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Attention Deficit Disorders (ADHD/ADD)


ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is primarily characterized as the persistent and pervasive pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. There are three types of ADHD: passive-inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined (symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity).

ADHD is both overdiagnosed (upper middle class boys) and underdiagnosed (girls, adults, and lower income boys), depending upon the population being examined. While upper middle class boys may be overdiagnosed with ADHD, it is normally because a thorough psychological evaluation was never performed (e.g., a parent and/or teacher feels a boy is hyperactive, so stimulant medication is initiated to see if it helps).

Dr. Kyle Cushing (as well as many pediatricians, psychiatrists, general practitioners, internists, neurologists, and teachers) believe ADHD should rarely be diagnosed until an individual undergoes a complete psychological evaluation. Such an evaluation consists of clinical interviewing, obtaining psychosocial history, completion of behavior rating scales by parents and teachers, computerized testing of attention and impulsivity, and psychometric testing (IQ, achievement, emotional functioning).

Once a comprehensive assessment has been completed, parents and teachers will have a better understanding of a child's behavioral, emotional, and cognitive functioning (e.g., intelligence, working memory, processing speed, academic levels, auditory vs. visual attention levels). As a result, objective information is being used to provide a complete, definitive diagnosis which leads to more specific treatment recommendations for parents, teachers, and physicians.

For more information, or if you wish to schedule an initial consultation, please contact Dr. Cushing by phone or email.