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ADHD, Learning and Memory Problems: Diagnosis and Treatment

Medication for ADHD may be a necessary part of the treatment that helps you or somebody you care about function better in school, work, and everyday life. However, make sure you have assessed stress, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, vision and hearing difficulties, learning disabilities and problems with executive functioning such as working memory and processing speed deficits. This is why we conduct a thorough psychoeducational evaluation. Medication alone isn’t sufficient to treat attention problems and may be unnecessary. Interventions, including working memory training, cognitive behavioral treatment for depression, anxiety, and sleep and academic interventions for learning problems should be included as indicated by a psychoeducational evaluation.

ADHD Symptoms According to DSM-V Criteria

The National Institue of Mental Health provides an easy to unserstand description of the symptoms of ADHD. “Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are the key behaviors of ADHD. It is normal for all children to be inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive sometimes, but for children with ADHD, these behaviors are more severe and occur more often. To be diagnosed with the disorder, a child must have symptoms for 6 or more months and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age.”

 

Hyperactivity/Impulsivity

 

  • Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
  • Have difficulty focusing on one thing
  • Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
  • Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
  • Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
  • Not seem to listen when spoken to
  • Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
  • Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
  • Struggle to follow instructions.

 

Inattention/Distractibility

 

  • Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:
  • Fidget and squirm in their seats
  • Talk nonstop
  • Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
  • Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
  • Be constantly in motion
  • Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.

Children who have symptoms of impulsivity may:

  • Be very impatient
  • Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
  • Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
  • Often interrupt conversations or others’ activities.

 

Cogmed Working Memory TrainingTM 

Studies consistently show that most people with attention deficits have a working memory deficit. Cogmed Working Memory Training is an evidence-based program for helping children, adolescents, and adults sustainably improve attention by training their working memory. For more information on memory problems, please read our Cogmed Fact Sheet.

Let Behavioral Sciences of Alabama help you perform efficiently and effectively in academic, professional, and social settings. Call 256.883.3231 from Huntsville, Madison, Decatur, Athens, and Guntersville, AL. Or fill out our online Request an Appointment form to schedule your consultation with us.