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Posts Tagged ‘ADHD’

Dr. David W. Goodman invited to speak at Regional CHADD conference February 22, 2014 at West Chester University, PA


Anticipating over 300 attendees, the 13th Annual ADHD Conference for parents, teachers, professionals and adults with ADHD on Saturday, February 22, 2014 from 8:00am to 1:00pm will feature several expert speakers. West Chester University is just outside Philadelphia. Below is the program of speakers and topics.

Marie Paxon, program coordinator, invited me to present on the science of diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in adolescents and adults. If you reside in the area, please consider attending because it is a great way to learn a great deal about ADHD quickly and network with people with ADHD and those who offer guidance and treatment. See you there.

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ADHD and the Brain: Knowledge Matters Speakers

Marilyn B. Benoit, M.D. is a child and adolescent psychiatrist. She is senior vice president of Clinical and Professional Affairs and chief clinical officer at Devereux. She is a past president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Benoit has served on the faculties of Howard and George Washington Universities and is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center, from which she received the Vicennial Silver Medal of Honor for 20 years of distinguished service.

David W. Goodman, M.D. is assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is also director of the Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Center of Maryland in Lutherville and medical director of Suburban Psychiatric Associates, LLC. Dr. Goodman is the author of The Black Book of ADHD.

Marjorie Johnson, LCSW, PCC is a licensed clinical social worker and certified coach who provides leadership and career coaching, training, and counseling. She specializes in helping students and professionals with ADHD. Ms. Johnson serves on Chester County/Main Line CHADD’s Professional Advisory Board and is a professional member of ADDA (Attention Deficit Disorder Association.). She is past president of the International Coaching Federation-Philadelphia chapter and was named the 2011 Small Business Person of the Year by the Exton Chamber of Commerce (PA).

Jesse D. Matthews, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist and has worked with individuals with ADHD for a number of years. He is in private practice at The Center for Psychological Services in Paoli and Ardmore and also works at Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems, a community mental health organization. He evaluates adolescents for substance abuse at the Chester County Youth Center in West Chester and does substance abuse evaluations and treatment in an outpatient program in Kennett Square. Dr. Matthews is an adjunct professor at Immaculata University. Previously, Dr. Matthews worked for six years as a counselor at Hill Top Preparatory School, and he facilitated the Chester County/Main Line CHADD teen ADHD support group for two years.

Joan M. Polka, Ph.D. is a psychologist in the Counseling Center at West Chester University assigned full time to the Act 101 portion of the Academic Development Program (a developmental education opportunity for underprepared first-time college students). She is also co-chair of Chester County/Main Line CHADD’s Adult Program and was the 2011 CHADD Educator of the Year.

Martin Patwell, Ed.D. is director of the Office of Special Services for Students with Disabilities at West Chester University. He has also been the director of evaluation clinic at Landmark School. He has presented “Trends and Issues in Disabilities in Higher Education” at Jiangxi University, Nanchung, China. He is also a consultant to The College Board, Inc.

Preeti Singh, M.S. is the associate director of the Twardowski Career Development Center at West Chester University.

Sharon Watson, M.S. is assistant director of West Chester University’s Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. She has over 20 years of experience working with students with learning differences, mental health, and physical disabilities.

8:30 a.m. Welcome

Chester County/Main Line CHADD and West Chester University

West Chester University

Earl F. Sykes Student Union

110 West Rosedale Avenue

West Chester, PA 19383

8:45 –9:15 a.m.

ADHD Across the Lifespan

Marilyn Benoit, M.D.

Research has proven that ADHD does not end with childhood. Over the course of a lifetime, the scenarios change, but the struggles might not. What does ADHD look like at each stage of life and what is the impact? This fast-paced-but-thorough presentation will help attendees learn more about this complex disorder and will provide a summary of current treatment and management options. Don’t miss this valuable session to gain a better understanding of childhood, teen, and adult ADHD.

9:15 –10:30 a.m.

ADHD and the Brain – What You Need to Know About Treatment and Management

David W. Goodman, M.D.

Those with ADHD express frustration with the disorder’s symptoms: trouble focusing, procrastination, forgetfulness, and difficulty filtering out distractions. Some people have a slower processing speed and others struggle with impulsivity. To make things even more complex, many people with ADHD will have a co-occurring condition like learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, or autism. The good news is that treatment is available, and there are strategies to counteract these challenges. Dr. Goodman will provide an overview of medications and pro-social treatments for ADHD and discuss common co-occurring conditions in this valuable presentation. Children and adults report that they receive unhelpful advice like “try harder,” “start applying yourself,” and “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” Attend this session to learn about evidence-based treatments for ADHD and how they make a difference.

10:45 –11:30 a.m.

