Posted: August 23, 2018 16:05 by admin


ADHD or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a highly genetic brain-based disorder, characterized by inattentive and/or hyperactive-impulsive behaviors. ADHD is highly heritable with heritability probability estimated at 30% with one parent with the diagnosis as stated in a report by The National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2010. 

ADHD and Gender

Boys are diagnosed with ADHD at a ratio of 2 or 3 to one girl and are up to 9 times more likely to be referred for evaluation and treatment. Girls with ADHD are more able to conform to rules and show less hyperactivity and disruption, resulting in underdiagnosis. ADHD symptoms, such as inattentiveness and low self-esteem tend to be internalized and as a result, are often overlooked preventing both boys and girls from being properly diagnosed. 

ADHD 2ND  BLOG.jpgWhat percentage of children in the US are diagnosed with ADHD?

The Center for Disease Control released a report in 2013, showing that roughly 11% of children and adolescents are diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lives and only 6% of children/adolescents take medication. As a point of comparison, 13% of children and adolescents are diagnosed with special needs. 

Is ADHD a Childhood Disorder?

Only 4% of adults are diagnosed with ADHD as opposed to 11% of children and adolescents. According to the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) published in 2013, ADHD begins in childhood. The requirement for the diagnosis that several symptoms be present before age 12 years results from a substantial clinical presentation of symptoms present during childhood. 

Do Children Outgrow ADHD?

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, two-thirds of children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to struggle with its symptoms through adulthood. Adults typically learn techniques and coping skills throughout their lives and are better able to navigate and control their symptoms than are children.

Diagnosing ADHD Can Be Tricky 

The diagnosis of ADHD can be tricky since symptoms can overlap and mirror anxiety, depression, and/or an auditory processing disorder. It is critical to determine as early as possible if the anxiety, depression, or processing issue is primary or secondary to ADHD. For example, when anxiety and depressive symptoms are differentiated from ADHD symptoms, it may be more likely that ADHD could be primary and co-morbid with an auditory processing disorder and can be treated more effectively. 

It is essential that symptoms of ADHD be present in more than one setting (e.g, home and school/work). A professional who conducts a biopsychosocial history/clinical interview in addition to an ADHD screening instrument can more thoroughly evaluate you or your child and provide an accurate diagnosis. Unfortunately, there are too many professionals taking shortcuts to diagnosis in the essence of time resulting in misdiagnosis and mistreatment. 

For both adults and children, ADHD can be treated to help in school/work settings while working with a therapist to address issues contributing to an anxiety, depressive or auditory processing disorder. 

Treating ADHD can also be tricky 

With a correct diagnosis, the best treatment recommendation is a combination of medication and talk therapy. Medication alone or talk therapy alone is not always the best treatments. Treating the primary disorder often alleviates or subdues symptoms of the secondary disorder. Choosing the right medication means controlling the symptoms of the primary disorder without exacerbating the symptoms of the secondary disorder.

Adults may need medication at work and social functions, but they may not need it on a daily basis when not in either of those settings. Individual patients, together with their primary care physician and/or psychiatrist can determine if medication is still necessary by discontinuing their medication once a year and monitoring their behaviors without medication. If the inattentiveness, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity return, medication can be restarted. 

Dr. Lee Ann Lehman is experienced with ADHD. Being familiar with its causes and symptoms allows her to complete a thorough evaluation to properly diagnose and address symptoms of ADHD.

ADHD West Palm Beach

Dr. Lee Ann Lehman
Dr. Lee Ann Lehman focuses on the entire family as she helps to resolve complex issues. Her approach is different because she thinks outside the box to help guide you to the best solution(s) tailored to fit your needs and works alongside you empowering you with the tools to gain control of your situation. Using respect, kindness, and understanding, she helps you to feel that it is OK to seek help rather than continue to be troubled by your situation. Her techniques are evidence-based and proven to be effective. As a result, she can help families learn coping skills to help deal with complex mental health issues and situations such as divorce, substance abuse, and trauma. Driven by her practice’s mission statement: “To increase an individual’s and/or family’s ability to cope with difficult situations using acceptance, understanding, education and guided practice with the tools necessary to restore confidence and freedom from the burden of emotional and physical threat.” 

Call today at 561-701-3159 to obtain answers to your questions and to schedule your appointment.

West Palm Beach
The Family Psychologist
2101 Vista Parkway
Suite 202
West Palm Beach, FL 33411
(561) 701-3159

The Family Psychologist
8461 Lake Worth Road
Lake Worth, FL 33467

(561) 701-3159

The Family Psychologist
850 NW Federal Highway
Stuart, FL 34994
(561) 701-3159

The Family Psychologist
100 E. Linton Blvd.
Suite 140A
Delray Beach, FL 33483
(561) 701-3159

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