Age Groups Served
We serve the following age groups:
- Preschool & Kindergarten
- Elementary School
- Middle School & High School
- College & Vocational School Students
- Adult Learners
- Adult Life
- Men & Women
- No age limits
- At home & at work
Growing up can be hard – most of us noticed that. When a child is struggling with academics, it’s hard to figure out what the difficulty is in that big system called school, even with the most helpful teachers. When a child and family also struggle with behaviors which engulf everyone in a giant whirlpool of negativity, just coping with the day leaves no energy, time, or hope to search for the root of the problem. Meanwhile, the child grows more certain there’s something deeply wrong with them.
When there’s a problem, how often have you heard…
- It’s just a phase -he’ll grow out of it.
- She’ll catch on.
- He needs to try to harder.
- Let’s see how the rest of the year goes.
- Girls don’t do math.
- He just needs a good whuppin’.
- It’s just a phase.
- She just doesn’t test well.
- His teacher doesn’t understand him.
- If she wouldn’t daydream so much…
- He’ll learn – just give him time.
If the solution were this simple, you wouldn’t be here looking on the web for help.
Maybe there’s still a problem because the plan doesn’t cover something neither the child nor the parent know exists, such as…
- Hyperactive and/or Impulsive ADHD
- Daydreamy, Inattentive ADD
- LD – Learning Differences & Disorders
Math LD, dyslexia, or others
- Developmental or Genetic factors
- Auditory Processing Disorders
disguised as inattention or misunderstandings
- Visual Processing or Coordination Disorders
hindering both reading and math
- Depression or Anxiety
- Mood Cycles
- Unrecognized bullying
- Coordination Problems
leading to handwriting problems, sports shame
- Silent Autism or Asperger Syndrome
- Childhood OCD
- Tourette Syndrome
- Neurological Problems
And even when the child has been previously diagnosed with ADHD:
- Is it only ADHD? To be honest, it’s rare for a struggling child to have only one problem. Over half the time, there’s at least one more diagnosis that explains why previous helps didn’t help.
- Is the diagnosis right but the treatment old or outgrown?
- Was ADHD an assumed diagnosis? How thorough was the prior testing? Are there other things going on? Intellectual, Emotional, Physical, Neurological, Social, Developmental. Genetic.
- Children grow – have other problems developed?
You are your child’s best advocate, maybe their only advocate. Let us use 35+ years of experience in evaluating children with problems to give your child two more advocates: our office — and the child himself or herself. That’s a team hard to beat!
Adolescents – Middle & High School
Actually, the above considerations for children are possibilities in students of all ages. It’s been said that every ADHD patient eventually “hits the wall.” It may be in middle school, high school, college, graduate school, after a work promotion, or parenthood after the second child. Support systems at home or school, personality style, IQ – all can delay the crisis or hide the diagnosis, but eventually there is a wall that’s difficult or impossible to surmount. Detecting the problem as early as possible can get a student to their full potential.
Adolescence poses special challenges to adolescents with learning and emotional difficulties.
ADHD is a running away from boredom, and there are many new roads for ADHD adolescents to run on.
- Impulsivity and budding sexuality is a serious combination.
- Impulsivity and a 3,000-pound steel vehicle is another.
- 11 pm Friday on a date is not the time for a teen to be ADHD and untreated.
- There are interesting members of the wrong crowds to run with.
- Alcohol, nicotine, drugs, and problematic websites are there to be explored.
And that doesn’t even include academics at a time when pre-college grades are being created.
Early treatment can head off lots of difficulties. Did you know that…
- Untreated ADHD drivers have 2.5-3.0 times as many driving accidents and driving deaths as treated ADHDers.
- At age 15, 40% of children with ADHD have begun use of alcohol vs 20% without ADHD.
- Far from creating drug abuse, stimulant treatment of ADHD before puberty actually cuts chances of teenage drug use by up to 60%.
- The presence of untreated ADHD in an adolescent doubles the chance of a teen becoming a smoker, with all the lifetime disease burden that results.
