ADHD is a neurochemical brain disorder that affects behaviors related to attention, activity and impulsivity. Hope Haven provides expert evaluation, treatment, therapy, summer camps and tutoring to address the special challenges ADHD poses for children, their families and their teachers.
The first step in evaluating ADHD is gathering basic medical, educational and background information. Before the first appointment, professional staff review all medical and educational history forms. Subsequent steps in the evaluation process include:
- Psychological Consultation. Parent(s) and child meet with an ADHD specialist for an in-depth assessment and interview.
- Medical Evaluation. Parent(s) and child meet with Hope Haven physician for a specific neurological screening and medical evaluation.
- Psychological-Educational Evaluation. This step is optional but may be needed to evaluate learning problems often related to ADHD.
- School Visit. An observation of the child in a school setting and a teacher conference provide important diagnostic information.
- Staff Conference. The professionals involved in the child’s care meet to discuss their results and recommendations.
- Family Conference. A meeting is held to discuss evaluation results, recommendations and treatment options described in the written evaluation report provided at that time.
Children with ADHD frequently exhibit the following behaviors:
- inability to follow a plan
- difficulty sequencing and completing steps to accomplish specific tasks
- shifting from one uncompleted activity to another without closure
- difficulty following through on instructions
- difficulty prioritizing from most to least important
- challenges sustaining effort and accuracy over time
- problems completing assignments
- difficulty with tasks that require memory and with test taking
- inability to interpret nonverbal cues
- confusion from written material as well as spoken material, lectures and audiovisual material
- difficulty sustaining attention to tasks or other activities
- frequent messiness or sloppiness
- poor handwriting, often slow and laborious
- inappropriate responses in class often blurted out
- agitation under pressure and competition
- frequent involvement in physically dangerous activities without considering consequences
- poor adult interactions (often defiant, manipulative)
- poor personal care and posture, negative comments about self, lack of self-esteem
- difficulty using unstructured time
- losing things necessary for a task
- poor use of time.
ADHD treatment options are individualized but may include medication therapy, counseling, tutoring, and outside referrals for related services. The most effective treatment of ADHD requires full cooperation of teachers and parents working closely with other professionals such as physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, speech and other educational specialists.