Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a pattern of cognitive functioning characterized by inattention, distractibility, and in many cases, hyperactivity. Individuals identified with ADHD typically fall into one of three categories: Inattentive type, Hyperactive/Impulsive type, or Combined type.
The Inattentive type is characterized by a failure to give close attention to details, to engage in active listening, or to see a task through to completion. Individuals often have trouble organizing tasks and activities, are forgetful, and are easily distracted. The Hyperactive/Impulsive type is characterized by fidgetiness, chattiness, restlessness, and difficulty in remaining seated. The Combined type is characterized by symptoms of inattention as well as hyperactivity and impulsivity.
In order to most accurately diagnose ADHD, it is important to conduct a comprehensive evaluation, which involves a thorough clinical interview, a broad range of neuropsychological tests, and a feedback session. We avoid using abbreviated test batteries or screening batteries that just focus on measuring attention or using only self-report forms. Attention difficulties can be a result of a variety of non-ADHD causes (for example, auditory processing problems, hearing or visual difficulties, depression, anxiety, motivation) and that is why it is important to conduct a comprehensive assessment.
At the feedback session, we review the test results and the detailed recommendations for the future. The treatment plan will include recommendations that may include academic accommodations for school and standardized testing, work accommodations, skill training, coaching, and other types of therapies. In some cases, a medical consultation for possible pharmaceutical therapy may be considered.
Addressing the issues of ADHD requires a team approach to include not only the doctors, educators, and parents/spouses, but most importantly, the individual experiencing ADHD.