ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often persists into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of issues, such as impulsive behavior, difficulty concentrating and lack of attention to details, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.
Children and adolescents with ADHD also may struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school. Symptoms can diminish with age, however, some individuals never completely outgrow their ADHD .
There are three primary characteristics ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder): Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity.
- Doesn’t pay attention to details or makes careless mistakes
- Has trouble staying focused; is easily distracted
- Appears not to listen when spoken to
- Has difficulty remembering things and following instructions
- Has trouble staying organized, planning ahead, and finishing projects
- Frequently loses or misplaces homework, books, toys, or other items
- Blurts out answers without waiting to be called on hear the whole question
- Has difficulty waiting for his or her turn
- Often interrupts others
- Intrudes on other people’s conversations or games
- Inability to keep powerful emotions in check, resulting in angry outbursts or temper tantrums
Identifying ADHD in Children
We use a variety of tools to assess ADHD in children, adolescents, and adults. We provide a thorough clinical interview with the child, parents, and any other adults such as teachers, primary care physicians, or mental health professionals, conduct in-school observations, and administer scales that assess aspects of cognitive functioning, memory functioning, executive/attention functioning, and emotional/social functioning. When warranted or requested, we also administer scales related to academic functioning and projective testing to assess personality characteristics in order to rule out attention difficulties that are better accounted for by trauma, intrusive thoughts, learning difficulties, developmental delays/autism, anxiety, and/or depression.
We accommodate families’ busy lives by testing children on days off/weekends when necessary and break up the testing administrations into multiple, more manageable sessions. Our feedback sessions strive to provide comprehensive, clear explanations of results to family members. We also welcome collaboration with schools, tutors, therapeutic treatment team members, primary care physicians, and psychiatrists in order to provide continuous care for our clients.
Treatment of ADHD
Once a diagnosis of ADHD is established, therapy for behavioral management of the ADHD is recommended and medication can, at times, also be a useful tool to improve attention difficulties. We educate parents and children on specific strategies to improve the impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention associated with ADHD at home, school, and during extra-curricular activities/social gatherings/places of worship. A crucial component to the treatment of ADHD is the individual’s acceptance of the diagnosis so he/she recognizes the need to implement new behavioral patterns in his/her life. For example, when a person with ADHD acknowledges poor time management skills, the person can feel less frustrated by accepting the ADHD wiring in the brain and more willing to use a strategy like putting a reminder in his/her phone and having a plan to judge how many activities he/she can feasibly do to arrive on time to an appointment.