Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD Evaluations
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition associated with the brain’s attention regulation system. The symptoms typically manifest during childhood and can continue for most into adulthood.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with ADHD include distractibility, inhibition difficulties (behavior and cognition), working memory problems, hyperactivity, executive function difficulties, and fluctuating attention. Research has found that such difficulties are associated with certain brain structures (e.g., prefrontal cortex) and neurochemistry (e.g., dopamine/ norepinephrine).
It’s not uncommon for an individual with ADHD to focus fairly well on high stimulation activities. However, tasks that are of a low stimulation nature (e.g., writing papers, listening to lectures) can be a challenge.
Symptoms commonly reflect hypoaroused or hyperaroused states. Individual, who are primarily hypoaroused, tends to appear inattentive, calm and quiet. Some have referred to themselves as quick to “zone out.” While the hyperaroused individuals often appear very energetic, impulsive, talkative, and active.
The evaluation of ADHD within a neuropsychological evaluation is quite valuable, as there are other conditions that can create similar symptoms. Additionally, this condition is often found with co-exiting problems, such as difficulties in certain areas of learning (e.g., math) or emotion and behavior regulation problems.
Therefore, other diagnoses should be ruled out to determine the presence of ADHD and establish the proper treatment protocol. There are treatments available, such as pharmacological interventions, behavior modification, and compensatory strategies.
© 2010 Dr. Rhonda Freeman, PhD