ADHD and Social Interactions

Jesse Matthews, Psy.D.

Social interactions can consist of anything from a casual conversation with an acquaintance to daily communication with loved ones. This can present challenges for both children and adults with ADHD. Those with ADHD may feel isolated and disconnected from others. They may find that executive function challenges can cause them to misinterpret social cues, which are usually unspoken or vague. The invisible challenges of impulsivity, forgetfulness, and an inability to regulate emotions can have a negative effect on forming and maintaining friendships. Fortunately, new information and strategies are available through the field of social learning and social cognition. Attend this session to learn more about this exciting topic and how to apply it to everyday life.

• Facilitated activity: Mindfulness Meditation and ADHD

Marjorie Johnson, LCSW

Mindfulness meditation is a way to calm the mind and relax the body while increasing the ability to sustain attention and manage distractibility. Hear about compelling research and daily applications of mindfulness meditation. Practice it to experience the deep relaxation it generates.

11:45 a.m. –1:00 p.m.

Becoming Successful in College and Early Career

ADHD and Career Success

Preeti Singh

Career development is a life-long process, involving decision making, self-awareness, exploration, preparation, and experience. What tools are available to help students successfully navigate this territory? This brief presentation will provide an overview of resources and strategies.

WCU Student Panel

Sharon Watson, facilitator

Current students at West Chester University who have “been there, done that” tell it like it is. Their transitions, challenges, and routes to where they are today provide a look at what real students face in college.

• Facilitated activity: ADD and Loving It?!

This video blends humor, hope, and science to dispel the myths about adult ADHD. Comedian Patrick McKenna seeks a diagnosis for adult ADHD and learns the facts from an impressive array of experts. Funny, moving, and transformative, this fascinating documentary will hold you spellbound!

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Brain test for ADHD-Expert does not endorse for diagnosis


As a follow-up to my blog on the new brain EEG “test” for diagnosing ADHD in children, a 2013 meta-analysis ( a review of all studies) research publication reviewed the individual studies on the use of EEG in children with ADHD. The NEBA study was included. The leader author of this study, Dr. M Arns at the University of The Netherlands concludes that EEG testing for ADHD is not a clinically useful test at this time. He explains his thoughts in a very recent piece for CHADD on their website.

Although the theta/beta wave ratio is different in ADHD children, there is too broad a range in this patient population to make the EEG test useful.

So, as I mentioned in my previous blog, be cautious if someone recommends this test “as a helpful way to make an accurate diagnosis.”  As I have said before, let science be the designated driver on the highway of opinions.

David W. Goodman, M.D.

Brain wave device for ADHD approved by the FDA


If you get ADHD alerts or listen to the media, you may have heard of the FDA approval for a brain wave test to aid in the diagnosis of ADHD. The study involved 275  children between ages 6-17. The test is an EEG and they say that the ratio of specific brain waves (theta and delta) increase the accuracy of making the ADHD diagnosis.

Here are my reservations:

1. The FDA has not released the study data so there is no way for researchers and clinicians to review the merits of the study.

2. Study methodology can strongly influence the data and subsequent interpretation.

3. We don’t know the threshold of benefit that was used by the FDA to merit the approval. The threshold was not indicated in their approval statement.

4. I’m unable to locate the study as a scientific publication at the NIH publication database (www.pubmed.com)

5. What you may be reading in the media is simply a combination of the FDA’s statement of their approval and the press releases by the company who sought the approval.

6. Historically, attempts to find diagnostic tests like this for ADHD have been very elusive and ultimately of little added benefit in clinician practice.

7. Resist the “sales” pitch of practitioners to use and bill for this “test”. The prescribed treatment will still be the same, regardless of the “test” results.

Until the study or studies are publically available for scientific review, please be skeptical.  If it proves to useful, the studies will clearly indicate it.  Until then…..

David W. Goodman, M.D.

Women and ADHD at HealthWomen.org


Although the gender distribution of ADHD in children is 3 boys to 1 girl, in adults the distribution is 1 woman to 1 man.  Women are being diagnosed more often in adulthood because they usually don’t have the disruptive behavior in childhood like the boys. Women and men get diagnosed because the persistent inattention, distractiblity and disorganization impairing their ability to complete tasks in a timely fashion.

HealthWomen.org  invited me to be the medical editor on their article on this subject so as to insure the accuracy of the information. I was pleased to review, edit and update the information for their readers.

I invite you to take a look. This is a long and comprehensive review with up-to-date information to help women, men and their family with ADHD.

ADHD Drug Shortage on Maryland Public TV Jan 30 7:30pm


With the increasing shortage of ADHD stimulant medications, Maryland Public Television invited me to a live interview by Jeff Salkin on Direct Connection with Jeff Salkin on January 30, 2012 Monday at 7:30 pm. I had been invited on his show a few years ago about adults with ADHD.

