What is ADHD?
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is usually diagnosed in childhood. Individuals with ADHD typically have a hard time with paying attention, controlling their behaviour, and/or impulsivity. Children with ADHD can have a hard time with tasks such as following instructions, completing school work, and learning academics. They also can struggle with social communication such as reading facial expressions or understanding social cues as well as with conversation and social problem solving skills. Individuals with ADHD can also be prone to interrupting others and have difficulty controlling their emotions. Some children with ADHD can also have difficulties with sleeping and can have a high activity level, often described as appearing as if “driven by a motor”. ADHD is typically diagnosed by either a developmental pediatrician, a child psychiatrist, or a child psychologist who have training and experience in assessment of ADHD. Screening is often performed by the family doctor or pediatrician who then refers to another professional for the diagnosis to be confirmed.
There is no cure for ADHD. Medication can be helpful for some children, particularly when used in combination with behavioural intervention. There are treatments that can help children learn skills to be able to control their behaviour, to participate in school more fully, and to improve social communication. The field of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) has many well-researched tools and techniques to assist children with learning these skills.
The main goals of ABA-based therapy are to help the child learn skills to help them be more successful in social interactions and in school. Sometimes the intervention is conducted in one-to-one interactions with a behaviour therapist weekly. The behaviour therapist is trained and supervised by a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA). The BCBA is also responsible for assessing the child's learning as well as programming the goals and how they will be taught based on the child's individual learning profile. Hours of intervention can vary and are dependent on the child's needs. Instead of one-on-one work, other children benefit from a behavioural assessment to determine a behaviour plan for caregivers and/or educators to use to help the child learn the skills he/she needs. The behavioural assessment would be conducted by the BCBA, who would then develop a plan and provide training and support in the implementation of the plan.
Services We Offer
We offer several services for families of children with ADHD.
Parent training - we use the Defiant Children parent training curriculum. The package includes 10 training sessions with a parent to develop skills to manage behaviour concerns and address common concerns for children with ADHD. Throughout the training, an individualized behaviour plan is developed for the parent to use. There is a teen version which has 18 sessions. Eight of those sessions include the teen to develop problem solving as a family.
One-on-one intervention – we work with your child to help your child learn a variety of skills. All one-on-one intervention is supervised by a BCBA and all programming is individualized to your child.
School consultation - we can provide education to school staff regarding ADHD and/or basic behaviour principles or we can consult regarding a child 's specific concerns.
Daycare consultation - we can provide education to daycare staff regarding ADHD and/or basic behaviour principles or we can consult regarding a child 's specific concerns.
Parent coaching - if there is a specific concern that a parent would like assistance with, we can provide coaching regarding that concern.
Behaviour assessment - if there is a specific behaviour issue that requires intervention, we can complete a behaviour assessment which will include interviews, data collection, observations, and a behaviour plan. Training in the plan and follow up after implementation are also included.