ADHD Counseling in Lexington, Richmond & Frankfort KY

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Understanding and Help for ADHD

An estimated 15 million individuals in America have ADHD. Without identification and proper treatment, ADHD may have serious consequences, including school failure, family stress and disruption, problems with relationships, substance abuse, delinquency, injuries and job failure. Untreated ADHD can also lead to other mental health problems: Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Anxiety and Depression.

ADHD is a common mental health disorder that, according to the CDC, affects approximately 11% of school aged children in the United States, the diagnosis is more prevalent in boys than girls. In most cases symptoms continue into adulthood, although with appropriate treatment in childhood kids can learn many adaptive behaviors or ways to assist themselves with the symptoms of ADHD. ADHD can be explained as an executive functioning problem. Executive Function (EF) refers to brain functions that activate, organize, integrate and manage other functions. It enables individuals to account for short and long term consequences of their actions and to plan for those results. It also allows individuals to make real time evaluations of their actions, and make necessary adjustments if those actions are not achieving the desired result. When there is a problem with EF there are problems with behavior.

Diagnosis of ADHD

There are three types of ADHD. The predominately Inattentive Type, which presents in a person who, according to the DSM 5 (the diagnostic manual used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental health disorders):
  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
  • Has a difficulty time sustaining attention
  • Does not appear to listen
  • Struggles to follow through with instructions
  • Has difficulty with organization
  • Avoids or dislikes tasks required sustained mental effort
  • Loses things
  • Is easily distracted
  • Is forgetful in daily activities
Predominately hyperactive-impulsive presentation:
  • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair
  • Has a difficult time remaining seated
  • Runs about or climbs excessively in children; extreme restlessness in adults
  • Difficulty engaging in activities quietly
  • Acts or feels as if driven by a motor
  • Talks excessively
  • Blurts out answers before question have been completed
  • Difficulty waiting or taking turns; interrupts or intrudes upon others
And lastly, the third presentation is Combined type ADHD. These individuals meet the criteria for both inattention and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD symptoms.

The severity of symptoms can range. Many kids do not fit the “stereotypical” symptoms of ADHD, and children with the inattentive type are often overlooked. Symptoms can change with time. Symptoms can continue into adulthood but often time’s symptoms will lessen with age. ADHD persists from childhood into adolescence in 50-80 percent of cases.

Diagnosis is made by a mental health professional or a child’s pediatrician will make a diagnosis or refer families to a mental health professional who specializes in children’s issues. A therapist or counselor is often a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Psychologist, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), or a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPCC). Counselors/therapists can make the diagnosis without any specialized testing. Diagnosis is based on symptoms across environments. It is very important that data is collected from parents and school or other things the child is involved in. The Vanderbilt Questionnaire is often used as a simple data collection tool that gives providers a lot of information on base line and ongoing symptoms. Symptoms have to persist in at least two different places and most of the time diagnosis is made once a child starts school. In some rare situations younger children can be diagnosed.

It is important to work with a therapist who has training and experience in the area of children’s mental health and is addressing symptoms in therapy as well as making referrals for medication assessment, if that is needed. Medication can be instrumental in controlling symptoms so that skills can be learned in therapy.

Treatment for ADHD

Treatment often requires a range of focus. These could include:
  • Parent training
  • Medication
  • Social skills training
  • Educational supports
  • Behavioral therapy
The recommended first-line treatment for kids 4-5 years old with ADHD is behavioral therapy. For all children and adolescents with ADHD the preferred treatment approach is both medication treatment and behavioral therapy.

Keys to Success

Learn all you can about ADHD and your child’s educational rights. The more knowledge you have about your child’s rights under the two education laws, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the better to maximize his or her success. A child diagnosed with ADHD can qualify for a 504 plan under the “other health impaired” section so that the child can receive accommodations in the class room. Accommodations can be seemingly small changes to their day that can make a big difference in the success of the child.


Brown, Thomas E. (2005). Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults (pp 20–58). New Haven, CT, Yale University Press Health and Wellness. - See more at: 

Barkley, Russell A., Murphy, Kevin R., Fischer, Mariellen (2008). ADHD in Adults: What the Science Says (pp 171–175). New York, Guilford Press. 

Peg Dawson, EdD, and Richard Guare, PhD. Smart but Scattered. Guilford Press 2009

Martin L Kutscher and Marcella Moran. Organizing the Disorganized Child. Simple Strategies to Succeed in School.  

Building the Brains “Air Traffic Control” System: How Early Experiences Shape the Development of Executive Function.

Excellent video explaining Executive Functioning:

New Client Info
Lexington, KY

Darby Creek Location
501 Darby Creek Road
Suite 11
Lexington KY, 40509
Phone: 859-338-0466
Fax: 859-294-0802

Recent Posts
By Paul Dalton 05 Feb, 2016
So you live in Kentucky and only a few more weeks until spring. Everyone should be happy and feel better about that, right? I think most of us get a sense of relief and hope, and that cognitive energy to bust out of the winter season and get moving. For some, the spring can be a rough time. Depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, and relationship issues prevent the spring season from being all that it could be. Following are some reasons that these and other conditions may worsen in the spring, a few resources for you, and some concrete strategies you can implement to help yourself. 