- The average age of first pregnancy in the US is 5-6 years earlier in ADHD than in non-ADHD.
College & Vocational Students
College – a doorway to opportunity, but a difficult place to grow up, especially with undiagnosed or only partially treated learning problems. For our diagnosed students, we create effective treatment regimens, including medication if necessary; and we emphasize continuing those regimens in the reduced structure and increased temptations of college.
But undiagnosed or partly treated freshmen may suddenly find out how much earlier support systems have hidden the full effects of mood, learning, or social problems. Sympathetic teachers, special ed, structure, and even mom & dad disappear–replaced by huge workloads, disorganization, and distractions. Even for those whose meds help, temptations to stop them or logistical hurdles to continuing them may become too big.
If your teen is having difficulties in high school, let us assess college readiness long before high school graduation. We can assess a student’s strengths and vulnerabilities to help find the type and style of institution where the student might thrive. For new patients, we diagnose and educate and encourage. For all students, we adjust their treatment program precisely and teach them how to use it. We start early to teach ADHD independence.
Whether the problem is ADHD or LD or autism or other, special campus help is always there for students. It can be hidden and there are hoops to jump through to get it. We know how to help the student get the on-campus support services they need. We can even arrange special ADHD coaching support by phone or web. With today’s communications and technology, a student can be monitored, supported at a distance, and helped when needed between their appropriately scheduled checkups with us.
College doesn’t have to be a mystery or a struggle for your student — let us help!
The average age of initial diagnosis for ADHD adults in the U.S. is 35. If trouble starts at age 5, that’s 30 years of unexplained difficulty…with a huge impact.
No one “outgrows” all of their ADHD. ADHD children grow into ADHD teens who grow into ADHD adults. They may be lucky enough to find jobs right for their ADHD or to find support systems (spelled efficient assistant) that allow them to do their ADHD thing and get paid for it. Built-in organizational skills or some OCD can help, and a significant other may be able to fill in the gaps at home.
My oldest ADHD patient is in her 80’s, but it’s rare for seniors to seek help. The average 75-year old ADDer isn’t waiting around to be diagnosed; most of them are in their Winnebago, seeing a different sight in Oregon every day. PS: Don’t forget that the most likely sign of adult ADHD is an ADHD child in the home.
Yes, there can be advantages to ADHD, but untreated ADHD adults have at least as many problems as untreated children. Which of these sound familiar?
Impulsive spending, lack of financial controls (saving is more boring than spending). Lack of long range planning, stacks of financial and personal business things to do, lost paperwork, tax procrastination, late fees (again). Gambling. The financial impact of untreated ADHD is hidden and huge.
Having a spouse think you don’t care. “You were going to bring the napkins for my party.” Flub-dubs because you didn’t hear it all or were thinking about something else. Great intentions gotten off track. Broken promises (again). Lack of focus even in intimacy.
Daydreaming in meetings or at station. Slow production rate. Forgotten tools. Late projects. Tardy meetings. Disorganization – where’s that file? Inattentive workplace accidents. ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’
And don’t think all this goes unnoticed by management. Studies show an average of $20-30,000 lower adult annual income for untreated vs treated ADHD. (Now there’s a cost effective treatment!)
Missed medical appointments, missed blood pressure or diabetic medications — these accumulate to damage health and shorten lives. Sluggishness and inability to stick to routines of good health and exercise. Eating from boredom, more snacks and fast foods, more obesity. Higher medical costs. Alcohol or weed to quieten a racing brain. Hugely higher smoking rates and all the disease that results, just to calm or treat a need for stimulation. 3X greater vehicular accident rate and 2.5X greater death rate in motor vehicle accidents for untreated ADHD teens and adults.
Eternal anxiety from being behind. Chronic lack of confidence that you know what’s going on or what your priorities should be. A lasting cocoon of depression from never feeling caught up. Big mood changes over little things. Damaged relationships. Discouragement from the repeated goofs you know you should be able to avoid — or worse: believing that’s how you really are since it doesn’t seem to change.
