What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children. It begins in childhood and continues into adulthood.
ADHD is linked to three main types of behaviors:
- Trouble paying attention (Inattention)
- Trouble staying still (Hyperactivity)
- Trouble controlling impulses (Impulsivity)
In children with ADHD, these symptoms are greater than expected for their age and cause problems at home, school or with friends.
Although some people with ADHD have fewer symptoms as they age, many adults continue to have difficulties that interfere with functioning. Some adults with ADHD may not even be aware they have it-they just know everyday tasks can be a challenge. Adults with ADHD might also notice problems with disorganization, time management, restlessness, and coping with stress. They may be quick tempered or have a low frustration tolerance.
Causes of ADHD
ADHD is a neurologically based brain disorder. It is believed to be caused by a problem with the functioning of the brain that controls attention and behavior.
While the exact causes of ADHD are unclear, there are several factors that may be involved.
- Genetics: 3 out of 4 children with ADHD have a family member with the disorder
- Environment: Exposure to certain environmental toxins, such as lead, may increase risk
- Problems during development: Premature birth or maternal use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco during pregnancy
Diagnosis of ADHD
A comprehensive assessment should always be performed. At CCS, our evaluations are administered by licensed clinicians with an expertise in diagnosing and treating ADHD.
Our ADHD testing protocol includes:
- Diagnostic clinical interview
- Continuous performance test measuring visual and auditory attention and response control functioning
- EEG assessment aid that uses brainwaves to identify biomarkers of ADHD in the brain (NEBA)
- Rating scales to measure the presence and severity of ADHD symptoms (parent, teacher or self-report)
- Assessment inventory to rule out other causes of symptoms or identify any co-morbid syndromes
- Review of relevant records (school/medical/work)
Treatment of ADHD
Parenting a child with ADHD or living with ADHD can be difficult and overwhelming at times. It is important to remember that with proper treatment, the ADHD individual can and will succeed.
There is no cure for ADHD, but there are ways to successfully manage the symptoms.
- Medications prescribed by medical professionals can greatly reduce symptoms of ADHD
- Behavioral counseling can change behaviors, create routines, increase organization, improve social skills, and enhance parenting strategies
- Clinical counseling can teach effective ways to manage emotions, improve self-esteem and treat comorbid conditions
- Neurofeedback can increase low levels of arousal associated w/ADHD in the frontal brain regions
- Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE) uses pulses of light and sound to alter brainwave frequencies to improve mental performance
- Nutritional supplements offer a more natural approach to optimizing brain potential
ADHD & Education
ADHD can adversely impact school performance and academic accommodations are often necessary to maximize educational success.
There are two education laws that protect student rights: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Parents and school staff should work collaboratively to develop a suitable school program specifically tailored to the needs of the individual student.
ADHD Related Services
Diagnostic Interview: $100 *or insurance contracted rate*
ADHD Testing Battery: $895
CPT Titration Testing (w/full battery): $50
CPT Package (on & off medication): $150 *available to CCS patients only*
Counseling Session: $85 – $120 *or insurance contracted rate*
Theresa Sloan, MEd, LPC, LAC, CCMHC
Amanda Mercer, MS, LPC
Bevin Nixon, PhD, LISW-CP, LCSW