ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment – What You Should Know

Getting an ADHD Diagnosis:  Make sure you consult with a well-trained specialist. The doctors who have the most training in ADHD are child psychiatrists. If you are an adult, be aware that all child psychiatrists also are trained in adult psychiatry. Ask the person you see if he or she has extensive experience in working with patients in your age group. It is imperative that you consult with a professional who has extensive experience. If you can’t find such a person, start by calling the department of psychiatry at the medical school nearest to you.

The diagnosis rests upon a careful history taken from the identified patient as well as at least one other person, such as parent, spouse, sibling, or close friend, as well as, if possible, teacher comments.

You should develop a comfortably connected relationship with the person diagnosing and treating you so that you can turn to him or her with trust whenever the need arises.

The history may be supplemented by neuropsychological testing. This is paper-and-pencil testing that includes puzzles and games. It’s actually often fun to take these tests. They are not diagnostic of ADHD, but they add valuable information.

Treatment begins with education. The patient and concerned others need to learn what ADHD is, and what it is not. A diagnosis of the mind, like ADHD, must be fully understood if it is to be mastered and made good use of. At its best, ADHD can become an asset, rather than a liability, in a person’s life. But, for this to happen, the person has to develop a deep appreciation for how ADHD works within him or her. To understand ADHD, a person could begin with one of my books, like Delivered From Distraction, or with some other book on the topic. Just be sure you read a book by a highly qualified expert who writes clearly and well.

Treatment proceeds with a restructuring of one’s life. Usually, disorganization is a leading problem in the life of the person who has ADHD. Often an organizational coach can help enormously in developing new habits of organization and time management.

Treatment should also include physical exercise, at least 4 times per week. Dr. John Ratey’s work and his book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, notes that physical exercise is one of the best treatments we have for ADHD.  Learn more about Treating ADHD.

Proper nutrition plays an important role in the treatment of ADHD in all ages. The key simply is to eat well, avoid junk food and sugar, eat whole foods, and don’t self-medicate with carbs, as many people with ADHD are tempted to do.

If you missed Dr. Hallowell’s Distraction Q&A on ADHD, getting a late in life diagnosis and more, LISTEN NOW!

If you think you might have ADHD, CLICK HERE to learn what the Hallowell Centers can do for you.

For those people who crave more information about ADHD, we have put together a suggested reading list HERE.  

We’re Hiring: ADHD Professionals San Francisco

San Francisco – The Hallowell Center of San Francisco, located in the downtown area, is seeking to expand. We are currently seeking part-time clinicians (Educational Therapists, Board certified psychiatrists, licensed psychologists, social workers, or nurse practitioners) to join our team. Candidates must have experience in working with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and associated disorders including anxiety and depression. They must demonstrate excellent diagnostic and clinical skills.

The Hallowell Center is a multidisciplinary private practice with offices in New York, Boston, and San Francisco that provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment for a full range of emotional, behavioral, and developmental issues in children and adults. The San Francisco office primarily treats adolescents and adults but is considering adding services for children as well. Founded by Dr. Edward Hallowell, the Hallowell Center uses a strength-based model to help all of their clients recognize and reach their full potential. 

Applicants must align with our strength-based approach and have the ability to work collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team. Because our San Francisco office is small applicants must, in addition, be flexible and fairly independent. We are particularly looking for self-starters interested in growing with and helping us build our team. There is room for growth and flexibility within our practice and the position could conceivably expand to full time. The position is fee for service and anyone hired must be willing to work some evenings and/or Saturdays.

We are particularly interested in clinicians with the following skills:

  • Psychiatrists or Nurse Practitioners who can provide medication evaluations and ongoing medication management. Training and/or experience in integrative approaches a plus
  • Couples therapists experienced in working with couples where ADHD is an issue
  • Clinicians/educators/coaches who are knowledgeable and skilled in helping clients develop executive function skills, including high school and college age students 
  • Group therapist that has used protocols for ADHD
  • Clinicians trained in DBT or EMDR, who have used these models to treat ADHD.
  • Neuropsychologists

Candidates have the option to bring their current clients into the practice.

If you are interested, please reply to: gabrielle@hallowellsfo.com

Please forward this message to potentially interested colleagues. Thank you.

 

Strategies for Minimizing ADHD’s Impact on Relationships

I’m excited to welcome you to Season 4 of Distraction. It’s great to be back and to have my wonderful wife Sue join me for our first episode. Her speciality is working with couples where one or both partners have ADHD.

So if your partner has ADHD, you’ll want to listen to this week’s DISTRACTION Podcast S4 Ep 1. Sue talk about the realities of being married to someone with ADHD. Her insights shed light on how to navigate the frustrations of being the “non-ADHD” half of the couple, and what predicts whether a relationship will succeed.

Dr. Hallowell shares his 20 Relationship tips HERE.

You can learn more about ADHD and Relationships HERE.

If you’re struggling with ADHD and relationship issues, click here to learn how Couples Therapy at the Hallowell Center can help.
Follow Dr. Hallowell’s ADHD and Marriage Blog with Melissa Orlov.
If you have a question for me, you can email or send a voice memo to: connect@distractionpodcast.com or call 844-552-6663.
Thank you for being a part of my podcast community!

Distraction Season 4 starts August 27th

Exciting announcement! Join Dr. Hallowell and his wife Sue Hallowell for the brand new Season 4 of Distraction Podcast coming tomorrow Tuesday, August 27th!  You can listen to the episode at www.distractionpodcast.com  

Distraction,” is the podcast hosted by Dr. Hallowell.  These podcasts offer hands-on advice and famous and fascinating guests share their experiences and methods of coping and connecting. While Dr. Hallowell has helped millions free themselves from the distractions and tendencies of ADHD, he now extends that same sound and accessible guidance to anyone suffering from the harried pace of modern life — whether at home, at school, in the workplace, or at play.

Click HERE to get Dr. Hallowell’s 10 Key Principles to Focus in a World of Distraction and other Resources for managing your crazybusy life.

 

 

Help Your ADHD Child Get Ready For School

Tips for Getting Children with ADHD Ready for Back to School

The weather will soon be turning cooler and those long, lazy days of lounging poolside or spending every waking moment with best friends while away at summer camp are quickly coming to an end. But with every end, comes a new beginning and an opportunity for change. Back to school time brings bright possibilities and the chance for a clean slate to introduce new organizational strategies into your home.

Organization doesn’t just happen and children with ADHD need scaffolding and support to help organize themselves and their environments. Each family will have their own way of setting up certain systems and it is important to communicate as a family so that the systems are clear to all family members. The first day of school is no time for drastic changes in household schedules. Hold a family meeting 2-3 weeks prior to the first day back at school and discuss expectations, consequences, and brainstorm ideas to help each day flow more smoothly.

Children should be eased back into their school routines gradually. A major change in routine for most kids over the summer is sleep. It is scientifically proven that sleep affects mood, behavior, attention, learning and all biological function; therefore, it is critical that children get enough (quantity) and quality sleep. During the last 2 weeks of summer, reintroduce a school year bedtime and spend the hour before relaxing, talking about the day, reading books, or singing songs to wind down. This time should help the child physically and emotionally transition to a calmer state. Set the alarm closer and closer to the time he or she needs to wake up in the morning.

If mornings are chaotic, agree as a family what everyone needs to do to be out the door and when. Try doing as much the night before as possible. Have a visual schedule posted for kids to know exactly what is expected of them and how long each task should take. Try to do practice runs in the last few weeks of summer and make necessary adjustments so that everyone is set up for success when school starts.

Another thing that changes in the summer are meal times. Plan meals and snack times according to the school routine and get your children used to these times and eating the types of foods they will have at school.

Create a central calendar that you color code for each family member and post his/her activities, responsibilities, etc. Predictability, structure, and routine are the keys to success for all children, and especially those with ADHD. The calendar also relieves parents from answering repeated questions regarding the schedule!
Before school starts, make a list of school supplies to be purchased. Pick a day to do back to school shopping and STICK TO YOUR LIST! Otherwise, it can be hectic and overwhelming for all, but mostly to your wallet!

Be sure to make time each day for FUN and connect with your child! Spend time playing a game, walking in the park, reading a story, or anything that works for your family and is specifically time spent bonding with your child. When children feel connected, they are less likely to worry or be anxious. As a parent, you need to be positive! Beliefs determine behaviors. Be optimistic, be loving, and try to help your child get over their fears of transition and change so that they will look forward to the new school year ahead with enthusiasm and vigor!

Prepare for September!

Is it Time to Address Your Child’s Emotional, Cognitive and Academic Concerns?:

–    Problems with learning, slow processing speed
–    Academic underperformance
–    School work overwhelm
–    Attention and concentration problems
–    Emotional regulation and self control difficulties
–    Self-esteem issues
–    Overwhelm, panic, worry or anxiety feelings
–    Trouble sleeping
–    Test, public speaking or social anxieties
–    Difficulty implementing executive function strategies

The Hallowell Centers offer Neuropsychological and Academic Testing, and the EARS program, designed to help your child dramatically improve their school grades in short time frames. 

ADHD & the Family “Reputation”

ADHD Parent Tip: Try to change the family “reputation” of the person with ADHD. Reputations within families, like reputations within towns or organizations, keep a person in one set or mold. Recasting within the family the reputation of the person with ADHD can set up a fresh start and brighter expectations. If you are expected to screw up, you probably will; if you are expected to succeed, you just might.

