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About ADHD & Executive Functioning Assessments

ADHD evaluations are one of the most common requests at Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology.

Some parents express that their child has “difficulty paying attention,” is “impulsive,” or is “always in motion.” Others report that their child is “spacey,” “disorganized,” or “unfocused.” Adult clients sometimes report a pattern of difficulties paying attention, making impulsive decisions and completing tasks, or they may complain of feeling restless and bored.

At Brain Spectrum, we understand that ADHD is a diagnosis that can cause significant difficulties. We also understand that symptoms of ADHD are commonly associated with other diagnoses. Completing a questionnaire or a checklist of symptoms is usually inadequate to correctly diagnose ADHD, so we implement a more strategic and thorough approach to this type of assessment.

Who Can We Help?
ADHD evaluations la jolla

One of the most common concerns that brings parents to Brain Spectrum is whether their child has ADHD.

Parents are worried that their child has trouble focusing on anything that’s not interesting to them, especially homework; that their child is always “on the go;” that their child acts without thinking; or that their child is “smart but scattered”. Parents frequently express that their child is bright but that they underachieve in school. They often wonder whether their child is “just bored,” and they are confused because their child can play video games endlessly, but can’t sit still for five minutes to do their math homework.

Adults sometimes even reflect on their own lives – their work history, their relationships, their difficulties – and they wonder whether they themselves might have ADHD. At Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology, we offer comprehensive ADHD evaluations for all ages.

Common Signs Of ADHD & Executive Function Deficits

  • Fidgetiness, squirminess, a feeling of restlessness, or being constantly in motion
  • Blurting, interrupting
  • Spacey, daydreamy
  • Scattered
  • Easily bored
  • Easily distracted
  • Talking excessively
  • Disorganized
  • Poor planning
  • Underachievement
Our Process
Brain Spectrum offers a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation for ADHD that looks not only at ADHD symptoms but at other possible causes of the symptoms. We administer cognitive testing and other objective testing measures, and obtain parent and teacher reports. For adults, we may also request information from a spouse or partner as appropriate.

It is easy to fill out a checklist at a doctor’s office or go online and self-diagnose with ADHD. The problem with that strategy is that many other conditions can mimic the symptoms of ADHD. A person might be restless and struggle to pay attention when they have anxiety or depression, or a learning disorder or processing deficit.

Imagine trying to pay attention to the teacher’s lesson when you are processing information at a slower rate than the other children. Imagine trying to focus on reading when you have undiagnosed dyslexia and it takes more time and effort to read and comprehend.

At Brain Spectrum, we offer a broader, more comprehensive evaluation to not only accurately diagnose ADHD, but to examine and better understand the underlying cause of the symptoms.

What Results Can You Expect?
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Obtaining an accurate diagnosis of ADHD can be very informative and potentially life-altering.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can impact a person’s self-worth, relationships, academic achievement, and job performance. This can lead to difficulties with depression, anxiety, and sometimes even substance abuse.

Because we assess ADHD comprehensively, it provides us with a more nuanced understanding of your specific profile, which we then share with you. Further, the information collected from this type of evaluation can aid in developing evidence-based recommendations, effective treatment plans, and tailored accommodations for various settings (classroom, academic, work, tutoring, test-taking, etc).

At the conclusion of testing, you will be provided with a detailed evaluation report of the results, along with evidence-based recommendations tailored to you or your child’s specific areas of strength and weakness. Recommendations may include a consultation for medication management.

If indicated, recommendations may also include school recommendations for accommodations through a 504 plan.


Dr. Cheryl Arutt, PsyD, Clinical & Forensic Psychologist

"I have known Dr. Thurlow for 25 years and give her my highest recommendation! She is that special kind of expert who really listens, combining her deep knowledge and experience as a neuropsychologist with her compassion as a human/parent/friend to illuminate ways to really support and deeply understand young people whose brains work differently. Her evaluations improve lives, and I always know those I refer to Dr. Thurlow will be in excellent hands."

Dr. Mandy Moradi, Clinical Consultant Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center

"I have collaborated with Dr. Thurlow in various capacities over the years. She is an exceptionally bright psychologist who is committed to the wellbeing of our neurodivergent community. There is wide variability when it comes to evaluation quality, and finding a professional who offers best practice evaluations using gold-standard measures can be challenging. Dr. Thurlow offers the kind of sensitive, thorough, and evidence-based assessments that I trust. I recommend Dr. Thurlow without hesitation."

Dr. Jesse Olague, Child Psychologist, Del Mar

"Dr. Thurlow is without a doubt the best diagnostician in San Diego. Not only does she have the experience and high-level skills to understand even the most complex cases, she is also incredibly compassionate and kind. Families and professionals alike love working with her. I trust her clinical judgment without reservation."

David Teitelman, parent of a neurodivergent child.

"Dr. Thurlow is a spectacular psychologist/diagnostician. I can attest to her expertise in the areas of autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and Neuro divergence. Dr. Thurlow was able to determine significant flaws in a previous evaluation of my neurodivergent child. With her help, we were finally able to obtain an accurate diagnosis after many years of struggle.

Dr. Thurlow's consultation, compassion, and support in obtaining an accurate diagnosis has truly been life-changing for our family."

888 Prospect Street, Suite 200, La Jolla, CA 92037