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Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)


(Formerly known as ADHD)

ADD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a behavioral condition that makes focusing on everyday requests and routines challenging.

People with ADD typically have trouble getting organized, staying focused, making realistic plans and thinking before acting. They may be fidgety, noisy and unable to adapt to changing situations. Children with ADD can be defiant, socially inept or aggressive.

Families considering treatment options should consult a qualified mental health professional for a complete review of their child's behavioral issues and a treatment plan.

Courtesy of American Psychological Association



ADD management usually involves some combination of counseling, lifestyle changes, and medications. Medications are only recommended as a first-line treatment in children who have severe symptoms and may be considered for those with moderate symptoms who either refuse or fail to improve with counseling. Long-term effects of medications are not clear and they are not recommended in preschool-aged children. Adolescents and adults tend to develop coping skills which make up for some or all of their impairments.

Courtesy of


Gender Differences with ADD

The stereotype of someone with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD) is a hyperactive little boy but ADD affects girls and adult women if different ways. Parents, teachers and others often overlook ADD in girls, because of their symptomatic differences. Girls with ADD aren’t usually hyperactive, for example. Instead, they tend to have the attention-deficit part of the disorder.


According to researchers, girls with untreated ADD are at risk for low self-esteem, scholastic underachievement and problems like depression and anxiety. They’re also more likely to get pregnant and start smoking while still in middle or high school.


What’s worse, girls with untreated ADD typically carry their problems into adulthood. Women with untreated AD are also more likely to have children with ADD. In fact, many women finally receive a diagnosis when their children are diagnosed.


Treatment options for women with ADD include a combination of stimulant medication and ADD-focused therapy. For girls, stimulant medication, family therapy and other intervention also help.

Courtesy of American Psychological Association


Understanding the Ritalin debate


Although some worry that medications like Ritalin are being over-prescribed, research shows that they help kids with ADD. The most common treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD) in both children and adults is stimulant medication, such as Ritalin.


Taking this medication typically results in fast—but temporary—improvements in both performance and social interaction. Most people with ADD need extra help, however. In addition to medication, they can benefit from parent education, family therapy and supportive interventions.



In up to 90 percent of cases, stimulant medication helps children improve their approach to schoolwork, get more focused and organized, think before acting, get along better with others and break fewer rules. They often seem happier, too. Despite these benefits, some concerns remain.

Some worry that medication sends the wrong message, discouraging children and their parents from focusing on building problem-solving skills.  Others note that as eligibility criteria expand, the number of prescriptions are skyrocketing—suggesting that some children are being misdiagnosed. In the end, the cost/benefit analysis favors the use of stimulant treatment for children with ADHD. There is little evidence of harm. And the treatment is effective.

Courtesy of American Psychological Association




Therapists Specialized in ADD and Related Issues

From your smart phone, click on the photo below to call and ask about Parenting Consultation and Counseling or to set an appointment. 

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