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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) describes a particular neurodevelopmental disorder in children (that may extend into adulthood) that includes deficits in:

  • Inhibition of behavior (stopping);
  • Sustained attention and resistance to distraction (persistence); and
  • Regulation of behavior equal to the demands of a situation (inappropriate).

The three most common areas of difficulty in psychological and social functioning include:
  • Working memory (remember to do things) – holding information in mind to guide one’s actions now or in the future;
  • Delayed development of internal language (the mind’s voice) for following rules – having difficulty in age appropriate self-reflection and self-regulation; and
  • Greater than normal variability in task performance – an uneven pattern in accuracy and productivity that can vary from moment to moment, and even day to day.

My ADHD evaluation procedures follow the Barkley model (2015), which incorporates various assessment measures that rely on several informants (especially parents and teachers) who evaluate the child’s strengths and difficulties across multiple situations at home, school, or with peers. Additional screening for the presence of other childhood clinical symptoms assures a more correct diagnosis.

The main purpose of such a careful evaluation is to begin to decide the types of interventions needed to address the deficits and impairments caused by ADHD. They may include individual counseling, parenting training, family therapy, classroom behavioral modification in consultation with school counselor, and medication consultation.