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Psychological Testing for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Not being able to pay attention or sit still sucks no matter how old you are.

It means bad grades, misbehaving in class, difficulties making friends, getting in trouble often, and lower self-esteem for a child.  As a parent, it means frequent notes and calls from teachers and endless school conferences about your child’s performance and behavior problems.  There’s also constant pressure to medicate him or her.

But it doesn’t end there. Symptoms of ADHD also affect adults.

At work, it means running late to meetings, losing things, forgetting to return calls or emails, a messy desk, and missing deadlines.  At home, you start but don’t finish chores, don’t put things back where they belong, and you forget important dates like birthdays and anniversaries.  You know you’re driving your boss and partner crazy, but you just can’t help it.

Psychological testing for ADHD might be the answer you’re looking for.

Believe it or not… pediatricians, primary doctors, psychiatrists, and neurologists can’t accurately diagnose ADHD. A psychological evaluation is the only way to really know if a child or an adult meets the criteria for ADHD.  The results of psychological testing provide information about the type of attention deficit (ADD vs ADHD), severity, specific areas of strength and weakness, and recommendations for treatment.  

All this information gives you more options.

You’ll have the information that you and your child’s doctors need to make decisions about medications.  You and your child’s teachers will be better able to develop an individualized educational plan (IEP) that meets his or her specific needs so grades and behavior improve.  At work and at home, your boss and partner will have a better understanding of the accommodations and support you need to thrive.

You don’t have to keep struggling with the symptoms of ADHD.

Centrally located in Miami, FL, our team of licensed psychologists can conduct these psychoeducational evaluations for children (age 6+) and adults in English and Spanish.  As former teachers and neuropsychologists that worked for Miami-Dade County Schools, they have extensive knowledge of psychoeducational testing criteria required by Miami-Dade County Schools, local private schools, the College Board, HR departments, and other similar organizations.

Here’s what you can expect for school-related ADD/ADHD testing:

  • 60 – 90 minutes  Initial Interview with the licensed psychologist and the parent(s) or adult client
  • 2 – 4 sessions of 2 – 4 hours each for test administration, depending on the client’s age and length of breaks
  • 2 – 3 days to score, process, and analyze test results
  • 2 – 3 days to write the final report
  • 30 – 45 minutes  Feedback session with parent(s) or adult client to review results and recommendations

Total Time for completion = 14 days or less*

Here’s what you can expect for non-school related ADD/ADHD testing (e.g. adults):

  • 45 to 60- minute  Initial Interview with the licensed psychologist and the client
  • 1 session of 1.5 – 2 hours each for test administration
  • 2 days to score, process, and analyze test results
  • 2 – 3 days to write the final report
  • 30 – 45 minutes  Feedback session with the client to review results and recommendations

Total Time for completion = 8 days or less*

*Rushed reports are available, subject to an additional fee.

Please Note:

The same intelligence test cannot be repeated within 12 months.  If you or your child is being re-tested, please let us know which IQ test was previously administered in advance.  Failure to do so will lead to the invalidation of the results of our psychological evaluation.

You probably have more questions about our ADD/ADHD testing.

Here are some of the most common questions that people ask us about our ADD/ADHD evaluations.

Our doctors require that a child be at least 8 years-old for ADD/ADHD testing.  Before age 8, there’s a higher likelihood of false-negative and false-positive results. False-negative results suggest that a kid doesn’t have an issue when they really do!  On the other hand, false-positive results suggest that a kid has an issue when they really don’t. No wants either of those happening.

Yes, at least partially. Here’s what you need to understand: 

When testing anyone (regardless of age) for attention and academic difficulties, we have to combine ADD/ADHD testing with psychoeducational testing (called a neuropsychoeducational evaluation).  Such an evaluation is for educational purposes and your healthcare insurance is for health/medical purposes. In many cases, your healthcare insurance will cover the ADD/ADHD portion but not the psychoeducational portion, which is what provides the information schools and universities need to offer academic accommodations. However, we can give you a special receipt called a superbill. You can submit the superbill to your insurance company and see if they’ll accept the claim and reimburse some of the costs to you.

For ADD/ADHD testing to confirm the diagnosis and need for medication (i.e. not related to academics/school), it is likely that insurance will cover the costs of this evaluation. Again, we will give you a superbill receipt to submit to your insurance company to recover some of the costs.

Well, it depends on the type of ADD/ADHD testing.  If it’s for school-related/learning issues, a neuropsychological evaluation is called for and can be quite expensive.  In Miami-Dade County, you can expect to pay somewhere between $2000 to $5000 for a neuropsychoeducational evaluation. We realize that’s a huge and expensive range, especially when insurance may not cover all of the costs.  Even with technological advances, this type of evaluation remains time-consuming and very labor intensive. Here’s a breakdown of the number of hours it takes to complete one of these:

  • 60 to 90-minute Initial interview to gather clinical history
  • 6 to 8 hours of testing face-to-face with a psychologist
  • 2.5 hours to score testing, analyze results, and review academic records
  • 4 to 5 hours of report writing and proof-reading
  • 1-hour Feedback session to review results and answers questions

That’s about 14 to 18 hours of the psychologist’s time. Most charge $200 to $250 per hour for testing, means a fair price in Miami-Dade is somewhere between $2900 to $3750. 

