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Adult ADHD and Autsim Assessments

ADHD looks different in adulthood. Most of what we understand about ADHD revolves around childhood ADHD presentation. Much research tells us that boys tend to have more externalising behaviours and girls tend to have more internalising behaviours. Whilst this is true, there are also many adults (both men and women) who may have gone through most of their life unnoticed due to their ability to mask, possibly due to intellectual giftedness and have devised strategies to compensate for their ADHD symptoms (regardless of whether they were aware of it). 


Diagnosing ADHD in adults can be further complicated as adults establish compensatory mechanisms that mask functional impairments. Individuals must receive an accurate diagnosis as it may expedite and increase the efficiency of the treatment process (prescribed medication from a psychiatrist and referral to an ADHD treatment specialist). According to research, undiagnosed adult women often present in clinics with diagnoses such as depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse and low self-esteem. Commonly, comorbidity exists with mental health disorders. The effects can be detrimental if inaccurate diagnoses are provided, leading to ineffective treatment. 

ADHD is a neurodevelopment disorder that can affect a person's ability to pay attention, control impulsive behaviours, and manage hyperactivity. ​An ADHD assessment is a comprehensive evaluation process conducted by our psychologist to diagnose Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in individuals.


Given that ADHD often co-occurs with other conditions, such as Autism, it is highly recommended to assess both simultaneously. Whenever possible, our goal is to use the most straightforward and cost-effective methods to ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate support tailored to your needs.

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What is ADHD?

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopment condition that affects how people pay attention, control their impulses, and manage their energy levels and/or emotions.


It's like having a super energetic brain that sometimes wants to do too many things at once. Here's a quick rundown of what ADHD is and how it's diagnosed, along with some common myths and strategies to cope with it.

Inattentive Type

People with this type of ADHD struggle with maintaining focus, following instructions, and organizing tasks. They may often seem forgetful and have difficulty completing tasks.

Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

This type is characterized by impulsive behaviors and hyperactivity. Individuals may interrupt others, have difficulty waiting their turn, and appear constantly on the go.

Combined Type

This is the most common form of ADHD and combines both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms.

Common Myths

There are several misconceptions about ADHD:


1.  ‘ADHD is Just Laziness’: One common myth is that people with ADHD are simply lazy. In reality, ADHD is a neurobiological condition that affects brain functions which is usually referred to as ‘neurodiversity’.

2.  ‘ADHD Only Affects Children’: While symptoms often appear in childhood, ADHD can persist into adulthood, and many adults can go undiagnosed.

3. ‘Medication is the Only Solution’: Whilst medication can be part of the treatment plan, it is not the only option. Behavioral therapies, lifestyle changes, and coping strategies are also important and can be of great benefit.

ADHD Assessment

ADHD Asessment Procedures

Many people with ADHD may suffer from rejection sensitivity because they have been conditioned to feel that they are "too hard" or "too difficult" because of the feedback they have received from their external environment. Getting an assessment and Understanding why you are the way you are can be a validating process that allows you to begin to practice self-acceptance.

Getting an ADHD assessment may help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and support you in redefining who you are. 

1. Pre-Assessment Consultation (50-minutes)


During the initial consultation for an ADHD assessment, you will spend 50 minutes discussing your specific concerns and symptoms. This session aims to understand your challenges and gather relevant background information. You and your psychologist will collaboratively determine the best course of action for a comprehensive evaluation. 


2. Assessment (2.5 hours; up to three hours)


After the initial consultation, the ADHD assessment process will begin with completing a range of online psychometric assessments to help us understand your traits. You may also need to have family members and friends complete questionnaires. Next, you will schedule a comprehensive assessment interview lasting up to three hours. Afterwards, your psychologist will compile all the gathered information, including your psychometric test results, to determine if the diagnosis of ADHD or Autism is warranted. This thorough approach ensures an accurate diagnosis. 


3. Debriefing (50-minutes)


This will typically occur after your diagnostic assessment and involve your psychologist providing you with a diagnostic report and results. We can discuss further questions or concerns, ongoing recommendations, and strategies for self-management, as well as get information about referrals should you wish to engage in ongoing therapy with one of our psychologists in person or online.


