Have you ever wondered if you have ADHD/ADD?

Would you say yes to any of these questions?

  • People say I talk too much
  • My parents/other adults would tell me I was a “handful” as child
  • I daydream a lot
  • I’m always excited at the beginning of a project but lose steam before I finish
  • I need to set multiple reminders to make sure I don’t miss an appointment or deadline
  • I’m always misplacing my keys, earbuds, paperwork, etc.
  • I do my best work late at night when there’s no other distractions
  • I need the pressure of a deadline to motivate me work on something I think is boring or hard
  • I zone out a lot when I’m supposed to be doing work/homework

If you said “Yes” to some or most of these questions, you may benefit from an assessment for ADHD.

Or, maybe you feel like something is “off” or you’re not living up to your potential.

  • Many adults think “this is who I am, this is just how I function” and don’t even realize the difficulties they are having may be because of an undiagnosed ADHD
  • For many people, undiagnosed or untreated ADHD may negatively impact:
    • Relationships
    • Spending/finances
    • Mood swings or regulated emotions
    • Job performance
    • Academic performance

There is a lot of confusion, misunderstanding, and inaccurate information about ADHD, and it can be hard to figure out. Our goal is to help you better understand ADHD and what options may be best suited for your needs.

At Downtown Psychology Clinic, we offer Comprehensive Adult Assessments for ADHD. We welcome you to contact us and speak with one of our friendly Psychology Intake Coordinators for more information.

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But what is ADHD?

  • ADHD falls under the category of Neurodevelopmental Disorder in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) used by Psychologists and Psychiatrists.
  • There are three different subtypes of ADHD (inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, combined), and symptoms can range from mild to severe.
  • ADHD does not mean someone is less intelligent or will be less successful.
  • As we learn more about ADHD and work hard to remove the stigma that may exist, there is a growing number of athletes, actors, musicians, and business entrepreneurs who have spoken openly about their ADHD diagnosis and what it has meant for them.
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders are conditions that change how our brains process information in an unexpected way. You may have even heard people use the term “neurodiverse” or “neuroatypical” to refer to neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Other neurodevelopmental disorders include learning disabilities like dyslexia, autism spectrum, and communication/speech difficulties.

Is ADHD different than ADD?

  • ADD, or attention deficit disorder, is the “old” term for people who have difficulties with attention but not hyperactivity or impulsivity. This is no longer used as an “official” diagnosis and is now considered one of the subtypes of ADHD (inattentive-type).

How common is ADHD?

  • Worldwide statistics estimate 5-9% of children and 3-5% of adults experience symptoms of ADHD
    • In Canada, that would be an estimated 950,000 to 1.6 million Canadians over the age of 18 (2022 population census data) with ADHD symptoms
  • Up to 80% of children who are diagnosed with ADHD still meet criteria for the diagnosis as an adolescent, and up to 60% still experience ADHD symptoms and difficulties as adults
  • ADHD is even less frequently identified and accurately diagnosed in young girls and women

What is a Comprehensive Adult Assessment for ADHD?

Our Comprehensive Adult Assessment for ADHD assesses more than symptoms of ADHD. We call them comprehensive because these assessments include information gathered from multiple sources, and cover multiple areas of functioning or difficulty you may be experiencing that are getting in the way of living your optimal life (e.g., low mood and anxiety; relationships difficulties; substance use concerns, etc.).

Wait, so if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s actually a swan?

  • Sometimes difficulties with attention/focus, distractibility, low motivation, etc. are symptoms of ADHD. Sometimes these are symptoms of another condition or concern (e.g., depression, OCD, anxiety, burnout, etc.). Sometimes these are symptoms of all of them at the same time.
  • Our Comprehensive Adult Assessment for ADHD includes assessment for ADHD and many other psychological diagnoses in order to provide you with as much detailed information to help you gain deeper understanding of your presenting difficulties.

What Happens as Part of the Comprehensive Adult Assessment for ADHD at Downtown Psychology Clinic?