Testing to determine whether you have/don’t have ADD/ADHD and if you’d benefit from medication (i.e. nothing related to school/academics), is much less time-consuming and not as labor-intensive. Here’s a breakdown of the number of hours it takes to complete one of these:

  • 45-minute initial interview to gather clinical history
  • 90-minutes of testing
  • 30-minutes to score testing, analyze results, and review any relevant records  
  • 90-minutes of report writing and proof-reading
  • 30-minute Feedback session to review results and answers questions  

That’s about 4 to 5 hours of the psychologist’s time. Most charge $200 to $250 per hour for testing, means a fair price in Miami-Dade is somewhere between $800 to $1250. 

Yes, they will as long as the ADD/ADHD evaluation is performed by a licensed psychologist in the state of Florida.  You can check whether a professional has an active license using this link

Consumer Alert!

Some psychologists will have their testing technician administer the psychological tests to cut down cost and use their time more efficiently.  This may account for the difference in cost when you’re calling around to get prices and one place charges $1000 and another place charges $3500. Please note that MDCPS will not accept ADD/ADHD testing performed by technician even if the final results are signed off by a licensed psychologist. 

You’re probably thinking, “Fine, I’ll just have my kiddo re-tested,” and sure you can do that, BUT remember that psychological tests cannot be re-administered for at least one year. Another year can put your child’s academic progress behind significantly. 

For younger children, we recommend that you don’t tell your child anything about the test until a day or so before their appointment so they don’t get nervous.  Avoid saying that it’s a test or mentioning anything about “passing or failing”.  It’s important that you remain calm, too, because your child will know something’s up if you’re anxious. If they ask, tell them they’re going to meet with Ms. Erika who will be helping you make important school decisions so that he or she can do their best in class.  That’s it – keep it simple!

Older children realize that they’re struggling in school so it’s best to be upfront with them. Explain these meeting with Ms. Erika will help you (parents), their teachers, and counselors understand what’s going on academically and get them the help they need so they do their best in school. 

Sorry, no, you can’t be in the room. Here’s why:

  • The results are more accurate when the testing environment closes approximates the school environment.
  • How your child behaves in your absence provides important information that is part of the evaluation.
  • The testing questions and materials are highly confidential and the licensed psychological has an ethical responsibility to maintain their confidentiality.

Make sure your kiddo gets a good night’s rest and a healthy, well-balanced meal before testing. That’s all the prep he or she needs.

If the reason for testing is school-related, a neuropsychoeducational evaluation will include:

  • A lengthy clinical history and a review of academic records
  • IQ test
  • Achievement test
  • Behavioral and emotional scales to parents, teachers, and the student
  • Neuropsychological tests of executive functioning

All of this takes about 6 to 8 hours on average and meets the requirements of most public and private schools as well as universities for academic accommodations.

If the reason for testing is not school-related and for the purpose of diagnosis and making a decision about medication, an ADD/ADHD evaluation will include:

  • Clinical history and a review of relevant records
  • Neuropsychological tests of executive functioning

All of this takes about 2 hours on average and can help you and your doctors determine a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD and make informed decisions about whether medication is appropriate for you.

Consumer Alert! 

A questionnaire provided by a pediatrician, primary care doctor, or neurologist and completed by you, a parent, and/or a partner/spouse isn’t sufficient to adequately diagnose ADD/ADHD. Objective (non-opinion based) neuropsychological tests also need to be administered to make an accurate diagnosis.

Do not pay for an evaluation that takes less time or fails to incorporate any of the tests mentioned above. It will not meet the requirements for you to receive academic accommodations. You will be wasting your time and money.   

Yes. Our evaluations address the client’s clinical history, explain all the test administered and results, draw conclusions that integrate the clinical history and test results, provide any applicable diagnoses, and offer recommendations and next steps to follow through with.

Yes, if the results of the neuropsychoeducational evaluation indicate that you would benefit from accommodations in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act.  Some of these standardized exams (e.g. LSAT, MCAT, FL Bar) require specific tests beyond what we normally administer. Our psychologists are aware of these requirements and have access to and experience administering these tests.

About 3 years on average. It’s really up to the organization that’s using your evaluation’s results. We’ve seen some places want an evaluation no older than 1 year and others that accepted an evaluation that was 5 years old. 

Our doctors have all licensed psychologists in the state of Florida. You can verify their licenses with Florida’s Department of Health using this link.  In addition, Dr. Erika Martinez and Dr. Frank Martinez-Mesa are trained neuropsychologists (ADD/ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder). Both have worked for Miami-Dade County Public Schools and large universities in Miami and have a comprehensive understanding of:

  • American with Disabilities Act
  • School system’s requirements for accommodations
  • IEPs & 504 plans
  • RIT model

Call or schedule a Consult to learn more and get pricing for this evaluation.

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Still not sure if psychological testing’s for you?  Check out the FAQs others have asked about evaluations.

This post is also available in: Spanish