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Has anyone had this? My new pdoc is prescribing Ritalin (only because i had a previous pdoc give me the initial RX, which I responded well to). However, she said at a later date in order to "officially" diagnose ADD, she would need to do a 3-hour assessment (I'm not required to do it). Plus, she is not 100% covered by my insurance, so this session would be very expensive for me - probably not worth it.

I'm curious though, Has anyone done this long assessment? What is it like usually? What are the other benefits of doing this test (other than having individual knowledge of DX)?

Edited by Blahblah
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i just recently did a similar one, it tested for more than just ADD though, tested my cognitive abilities and a heap of other stuff, should give me a pretty comprehensive report on my strengths and weaknesses etc. sorry if that wasnt very clear, I have'nt got the report yet but i can update when i do if you'd like?

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On 5/25/2017 at 6:13 AM, Asho2345 said:

i just recently did a similar one, it tested for more than just ADD though, tested my cognitive abilities and a heap of other stuff, should give me a pretty comprehensive report on my strengths and weaknesses etc. sorry if that wasnt very clear, I have'nt got the report yet but i can update when i do if you'd like?

That would be great. I've heard of 1-hour assessments, but 3 hours???!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had a pair of assessments each about that long. This was when I was a teenager and I'm not sure why the Dr.s needed them as opposed to a diagnostic interview, perhaps because I was performing poorly in school and they needed to exclude other causes besides ADHD. They were a big battery of tests. I don't remember everything, but they included reading and writing, defining words, patterns, math, coding exercises. Interestingly, the psychologist who performed the second test remarked that I did a lot of checking, but completely missed my OCD diagnosis, which came years later. 

Am I glad I did them? Yes, but then again I wasn't paying for them. I later took a short form of the MMPI, about an hour long, but the pdoc didn't say whether it indicated anything about ADHD, and I don't know if it can diagnose ADHD, because he was looking for symptoms.

You may want to ask your pdoc what the other diagnoses she's considering and how the test will help. Also, if it's cost prohibitive, you may want to tell your pdoc as much.

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3 hours sound about right. Like WhoMe? I was tested for other Learning Disorders and screened for Depression as well to help sift through the symptoms.

ADHD can look like a lot of other things, so a 1 hour interview session may not always be clear (especially if you have multiple diagnoses already).

On 6/14/2017 at 11:28 AM, WhoMe? said:

[...] They were a big battery of tests. I don't remember everything, but they included reading and writing, defining words, patterns, math, coding exercises. Interestingly, the psychologist who performed the second test remarked that I did a lot of checking, but completely missed my OCD diagnosis, which came years later. 

I had a similar experience. They missed by Math Disability even though I had a severe deficit compared to my other scores. To be fair though, I think they summed it up to Dyspraxia which I was already was diagnosed with.

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My overall work up for an IEP included an IQ test, questionaire, several psych assessments and a conversation about past symptoms. Lady actually came to my house cuz my parents wanted an outside opinion to send me away to a school for kids with mental illness. Probably took over 3 hours plus a follow up visit. And then my pdoc ended up saying she was wrong anyway 

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I had a full neuropsychological assessment done since that was the standard of evidence required for academic accommodations and my psychologist at the time thought it was an excellent idea for other reasons as well. It involved something like 18-24 different psychometric tests ranging from very brief to ridiculously long spread out over several full (long) days of testing. It cost $1000, which was considered "cheap" since it was done via the local university and they offered this at a discounted rate (I think it was actually more or less considered "at cost") in return for them being able to train their grad students in clinical neuropsychology. I was told by my psychologist at the time that the only other place he was aware of that did this kind of testing (some psychologist several hours away) charged $3000-$5000 for it (obviously this was not done by grad students), but that there was very little effective difference other than the uni taking longer to compile a final report (it took them a few months, which was unusually long even for them).

I remember the first psych I went to about treating the ADHD was obviously questioning my diagnosis until I just handed him a copy of the report, which he skimmed through before saying "okay, so here's the medication options we have...". It's been handy to have on a number of occasions as nobody really argues with the results of a full neuropsych assessment - it's pretty much the gold standard when it comes to diagnosing this disorder, although professional guidelines consider it utter overkill for most cases.

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I haven't had such a series of tests, or at least not for diagnosis. There was that study I participated in, but I think that was more experimental*.  It's  my understanding that the patient's history is often useful for diagnosing ADD. Do you have a few grade school report cards? If they have comments about your inability to pay attention or something, that may be convincing. 

My own pdoc and therapist didn't even consider ADD at first, because I'd managed to graduate from a tough school, albeit on the 14 year plan. (for a B.S. !) However, I wrote my pdoc a long, rambling note on a day when I was a bit agitated about my new diagnosis of depression, and that clued her in. It's funny because I usually go over my writing and edit it before showing it to anyone. Nevertheless, discussing my history, my messes, procrastination etc. made it pretty clear. 

 

*I think some of the things they tried may have been pretty good diagnostic clues. For instance, there was a test where you had to say whether a shape on a computer screen was in the same place as a previous shape. As long as the interval was really short, this was easy, but add a few seconds and I found it very frustrating! I wish they had sent me a copy of the resulting paper, but I was never able to track it down.

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