ADHD Testing

What is attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects brain development in early childhood. It alters brain structure and activity, making it difficult to maintain self-control, focus, or sit still. ADHD is a chronic disorder that impairs learning, relationships, and daily functioning. When ADHD goes undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or substance use disorder.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

While a diagnosis of ADHD may not have been made during childhood (before age 12) there are many adults with undiagnosed and untreated ADHD.  ADHD symptoms fall into three categories: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.


Inattention is the inability to stay on task, follow conversations, or complete assignments.


Impulsivity makes it hard to maintain self-control. You may make decisions without thinking, potentially putting yourself in dangerous situations. Interrupting others is another impulsive symptom of ADHD.


Hyperactivity makes it hard to sit still. You may feel the need to always be in motion, fidgeting, tapping, pacing, or talking excessively.

An accurate diagnosis is critical because some symptoms of ADHD can mimic those of other diagnoses such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or substance abuse. Because ADHD symptoms appear during childhood or early adolescence, symptoms that appear during adulthood are more likely due to one of these other conditions rather than ADHD. However, some individuals who appear to have no childhood history of ADHD may have had ADHD symptoms that were overlooked and became apparent later when faced with the increased demands of school or a new job.

What happens during an initial ADHD consultation?

During your consultation, your clinician will review your personal history and current symptomology to assess the possibility of an ADHD diagnosis. We generally recommend the TOVA test in addition to an assessment to have an objective test in the diagnosis of ADHD. At the end of the consultation, your provider will recommend an appropriate medication based on a careful review of all relevant information.

What are the treatments for ADHD?

Optimal takes an individualized approach to care. When clinically appropriate, your ADHD treatment plan may include psychopharmacology (medication management) using psychostimulant medication. Psychostimulants are a class of medications that trigger the release of neurotransmitters in the brain that improve focus and attention. Given the unique risks and side-effect profile of psychostimulant medication, it is critical to understand your treatment options, including a thorough risk-benefit assessment. 

The Test of Variables of Attention – T.O.V.A.

Optimal Psychiatry & Wellness is excited to offer one of the best objective tests for Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Since an ADHD diagnosis involves using a particular class of medications called, Psychostimulants, we take extra care to get an objective test and a thorough, detailed assessment to obtain or confirm the diagnosis of ADHD. Psychostimulants have a lot of benefits and risks involved with their usage. Hence an accurate and appropriate diagnosis of ADHD is essential before its use.

What is TOVA Testing?

The T.O.V.A. is the most widely used objective neuropsychological assessment measure of attention in the world, and is considered the “Gold Standard” among measures of its type. T.O.V.A. is an objective, accurate, and FDA cleared continuous performance test (CPT) that measures the key components of attention and inhibitory control. Our qualified healthcare providers use it to aid in assessing and evaluating treatment for attention deficits, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), in children and adults.

What does the TOVA test entail?

The T.O.V.A. test is a culture- and language-free, sufficiently long (21.6-minute) computerized test. The T.O.V.A. Responses to visual stimuli are recorded with a unique, highly accurate (±1 ms) micro switch using a button. The test is used to measure a number of variables involving the test takers response to either a visual or auditory stimulus. The .O.V.A. calculates response time variability (consistency), response time (speed), commissions (impulsivity), and omissions (focus and vigilance). These calculations are then compared to a similar age and gender-matched normative sample and to a sample population of individuals independently diagnosed with ADHD. These comparison results are used to create an immediately available, easy-to-read report.


Frequently Asked Questions

Optimal Psychiatry has partnered with TOVA to ensure through an objective test (TOVA) and a subjective assessment (Assessment with your provider) that the diagnosis of ADHD is accurate. Many practices are only using a subjective assessment.

Your health insurance does not cover the Tova Test; we charge a flat fee for its administration which is due before your test.

Initial Tova Test: $200 (This test will help aid and confirm a possible ADHD diagnosis).

Follow-up Tova Test: $175 (These are used to assess how well your current psychostimulant or medication works and can aid in dosage adjustment recommendations and if your ADHD symptoms are better under control)

If this is your first time taking the Tova, we recommend getting a good night’s rest and a good meal 1 to 2 hours before taking the test. Also, we recommend not taking any caffeine or coffee before the test, as this test is the most accurate when not on a stimulant. If you are already diagnosed with ADHD and this is a follow up test on how your medications are working, it is okay to take the test while using your stimulant.

Tova has a built-in system where it knows when the participant is not trying or making an effort to cheat the system. These are flagged and given to the provider, which will result in a failed test and no result given.