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The Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD Case Study

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Updated: Apr 28th, 2021

Case Discussion

ADHD and similar conditions affect children’s lives across the world. Dias et al. (2013), state that 5% of the global population were diagnosed with the disease. The primary concern in the presented case study would be Derrick’s ability to learn the required skills, which would enable him to continue his education. It is necessary because at the age of 9 he has to adhere to his homework and develop social connections, both aspects are adversely affected by ADHD’s symptoms.

Identifying proper treatment strategies, either by school supported intervention or therapy sessions should be the primary step in this case. According to Dias et al. (2013), it is a “prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder, often associated with other psychiatric comorbidities, functional impairments, and poor long-term outcomes” (p. 40). The authors state that the condition has several neurological components, which help identify it. Additionally, it often co-occurs with other disorders, for which Derrick must be diagnosed to ensure that the treatment plan can target every aspect of the issue.

Medication is typically utilized in cases of children with ADHD. However, Singh, FilipeImre, Bard, Bergey, and Baker (2013) raise a question of ethical problems connected to pharmacological treatment of ADHD in children and adolescents. Thus, medication would be another concern in Derrick’s case because proper treatment plan may require several tests. It is done to ensure that the chosen medication appropriately affects the condition and does not present side effects.

However, the primary focus should be on cognitive-behavioral therapy and involvement of parents in the process. Piepmeier et al. (2015) state that one session of such treatment significantly improves the skills of such children. Thus, the primary objective with ADHD should be teaching children and adolescents to coop with their condition and adapt behavior models, which help them minimize the symptoms of ADHD.

Peer Responses

Response 1

This peer focuses on the importance of therapy in Derrick’s treatment. It is a valid approach because according to Rapport, Orban, Kofler, and Friedman (2013) the condition is typically treated with a combination of medication and therapy. The strategy presents a significant reduction of behavior problems, which is the primary concern with ADHD. Thus, such children can function in a school setting and do their homework as required.

An appropriate alternative for the scenario would be a computer-based intervention. Rapport et al. (2013) state that “computer-based cognitive training can remediate these impairments and provide significant and lasting improvement” (p. 1237). Such an approach can be better when compared to traditional therapy. Rapport et al. (2013) state that previous researchers have proven that cognitive behavioral therapy has limited long-term effects on the issue. The information that would be important to know when treating this patient is the availability of school-based programs that would help teach Derrick appropriate skills.

Response 2

The post mentions Erikson’s criteria for the psychological crisis, which helps identify proper interventions in Derrick’s case. Primarily, the involvement of the school’s personnel and support from parents members is crucial for the scenario. Cortese et al. (2015) state that cognitive behavioral therapy is overall a practical approach to the treatment of the condition, which would be the primary intervention in this case. However, it does not help reduce the symptoms of impulsivity and hyperactivity (Cortese et al., 2015). Thus, a broader and more inclusive approach is required to ensure that Derrick develops the required skills.

Additionally, assessing Derrick for other psychiatric conditions is crucial for this case. Many researchers point out that ADHD occurs with other mental health issues. Thus, additional information required for adequately managing this treatment plan is a mental health examination. In addition, psychical health should be assessed before prescribing medication for controlling symptoms of ADHD.


Dias, T. G., Kieling, C., Graeff-Martins, A., Soledade, M., Tais S., Rohde, L.A., & Polanczyk, G. V. (2013). Developments and challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, 35(1), 40-50. Web.

Cortese, S., Ferrin, M., Brandeis, D., Buitelaar, J., Daley, D., Dittmann, R. W., … Sonuga-Barke, E. J. (2015). Cognitive training for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Meta-analysis of clinical and neuropsychological outcomes from randomized controlled trials. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(3), 164-174. Web.

Piepmeier, A. T., Shih, C., Whedon, M., Williams, L. M., Davis, M. E., Henning, D. A., … Etnier, J. L. (2015). The effect of acute exercise on cognitive performance in children with and without ADHD. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 4(1), 97-104. Web.

Rapport, M. D., Orban, S. A., Kofler, M. J., Friedman, L. M. (2013). Do programs designed to train working memory, other executive functions, and attention benefit children with ADHD? A meta-analytic review of cognitive, academic, and behavioral outcomes. Clinical Psychology Review, 33, 1337-1252. Web.

Singh, I., FilipeImre, A. M., Bard, I., Bergey, M., Baker, L. (2013). Globalization and cognitive enhancement: Emerging social and ethical challenges for ADHD clinicians. Current Psychiatry Reports, 15, 385. Web.

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