So why do people struggle some in the spring when it should be all flowers and sunshine? 

1. Sleep
Many times the spring season causes a change in our circadian rhythm . The sun wakes you up in the am, it is difficult to keep a routine, and restlessness all contribute to the sleep problem. Our eating in the winter and spring can affect how much we sleep. Caffeine, napping, undereating, and how much we are moving, all contribute to how much we sleep. Spring likely has an effect on melatonin in the body, which aids in sleep. 

Strategies that help are EXERCISE and EATING RIGHT! If you keep moving with the help of  a tool like a Fitbit or utilize regular exercise of 45 minutes or more 4-5 times per week, you are far less likely to have sleep problems. Exercise helps you sleep. Exercise helps you eat better. Eating and sleeping adequately can reduce your stress and fight any symptoms you may have. Eating healthy keeps your mind, body, and spirit in a positive place. When your body is well, your mind has a great chance of being well too. Sounds too simple? Give it a try!

The sleep foundation can help here :  Sleep Foundation Healthy Sleep Tips
Eating Right For Spring
Here is a good link to read on symptoms getting worse in the spring: Spring Makes Symptoms Worse

2. Spring Fever is Real
Our office has existed for over 15 years now. I can tell you that March to May is our busiest time of the year, always. Bipolar disorder, marital infidelity, depression, and anxiety are the main reasons people call us in the spring. The real causes of spring fever include longer days that produce more sunshine and increased energy, changes in hormone production, sleep cycles, nutrition and diet changes, body needs, and possibly, a lack of self care. When we bust of out winter here in Kentucky we sometimes forget that it takes a little time to get our minds and bodies in shape for yard work, spring cleaning, and for many, an increased workload all the way around. Here are some links to let you know spring fever is real. 

Spring Fever
WEB MD-You Give Me Spring Fever
Wiki Spring Fever
Spring Time Bad for Depression

3. Expectations Are High

Sometimes in spring we have been thinking about all the things we should of, could of, would of done if we had lived in San Diego or Florida during our winter days. The reality of being human can set in when we find out that spring has sprung, it is time to get moving, and we don't have the energy or drive to complete our list of high expectations. Many people are disappointed in themselves and these outcomes. Don't worry about it. 

Strategies you can use include setting small attainable goals you can feel good about. Work on your list a little at a time. Make goals that regular people can reach with time built in for you to EXERCISE AND SLEEP. Do a mix of things that you enjoy and are healthy for you while completing your responsibilities. If you deny yourself from pleasure too long, that strategy is likely to backfire. Have a good balanced approach. Use a checklist that has 3 sections. One section is for today. One section is for the week. Reserve one part of the list for things your are really wanting to do. Put a vacation or planned fun activities on a calendar. Look up things you might want to do during that time online. Planning, thinking and dreaming are fine. They keep us hopeful. 

Tiny Buddha Expectations and Disappointment
Expectations at The Silent Blog
Three Ways Expectations Can Hurt You

4. Allergies

If you live in Kentucky, you know about allergies. Kentucky is known to be one of the worst states when it comes to spring and fall allergies.  Louisville is ranked as one of the worst cities in the entire country to live in due to allergies.   Many times people are unaware they are being affected. Sometimes the symptoms are less obvious than a runny nose, cough, and cold like symptoms. Many times people are lethargic, grouchy, have headaches, and have cognitive deficits. The allergic affect we have in Kentucky can quickly turn into a sinus infection, bronchitis, ear infections, and other maladies that make us mentally and physically drained. That flower below can cause us some issues! 

Get to a doctor. Take a seasonal allergy medication. Some are mild, like Allegra (please get your physician's approval before taking allergy medications) and can be taken everyday. Prescription nose sprays may help, but may also have some cognitive or mood altering side effects. Be careful, but don't suffer! Get help from an allergist if you need it. 

Allergy Resources
Pollen Map
How to Beat Spring Allergies by WEB MD
By creekmoremarketing 21 Sep, 2015

Welcome to our website!

Therapy is a great choice. It works, and I hope you make a commitment today to start. Most people find the idea of attending therapy with a therapist or counselor far more scary than the actual process itself. Here is a link that describes how the process works at our locations.

Our therapists are located in Lexington, Frankfort and Richmond, KY. See individual profiles of our therapy providers here . I hire our professionals personally and attempt to provide you with someone that will care about your outcome and treat you well. These are experts at counseling and therapy and provide services you will want to tell others about.

Our clinicians care, and you will know they are different in that respect. Providing therapy in Central Kentucky is much more than a job to our therapists. It is a profession, and a way of life.

Please let us help you today!   Contact us here   or at 859.338.0466 now.


Paul D. Dalton, MS, LPCC, CADC

More Posts
What is therapy?

Therapy is more long-term than counseling and focuses on a broader range of issues. The underlying principle is that a person's patterns of thinking and unconscious awareness affect the way that person interacts with the world. The goal is to uncover those patterns and become aware of their effect and then learn new, healthier ways to think and interact.
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