Effective Solutions for the Challenges You Face

Psychological Evaluations for ADD/ADHD and Learning Disabilities (LD)

Child with learning difficulties

ADD/ADHD/LD Evaluations for Children, Adolescents, College Students, and Adults

Thirty years ago at the NCSU Counseling Center, I saw a large number of students who reported difficulties with learning, memory, distractibility, and procrastination. They reported falling asleep in class or while doing their homework. An evaluation revealed that many were below grade level and struggling with learning and remembering concepts. After a trial of a psycho-stimulant medication, they reported improved focus, concentration, and grades.

ADD starts in childhood, and this working memory problem can lead to significant academic difficulties at every educational level. Research indicates that a student with ADD has a 60-65% chance of also having a learning disability in reading, math, or written language. When ADD is unidentified and untreated, it can compromise academic skills and learning. Consequently, it is important to identify these problems early, because untreated ADD/LD can lead to learning difficulties, underachievement, and low self-esteem.

Bored college student daydreams in class

An ADD/ADHD/LD evaluation takes approximately 8 hours of testing and follows the guidelines of the NC State Department of Public Instruction:

  • Gather history of the problem (academic, behavioral, emotional)
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • ADD/ADHD behavioral assessment
  • Wechsler Child or Adult Intelligence Scale (IQ test) administered without medication
  • Woodcock-Johnson (achievement test) is administered without medication
  • Wechsler Child or Adult Intelligence Scale re-administered with a psycho-stimulant medication (physician prescribed) to determine if medication
    improves working memory and cognitive performance.
  • A psychological report is written documenting ADD, ADHD, and/or LD. This report includes a variety of accommodations (like extended time on tests) that the student is entitled to receive in school or college.

When ADD medication works, learning and grades improve and students begin to feel more confident.

Oprah Winfrey and Lisa Ling brought Adult ADD into the open in 2014.  Many undiagnosed adults were evaluated and treated, and they report improved cognitive performance at home, school, and work.