I will discuss the possible explanations for these shortages in addition to the large picture of drug shortages across all medication categories. As is frequently the case, there is no one cause. I hope to lay out the explanations. More importantly, I’ll offer suggestions to work around these shortages for you and your family members.

Join us this Monday night. I want to thank my patients who have offered their stories about the impact of the shortages.

David W. Goodman, M.D.

Why is my ADHD bothering me now?


ADHD (or ADD without the H) is a disorder whose symptoms start in childhood. Two of three of these children will continue to have symptoms to an impairing degree beyond age 18 . Of the adults with ADHD who are diagnosed in adulthood, only 25% were ever diagnosed as a child (Kessler et al 2007). One reason for the under-identification of children with ADHD is that only those children who are disruptive come to the attention of teachers and parents. Non-disruptive children with ADHD may not get diagnosed until later in life. So the question is, what would cause them to seek an evaluation later in life. “If you lived with it all this time, it can’t be that bad.” Right? Well, not exactly.

In our recent publication on ADHD throughout the Lifespan (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry February 2012), we discuss the developmental phases of life that prompt the question “Why is my ADHD bothering me now?” When reading this article, please note the authorship of internationally recognized experts in the field that include Drs. Atilla Turgay (Canada), Phillip Asherson (United Kingdom), myself and Russell Barkley (United States).

Each developmental phase of life takes on more responsibility. For example, moving from middle school to high school means the academic demands and workload increases. As you move from high school to college, you need to be able to organize yourself to get to classes, do assignments on time, schedule time for study, sleep, play, and classtime. If you go onto first job, you need to be punctual, respond appropriately to supervisors, and complete work on time. When you get married, you need to negotiate household responsibilties and complete tasks timely and consistently to be a team player in your marriage. And then you go on to have children which adds additional layers of tasks and responsibilities requiring increasing levels of organization and efficiency. How about a job promotion with more tasks and the oversight of others. So, each developmental phase of adult life has its set of tasks and responsibilities and your ability to adapt and compensate becomes more difficult. At some point, your daily performance suffers whether at work or home.  At this point, either you or someone close (employer, family, friend) to you will bring it to your attention. Sometime this is done kindly, sometimes it is the result of an argument because you haven’t followed through as expected by others.

Our publication was written for physicians and psychiatrists so that they would understand why an adult with ADHD who had never gotten treatment might come to their office for an evaluation. We hope that this publication will disuade physicians from discounting an adult’s compliant of daily function and look for ADHD when indicated.

If you are not a physician, I think the article is still quite readable for most people and may provoke some thoughts and discussions amongst those effected by ADHD.

Thank you for your time and interest in reading my postings.

David W. Goodman, M.D.

“Why do you ask me the same questions?”


Yesterday a patient, clearly annoyed, asked me  “Why do you ask me the same dumb questions each time I see you? How’s your mood been? How’s your sleep and appetite? Any side effects from the medicine? Did the side effects you mentioned last time go away? Is the medicine still serving its purpose?”

Yes, I plead guilty. I do ask these questions frequently. But the patient is annoyed. Shouldn’t I stop? Well…no, and here’s why.

The answers to the questions are important and may have changed since I last saw the person. The stability of the answers or any changes is necessary to consider when changing treatment. Maybe I’ll increase or decrease the dose. Maybe I’ll add or subtract a medication.  Maybe there are life circumstances that need to be addressed and no change in medication is needed. You are probably nodding your head saying, “Ok, I understand that.”

So why is my patient annoyed? Perhaps he or she would like to spend the time more productively discussing a recent situation at work or home. I understand that.

I also see their annoyance as a good thing. What? You see, the person is annoyed because they are so accustomed to the questions that they can ask and answer them themselves. “So why waste time in the session with what I can do at home.” That’s what I want, assess yourself. My repetitive questions have been incorporated by the person into their own mind and they have learned to assess themselves the way I do. That’s a good outcome. I want my patients to be able to assess their symptoms on a day-to-day basis. I want them to note the side effects that I might have to address if they don’t subside. I want them to ask themselves “Is the medication helping me with what I want help with?”

Ultimately, we take medication not so much for health (long-term issue) but for quality of life (daily issue). Does the medication allow me to function to my satisfaction? Does the medication provide me with a comfortable state of mind?

Every time you swallow a pill, you consciously or unconsciously ask yourself “Do I really need this?” Well, if you ask yourself my “annoying questions”, you get the answer.

I want my patients to learn the symptoms of their illness, identify when symptoms are stable or not, judge the level of distress and/or impairment, and make treatment decisions accordingly. This ability gives them a sense of control over the illness rather than being a victim of it.  And they want to same.