Learning Disability and AD/HD Assessment in Children and  Adults
Beverly McLean
Registered Psychologist


  • Anyone may show inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, or hyperactivity at times, but the person with AD/HD shows these symptoms and behaviours more frequently and more severely than others the same age.
  • Diagnosis of ADHD involves a thorough assessment of attention, concentration and behaviour, as well as academic,intellectual and memory skills. Questionnaires are filled out by parents, teachers and/or spouses, as well the person being assessed.. Computerized measures may also be used to assess attention and concentration.
  • Health, psychological and family histories are also completed. This is important because someone with AD/HD may have other conditions such as conduct disorder, anxiety,  depression, or bipolar disorder. Up to 50% may  have a Learning Disability.  
      • ADHD runs in families with about 25% of biological parents also having this condition.
      • Without proper treatment, a person with AD/HDmay fall behind in schoolwork or having difficulty keeping a job; friendships and family relationships may suffer. 
      • Someone with untreated AD/HD may experience more failure than success and endure ongoing criticism by those who do not recognize a health problem.
      • Caregivers may believe that the child will outgrow the concerning behaviours, thinking it is just a phase or "boys will be boys."
      • Having a child with ADHD can be very demanding. Many parents report feeling frustrated when their efforts to deal with their child's behaviour don't seem to work. Techniques they use with their other children don't always have the same effect with their ADHD child.
      • Research shows that ADHD is best treated with a combination of medication and structured behaviour management.
      •  Psychologists are experts in behaviour modification, and can suggest many techniques which are helpful in managing AD/HD.

      The following behaviours may stem directly from AD/HD or may be the result of related adjustment difficulties. These behaviors may be mild to severe, and can vary with the situation or be present all of the time.

      • Chronic lateness and forgetfulness
      • Anxiety 
      • Low self-esteem
      • Employment problems
      • Difficulty controlling anger
      • Impulsiveness
      • Substance abuse or addiction
      • Poor organization skills
      • Low frustration tolerance  
      • Depression
      • Relationship problems
      • Difficulty concentrating  
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