ASSESSMENT


  • Full ADHD assessment – i.e. no previous diagnosis of ADHD
  • Full ASD assessment – i.e. no previous diagnosis of ASD
  • What if I already have a diagnosis or not sure what kind of assessment I need
Full ADHD assessment – i.e. no previous diagnosis of ADHD

We employ an evidence based, valid, full psychosocial interview to assess for adult ADHD and any other conditions that might mimic ADHD symptoms. The assessment includes the DIVA-5 which is the structured Diagnostic Interview for Adult ADHD, and considered the gold standard to assess ADHD in adults. A full assessment takes no less than 2 hours to complete (often more). On the day of the assessment, we will invite you and, if possible, an informant (generally a parent) in order to collect information regarding your early childhood history. Prior to the meeting, we will ask you and the informant to complete 13 rating scales and questionnaires focused on ADHD and other conditions that might co-exist or mimic ADHD symptoms. Rating scales and questionnaires are always used in conjunction with diagnostic information gathered during the assessment and never used alone to reach a diagnostic conclusion.

Full ASD assessment – i.e. no previous diagnosis of ASD

The assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorders that we employ (the “AAA assessment”) involves a comprehensive psychosocial clinical interview with the patient and an informant, and the use of ASD specific rating scales and questionnaires including the Autistic Quotient scale (AQ); Emotional Quotient scale (EQ); RQ (CAST-revised); AAA; Patient Questionnaire (PQ).  Moreover, we will look at possible conditions that might mimic ASD symptoms and to symptoms that might be a sign of the existence of conditions that might co-exist with ASD (e.g. ADHD). In general, the assessment will take a minimum of 2 hours, very often more. After the assessment, we will review the data and write a full report with the diagnostic conclusions and recommendations. During the assessment, an informant who knew the client as a child must be present as there will be important questions regarding early childhood (before age 6).

The AAA assessment is the gold standard for assessing ASD in adults (in particular, Asperger’s syndrome, high functioning autism).

What if I already have a diagnosis or not sure what kind of assessment I need
If you already have a diagnosis of ADHD or ASD earlier in life, and you wish to have a consultation with feel free to contact the Clinic. The interview process will be similar to that conducted for a full assessment. If instead you are not sure what kind of assessment you need (if any), simply send an email and we will be able to discuss your case and offer you advice.

THERAPY


  • PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS
PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS
Evidence-based psychological therapies include all the following; modified versions of CBT, and Integrative approaches are also adapted to treat other general mental health conditions.

Cognitive Behavioural Treatment (CBT) for Adult ADHD

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies tailored to ADHD symptomatology is an effective treatment for ADHD in adults. A recent study showed that the effect of medication was augmented by CBT but, strikingly, medication did not impact on the capacity to learn the skills taught during CBT. This suggests that CBT can be effective in adults with ADHD, even in patients who cannot tolerate stimulants.

Mindfulness based CBT for Adult ADHD

In recent years, mindfulness based CBT has been showed to improve attention, reduce stress, and improve mood. Studies examining the efficacy of mindfulness based cognitive therapy show improvements in ADHD symptoms and performance on neuropsychological tasks measuring attention and impulsivity. Improvements in anxiety and depressive symptoms were also observed.

Psychoeducation and Social Cognition Training for ASD

This approach has the aim to improve individuals’ ability to grasp social cues and, as a consequence, improve social functioning. Indeed, one problem central to individuals with autism is impaired social cognitive functioning. These social impairments encompass basic emotion recognition (reading specific emotions from human faces), theory of mind deficits (inferring intentions and beliefs in others and themselves) and other social cues (e.g. vocal tone), significantly affecting the lives of people with ASD and their families. The training employed here will focus in enhancing emotion recognition using external cues, role playing, facial emotion and prosody/vocal tone/body language recognition training tasks.

Integrative approach for Adult ADHD and ASD

Research evidence also shows treatment effect when employing an integrative treatment approach based on cognitive behavioural (CBT), systemic paradigms, and attachment theories. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has also shown promising results.

ADHD or ASD focused couple therapy

Couples where one of the members suffers from ADHD (with or without ASD) commonly experience significant problems and conflicts in several domains including: chore-sharing, finance management and planning, sexual intimacy, communications, child-rearing style, anger outbursts, just to name a few. Integrating several techniques from psychoeducation, systemic theory, mindfulness and CBT approaches, we will be able to foster understanding, change and wellbeing. Some examples of what kind of change you should expect:

  • A self-centred partner finally listens and shows empathy toward his spouse.
  • The compulsive spender is able to self-regulate his spending habits having in mind his family financial security.
  • The impulsive parent mindfully responds more calmly to her children’s behaviour.
  • The “drama couple” finally finds new positive ways to channel creativity and energy.

In sum, adults with ADHD will be able to act more mindfully, with more insight and be able to develop new healthier habits and being more emotionally connected with their loved ones.


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