Attention Deficit Disorder is both over-diagnosed and under-diagnosed, today. Some oversimplify the problem and just think “those kids just need more discipline.” Or some are so opposed to using medications that they do not get the testing at all or find out that there are many other ways to treat ADD other than medications. What many do not know, is that the symptoms that are classic to ADD are a part of many other diagnoses, that when treated for ADD (especially with medications) can actually make things worse. An accurate diagnosis is the only way to have an effective set of interventions!
You may ask, “what else could it be if my kid can’t pay attention?” Think about it with yourself as an adult; when are you the most distracted? When do you have the most trouble paying attention? Well, of course, when you are tired, and when you are hungry. Counseling and structuring life will help these people tremendously! You likely find it difficult to concentrate when you are anxious and depressed, which are the most common diagnostic categories that look and feel like ADD. If a kid is really worried about what is happening at home, or in his world in general, he will be hyper-focused on his worries and not be able to attend to their teacher as well. Likewise, if any of us are down or depressed, we just don’t have the energy or the motivation to pay attention, and that can look like they have ADD. You may say, “my kid is not depressed or anxious,” but do you really know that? They are not often able to express or put into words what is going on inside of them. That’s where we come in!
What Can We Do?
This is the time of year when we get lots of calls from parents and students that think they may have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and want our specialized Assessment package. As your kids go back to school and college, it may become apparent that they are struggling more than their peers. The best thing you can do for them is to get them tested!
3 Easy Steps to our ADD Assessment
Our ADD Assessment Package has three steps that are accomplished in two sessions.
- Complete a full social work assessment and family interview with a Psychosocial History that focuses on school and behavioral issues.
- Take a 22-minute Psychological Assessment called the Test of Variable Attentions (TOVA) Test and the Conner’s Tests (Teacher and Parent forms). All of which will all then be reviewed by your counselor and our Board Certified Child Psychiatrist.
- Two weeks later, you will schedule an hour session to have a session with the counselor who will review all the results with you, take your questions, and give recommendations for interventions including medication and clinical interventions. We would be glad to give you a copy of the results and/or send them to your primary care doctor for their review. Cost: Co-pay for two sessions, and $75 for testing.
As the parent of a special needs kid, we went through the same process you did and started with getting an evaluation. Our family, like many others, paid thousands of dollars that we did not have and took our son for a whole battery of psychological testing. Some of you have gone this route as well, and have overspent, and overstimulated your loved one in the process. Others have presented to their Primary Care Doctor who has a checklist, or maybe gives an interview that they put you through, but does not necessarily have the data you need to scientifically verify an ADD diagnosis, nor the time to look for all the other issues and symptoms that look like ADD. We would love for you to give us a call and have yourself, your child, your teen, or your college student tested for attention difficulties! It will only take a couple of hours of your time and will give you a package of reports including the data quantifying the level of distractibility that they have, a full diagnosis, and a full set of recommendations to use and to give to their teachers as needed too!
Looking at the symptoms of attention problems may lead you and us to look a little deeper, and we may find out that there is, in fact, something else going on, such as anxiety or depression. In the case of my son, we found out he had Autism (after a long and difficult process), and others of you may find that there are some Bipolar traits present. In case this scenario scares you away from the process, many of our clients find out there are just some Oppositional Defiant Disorder difficulties, or that they just have a normal child that is overly social and needs some help with self-control. No matter what the cause of these attention problems, “knowing is half the battle,” and we would be honored to walk this road out with you of finding out how we can help your loved one be all they can be by addressing whatever the obstacles might be with all the latest and greatest interventions!