ADHD Case Management
What is ADD/ADHD?
ADD/ADHD is one of the most common child hood disorders. The symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) include inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Many children also present with emotional dysregulation issues. ADD/ADHD is increasingly recognized as a development impairment of executive functions of the brain including difficulties with organization, time management, and planning. Studies have shown that for many people, ADD/ADHD continues into adulthood although symptoms may change (e.g. hyperactivity to restlessness).
There is currently no single definitive test that is available to doctors today to assess this very common childhood condition. Doctors usually can obtain a clearer picture of the problem after getting a thorough history. A physical exam can also assess the child’s health. However, specific signs and symptoms should be assessed before an accurate diagnosis is given and a subsequent treatment plan is put into place.
What criteria are used to establish a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD?
The American Psychiatric Association publishes a manual called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). Doctors use the criteria set forth in this manual to evaluation patients who present with symptoms of ADD/ADHD or other mental or behavioral disorders. The patient needs to demonstrate 6 symptoms of inattention and/or 6 symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity. In addition, the symptoms must be: present in multiple environments (e.g. school, home), interfering with social, academic or occupational functioning, and be present before the age of 12.
What does ADD/ADHD testing consist of?
My practice specializes in the accurate diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, which often includes neuropsychological testing. Many children, adolescents and adults suffer from ADD/ADHD but are misdiagnosed. Psychological testing can help distinguish ADD/ADHD from other issues such as a processing speed issue, an anxiety disorder or even normal energetic children.
Depending upon the presenting problem, age and other factors, a battery of different psychological tests will be administered. The group of tests can range from a small diagnostic focused battery to guide treatment to a thorough educational assessment that can highlight potential learning disabilities.
What are the treatment recommendations for ADD/ADHD?
ADD/ADHD treatment usually consists of behavioral therapy, medications, or a combination of both. Studies have shown that both medications and behavioral therapy together is the best way to support your child. This combination approach has been found to be safe and effective in not only ameliorating the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, but also in helping in to improve your child’s ability to self-regulate, follow rules, and improve relationships with their peers and with you, their parents. I will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan for your child that may include some of the following elements:
Parent and child education about diagnosis and treatment
Behavior management techniques:
Parent Support & Parent Management Training (e.g. PCIT)
Child Therapy (Individual & Family)
Social Skills Group Training
School accommodations, programming and support
Executive function coaching
I offer many of the services listed above and can provide referrals (e.g., psychiatrists for medication management) and coordinate services so that your child receives the best support plan possible.
Call now and together we can develop a plan to help your child!
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