It may be hard to believe at first, but having ADHD can be more a gift than a curse. Try to see and develop the positive aspects of the person with ADHD and try to change their family reputation to accentuate these positive aspects. Remember, this person usually brings a special something to the family, special energies, special creativity, special humor. He (or she) usually livens up any gathering he attends, and even when he is disruptive it’s usually exciting to have him around. He or she has a lot to give; and the family, more than any group of people, can help him/her reach their potential.

Click HERE to learn more about ADHD for Parents.

8 things I wish teachers knew about my child with ADHD

When he eventually became depressed — common for kids with ADHD — I made it my mission to ensure Nick’s teachers knew what interventions were working at home and what could help at school. Here’s what I’ve learned, and what I think every teacher should understand, too.

Some classroom interventions are helpful and others only make things worse. Parents can be a valuable resource.

Read More in the Boston Globe.

College and ADHD

Success in college is more about getting work done, done well and on time (“executive function skills and routines”) than IQ!

If you or a student you know has ADHD, his or her ability to get work done, done well and on time could be compromised. Summer CollegeCore Coaching prepares students’ executive function skills and routines in advance to secure a happier, healthier and more accomplished academic year.

CollegeCORE Coaching (by phone, Skype or in person) helps high school upperclassmen and college students conquer the most common problems associated with ADHD or Executive Dysfunction. Rebecca provides effective, practical and non-medication solutions for getting things done well and on time. She has worked with ADHD students and entrepreneurs for over 20 years. Read more at www.MindfulCommunication.com. Rebecca’s coaching and training approach builds the core skills and routines that enable success in school and greater marketability for the workplace.

CollegeCORE students will learn:

  • core skills and routines for managing anxiety and improving focus, follow through and communication
  • to become more independent, and how to be the CEO of YOU, even if you don’t plan to be an entrepreneur
  • basic organizational skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • note-taking skills
  • more efficient study and test-taking skills
  • why good sleep is a major ally for the ADHD student, sleep’s powerful role in learning and ways to improve sleep quality
  • how exercise regimen best promotes clearer thinking and improved productivity
  • how to apply Rebecca’s 80/20 approach for managing procrastination
  • how to self-advocate – a competitive life skill.

How CollegeCore Coaching works: The process begins with a complimentary 15-20 minute inquiry call with Rebecca. Call to set up that inquiry session (978) 287-0810 or (978) 255-1817. This is a brief discussion to answer questions about the program and to determine whether the CollegeCore coaching approach is appropriate for the student.

A 90 minute meeting (in person, Skype or phone) follows to get background information, identify personal strengths, establish personal objectives, deadlines (if imposed) for improvement, and to determine best approaches. $325.00

Based on that meeting an action plan is created and the frequency of coaching sessions is determined. The goal is to identify the best starting point(s), select a couple small steps that are fairly easy to implement consistently that will yield some early and notable results. These new routines become habits. Minor adjustments are made along the way. For some, the compound effect will work best, for others a multi-target approach is better. The process is customized to the student and his/her needs. Coaching sessions are $150/hour, $75/30 minutes. Sessions may be 1-3x a week; duration and frequency is determined by Rebecca and the student. A spouse, partner or co-founder may also be involved, if desired. Progress is addressed at each session. As the gains become more consistent and the student more independent, the coaching sessions wind down. Check-in sessions are monthly or bi-monthly, then every six months or as needed.

To set up a CollegeCORE inquiry session or to make an appointment with Rebecca Shafir, Speech/language pathologist, voice coach, executive functioning coach and author, contact:

The Hallowell Center BostonMetroWest in Sudbury MA at (978) 287-0810 or her

West Newbury office (978) 255-1817 to schedule sessions in person or by phone or Skype.

How to Explain ADHD to a Child

ADHD isn’t a death sentence. In fact, it’s a condition that can bring incredible gifts. Pointers for professionals and parents on how to explain ADHD to a child in a way that emphasizes strengths and builds confidence.

“In my 30-plus years, I have learned that the moment of delivering the ADHD diagnosis ranks among the most crucial. It can determine the arc of a person’s life.” | Read more from Dr. Ned Hallowell on explaining ADHD with positivity →

 

Family Summer Camp for ADHD Brains

Summer is just around the corner. As you start making summer plans for your child, have you considered an ADHD summer camp for the whole family?
Dr. Hallowell’s ADHD Summer Adventures Family Camp is a camp for parents and their children ages 8 – 18; including siblings who do not have ADHD.
Dr. Hallowell’s camp runs from July 14 – 19, 2019 in Glen Arbor, Michigan and offers everything you want in a great family experience: location, staff, challenge, program balance, fun and new friends!
Read this ADDitude article on the camp, including comments from past participants.
Learn why Dr. Hallowell’s Summer Adventures ADHD Family camp is unlike any other ADHD camp in this VIDEO.
Any questions, please contact Sue Hallowell at 781.820.0881.
Come join us and learn how to avoid the pitfalls of ADHD and bring out the best. Learn more and register here. Hope to see you this summer!