Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The term Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, describes a constellation of symptoms marked by hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and attention problems in children, adolescents, and adults. It is estimated that up to 12% of school-aged children and 6% of adults have ADHD, making it challenging for them to focus on tasks, manage their time, control their behavior, organize their work, and even sit still. At a biological level, ADHD is related to delays in the development of the anterior part of the prefrontal cortex, the seat of our “executive functions,” and can be assessed and treated successfully through neuropsychological testing. Although many doctors will informally label children “ADHD,” an accurate diagnosis cannot be accomplished without assessment by a trained clinician. In many ways, the increased frequency of ADHD in the United States, and the overuse of stimulant medication, is an artifact of doctors providing this diagnosis without correct assessment tools. When thinking about assessment, consider the following signs:

Signs and symptoms of inattention may include:

  • Often fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities
  • Often has trouble sustaining attention during tasks or play
  • Seems not to listen even when spoken to directly
  • Has difficulty following through on instructions and often fails to finish schoolwork, chores or other tasks
  • Often has problems organizing tasks or activities
  • Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as schoolwork or homework
  • Frequently loses needed items, such as books, pencils, toys or tools
  • Can be easily distracted
  • Often forgetful

Signs and symptoms of hyperactive and impulsive behavior may include:

  • Fidgets or squirms frequently
  • Often leaves his or her seat in the classroom or in other situations when remaining seated is expected
  • Often runs or climbs excessively when it’s not appropriate or, if an adolescent, might constantly feel restless
  • Frequently has difficulty playing quietly
  • Always seems on the go
  • Talks excessively
  • Blurts out the answers before questions have been completely asked
  • Frequently has difficulty waiting for his or her turn
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others’ conversations or games

At Life Changes Group we offer comprehensive evaluations for ADHD using state-of-the-art tools. All of our clinicians are expertly trained in the formal diagnosis of ADHD and the treatment of this disorder using behavioral psychotherapy. We strongly believe that medication is not the answer for every child and adult. Our evaluations can be used for the establishment of scholastic accommodations and 504 Plans within the classroom. These provisions can be critical to the academic and emotional success of children. Please  call us (617) 354-4450 or complete our online intake form to schedule an evaluation.