Attentional difficulties occur in many different physical and mental illnesses. When seeing a client who experiences difficulties with attention, I am careful to rule out other possibilities such as thyroid problems (I refer to a physician for a medical exam), depression, anxiety, learning problems or even problems with being bullied at school.
Having worked extensively with children and teens, and having obtained additional training with Dr. Bruce Pennington and Dr. Marge Riddle at the Neuropsychology Clinic at the University of Denver (DU), I am very familiar with diagnosing Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD includes severeal subtypes, one of which is often labelled Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), according to older nomenclature (the different terms are sometimes confusing to the clients). Although I used to administer extensive batteries of tests to diagnose learning deficits and ADHD, I now usually refer for such comprehensive assessments to the the Center for NeuroDevelopment with Dr. Skalicky, in Fort Collins, CO. Dr. Marge Riddle of Boulder also continues to conduct neuropsychological assessments of childrens, teens and adults. My focus has remained on providing treatment for clients who either have a primary diagnosis of ADHD, or for whom ADHD is part of a larger clinical picture. However, it is often very helpful for me to have the background in interpreting the results of various neuropsychological tests.
I usually refer children younger than 7 years of age to other providers, including Dr. Poling Chan, Rachel Moriarty and Dr. Jennifer Grey. Older children, teens and adults become educated in the recent research on ADHD (if they are interested) and learn coping strategies. I often recommend a helpful website: www.drThomasEBrown.com.