Problems of Learning and Attention

ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: ADHD is a pattern of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity that causes impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning.  In addition, ADHD frequently involves disorganization, fidgeting, excessive talking and failure to pay close attention to details.*

LD – Learning Disabilities: LD occurs when a person’s achievement is substantially below expectations based on age, schooling and level of intelligence *or when a person struggles with one or more essential processes needed for learning to occur.  A learning disability can effect a person’s daily living skills, ability to read, write, perform math, remember or process information.*

Executive Functioning – Often people with ADHD have problems with executive functioning.  Executive functions are likened to the orchestra leader who coordinates many different players.  It is a set of abilities that control or regulate other abilities and behaviors.  Examples of executive functions include: planning and organization, self-regulation, inhibition, shifting, initiating, working memory, and self-monitoring.

For people who are struggling with LD and/or ADHD, the goals of treatment are to better understand the nature and impact of LD/ADHD, develop strategies to improve confidence and competence, and enhance and develop strengths.

Helping people understand LD/ADHD and how it affects their daily lives is the first step of treatment. Exploring how the LD/ADHD affects the person’s relationships with family and friends is another crucial piece of the therapeutic progress. Often there is an emotional impact of LD/ADHD. This potential impact is explored within therapy sessions. Common reactions to LD/ADHD or co-existing problems may include hopelessness, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. Therapy is used to resolve or mitigate these reactions.

Dr. Frank will work with you, your child, and your family to understand that LD/ADHD is just one part of a person’s identify. Often a person’s strengths and unique qualities are overshadowed by his/her struggles. Therapy is used to help people appreciate their whole selves. There are many ways to manage and cope with challenges; we will use therapy to determine the best ways to help you or your child. Treatment occurs on several levels as Dr. Frank works with the individual, school, and family to develop a comprehensive intervention plan.

*ADHD and LD definitions developed from the DSM-V.