Counseling for ADD and ADHD
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can manifest as predominantly inattentive type (sometimes referred to as “ADD”), predominantly hyperactive type, or combined type. These symptoms make it difficult to succeed at school, work, or within relationships. There is hope: counseling and behavior modification can help overcome the symptoms of ADHD with or without medication.
Does your child have ADD/ADHD? Ask yourself:
- Does your child seem to have trouble with focus and concentration?
- Do you have to repeat yourself over and over when giving even simple instructions?
- Has your child’s teacher reported they are disruptive in class or failing to perform at their academic ability level?
- Are they always “on the go” and seem to be driven by a motor?
Answering yes to the above questions could indicate that your child might have ADHD. ADHD affects 3-5% of all school-aged children, and is more common in boys than girls. Research has indicated that ADHD may run in families, but the exact causes of the disorder are unknown.
Do you suffer from adult ADD/ADHD? Ask yourself:
- Are you having chronic difficulty paying or sustaining attention to tasks or people; or following through on instructions or duties (i.e., procrastinating)?
- Do you find yourself acting impulsively without thinking through the consequences or interrupting others while they’re speaking?
- Are you having memory difficulties, being forgetful, losing things, being disorganized?
- Do you find yourself having trouble remaining still, fidgeting, or doing something physical compulsively during meetings or other inappropriate times?
Answering yes to the above questions could indicate that you might have ADHD. Adults with ADHD are an under-served population due to lack of diagnosis and a faulty expectation that ADHD only affects children.
What are the symptoms of ADD/ADHD?
ADHD is characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity/impulsivity, or both. Below is a description of these symptom clusters.
- Inattentiveness: An individual with inattentive symptoms of ADHD may fail to give close attention to details or make careless mistakes, have difficulty sustaining attention or listening to instructions, have difficulty completing tasks and staying organized and relatedly, may avoid menial tasks that require sustained concentration.
- Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: An individual with hyperactive/impulsive symptoms of ADHD may often fidget or squirm, struggle to engage in leisure activities, often talk excessively, and/or interrupt others or blurt out answers before a question has been completed. Children with hyperactive/impulsive symptoms may also leave their seat when they are expected to remain seated, or run about or climb in inappropriate situations. To be symptoms of ADHD, these behaviors must not be solely oppositional or defiant in nature, and they are not the result of a failure to understand tasks or instructions.
How is ADD/ADHD diagnosed?
Because ADHD symptoms are common to those of other diagnoses in children, such as depression, anxiety, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities, it is important that a thorough assessment be conducted to arrive at a complete and accurate understanding of the child’s problems. At Great Lakes Psychology Group, we combine a thorough history and scientifically-validated assessment techniques that assess the presence of symptoms of ADHD.
Once a diagnosis is established, your specialist will talk with you about your options for treatment. While a combination of medication and therapy has been shown to be most effective in managing the primary symptoms of ADHD, therapy and behavior modification techniques alone can also be effective.
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