ADHD and ADD Diagnosis and Treatment at Sheba Medical Center
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be exceedingly difficult to define. Even among patients and their parents, questions abound about what an ADHD treatment and diagnosis entails. Some may believe it is simply a variation in personality. However, ADHD is a recognized disorder with risk factors, symptoms, and treatments.
There are uncertainties about which branch of medicine ADHD falls into. Is it in the realm of neurology, psychiatry, or another specialty?
Dr. Shay Menascu, a senior pediatric neurologist at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, explains, “ADHD is caused mainly by hereditary factors, but also by biological, developmental, and environmental components, and is often accompanied by learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse.”
Sheba Medical Center’s Plan for ADHD
Sheba offers a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan for patients with suspected ADHD. Briefly, this in-depth approach includes:
- Questionnaires and interviews with a physician
- Assessment of attention and concentration during two meetings with a doctor
- Computer-aided diagnostics consisting of a MOXO test and Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA)
- One to two sessions of psychological therapy
- Guidance for parents and guardians
- Selecting appropriate medication if needed
What are the signs of ADHD in children?
Childhood symptoms of ADHD include a lack of attention to details, difficulty listening for extended periods of time, restlessness, difficulty staying still, fidgeting, nervous movement, interrupting conversations, and excessive talking.
Children with ADHD may also tend to play loudly, be difficult to redirect or quiet down and be prone to disturbing the activities of others.
What are the age limits for ADHD diagnosis?
Studies show that an infant’s inability to sleep for a full night at a relatively young age, around one-year-old, may be a precursor of ADHD. Additional signs become noticeable in early childhood.
These indicators include restlessness, hyperactivity, sleep difficulties, and lack of concentration. Clinical diagnostic procedures can be performed with children five years and older, but it is important to pay attention to changes in the child’s behavior that occur earlier.
If you feel that your child of any age is possibly showing signs of ADHD, you can contact us for advice and guidance. The earlier a diagnosis is confirmed, the sooner treatment can begin to improve your child’s quality of life.
Associated Effects of ADHD
Children or adults who have ADHD may also be affected by the following associated disorders:
Diagnosis of ADHD in Parents
Parents whose children are diagnosed with ADHD often recall that they themselves were diagnosed with this disorder in childhood. This is a common occurrence as ADHD is an inherited/genetic phenomenon.
Therefore, a therapist will always inquire about the parents’ own history of ADHD during the intake session for a child diagnosed with ADHD. More often than not, the parents recall their own difficulties at school when they hear the symptoms of ADHD. Many parents remember feelings of frustration and unfulfilled potential during their school years. If the parents have no formal ADHD diagnosis themselves, the therapist will often recommend that they undergo functional ADHD treatment and testing.
ADHD Diagnosis at Sheba
Although unique brain physiology is the source of ADHD, the diagnostic methods for this disorder mainly consist of questionnaires regarding the patient’s behavior.
ADHD diagnoses are made by a professional therapist who is a psychiatrist, neurologist, neuropsychologist, or clinical psychologist. The diagnosis is made based on the following elements:
- Taking a detailed childhood history of the child and their parents. With very young children, most of the history will come from the parents. Older children can give more of their own history.
- Conducting a clinical examination according to accepted principles. This examination will look for signs of associated disorders like learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, sleep disorders, etc. and additional characteristics of the child’s personality and cognition.
- Evaluation of questionnaires completed by adults surrounding the child, such as parents and teachers.
- Examining the child’s ongoing functioning with an emphasis on attention and concentration rather than the accompanying behavior.
- Performing additional tests if necessary. These tests may include vision and hearing, neurological, and developmental testing.
- Constructing a summary upon completion of the diagnostics to create a clear picture of the child’s condition. After the summary is devised, treatment is initiated.
ADHD Treatment at Sheba
Sheba’s expert team approaches ADHD treatment holistically. Treatment is provided for the disorder itself as well as the symptoms. The treatment is designed to make it easier for the child to learn and maintain social connections.
ADHD treatment at Sheba Medical Center is diverse and includes medication, guidance for parents, teachers, and patients, and strategies to control ADHD symptoms. Our expert providers will typically employ behavior and psychological therapies alongside pharmacological treatment.
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