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disorder, specific learning problems and other school concerns...

ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)

Updated: February 2015

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition impairing a student’s ability to concentrate and focus on tasks, making school work extremely challenging. Perhaps you have noticed your child avoids school work, has trouble following multi-step instructions, is easily distracted by exterior stimuli or "zones out", is disorganized and looses things all the time. Other children can be extremely disruptive and impulsive, often getting into trouble in school and even at home.  ADD can also affect adults. CLICK HERE FOR A SHORT VIDEO ON ADHD.

Testing for ADD and ADHD

Although to this day, there is no single or specific set of tests to confirm or rule out ADD or ADHD, mental health professionals across the board conclude that a reliable assessment should include the following: an IQ test, an achievement test, behavioral observations in multiple settings (at least 2) and in some rare cases, a neurological or physical test. Most mental health professionals begin with an IQ test.   Child-Testing uses The Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children-IV for children ages 5 through 16, or the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III for adults ages 17 and up, to rule out any cognitive deficits that may be impairing the student’s academic functioning and behavior. As it relates to ADHD, we want to pay close attention to WORKING MEMORY INDEX (WMI) and PROCESSING SPEED INDEX (PSI) scores, since recent studies have shown that most students with ADHD have impaired working memory and slow processing speed, which are important elements of executive function. Keep in mind, that it has been reported that 89-98 percent of students with ADHD have deficits in executive skills. We look closely at the student’s ability to sustain attention, concentrate, and exert mental control. We also look closely at the student's ability in processing simple or routine visual material without making errors. Furthermore, in many ADHD students, as much as 60-65%, have problems with written expression and math. To assess these areas, a psycho-educational test is usually administered.

In addition to these tests, the clinician can make behavioral observations in the child’s own natural setting at home and ask questions about the child’s behavior at school to help make a proper diagnosis.  Child Testing Solutions serves all Florida counties and cities, including:  the entire Tampa Bay area, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Panama City, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm, Boca Raton and many more. Please call for more details.

Treatment

Treatment for ADHD may include behavior modification techniques and in some cases medication. Although ADHD medication can certainly be the most effective form of treatment in severe cases of inattention and impulsiveness, the overuse of medication has become a problem in the medical community. Both parents and doctors are becoming increasingly quick to blame behavioral and social problems on ADHD and utilize medication to fix the situation. The problem with this, warn some doctors, is that by being so quick to prescribe drugs to correct this condition, is that they might be overlooking other possible causes for problem behavior.  With the alarming increase in ADHD cases, it is no surprise that many question the validity of such diagnoses. For this reason it is crucial that parents ensure proper testing as described above. Our report will include a lengthy section on recommendations, treatment and follow up services for students with an ADHD diagnosis.

READ MORE ABOUT ADHD/ADD

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