Think Your Child Has ADHD?

ADHD includes problems with controlling attention, being over-active, or both:

  • Trouble directing attention to things that must be done
  • Problems focusing on tasks that aren’t as interesting as other things going on at the time
  • Difficulty shifting attention when doing something fun
  • Hard time organizing and planning ahead
  • Impulsive behaviors that can sometimes be risky
  • High levels of energy as if driven by a motor
  • Talking when quiet is expected
  • Climbing or running in situations that expect being seated or calm

CCBT generally used an approach to ADHD based on the Barkley strategies for assessment. Dr. Barkley describes his approach/theory in a fact sheet on his website. Assessment of ADHD usually includes:

  • A structured interview of the parents (or the patient if it’s an Adult evaluation)
  • Barkley’s rating forms which include daily functioning, executive functioning, specific symptoms, and problem behaviors
  • The Achenbach rating forms  
  • Reviewing records (if provided)
  • A report to the pediatrician or primary care physician

To learn more about ADHD, you can visit the American Academy of Pediatrics web page on ADHD, or view a youtube of Dr. Barkley discussing key features of ADHD. The American Psychological Association also has valuable information on ADHD. And, the Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) provides a wealth of information on the topic. Dr. Arnold, the Director of CCBT also has written blogs on ADHD:

If you think you or your child might have ADHD, contact your pediatrician or family physician. Because ADHD is about both behaviors and the brain, it’s important to coordinate with your child’s (or if you’re an adult, your own) physician. For parents, you can download the Vanderbilt ADHD form (link) and complete it. The form can be taken to your pediatrician or family doctor to discuss the possibility of ADHD. If an assessment for ADHD is needed, the physician can refer you to CCBT for that diagnostic assessment.

If your child (or you as an adult) might have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, discuss whether or not medication is a consideration. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a useful discussion of medication on their website to help with becoming informed. For children, Parent Management Training developed by Dr. Alan Kazdin has also shown to be effective in changing many of the behaviors of ADHD that families find most distressing. Adults with ADHD can benefit from a research supported treatment that focusing on organizational skills, time management, problem-solving skills, and attention management.