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What to ask before booking an ADHD assessment

If you or a family member has been struggling with focusing challenges, you know how isolating it can feel. ADHD impacts every individual differently, and because you will be unique in your struggle, it can be difficult to find customized support. The worst experience is deciding you want help, committing to an assessment, and then being sent away to figure out a treatment plan elsewhere.

When you’re finally ready to seek support and guidance, it is imperative that the assessment/treatment program you sign up for will treat you as a unique individual with a customized program and plan for treatment.

You may think, “I don’t need an ADHD assessment: I know I have it, and I’m tired of spending money and not finding any answers”. The truth is a comprehensive ADHD assessment is the first step in moving forward and it can offer a framework for exploring potential treatment options, strategies, and accommodations.

A worthwhile assessment should help you better understand what’s been getting in your way, and how your symptoms are specifically affecting your ability to follow-through on your goals. It should also help you connect with a clinical treatment team.

With that said, not all assessments are created equal.

Take the time to research your assessment options.  Here are our top 5 questions to ask before committing to an ADHD assessment:

  1. Who actually conducts the assessment? Find out how much time you’ll actually be spending with the physician or psychologist. Will you experience face-to-face time with the clinician signing off on the report? Will you have the opportunity to create a relationship with a treatment team?
  2. What areas of mental health are being assessed? A very high percentage of people with ADHD have a co-existing disorder, such as anxiety or depression. Make sure the assessment rules in/out more than just attention issues.
  3. Does the report include recommended accommodations for work/school? Getting a diagnosis is only the first step to getting help. Find out how the clinical team approaches recommendations and accommodations to make sure you can use your report as a stepping stone to move forward.
  4. What happens after the assessment? Providing ongoing treatment is difficult and time consuming so many doctors/clinics opt not to. As we mentioned in #3, a diagnosis alone will only get you so far so find out if they provide behavioural and/or pharmaceutical intervention once your assessment is complete. Better yet, can you continue to work with the assessment team in treatment?
  5. Is there any help with funding? OHIP, OSAP, and private insurance can all be sources of financial support for an ADHD assessment so find out if the doctor can help with this.

Getting an ADHD assessment can be an expensive but worthwhile investment. We hope these suggestions will help you make an informed decision.

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