ADHD and Learning Differences Assessments Across Ontario

ASSESSMENT AT POSSIBILITIES: THE FIRST STEP TOWARD AN EFFECTIVE TREATMENT PLAN
OUR TEAM APPROACH
At the Possibilities Clinic, we know that diagnosing ADD and ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Tourette Syndrome and associated conditions must be done with care, expertise, and uncompromising attention to detail. An accurate diagnosis is the first step towards an effective treatment plan. That is why every assessment we do involves these essential components to support diagnostic accuracy and treatment success:

  • A team of experts from different disciplines (e.g., psychiatry, pediatrics, psychology, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology)
  • Clinical interview sessions where we gather information about medical history and current functioning
  • Direct testing of attention, memory, learning and associated cognitive skills with a psychometrist
  • A team meeting when experts involved in the assessment review the findings, make diagnostic decisions and devise an individualized Treatment Plan
  • A feedback session where results and treatments are discussed with the patient and/or family
  • Integrated medication consultation sessions with our neuropsychiatry and paediatric experts

We have different kinds of assessments for different needs. Here are some common questions, grouped into themes, and our answers to help you better explore your assessment options.

CHOOSING AN ASSESSMENT THAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU
Do I have to decide what assessment I need on my own?
No. We can definitely help you. An initial discussion with one of our Care Coordinators can help determine the assessment that is right for you or your family. Please call 1-833-482-5558 to speak with one of our Care Coordinators or email us at info@possibilitiesclinic.com. You can also start by filling out an child intake form or one for adults and obtaining a physician referral.
GETTING A DOCTOR’S REFERRAL
Yes. Since all our assessments involve a physician—either a psychiatrist or paediatrician—they require an initial referral from a medical doctor. However, we recognize that there may be unusual circumstances, like the COVID-19 situation, that could make getting a doctor’s referral challenging. If you are having difficulty getting a referral, please contact our office so we can explore potential options.
MEDICAL FOLLOW-UP
Once an assessment happens at the clinic, does the doctor on the team continue to follow me or my child medically for as long as we need?
That is a good question, and the best way to answer it is to explain our process in a bit of detail. At Possibilities, our Collaborative Care Model allows you to access specialized care from experts through your own doctor. First, your physician will reach out to us with a referral for collaboration with our specialty team. If extenuating circumstances do not allow you to secure a referral, we will see if we can help. Eventually, however, you will need your own family doctor who can monitor and renew any medication that may be prescribed and started by our experts. For example, our psychiatrists may suggest a specific ADHD medication at a specific dosage. Once the response to the medication has been stabilized, your own doctor will continue monitoring the response, and renewing the prescription, with future check-ins with our experts, as necessary. So, to summarize, our medical experts 1) consult around specialized diagnoses and 2) start specific medication if pharmacological treatment is appropriate and something you are interested in. Then, 3) your own doctor takes it from there in terms of continuing your medication treatment.
HOW ASSESSMENTS ARE ADMINISTERED
Can your assessments be done remotely over video?
Yes. Almost all of our assessments, including those for ADHD and for Learning Disabilities, can be done over secure video sessions. In fact, before COVID-19, we were offering medical consultations, therapies and most assessments through secure video sessions to individuals and families located outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Our medical doctors and allied health professionals, including psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists, are licensed to provide services anywhere in Ontario. So, through secure video, we will continue to provide assessments, therapies and medical services to individuals and families from Windsor to Thunder Bay, from London to Ottawa, and from all other regions within the province.

Can you provide video assessments outside of Ontario?
No. At the present time our physicians and allied health professionals are licensed to provide care in Ontario. However, some of our Specialized Tutoring Services for ADD/ADHD and Learning Disabilities can be provided across North America through secure video sessions. 
ASSESSMENT FEES 
How much do your assessments cost?
Costs depend on the specific assessment you are requesting. If costs for any service do not appear on assessment pages, please contact our Care Coordinator for more information. Fees for assessments may be covered by private insurance plans. Post-secondary students seeking assessments may also apply for OSAP bursaries. 
ASSESSING CHILDREN, TEENS AND ADULTS
What ages do you see? I am an adult. Is it too late to get help? 
No, it is never too late to get help! We see people of ALL ages, especially for Attention Deficit Disorders, and that includes adults. And when we say adults, we do not just mean young adults who are heading off to college or starting a career. We see 30 and 40 year-olds who are cycling through jobs without direction or living with countless DIY projects that have never been finished. We see 50 and 60 year-olds who are questioning whether they have ADD or ADHD for the very first time. And we see adults who are older than that, too. All the adults we work with are striving for better outcomes, believing it is never too late for new beginnings and a fresh outlook! 

