Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common mental disorders among children. It affects 3 to 5 percent of all children, perhaps as many as 2 million American children. Boys are two to three times more likely to be affected than girls. ADHD continues into adolescence and adulthood, and can cause a lifetime of frustration and emotional pain if not treated.
A person with ADHD may experience symptoms where thoughts are constantly shifting. The person feels easily bored, yet helpless to keep their mind on the tasks at hand. Furthermore, he/she is distracted by unimportant sights and sounds and their mind is driven from one thought or activity to another. They can be so absorbed in their own thoughts and images that they don’t notice when someone speaks to them.
They may be unable to sit still, finish tasks, plan ahead, or be fully aware of what’s going on around them. To their family, classmates or coworkers, they seem to exist in a disorganized world. On some days and in some situations, they may seem fine, often giving the false impression that the person with ADHD can actually control these behaviors. As a result, the disorder can mar the person’s relationships with others in addition to disrupting their daily life, consuming energy, and diminishing self-esteem.
Unlike a physical problem, such as a broken arm, or strep throat, ADHD does not have clear visual signs that can be seen in an x-ray or a lab test. ADHD can only be identified by looking for certain characteristic behaviors. These behaviors vary from person to person, and scientists have not yet identified a single cause behind all the different patterns of behavior. It is possible that some day it is discovered that ADHD is not actually caused by one specific cause but rather several slightly different disorders.
At present, ADHD is a diagnosis applied to children and adults who consistently display chronic symptoms characterized by a combination of three types of behavior: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
People who are inattentive have a hard time keeping their mind on a specific task and may get bored with a task after only a few minutes. On some specific activities and things they enjoy, they seem to be able to give effortless, automatic attention. But on other deliberate tasks at school or work, they can’t seem to be able to give them conscious attention, organization or be able to complete them. Learning something new is also very difficult.
For example, completing homework can be agonizing, both in planning ahead by writing down the assignment and bringing home the right books, or when trying to work, keeping their mind from drifting to something else. As a result, the homework assignment gets rarely finished and the work is full of errors.
Dr. Mendoza also conducts psychological evaluations and testing for children, adolescents and adults in the following areas: