Attention Disorder Testing
Is your child easily distracted, forgetful, or do they not seem to listen when spoken to? Do they have a hard time sitting still, or are they always “on the go”? Perhaps your child is impulsive and acts without considering the consequences. Difficulties with focus, restlessness, and behavioral regulation can be signs of an attention disorder. My Child Assessment Los Angeles specializes in evaluation of ADHD and related disorders in children and young adults using specialized, comprehensive assessments.
What is ADHD?
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood. For most, it is a lifelong condition. Individuals with ADHD have trouble with focus, are overly active, and impulsive; although these areas may not all be affected in everyone. Additionally, individuals with ADHD often struggle with executive functioning, which refers to how the brain manages itself in order to complete tasks. Because of the wide spread impact that ADHD can have on other areas of functioning, these children often struggle academically, in their social relationships, and in their family lives.
Why Choose an ADHD assessment?
There are many reasons as to why an ADHD evaluation is important. First, assessments allow the opportunity for early identification of attention disorders: when children are identified early on, this paves the way for early interventions, during when the brain is more receptive to change. Second, ADHD can impact individuals of all ability levels. For many bright children, attention issues can interfere with their ability to reach their full potential if not properly addressed. Additionally, children with ADHD are often mislabeled as being lazy, unmotivated, or even defiant by those who don’t understand their challenges. This can have harmful and lasting effects on an individual’s self-esteem. Mislabeling can affect the expectations others have of the child, which can lead to learned helplessness, or a belief that they are unable to do things. Lastly, severity and symptoms of ADHD often evolve throughout development, and assessments provide useful information about these changes, including response to treatment, areas of concern, and provide updated treatment planning in new phases of life.
Assessment of Attention-Disorders and Beyond
My Child Assessment Los Angeles also specializes in identification of other attention related disorders, including executive function challenges and behavioral disorders.
- Executive Function Disorder: Executive functions involve a set of higher-level brain skills responsible for engaging in goal-directed activities. Individuals with executive functioning deficits struggle with tasks such as planning and organization, sustained effort, working memory, and emotional/behavioral regulation. Deficits in executive functioning commonly co-occur with ADHD, although they can also occur in the absence of ADHD.
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD): Like ADHD, children with ODD struggle with regulating their behaviors; however, this disorder differs in that it includes patterns of angry mood, and argumentative, defiant behaviors. ODD is highly prevalent in kids with ADHD, and in cases where ADHD and ODD are both present, treatment will require careful planning and special considerations.
- Conduct Disorder: This is a more serious behavior disorder that involves violation of rules or societal norms. This may include aggression towards others, destruction of property, theft, or truancy.
By delving deep into patterns of thinking, attention, and behaviors, the comprehensive assessments conducted At My Child Assessment Los Angeles provide clarity regarding the challenges a child is experiencing, understanding diagnoses and their meaning, and factors that are contributing to the problem.
Dr. Nicole Michaeli's Approach
Dr. Michaeli’s approach is informed by the understanding that each child possesses a distinct set of abilities, challenges, and talents; just as individuals are unique, so are the intricacies of their brain behaviors. Our battery of tests is personalized to the child’s presenting issues, and the specific areas of weakness that appear during the testing process. Through a blend of insightful conversations with the child, observations, parent and teacher collaborations, and expert analysis, a narrative is formed that addresses both the individual’s potential and areas to support. Diagnoses are provided; but rather than focus on a broad label, discussions center on specific areas in which a child fits a diagnostic category, and other areas where they might not. Results also weave in information obtained from psychological testing, in order to recognize how attention issues might be impacting social and emotional functioning. Together, this information forms the foundation for crafting a plan to support the child. Strategies are provided that address the child’s specific challenges, and amplify their potential. Recommendations that are made are practical, grounded in science, and are based on the individual’s unique profile, ensuring that they are easily integrated into their environment. The treatment plans provided extend beyond the assessment, by providing the tools families need to advocate for their children’s educational needs, as well as connecting them with skilled providers who can work with the children in their areas of need.
At My Child Assessment of Los Angeles, our comprehensive assessments empower families through knowledge, bridging the gap between potential and achievement, and guiding young learners toward a future full of limitless possibilities.