We offer different services for different ages. Speak with our Care Coordinator about what services may be right for you. Short descriptions of our assessments appear below, again while answering questions we hear often. 
COMPREHENSIVE ADD/ADHD ASSESSMENT
What is involved in an assessment for ADD or ADHD?
At Possibilities we offer a comprehensive assessment for ADD and ADHD for children, teens, and adults. Attention Deficit Disorders are complicated. Often, other challenges go along with them. So, we explore more than just focus. We do direct testing of attention, memory, and related cognitive skills over secure video sessions. We look at other issues, too, like anxiety, mood, and social and emotional functioning. For children, teens, and young adults in school, we also do a screening of academic abilities. Once the assessment is complete, our psychology team will match your needs to the right coaching or executive functioning interventions. Your official report can also be used to obtain school and workplace accommodations. Since the assessment team includes a physician with expertise in ADD/ADHD, medication can be started—in partnership with your family doctor—to ensure that a critical component of ADD or ADHD treatment is in place if you wish to explore this option. More information about our Comprehensive ADD/ADHD Assessment appears here

MEDICATION OPTIMIZATION CONSULTATION
What if a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD has already been made (for instance, we already got a psychoeducational assessment done at another clinic) but I am not sure the medication is working as well as it could? 

Science shows that combining medication and non-medication treatments usually works best for achieving optimal outcomes in ADD and ADHD. If you or your child is taking medication for an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the right medication at the right dose can support success. Our Medication Optimization Consultation can help you determine if your ADD/ADHD medication is doing all it could for you or your child. This assessment involves direct testing of attention. Our physician will review medication history, current health and functioning, and test results to determine if another medication or dosage might improve functioning. You can find out more about our Medication Optimization Consultation here.

OUR SIGNATURE ASSESSMENT: ATTENTION, LEARNING AND MENTAL HEALTH 
What if I have concerns about several things at once, like attention, learning and my child’s mental health?
The Possibilities Signature Assessment looks at all of these concerns—attention, learning and mental health—because science shows these challenges often go together. Our medical and psychology experts are involved in the team assessment which includes clinical interviews, report card reviews and direct testing. Given that the assessment is so comprehensive, we are able to make diagnoses like ADD/ADHD, Learning Disabilities and issues such as anxiety based on the findings. Once any diagnoses have been made, you will meet with the doctor on the assessment team to explore medical treatment options. You will discuss additional treatments with an expert from psychology in a separate feedback session. You can read more about our Signature Assessment here.

PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL TESTING
I have also been told by the school that my child needs a Psychoeducational Assessment. Do you offer this kind of testing?
Yes, but our psychoeducational testing is part of the Signature Assessment described above. Parents or schools requesting a Psychoeducational Assessment are typically wondering if a Learning Disability can explain problems in reading, writing or math. Science says that learning difficulties often have other challenges that go along with them, like problems with attention. We do not want to miss any challenges that can limit learning, so we do not offer stand-alone Psychoeducational Assessments. Instead, we do full psychoeducational testing, but we add comprehensive attention testing with a physician, as well as an assessment of mental health in our Signature Assessment. 

You can think of our Signature Assessment this way:

Possibilities Signature Assessment = a Psychoeducational Assessment PLUS an ADD/ADHD Assessment PLUS an Assessment of Mental Health and Social Functioning done by a team with Psychology PLUS Medical experts

So, if you are interested in a Psychoeducational Assessment, ask about our Signature Assessment which has added investigations so other challenges do not get missed! More information about our Signature Assessment appears here.

NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT
What is a Neuropsychological Assessment and why might it be needed instead of other kinds of testing?
Neuropsychological Assessments are a specialized form of psychoeducational testing that evaluate skills critical for learning through a brain-based lens. They are particularly appropriate when medical conditions are present—like premature birth, head injury or epilepsy—but can be helpful for any child when thinking about brain-based interventions to improve skills. Neuropsychological Assessments at Possibilities include all of the components of a Signature Assessment plus additional tasks looking at cognitive skills that can be affected by medical conditions. Neuropsychological Assessments must be done with a neuropsychologist—a psychologist specifically trained and licensed in the field of neuropsychology. 

Speak to our Care Coordinator to determine whether your child or teen requires standard psychoeducational testing through our Signature Assessment or a specialized Neuropsychological Assessment. Currently, we do not do neuropsychology testing with children or teens for medical-legal purposes.

GIFTEDNESS ASSESSMENT
Do you offer Giftedness testing?

Yes, we offer Gifted Assessments to children and adolescents. Sometimes students underperform because they are bored and feel unchallenged by the regular school curriculum. Placement in a giftedness program allows students who are exceptionally bright to be challenged appropriately and reach their full potential. With results from giftedness testing, schools can determine if a student qualifies for specialized placements and programs. Our Giftedness Assessment includes IQ testing plus a screening of some academic abilities.

GIFTEDNESS TESTING WITH AN ADDED ADD/ADHD ASSESSMENT 
What if my child seems very bright but I am also concerned that boredom could be a problem with attention?

When students are exceptionally bright, they can become bored quite quickly if material does not engage their intellect. But disengagement can also happen because of ADD or ADHD—and children who are very bright can have Attention Deficit Disorders just like other students. Research shows that students who are very bright are typically missed when it comes to attention difficulties. As a result, they are often diagnosed with ADD or ADHD much later in life. Students with ADD/ADHD often do not perform as well on giftedness testing, either, because they struggle to stay focused during the testing. At Possibilities we understand the complexity of giftedness testing when inattention is also a concern. We work hard to ensure that our assessment sessions are engaging and not too long for any single sitting, so motivation and attention are supported. When there are questions about giftedness plus inattention this assessment option is a good fit. It includes a full Giftedness Assessment (IQ testing plus screening of some academic skills) plus a full ADD/ADHD assessment. More information about our Comprehensive ADD/ADHD Assessment appears here

COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT FOR AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD) 
My child has always struggled to make friends. Could it be autism?

Toddlers, children and teens can have difficulty making friends for many reasons. Maybe there are attention problems that make it tough to follow conversations or control big emotions. Maybe there are language delays that make it difficult to express ideas or understand what peers and adults are saying. And maybe those factors can explain some of the difficulties your child is experiencing, but not all of them. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is complex and diagnosing it cannot be done quickly. Our team, including experts from psychiatry and psychology, takes a comprehensive look at more than just social functioning. We examine language skills, attention, mental health as well motor functioning and sensory processing. Direct testing of your child or teen is also done using the ADOS, considered the gold standard for assessing behaviours seen in autism. More information about our Comprehensive ASD Assessment appears here.

COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT FOR TIC DISORDERS/TOURETTE SYNDROME (TS) 
My child blinks a lot and clears his throat often. Could it be Tourette Syndrome?

Tourette Syndrome is a condition where involuntary movements called tics are present. Tics may be challenging for a child or teen, but other challenges may be present that can make life difficult, too. For example, Attention Deficit Disorders—either ADD or ADHD—can occur along with Tourette Syndrome, and so can Learning Disabilities and mental health challenges like anxiety or obsessive compulsive behaviours. So, it is important when assessing for Tourette Syndrome that other challenges are explored. Our team approach with experts from various disciplines, like psychiatry and psychology, ensures a 360 view of all your concerns. Clinical interviews, medical review of developmental and health history, ratings on standardized questionnaires, and direct testing of your child or teen provides a thorough investigation to support any diagnoses we make. More information about our Comprehensive Assessment for Tic Disorders/Tourette Syndrome appears here.