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What is the Purpose of an ADHD Assessment?

Hyperactive children prior to their ADHD evaluation.

The purpose of an ADHD diagnostic evaluation is to identify if your child has any symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, how many symptoms they have, and how those symptoms may impact your child's ability to function at home, school, and within the community.


An ADHD evaluation at Oklahoma Children's may be appropriate if your child displays the following hyperactive/impulsive symptoms:

  • Fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat

  • Leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected

  • Runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate

  • Unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly

  • Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”

  • Talks excessively

  • Blurts out an answer before a question has been completed

  • Has trouble waiting their turn

  • Interrupts conversations or activities

Your child may also exhibit inattentive symptoms such as:

  • Failing to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork or with other activities

  • Has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities

  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly

  • Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork or chores (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked)

  • Has trouble organizing tasks and activities

  • Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework)

  • Loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g., school materials, homework, eyeglasses, phones)

  • Easily distracted

  • Forgetful in daily activities

Inattentive girl prior to her ADHD evaluation.
Oklahoma family during their intake for an ADHD evaluation.

ADHD Evaluation Process

Step 1: Clinical Interview

To determine an accurate diagnosis of ADHD (and potential treatment recommendations), the evaluation process begins with a Clinical Interview.  The clinical interview is simply a conversation with a Licensed Psychologist at Oklahoma Children's to better understand the presenting problems and relevant history of the problems for your child or adolescent.

The Clinical Interview will cover a wide range of topics related to your child and family, including:

  • Early developmental history and milestones

  • Family history

  • Current symptoms and concerns

  • Educational history

  • Medical history, including illnesses, injuries and hospitalizations

  • Friends and social relationships

  • Hobbies, interests, and extracurricular activities 

  • Strengths, talents, unique abilities and coping skills

ADHD Evaluation Process

Step 2: Testing Session

The second session is the "Testing Session" where a Licensed Psychologist and assessment staff will conduct a comprehensive ADHD examination which includes:​

  • Conners Continuous Performance Tests

  • Evidence-Based Intelligence or Cognitive Testing

  • Caregiver-Report Assessments

  • Other Empirically-Supported Assessments


When evaluating ADHD in your child or adolescent, staff at Oklahoma Children's utilize "gold standard" assessments to make objective ratings of your child’s behavior and determine whether the behavior pattern suggests a diagnosis of ADHD.   

The Testing Sessions are scheduled for 4 hours (a school absence excuse will be provided, if needed). For children/adolescents undergoing an evaluation, a multiple informant approach is used. That is, questionnaires are completed by parents/caregivers as well as teachers to provide additional information about the child and the presenting concerns.​

Child completing an ADHD assessment.
Oklahoma family during the feedback session of their ADHD evaluation.

ADHD Evaluation Process

Step 3: Feedback Session

The last session is the "Feedback Session" which is typically scheduled one to two weeks after the Testing Session. Caregivers meet privately with their Licensed Psychologist who will provide you with a detailed report. 


During the feedback session, the psychologist will:

  • Review the results of each assessment

  • Provide a specific diagnosis (or diagnoses)

  • Give specific treatment and intervention recommendations

  • Answer any questions you have about the evaluation results

Related Articles & Resources

Please note that the recommendation of particular websites, resources, or support groups does not necessarily indicate an endorsement of all the opinions or content within them.

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