Feeling guilty that you are too tired or behind to play with your kids. Temper control. Forgetting the school play was yesterday. “Tell me again, who is your science teacher?” “I’m sorry. I really meant to help you with your project.”
Leaving the grocery list at home (again). Driving past your destination. Why did I come to the kitchen? Gosh, I never finished vacuuming! Too many projects, most of them incomplete. Difficulty keeping social relationships going. “House shame” – the “I’ll-get-to-it-later” stuff in the back room has spread to three more rooms — so you let no one past the entry hall.
The social façade of stability gets harder and harder to maintain. You feel that your “mask of competence” is breaking down. How can your friends do it so easily?
Caution: Many of the problems above can be symptoms of other things, such as unrelated medical problems. But that’s all the more reason not to accept these difficulties and to get a good evaluation. Do realize that many physicians, even including adult psychiatrists, are untrained in adult ADHD or at least are underaware of the subtle but deep impact it can have on an undiagnosed adult or one who is told it couldn’t be ADHD — because they had outgrown that.
“My teachers called me “Mess” instead of “Miss,” one young mother told me as I was evaluating her daughter for ADHD.
Men may complain, but I’m going to put in a special word here about ADHD women. Not until 1995, when my friend Sari Solden, LPC, wrote her monumental book Women with Attention Deficit Disorder, was there a grasp of the hidden extent and significance of ADHD in women. Books and websites still declare the myths that only 1-2% of girls have ADHD and that most or all of them will “outgrow” it in their teens or “at least by adulthood.” Women are as likely as men to have ADHD! What they are less likely to be is recognized, evaluated, diagnosed, and treated – because of these basic “mythconceptions” — and because of the frequently different symptoms of ADHD in females vs males.
ADHD actually affects 10-12% of Americans (14% in Alabama!), and it’s equally divided between men and women. The catch is that 75% of ADHD males show hyperactivity and impulsivity and only 25% are primarily inattentive. For reasons we don’t fully understand, these percentages are reversed in women – and that’s where the problem begins. The squeaking (male) wheel gets the grease, i.e., the phone call from the teacher, and the quiet daydreamer girl goes unnoticed and unaided, growing into a young woman puzzled by her inabilities and depressed and anxious at their outcome…who then goes to her physician at 25-35 to be placed on antidepressant after antidepressant — none of which really help because they are treating a symptom and missing the unconsidered and unrecognized ADHD which was the real cause. Because she’s an adult and a girl and she can’t have ADHD!
As Eunice Sigler puts it so well: “Underdiagnosis of ADD in women has its roots in childhood. Girls with ADD tend to try harder than their male counterparts to compensate for and cover up symptoms. To keep up their grades, girls are often more willing to put in extra hours of studying and to ask their parents for help. In addition, girls are more likely to be ‘people pleasers,’ doing all they can to fit in — even when they know they are ‘different.'” (Even the hyperactive ones have a different label: they’re called “tomboys.”)
I have come to agree with Sari that that American women with ADHD actually have a tougher time than do men. ADHD women (girls and adults) seem to have particular difficulty with organization and prioritization. Yet those skills are some of the most essential to juggling society’s assigned roles of mother and wife and stockroom manager and dinner planner and lover, many of which have to be performed in the unstructured environment of the home. When those with ADHD don’t handle them as smoothly (defined as effortlessly, well, on-time, and without visible distress) as an attention-surplus neighbor, that self-esteem gap from the 7th grade shows up again in another place and another decade.
For example, everything that enters a home has to have a decision made about its importance, whether it will be trashed or kept and kept where — from the receipts for next year’s taxes to the refrigerator instructions to the spare Walmart bags — and it’s most likely a female who will do that AND who will be asked to find it instantly when it’s needed, after she picks the kids up on time from dance. And 10% of those women are going to be ADHD.
It’s time to get off that self-defeating carousel. Time to see if the problem has been the inattentive form of female ADHD all along. Time to find the self-esteem and the potential that’s there.