| What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. The attention and self-control problems associated with ADHD significantly interfere with a person's ability to function adequately at home, school, and/or work.
What if the problem isn't ADHD?
ADHD often co-exists with other emotional and behavioral disorders. Showing some signs of inattention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity, however, does not necessarily mean a child has ADHD.
In fact, many emotional and behavioral disorders have secondary symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, distractibility, restless behavior, and self-control problems. Establishing an accurate diagnosis is crucial in determining the direction for treatment.
What are the evaluation steps?
Individual differences, psychological/intellectual functioning, and developmental and medical history are important factors to consider during the comprehensive evaluation process.
The clinical interview will be conducted with the child and parent(s). (Parents are encouraged to bring a friend or family member to be with their child to allow them time to meet alone with the therapist.)
Review of Previous Records:
Parents are asked to bring previous records and/or information regarding their child's performance to the initial interview. Examples of pertinent information would be previous testing reports, notes from teachers, report cards, etc.
Parent, child, and teacher rating scales and possibly a continuous performance test will be used to identify possible attention, depression, anxiety, and/or behavior problems.
Detailed verbal feedback about diagnosis as well as recommendations for treatment are provided following completion of the ADHD evaluation. Additional neuropsychological testing may be recommended to rule out learning or developmental disabilities.
What about treatment?
The most effective treatment for ADHD is a combination of medication, directive skills training for children and parents, and school intervention. Results of the evaluation will be provided to the child's family physician, who may prescribe medicine.
Our therapists are available to attend scheduled school conferences as needed to provide instruction and coaching in behavioral management techniques. The therapist can also collaborate with parents and teachers in the development of an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) which may include identifying special accommodations in the classroom, etc.
Creating a high level of rapport and cooperation between parents and teachers is critical to assure optimal success for the child in school. Individual, family, and group therapy sessions focus on improving the child's social skills and peer relationships, problem-solving skills, organizational skills, and responsible expression of feelings. Parenting skills training provides techniques to improve the structure and consistency within the home using child behavioral management techniques to increase satisfaction with family relationships.