Why Comprehensive Psychological Testing for ADHD and Autism Is Crucial

Imagine a young child who is sitting at lunch in school. They prefer to sit away from other students and be by themselves. Social interactions with other children are confusing, stressful, and they would rather be alone.

Or think of the young adult enrolled in college or working. They often find it hard to concentrate and focus their attention. Sometimes, they are really active and alert, but at other times, they’re very bored. And this is especially true if what they are doing isn’t their passion.

What is the common thread between these two scenarios?

It’s that both the child and adult likely have an undiagnosed condition, such as autism or ADHD, and should receive comprehensive psychological testing.

Why is psychological testing so crucial?

Knowing Something Is “Off,” But Not Why

One reason why psychological testing is so important is that it provides the “why.”

It might be that you have observed behaviors in your children (either as children or as an adult) for a while now. Yet, you couldn’t understand why they were occurring. All you knew was that your child was struggling, and that caused you so much pain.

Psychological testing provides the reason for why these things are happening. Knowing that there is an explanation can be profoundly relieving.

Creating Understanding, Not Labels

It makes complete sense that absolutely no one wants to have a label attached to them. After all, just because someone has autism or ADHD, those conditions do not define who they are.

By recognizing the link between behaviors and thought processes to known criteria, you create understanding. You are able to define what exactly is the issue. That’s not labeling. It’s empowering!

Why? Because, finally, your loved one can get the treatment they need to be successful.

Getting Help for Autism and ADHD

You can’t wave a magic wand and cause autism or ADHD to disappear. However, with comprehensive psychological testing, the road is paved for your child can get the help they need.

For example:

It’s important to note that testing is not meant to point out someone’s weaknesses. While it does provide an objective perspective of one’s abilities and understanding of certain behaviors, testing is also about identifying one’s strengths.

For example, an adult might struggle with making eye-contact in social situations. However, they are also a whiz when it comes to computers. Or a child has trouble paying attention in school. Yet, they have the focus and drive to excel in sports or are really good at building relationships.

Is Psychological Testing Valid?

Yes! Psychological testing is a valid instrument for a diagnosis of autism and ADHD.

For example, the American Psychological Association conducted a meta-analysis of studies that used either medical testing or psychological testing. The review noted that all tests (whether it be medical or psychological) have differing levels of validity. However, what they found was that there was no difference in validity between medical testing or psychological testing.

How to Obtain Psychological Testing Services

If you are interested in psychological testing for a family member, or perhaps yourself, you need to reach out to a clinician. Diagnostic psychological testing, especially for autism or ADHD, requires a highly trained professional to both administer the test and interpret the results.

However, testing is not a quick-fix solution. Rather, it is a comprehensive battery of exams that can provide both you and the clinician with a nuanced picture of what is going on.

Whether for children or adults, psychological testing can open the doors for getting the right treatment so that they can live a full and rich life. Reach out today to learn more about the psychological testing services we offer, 256-686-9195.

Author
Joshua Howell, MS, LPC, NCC, AADC, ICAADC, SAP, SAE

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