  • On the assessment date, the clinician conducts a thorough interview that includes personal history (e.g., family, medical, education, employment), diagnostic clinical interview, self-report questionnaires, and psychological testing.
  • Through the interview process, the clinician spends time speaking directly with you, learning about you from you, and in your own words. An ADHD or other diagnosis is more than just a checklist of symptoms, and our goal is to understand your experience as broadly and extensively as possible in order to offer you the best outcomes from the assessment.
  • We offer virtual (video) assessments over a secure teleconferencing platform, which helps us provide services throughout Ontario*. If you are in the Toronto area and want to do the assessment in-person, our offices are conveniently located at Queen and Bay (across from City Hall), fully accessible via TTC or car. (*Virtual assessments may also be possible if you are located in Quebec or Nova Scotia. Please contact us for more information).
  • As part of the assessment, it is helpful to have “collateral information”.
    • Types of collateral information: school report cards, letters from family members, medical records, other psychological or psychiatric assessment reports.
    • Collateral information is helpful but not mandatory. If you don’t have access to this information, that is okay! We can still do a very thorough and assessment.
  • Once you have completed the interview and questionnaires, the clinician will write a detailed psychological assessment report summarizing all of this information.
  • Our reports include:
    • DSM psychological diagnosis(es)
    • Education about the diagnosis(es)
    • Targeted evidence-based treatment options
    • Self-directed and lifestyle changes
    • Work/School accommodations suited to your needs.
  • The report is shared with you and reviewed in detail, giving you ample opportunity to ask your clinician questions so that you feel comfortable and understand the conclusions and recommendations of the assessment.
  • You will receive a copy of the full report for your own records, and you can share this report with your other treatment providers, such as your family doctor.

Who Can Conduct an ADHD Assessment?

The clinician conducting the assessment and giving a psychological/psychiatric diagnosis must be a regulated health care professional who is qualified to diagnose ADHD in adults (or a professional directly supervised by a qualified regulated health care professional). In Ontario, these assessments are typically conducted by psychologists or psychiatrists.

The clinician conducting the assessment is often considered an “independent examiner,” meaning they are not involved in the direct care or treatment of the person who is being assessed. As part of the assessment, they may make recommendations to be enacted by other health care professionals or organizations (e.g., treatment recommendations, referral for medication consultations, school-based recommendations for assignments/tests).

At the Downtown Psychology Clinic, our Comprehensive Adult Assessment for ADHD is conducted by Dr. Reena Chopra or by a Psychology Resident/Trainee under Dr. Chopra’s direct supervision. You will never be scheduled for assessment with a Resident or Trainee without your express consent.

Is the assessment covered by OHIP?

In Ontario, Psychologist fees are not covered by OHIP.

If you have health care benefits, such as through your work or school or under your parents, the cost of the assessment may be fully or partially covered.

  • Helpful questions to ask your benefits provider:
    • Will my benefits pay for psychological services provided by a Psychologist?
    • Will my benefits pay for psychological services performed by other providers (such as a Psychology Resident or Trainee) supervised by the psychologist?
    • Is there a maximum amount that will be paid for one service?
    • Is there a total maximum amount for all psychological services?
    • How much coverage do I have left for my coverage year?
    • Is my benefits coverage year the calendar year or does it reset on a different date?
  • Some benefits programs require pre-approval or a pre-determination before agreeing to pay for the assessment. One of our Psychology Intake Coordinators can help with this pre-approval paperwork. Please contact us for more information.

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If you are a student in an Ontario secondary institution and are eligible for OSAP, you may also be eligible for additional financial support. For more information, please see the Under-represented Learner subheading on the OSAP main page.

How much does a Comprehensive Adult Assessment for ADHD cost?

Please contact one of our Psychology Intake Coordinators and they would be happy to speak with you about fees for the assessment and payment options.

I think I want an assessment. What do I do next?

We welcome you to contact us and speak with one of our friendly Psychology Intake Coordinators for more information.

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We know it can be frustrating to wait many months for an appointment. At Downtown Psychology Clinic our goal is to schedule your assessment appointments within a few weeks of when you connect with one of our Psychology Intake Coordinators.

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If the timeline for scheduling an appointment is longer than a few weeks, we will always let you know so that you can make the best decision for your mental health needs.

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Reaching out for help isn’t easy,
but you have already taken the first step.