Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

A public presentation on ADHD and Autism will be held on Sunday, August 7 at 7:30 pm at Simple Gifts Massage, Ellicott City, MD by Phyllis Heffner, MD of Holistic Child Psychiatry, LLC of Columbia, MD. RSVP at or The first 10 people to attend will receive a free Metabolic Health Analysis and book on Lifestyle Medicine.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism are 2 conditions that occur in both children and adults. They are generally considered to be brain based and not due to psychological causes. Conventional medicine, including Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Neurology, looks at the symptoms of these challenges, makes the diagnosis and generally recommends treatment with medication for ADHD and either medication if the person with autism is aggressive, depressed or anxious or will state that there is no medical treatment available.

Holistic and Integrative Psychiatry looks at these conditions quite differently. Rather than just assuming the symptoms are due to neurological condition, the possibility that the symptoms are secondary to other challenges are also explored. Treatment then is determined based on the underlying cause of the symptoms- this could be nutritional and diet related, exercise, sleep, nutritional supplements, herbs, stress reduction techniques, treatment of infections or removal of toxins. Medications are also sometimes indicated, depending on the situation. There is not a typical treatment protocol but must be individualized depending on each person’s situation.

Some options available to diagnose ADHD include the traditional Psychiatric Evaluation and behavioral checklists completed by parents and teachers, neuropsychological testing, and brainwave assessments. Holistic Child Psychiatry offers the CNS-Vital Signs, a computerized neuropsychological testing platform that measures attention, memory, cognitive flexibility and other factors. I also offer the NEBA, a FDA approved brainwave test to help clarify the clinical diagnosis of ADHD. Another form of treatment offered is brain mapping and LORETA Neurofeedback, in which the brain learns how to change its current brainwave pattern to one that is more functional and may prevent the need for medication.

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