Children with ADD/ADHD, particularly those who are ‘hyperactive’, are often seen as difficult and challenging. They can be disruptive to an entire class, bring tension and conflict to an entire family or bring trouble or alienation to themselves. In the quieter, simply ‘inattentive’ type of ADD, the child can be seen as ‘spacey’, ‘out of it’, ‘lazy’ or ‘not applying him or herself. Either way, the child is labeled as a ‘problem’ or ‘different’. Early school failure can be hurtful to self-esteem at a young age. So, too, can the social alienation and isolation that the associated immature behavior often brings.
The evaluation process includes specialized testing for ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities and developmental delays. Information is obtained regarding pregnancy, infancy, developmental milestones, medical history, social history, academic performance, behavior, discipline history, frustration tolerance, family relationships and moods. When appropriate, additional information is obtained from teachers, therapists and medical professionals.
Treatment options include behavior therapy, social skills groups, parenting training, anger management and coping skills training. Where appropriate, medication is judiciously considered under close supervision. Alternative treatments are also available.