What is ADD/ADHD?

ADD/ADHD–Often it is misunderstood by parents and teachers why people with attention difficulties struggle in their academic work. It is very possible for these individuals to try their best and still not achieve academically. Their problems may lead to others such as anxiety and/or depression because of their awareness of their struggles as well as how they are treated and perceived by others. One of the challenges for the individuals with this diagnosis is that their behaviors may be perceived as attitudinally based and as being defiant or lazy. While this can be a fine line, there are also very real challenges for these individuals who become angry and frustrated and are then at risk to stop trying.

There are multiple reasons why an individual may be having attentional difficulties in the academic or work arena. At the conclusion of the initial intake appointment, the recommendations for testing will be discussed and the individual will be asked to complete an individualized battery of tests to ascertain if the ADHD diagnosis is warranted.

Among the difficulties of individuals who qualify for the ADHD diagnoses are problems with executive functions. Some of the processes of executive functions are as follows:

  • Working memory or the ability to hold information in short term memory or accessing facts in long term memory, manipulate it in some way and derive an answer;
  • Arousal, Activation & Effort which includes activities such as getting started and finishing work, and paying attention;
  • Emotional Regulation/Control which include the abilities to think before speaking or acting, tolerating frustration, and the ability to control behavior and direct future actions including the recognition of consequences; and
  • Complex problem solving which including breaking components apart, analyzing the pieces and the reconstruction and organization into new ideas.