtypes: – 314.00 ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type – 314.01 ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type – 314.01 ADHD, Combined Type – 314.9 is ADHD Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)

Many studies have shown that Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is both over-diagnosed and misdiagnosed. Very few reports I have seen in my practice address in any way if there is attention difficulty or if there is, the type of attention difficulty the child or adult is experiencing. There is a popular opinion in some of the neuropsychology community that other that a checklist or questionnaire in which the parents or the adult basically check off that their symptoms correspond with the official diagnoses noted above, there is no reason for an evaluation. To me, this shows blatant disregard of the struggles parents and adults have with the disorder and little insight into the advances that have been made in education, neuro-feedback and other treatments that could markedly improve functioning.

DR. NEWMAN'S ADHD ASSESSMENT

Just as we discussed about learning disabilities, “attention deficit” is not one generalized problems. There are many different types of attention that can be assessed in a neuropsychological evaluation that greatly clarify the extent and type of attention difficulty.

These Include:

SELECTIVE AND SUSTAINED ATTENTION

Selective/Focused Attention refers to the vigilance in monitoring information. An example of selective/focused attention would be the Examinee’s ability to pay attention to only the classroom teacher when there is the noise and the visual distracters of the classroom to ignore Sustained Attention refers to the ability to maintain an attention span over a prolonged period of time

DIVIDED ATTENTION

Refers to the ability to respond to more than one task simultaneously. A Examinee listening to the teacher while coloring a picture is an example of divided attention

SHIFTING ATTENTION

Refers to the ability to maintain mental flexibility in order to shift from one task to another. Some Examinees get stuck “in one gear” and cannot easily change from one activity to 

ATTENTIONAL CAPACITY

Refers to how much information can be attended to before the Examinee gets overwhelmed