Overview

Characteristics

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a behavioral disorder which begins in childhood. It is characterized by one or more of the following core symptoms: inattention; hyperactivity; impulsivity. These problems make it difficult for a child to pay attention in school, to complete academic work and other tasks, and to appropriately control his/her behavior both in school and at home. In order to qualify for the diagnosis, these difficulties must be considerably in excess of what children of the same age typically experience. Children with ADHD are not necessarily "running around." Their "hyperactivity" may take the form of fidgetiness or restlessness and their impulsivity may be manifested as difficulty waiting, low frustration tolerance, or "acting before thinking."

Stress

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder exerts a significant toll in stress both on families and the children themselves. Children with ADHD disorder typically have difficulties complying with rules, procedures, and routines, often leading to conflict with parents and teachers and peers. The children themselves experience significant stress in that for them concentration and performance in school require great effort and that even their best efforts frequently result in frustration or failure.

Cause of the Disorder

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is not caused by poor parenting or inadequate teaching. The condition is most often manifested before the age of three and, by definition, must have an onset before the age of seven even though it may not be recognized until the child is older. Research strongly suggests that the disorder is genetic in origin.

Persistence into Adulthood

In half or more of all cases, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder persists into adulthood and continues to cause difficulty with respect to organization, time-management, impulse and/or mood control, and the efficient fulfillment of responsibilities on the job and in the home. In adults ADHD is associated with underachievement, and underemployment, increased rates of driving accidents, as well as increased anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and marital discord. Identification and treatment in adulthood can help to alleviate all of these problems.

Three Types of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Are Currently Recognized

  • Predominantly Inattentive type: characterized by problems in attention but minimal difficulties in hyperactivity and impulsivity
  • Hyperactive Impulsive type: characterized by problems in hyperactivity or impulsivity but not in attention
  • Combined type (the most commonly diagnosed type): characterized by problems in attention as well as hyperactivity or impulsivity

Clinical Services Offered (include evaluation and treatment options):

  • Psychological and psychiatric evaluation and testing
  • Behavioral and cognitive-behavioral treatments
  • School consultation
  • Medication treatment

Population(s) Served

Children, adolescents, and adults with problems of attention, organization, behavior, or learning

Age Range(s) Served

Children, Adolescents, and Adults

No insurance accepted – private pay only

Checks should be payable to 'ADHD Center'

 


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Tel.: 212-241-4423
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For more information about Learning Disorders
Tel.: 212-241-4423
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Center of Excellence for ADHD and Related Disorders
Icahn School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry
One Gustave L. Levy Place
Box 1230
New York, NY 10029