CAUSES AND TREATMENT OF ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Focus on Neurobiology

2nd Edition

by

Warren Umansky, Ph.D.

 

This course meets the qualifications for 3 hours of continuing education
APA, BRN, CA BBS, FL, NAADAC, NBCC, TX SBEPC, TXBSWE

 

Everyone in mental health practice comes face to face with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder on a regular basis. It may be the primary reason one comes for help or it complicates and obfuscates the diagnostic and treatment process. In any case, the practitioner who has a clear understanding of the causes of ADHD and proven successful treatment approaches is well-positioned to provide maximum assistance to the patient/client.

 

ADHD presents an ever-changing landscape. As the mysteries of the brain unfold, thanks to brain imaging and mapping technology, so too is our knowledge of what causes and what influences ADHD symptoms. And pharmaceutical companies compete for the treatment market with psychosocial practitioners and snake-oil entrepreneurs. It often is difficult for the mental health practitioner to sort through the bulk of scientific and pseudo-scientific literature to settle on the most effective, evidence-based treatments approaches. Given that mental health practitioners are professionals rather than technicians, it is a responsibility to understand and be able to explain to others the “why” rather than just the “how”.

 

This course presents the “state of the art” regarding current knowledge of why ADHD happens. It begins with an overview of prevalence and of adverse outcomes of the disorder if not identified and treated early. The course then presents what is known about the functional and structural underpinnings of the disorder based on the contributions of various research approaches. The findings of studies in brain imaging, electrophysiology, genetics, and sleep are presented. The impact of various environmental factors also is discussed.

 

The second section focuses on treatment approaches beginning with a thorough discussion of efficacy and side-effects, and a description of specific prescription medications. Current research on psychosocial interventions for ADHD is presented. Finally, the course concludes with an overview of alternative treatments, some of which have a body of research and others that may have lots of press but little scientific evidence for their safety and efficacy.

 

 

Source:  Sowell, E.R., et al (2003). Cortical abnormalities in children and adolescents with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Lancet, 362, 1699-1707.


Learning Objectives

After completion of the course, the mental health practitioner will be able to

 

  • identify and discuss suspected structural and functional brain difference that distinguish children with ADHD from those who don’t have ADHD
  • demonstrate the importance of early identification and treatment of children with ADHD
  • describe the technology used in research to study brain function in children with ADHD
  • explain the relationship between genetics and ADHD
  • discuss how environmental factors might influence the behavioral characteristics of children
  • describe the benefits of long-acting forms of ADHD medications for children and how these formulations are achieved
  • state and justify the types of non-medication treatments you would and would not use in your practice

is approved by the:

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Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Mental Health Counseling (BAP 753 )
NAADAC - The Association for Addiction Professionals (#575)
National Board for Certified Counselors - www.psychceu.com has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6055. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. www.psychceu.com is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. (ACEP #6055)
Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (#1761)
The Texas Board of Social Work Examiners (#6246)

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Warren Umansky, Ph.D., is a Child Development Specialist in private practice and a school counselor. He has written extensively on child development and special needs topics. His most recent books are ADHD: Helping your child (Warner Books) and Young children with special needs (Merrill Prentice-Hall). He also has developed multimedia programs on ADHD, behavior management, and toilet training, and has published numerous journal articles in scientific and refereed journals.

 

Dr. Umansky has been a consultant for McNeil Pharmaceuticals and for child care programs, hospitals, and school systems throughout the United States. He is beginning work on another book on ADHD and on a series of children’s books focusing on character education. He lives in Augusta, Georgia with his wife and three children.

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