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Case Study – Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

Case Study – Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is perhaps one of the most recognizable psychiatric illnesses, resulting in considerable functional deficits among children. This disorder is characterized by patterns of disturbing and developmentally inappropriate impulsivity and inattentiveness (Corcoran & Walsh, 2015). The pathophysiological principle underlying ADHD has warranted considerations of this disorder as a dysfunction of cognitive functioning with subsequent disabilities in attention, emotional regulation, and decision-making (Núñez-Jaramillo et al., 2021). This paper analyzes a case study on ADHD, emphasizing its assessment and treatment plans.

Assessment and Diagnosis

The case is of a 10-year-old African-American girl, Kathy, brought to the clinic by her parents. Her parents reported that she has been struggling with schoolwork and has been continuously falling behind in many subjects over the past two years. She has also become disorganized, loses items in school and at home, becomes problematic when it’s time to leave for school, and more often takes longer to get ready. They also reported that she is increasingly restless, finds it difficult to concentrate on her daily tasks, and can’t sustain watching her favorite television channels to the end. Her teachers report that she has been involved in multiple arguments with her classmates and is sometimes involved in small fights in the school playground. They also noted that she is always late returning to class from the playground during breaks, is always forgetful and that she rarely finishes her homework. Kathy’s parents are worried about her behavior and declining performance in school.

Assessment findings on Kathy revealed a constellation of symptoms suggestive of ADHD. Analysis of the client’s manifestations using the Vanderbilt ADHD scale revealed that Kathy had a predominantly inattentive subtype of ADHD. She scored two or three in items such as not paying attention to details, difficulty in organizing activities and tasks, losing items both at school and at home, forgetfulness, and avoiding or delaying initiating tasks. Scoring in these items points towards the inattentive subtype of ADHD. Additionally, Kathy had a performance problem, as demonstrated by her declining school grades. Vanderbilt ADHD scale is a 55-item assessment tool valuable in measuring the presence of ADHD. The items listed in this assessment tool are adopted from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Disorders (DSM-V).

The Vanderbilt ADHD scale findings were further supported by the DSM-V provisions on ADHD. DSM-V outlines ADHD as a mental health illness of medical significance. It stratifies this disorder into three subtypes. These are predominantly hyperactive subtypes, predominantly inattentive subtypes, and combined types (Cabral et al., 2020). The symptoms manifestations of the predominantly inattentive subtype of ADHD as detailed in DSM-V include lack of concentration, ease of losing things, forgetfulness, inattentiveness, difficulty completing tasks, disorganization, missing minor details, avoiding or developing a dislike for initiating tasks, and not seeming to listen when being spoken to.

As per DSM-V, a positive diagnosis of ADHD is made in children in the presence of at least six of these symptoms. Additionally, these symptoms must have been present for at least six months, manifest in multiple settings, and begin before the age of 18 (APA, 2022). In the case presented, the client was forgetful, inattentive, performed poorly in school, was disorganized, lost items easily, had difficulty completing tasks, as evidenced in her inability to watch television programs to a conclusion and lost concentration easily. She also performed poorly in school. These manifestations have been present for over a year. These manifestations are in concert with those listed in DSM-V and meet the criteria for diagnosing ADHD.

ADHD remains a concern for children. The case presented is a replica of how parents of children with this disorder are affected by their children’s suffering. It is a demonstration of the role parents play in their children’s wellness and a fulfillment of the biblical principle of caring, projected in Christian teachings per Galatians 6:2. This verse calls upon Christians to bear one another’s burdens by walking with them and easing their suffering (King James Version). Kathy’s parents are taking her to the hospital, which is a fulfillment of this noble law.

Treatment Plan

Comprehensive management of ADHD utilizes psychosocial and pharmacotherapeutic modalities. Pharmacotherapeutic interventions using stimulants and non-stimulant medications are the mainstay modalities in the management of ADHD (Drechsler et al., 2020). Stimulants such as amphetamine maintain effectiveness in alleviating the symptoms of this disorder. Non-stimulant medications such as alpha agonists and antidepressant medications have also been used to manage ADHD. The child, in this case, can benefit from these interventions.

