ADHD (ATTENTION DEFICIT/HYPER ACTIVITY DISORDER)

  • Click here for our ADHD Food Guidelines for planning ADHD friendly meals.

  • Click here for our PP3R Behavior Change Planner.

+ WHAT IS IT?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. The term ADD is no longer used. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-Fifth Edition (DSM-V), a manual used by psychologist to determine diagnosis of a variety of mental health concerns, ADHD is defined as, “A persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.”

The definition further divides symptoms into three categories: predominantly hyperactive, predominantly inattentive or combined hyperactive and inattentive.

ADHD can be managed with medication.

ADHD does not affect intelligence, but when left unmanaged it can have a significant impact on learning.

ADHD and learning deficits are often co-occurring.

+ HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

ADHD must be diagnosed by a doctor or psychologist. Ideally, the diagnosing professional will use a combination of standardized assessment, formal and informal interviews, and surveys to determine if ADHD is an appropriate diagnosis. Interviews and surveys are gathered from both the patient and other adults/caregivers who regularly interact with the patient. Results of all the gathered data is then compared to the diagnostic criteria provided by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-Fifth Edition (DSM-V).

+ HOW IS IT MANAGED?

ADHD is generally best managed through a combination of medication and behavior therapy according to the National Institute of Health’ Multimodal Treatment of ADHD study (MTA). This study began in the 1990’s and continues to this day with new releases of information approximately every two years. Questions still remain as to the usefulness of medication over time and in what order should treatment begin: medication first or behavior therapy first. Some claim that the MTA research is not well-designed enough to elicit strong results.

A user-friendly review of the 2017 data release can be found HERE.

+ HOW CAN THINKING CAP HELP?

ADHD is often a co-occurring disorder with learning challenges (both with deficient and accelerated learners) and therefore our one-on-one sessions often address many elements of the behavior therapies recommended for children with ADHD. In addition, we offer coaching classes for parents of children with ADHD.

Our psycho-educational assessment do not offer a diagnosis of ADHD but our results are often used in conjunction with data gathered by the diagnosing professional.

+ ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

National Resource on ADHD: www.chadd.org
Additude Magazine: www.additudemag.com
Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction by Dr. Ned Hallowell
Taking Charge of ADHD, Dr. Russel Barkely
www.understood.org