The Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital
ADHD Center for Evaluation and Treatment (ACET) program offers a
comprehensive and thorough assessment using state-of-the-art diagnostic
methods based on the National Institutes of Health guidelines to
provide a treatment recommendation designed specifically for home,
school and your child.
What is Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity
Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder
(ADHD) is a treatable condition that affects about 5 percent of
all children in the United States. Symptoms of ADHD usually appear
by age 7 and are found in boys more often than girls. Associated
with both the central nervous system and environmental factors,
ADHD is characterized by one or more of the following core symptoms:
Some children may have ADHD without
hyperactivity. In such cases, the condition is more difficult to
detect because these children do not "act up" in class
or at home. They may seem lethargic and fail to complete work, or
they may show signs of confusion, forgetfulness and disorganization.
Children with ADHD do not intentionally
choose to be the way they are. They are not lazy, unmotivated or
"willful." Children with ADHD are biologically different.
Often, it is hard for them to do what is expected of them; they'd
rather do what is interesting to them.
Does my child have ADHD?
The ACET program will answer your question.
ADHD is difficult to diagnose. In some
cases, what appears to be ADHD may actually signal another problem.
To ensure that your child receives
an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment, our staff conducts interviews
with you, your child and sometimes his or her teachers, performs
direct observations in the clinic and uses psychological rating
scales. Once collected, the data is analyzed and the results are
summarized for you. Through this evaluation, we can determine if
ADHD symptoms are present, if other disorders accompany it, or if
other disorders may be the source of your child's symptoms. Based
on this careful, complete evaluation, we will then recommend comprehensive
treatment tailored to your child's needs.
Our staff focuses on your child's strengths
and assets, what works for them, and emphasizes and builds on the
skills that your child already has. We will provide a treatment
program that integrates cooperation between home and school. Parents
will receive coaching regarding the management of the child in both
home and school settings and how the child handles himself or herself.
Our collaborative approach to care
combines the knowledge of pediatric health care professionals including
psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatric and child psychiatry residents,
social workers and nursing staff. Your child will have access to
the professionals at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital where
high-quality expertise and innovative technology help meet the special
needs of children and their families.
Could it be something else?
In some cases, what appears to be ADHD
may actually signal another problem such as depression or anxiety.
Before proper treatment can begin, pinpointing the real difficulty
The ACET program was developed to
Find out if the symptoms of ADHD
Rule out other possible causes of
Discover if there are any other
conditions or concerns to treat
If your child is diagnosed with ADHD,
we will outline an appropriate treatment program using a variety
of treatment methods, such as a combination of medication, individual
counseling and parent coaching. If the diagnosis is not ADHD, we
will refer you to qualified professionals for other focused evaluation
The element of uncertainty of your
child's condition can largely be eliminated, and your child can
receive needed and appropriate treatment.
Will my child outgrow it?
No. Children do not outgrow ADHD. If
left untreated, their problems can be compounded over time. Symptoms
can impair a child's behavior in social and academic situations,
which will eventually affect his or her self-esteem. Treatment that
is tailored to address the severity of the condition can alleviate
the symptoms and help a child learn to cope with the disorder.
Is medication the only answer?
Medication may be an option, but it
is not the only one.
Treatment of ADHD depends on the child
and the severity of the problem. In all cases, it involves a combination
treatment approach designed to address the child's individual needs.
This treatment may include interventions in the classroom and at
home, individual and family therapy, parent coaching, behavior management
techniques (such as the Summer Treatment Program), strategies for the child's teachers, and medication.
If medication is an option, our staff
will work with you and your child's pediatrician to monitor your
child's response and to find the optimal dosage level. We use a
systematic, scientific approach to fine-tune the dosage to ensure
both the safety and effectiveness of treatment.
What can I do?
If you think your child may have ADHD,
begin by talking to your child's teacher, pediatrician or family
practitioner. If the problem is not long-standing and has only developed
over the past six months, you may learn that the condition is due
to something other than ADHD.
However, if these core behaviors (inattentiveness,
distractibility, impulsiveness, excessive activity) are persistent
and occur in many different settings and situations, or if the behavior
is causing significant social and/or academic problems, your child
may have ADHD.
If this sounds like your child, contact
the ADHD Center for Evaluation and Treatment at the Cleveland Clinic
Children's Hospital at 216/445-2066. We work with children,
parents and teachers to assess the condition and recommend appropriate
strategies for treatment.
Remember, ADHD doesn't have to impair
your child's social and academic life. There isn't anything wrong
with your child or your parenting skills. By pinpointing the condition,
you and your child are on the way to managing this behavior.
We respect your privacy
Information regarding your child is
confidential and is shared only with you and your child's physician.
Evaluation and medication trial reports are shared with others (such
as your child's school) only at your request.
As with all psychological services,
insurance coverage for the costs associated with this service varies.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding coverage, please
contact the member services area of your insurance company.