Psychosocial interventions are also effective in managing ADHD. CBT techniques and psycho-education are examples of psychosocial interventions that can be used in this regard. CBT may help in addressing and reversing habits affecting the child’s mindset and predisposing them to specific disruptive behaviors. Adjunctive use of psychosocial interventions and pharmacotherapy is superior to either modality used alone in alleviating ADHD symptoms (Drechsler et al., 2020). The client, in this case, will be started on amphetamine and scheduled for a CBT session. To tap into the family’s Christian faith, the biblical principle of Christian healing should be emphasized. As per the biblical principle of healing postulated in Psalms 147: 3 (King James Bible), God is a healer. Emphasizing that Cathy will receive the healing she needs will give the family hope and improve their psychosocial wellness. Consistently, she will be expected to return for a follow-up after two weeks to assess her responsiveness to the prescribed medications.


ADHD remains a concern for children. Assessment tools such as the Vanderbilt ADHD scale maintain effectiveness in measuring the presence of ADHD symptoms and are thus effective as part of the comprehensive assessment of the disorders. Comprehensive management of this disorder utilizes chemotherapeutic and psychosocial interventions. These modalities maintain effectiveness in alleviating ADHD symptoms and are usually initiated upon confirming the diagnosis using the DSM-V provisions of the disorder.


American Psychiatric Association. (2022). Neurodevelopmental disorders. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed., text rev.).

Cabral, M. D., Liu, S., & Soares, N. (2020). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Diagnostic criteria, Epidemiology, risk factors and evaluation in Youth. Translational Pediatrics9(S1). 

Corcoran, J., & Walsh, J. (2015). Ch. 4. In Mental Health in Social Work: A casebook on diagnosis and strengths-based assessment (3rd ed.). Essay, Pearson Education.

Drechsler, R., Brem, S., Brandeis, D., Grünblatt, E., Berger, G., & Walitza, S. (2020). ADHD: Current concepts and treatments in children and adolescents. Neuropediatrics51(05), 315–335. 

King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online.

Núñez-Jaramillo, L., Herrera-Solís, A., & Herrera-Morales, W. V. (2021). ADHD: Reviewing the causes and evaluating solutions. Journal of Personalized Medicine11(3), 166.


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Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)


You will write a paper of at least 3 pages in the current APA format about a chosen diagnosis in the assigned sections from the course textbook. Your Case Study: Neurodevelopmental Disorders Assignment paper must include at least 1 scholarly reference in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.


Choose a mental health diagnosis (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD) from chapters 3 and 4 of the Mental Health in Social Work textbook. Present a case that would describe a client that would meet the criteria for the chosen mental health diagnosis. Be creative about the situation that the client would come in for and the presenting symptoms that would cause him/her to seek services from a social worker. For example, this client could have been referred from the school or brought in by a parent. Provide at least 1 scholarly reference that contains information about the chosen mental health diagnosis. Discuss how you would integrate the Christian perspective into your work as a social worker with this client, citing at least 1 relevant Bible verse.

Write your Case Study: Neurodevelopmental Disorders Assignment in the current APA format. The Case Study: Neurodevelopmental Disorders Assignment must include:

  1. Title page
  2. Describe the symptoms that meet the criteria for the chosen mental health diagnosis with the fictional client who would come in for services from you as the social worker.
  3. From what you have learned, prepare at least 2 suggestions for treatment (e.g., referral for medication evaluation, individual or group therapy, assistance at school) for the chosen diagnosis.
  4. Reference page for resources, including both textbooks, the Bible, and at least 1 scholarly reference published within the past 5 years. LU’s library includes many resources to meet your needs. Newspaper articles and blogs do not qualify as professional resources.

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