Weekend Highlights

Published April 7, 2014

ADHD Moms Wanted

by Kelly Rogers Flynt

Mark Stein, Ph.D., ABPP, has dedicated his career to the research and treatment of ADHD. In his estimation, approximately 20 percent of children with ADHD have a parent who suffers from the disorder as well. Unfortunately, adults are harder to diagnose, as the symptoms are subtle and less visible. Nevertheless, a parent with untreated ADHD will often struggle in the management of their child’s treatment. 

Stein’s study, named Mothers First, originally began in Chicago and has been in progress here in Seattle for about two months and will continue for two years. In his study, Stein hopes to show that by treating the parent with medication, behavior modification or a combination of both, that medication for the child can be delayed or avoided. This family-centric approach is welcomed by many who are concerned with the rapid rise in the number of children receiving ADHD medications. 

In children, ADHD presents itself in two main ways. The first is attention related, where the child has trouble staying focused, is easily distracted, and often disorganized.  The second type is a child who displays hyperactivity and issues with impulse control.  For adults, type one is the same. However, the second type in adults usually presents itself more as a sense of restlessness rather than hyperactivity, although the impulsivity may be much the same. Adults with untreated ADHD may also struggle with depression, demoralization, problems in relationships, underachieving and even substance abuse. 

Seattle Children’s Hospital is currently enrolling mothers and children, ages 4 to 8, showing ADHD symptoms, for participation in the study. They’ll provide a free assessment and 16 weeks of treatment. Participants must not have been treated with ADHD medications previously, and mothers cannot be pregnant or nursing. Contact Libby Bliss at 206-884-1488 or elizabeth.bliss@seattlechildrens.org

Families not interested in the study but wanting an evaluation should contact the Pearl Clinic at Children’s in Bellevue at 425-454-4644.

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