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Considering an ADHD Assessment: Understanding the Process and Benefits

Taking the step to having a diagnosis can seem daunting.  But at myturn2talk Psychology (Maroondah) we would like to assure you that taking this step can be incredibly beneficial.

So, let’s talk about some of the concerns you may have:

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Uncertainty and Fear of an ADHD Diagnosis:

The idea of receiving a formal diagnosis can be intimidating, especially if you are an adult and have grown up in an era where the difference was pathologised. We worry about what an ADHD diagnosis might mean for our identity and how we might be perceived. As a late-diagnosed ADHDer, I understand this fear well.  However, a shift in psychology towards neurodiversity has changed this for our founding psychologist, Kirsten, and many others.

The neuro-affirming approach to psychology is a recent paradigm that seeks to understand and support neurodiversity, which encompasses variations in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood, and other mental functions. This approach emphasises the value of neurological differences, such as autism and ADHD, as natural variations rather than pathologies to be cured.  

Yes! Finally! This approach aims to validate your experiences, reducing the stigma associated with an ADHD diagnosis. It focuses on strengths and unique attributes, fostering a positive self-identity, and is why we are passionate about late diagnosis at myturn2talk.

Complexity of the Process

ADHD assessments, while thorough and involving multiple steps, don’t need to be overwhelming.  During the first session, we will provide an overview of the steps involved, but really, it's about following along, trusting you are in good hands, and letting the psychologist guide you through the process.  It’s not complicated if you see it in terms of you telling your story. It's the psychologist’s job to relate your story to the diagnostic criteria, not yours.

A neuro-affirming approach ensures that the assessment process is collaborative and transparent. You will be kept informed at every step, and your input and experiences will be valued. This can make the process feel more manageable and less intimidating as you actively participate in your assessment journey.

Emotional and Mental Investment:

Reflecting on past behaviors and experiences during the assessment can be emotionally taxing. It requires a level of introspection that might bring up challenging memories or feelings.  But these experiences are probably what brought you to take this step in the first place.  An ADHD diagnosis is, more often than not, a recognition that what you knew was difficult was difficult.  A neuro-affirming approach prioritises creating a safe and supportive environment where you can explore your experiences without judgment. It recognises the emotional impact of an ADHD assessment and provides compassionate support to help you navigate any complicated feelings that arise.

Financial Investment:

While the financial investment for an ADHD assessment is always a consideration, the substantial long-term benefits far outweigh the cost.   An ADHD assessment provides a thorough understanding of your cognitive and behavioral patterns. This clarity can help you make informed decisions about your personal and professional life, improving outcomes in these areas.

Once assessed, “treatment” can begin:

First, a note on the word treatment. I don’t like it and generally avoid using the term when working with neurodivergent individuals because it implies that there is something inherently wrong or pathological that needs to be fixed or cured. This perspective is at odds with the core principles of the neurodiversity movement, which views neurological differences as natural variations of the human experience rather than disorders that require correction.

So, once assessed, we will provide personalised support that caters to your unique needs:

  • Our “ADHD treatment” focuses on the strengths and unique abilities of neurodivergent individuals rather than solely on your challenges or deficits.

  • Our “ADHD treatment” emphasised acceptance and respect for neurodivergent individuals as you are, without trying to change your neurodivergent traits.

  • Our “ADHD treatment” is collaboration, which involves you making decisions about your care and support, ensuring your voice and preferences are heard and respected

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Why Choose myturn2talk Psychology?

Choosing a neurodivergent psychologist who has received a late ADHD diagnosis for your assessment can offer several unique benefits. Such a psychologist brings a deeply personal understanding of the challenges and strengths associated with ADHD, having navigated the complexities of the condition themselves. This lived experience often fosters greater empathy and connection between clinician and client.

 

A neurodivergent psychologist will likely have developed practical strategies and insights beyond textbook knowledge, offering real-world solutions and coping mechanisms that resonate more authentically with clients. Their perspective can also challenge traditional paradigms and encourage a more holistic, strength-based approach to assessment and support.

Take the Next Step

Getting assessed is a courageous and proactive move towards better understanding yourself and improving your quality of life. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need further information about the assessment or treatment process.

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