How long it will take 


Please schedule the debriefing/feedback session at least two weeks after the diagnostic interview or, depending on your psychologist's availability after the assessment, to allow time to write a comprehensive report.


What is included in the report

The report will include some background information, a description of the assessment methods used, and a summary of the findings, including symptom evaluation and differential diagnosis. It will also provide actionable recommendations for treatment, self-management strategies, and referrals for further support if needed. 


What the report can be used for

The ADHD assessment report is a valuable tool with multifaceted applications. It confirms the presence of ADHD based on a thorough evaluation, aiding in obtaining an official diagnosis. This report may also be helpful in receiving personalised treatment plans, educational accommodations, and workplace support tailored to individual needs. Most importantly, individuals can gain deeper self-awareness through the report, empowering them to advocate for their needs and access appropriate resources.


How Much Does It Cost?




Why is an ADHD Assessment expensive?


A comprehensive assessment takes time. The consultation assessment and debriefing alone take 4-5 hours across three sessions. Collecting results, writing the evaluation, and providing a personalised treatment plan also take 4-5 hours outside direct client contact. In total, the consultation, assessment, and report writing process takes 10+ hours to complete.   

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Why Get Assessed


The primary purpose of an ADHD assessment is to determine if an individual meets the criteria for an ADHD diagnosis. It involves gathering information about the individual's symptoms, behaviors, and history to assess whether these align with the diagnostic criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Tailored Treatment

An ADHD assessment can provide a clear understanding of the individual's specific symptoms and challenges. This information is crucial for developing a treatment plan tailored to their needs, which may include behavioural interventions, counseling, medication, or a combination of these approaches.

Rule Out Otehr Conditions

The assessment process also helps rule out other conditions or disorders that might have similar symptoms to ADHD. It's essential to ensure that the symptoms are not the result of another medical or psychological issue.

Educational and Workplace Accommodations:

A formal ADHD diagnosis is often necessary to access accommodations in educational settings and the workplace. This can include things like extended testing time, classroom modifications, or workplace adjustments to help individuals with ADHD succeed.

Individuals with ADHD may perform compensatory behaviours, including avoiding social engagements for fear of offending others, arriving extra early for fear of being late, over-preparing for tests and interviews, and turning to caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or drugs to self-medicate. 

What Assessment Involves

Clinical Interviews

You Psychologist may ask you a variety of questions through a structured interview process to gain information about your struggles in various contexts including at school, work and at home. 

Testing and Examination

Psychological tests may be administered to assess cognitive and emotional functioning. Your Psychologist may refer you to other health professionals for further examinations if needed to rule out other conditions.

Questionnaires and Rating Scales

Various standardized questionnaires and rating scales are often used to assess ADHD symptoms and their severity. These may be completed by the individual, parents, teachers, or other relevant observers.

Behavioural Observation

Behavioral observations in different settings, such as at home, at school and work, can provide valuable insights into the individual's behavior and symptoms. These observations can be observations collected from others such as questionnaires completed from others who have observed your behaivour.

How to Get Assessed

Book an Initial ADHD Consult

Book an initial ADHD Consult with our Psychologist Kathy Miller (Online) or Joan Chia (In-person in Brisbane or Online ). During this session you will complete a screener and have a discussion with your psychologist to test whether further assessments are needed. 


The assessment will take approximately 3 hours to complete and it will be conducted in person or online. The assessment is in a structured interview format and your psychologist may also ask you fill our a questionnaire about your behaviour.


During the feedback session you will receive a report from your psychologist along with strategies to help you manage your ADHD.

You can continue to receive treatment to manage your ADHD from our psychologists at Ikigai Psychology Clinic or you can be referred to a psychiatrist for medication or other treatment. 

Get the support you need

Book an appointment online to speak to an ADHD  Assessment specialist

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More Questions?

Visit our FAQ page and select "ADHD Assessment" under the available categories or contact our friendly administration team.

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