The Assessment Visit

  • is it adhd
  • how bad is it
  • is there anything else, either as well or instead of

This is a one hour appointment, and if you haven’t been to the office before, there’s a bit of paper work before I actually see you so you need to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

If at all possible I need you to bring someone with you who knows you well and hopefully for several years. If you’re an adult it can be a parent, or friend, or partner, an ex, or even someone you work with.

If you have previous assessments I need those. I will be asking about current and previous medication so if you aren’t sure, then check with your pharmacy or doctor to get an accurate list of meds and doses and schedules so we don’t repeat failed experiments.

If you live with your significant other, then if for some reason they REALLY can’t come, they could send some notes about their observations.

A typical assessment visit consists of

  • why are you here?
  • some background information – age, job, meds, kids, family history etc.
  • some sense of when you first had symptoms that might be adhd – problems with attention, organization, remembering, procrastinating, misplacing, plus or minus restlessness or impulsivity
  • we start talking about symptoms – looking for those symptoms that you are famous for having – from your own observation or from hearing it from others, or from the person you brought with you.
  • we look at anxiety and depression and get a sense of whether there’s other issues like autism spectrum or ocd etc.
  • by this point I usually have an idea about whether you are adhd. If there are no complicating diagnoses we may start to talk about options for treatment.
    if there are concerns about other diagnoses, we may not be able to move forward till those issues are settled as best possible and this could take another one hour visit and or bringing in someone else who knows you from way back.
  • if the choice is to try medication, then we discuss choices of drug, side effects and risks, the whole question of addiction and safety, and how to adjust medication.
  • a prescription might be written at this point and plans made to see you again in two weeks to see what happens on medication.