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 updated 05 - 27 - 2016 

 

The Attention Disorder & Related Disorders Clinic

Dr. Janice Ann Hughes  MA, MSW, LCSW, ED.D.

 

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Janice Ann Hughes MA, MSW, LCSW, ED.D is a highly skilled, experienced licensed clinical social worker with double masters' degrees and a doctorate in human growth and development.  

 

Dr. Hughes is a life-long learner, student, and researcher who has pursued the understanding of various attention disorders, mood disorders, Asperger's Syndrome, partner and family relations, substance abuse / dependency issues, Borderline Personality Disorder, court-related problems.

Over the past 10 years, there has been a increase in Autism.  One in 150 children will be diagnosed on the Autism spectrum.  Asperger's Disorder or Syndrome is often referred to as 'high level functioning Autism.'  More and more children, adolescents, and adults are being diagnosed with Asperger's.  Asperger's is characterized with social skills impairment. Inappropriate and often unacceptable social interaction with others may be presented.  They have difficulty picking up on social cues and may take puns and jokes literally. Children especially pick up on this social deficit which may unfortunately ostracize them; sometimes the Asperger's child is treated cruelly by peers who bully them. Asperger children, adolescents, adults are often self-absorbed and prefer being alone. They are usually very intelligent and have special talents, hobbies, skills which can sometimes -- more often than not -- become obsessive.   

Dr. Hughes has over 40 years of experience in the field of social work and brings her skills and talents to individuals who need services and who are capable of accepting and taking responsibility for their own behavior.  

Helping individuals learn how to become self-validating, self-competent, self-confident, and self- empowered are major goals enabling oneself to 'find the gifts at the end of the rainbow'!

follow your dream

Many individuals have gone without evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment for years.  They wonder why they have so many problems which interfere with their overall general functioning. Why do they have partner relational problems... job problems which turn into job hopping or unemployment...

This is why there are so many 'mixed' diagnoses today. There is usually one primary disorder with related disorders. Related disorders are usually secondary to the primary disorder. It is important to diagnose and treat problems which occur early on to avoid the hitch hikers or tagalongs which piggy back onto the initial problem such as AD/HD, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, Asperger's Disorder, etc.  These secondary disorders appear as anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, substance abuse / dependency.  Today many individuals are diagnosed with a 'mix.'  For example, too often the AD/HDer has gone too long without identification and treatment and now presents with school failure, job hopping, anxiety, depressed mood, oppositionality, relationship issues, etc. 

It is so important to STOP school failure. Today, as many as 50 percent of ninth graders do not finish high school.  There are too many school retentions. There are too many students repeating the seventh or eighth grade for the third time and never even making it to ninth grade.  This 50% of high school drop outs is frightening!

School drop out leads to teen pregnancy, unemployment, substance abuse/dependency, involvement with the criminal justice system, incarceration, para-suicidal behaviors, suicide, early marriage subject to divorce, emotional illness such as anxiety and depression.  Girls are especially vulnerable.  Dependent, they feel trapped and enter into undesirable relationships. 

Early-on impairments that were once small are now huge, more complicated, and maybe even out-of-control. That is because of 'hitch hikers' or 'tagalongs' such as anxiety, oppositionality,  obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), drugs and ETOH (Alcohol) which travel and hitch hike only to  piggyback onto the primary disorder such as AD/HD or Bipolar, etc. The primary condition just gets more complicated, accelerates, and interferes with the individual's overall social/behavioral/emotional adjustment.

Denial and delay cause

bullet School failure
bullet Grade retention
bullet School drop out
bullet College drop out
bullet Early pregnancy
bullet Separation
bullet Divorce
bullet Arguing/fighting leading to → violence
bullet Job hopping
bullet Unemployment
bullet ETOH (alcohol) issues
bullet Other drug/substance abuse/dependency
bullet Arrests, convictions
bullet Jail/prison
bullet Poor parent-child relationships
bullet Child neglect
bullet Child abuse
bullet Irresponsibility
bullet Lack of trust in others
bullet Speeding tickets
bullet Loss of Driving privileges
bullet Accidents
bullet Para-suicidal behavior
bullet Suicide
bullet Memory problems
bullet Poor Organization
bullet Financial problems
bullet and the list goes on and on...

 

 

When AD/HD, depression, Bipolar Disorder, etc. continue unidentified (not diagnosed) and not treated, problems such as school failure, grade retention, behavioral problems, sleep disturbances, etc. compound the problem in children. Many children become angry, oppositional, defiant and out-of-control.  These are related disorders or secondary to the primary disorder. They co-exist and it is much harder to rein in an out-of-control preadolescent or teen than a younger child. Drugs, early school dropout, employment, arrests and court involvements are huge issues for adolescents.

Adults experience unemployment, job hopping, problems with relationships -- like separation, divorce -- drug and alcohol abuse, jail and involvement with the criminal justice system escalating and intensifying problems.  

It is true that problems surfacing at home, school, and/or the work environment as well as an involvement with the juvenile or criminal justice department are often the consequences of an attention (AD/HD) and/or related disorder which has gone unrecognized and untreated. The jails are full of teenagers and adults with AD/HD and/or Bipolar Disorder (an example of mixed diagnoses).

Today, many children are being seen with Early Onset Pediatric Bipolar Disorder. These are children with the following characteristics:

bullet I want what I want
bullet I want to do what I want
bullet I won't do what I don't want to do
bullet I am always right
bullet It's not my fault
bullet I am invincible
bullet I've got to have it my way
bullet Incessant talking
bullet Intense (intense mood) Intensivity
bullet Mood swings
bullet Hypersexual interest, acting (beginning with preadolescents)
bullet Sleep difficulties

These children are riddled with 'intensivity.' One minute they are happy, the next they are mad.... They can easily be agitated, irritable and unpredictable. They are 'up' and 'down' and may be termed rapid cyclers. 

Not all children are mood swinging with 'happy' and 'sad.' Many are angry and oppositional.

There are combinations of AD/HD with accompanying or coexisting Bipolar Disorder features.

Affordable help is available to redirect an individual's thinking, habits, behaviors, and temperament toward personal and social wellness.  (The Attention Disorder & Related Disorders Clinic is a non-profit business.)

Being emotionally and mentally healthy is the 'pot of gold' found at the end of the rainbow! 

Dr. Hughes believes that through insight, one can venture forward to understand that toxic thoughts and self-destructive behavioral  habits can be integrated with new thinking and new behavioral patterns that serve to increase self-competency, self-confidence, and self-esteem. 

Learning to take control of one's life is therapy's primary goal.  Learning how to do this is what counseling / psychotherapy promises to do. 

Changing old behaviors into new behaviors is the focus. 

What is Therapy? Psychotherapy is nothing more than an 'educational process.' It is a growth process in learning and understanding. Change is a choice and comes from an individual wanting improvement and going in new directions. 

The Attention Disorder & Related Disorders Clinic will work closely with physicians who prescribe medications as needed. Medication alone is often not enough.  The state-of-the-art thinking is that supportive counseling / psychotherapy and medical treatment go hand-in-hand.  It is true that medication may suppress certain problems, such as aggression, hostility, depression, anergia (loss of energy), anhedonia (loss of desire, and sadness, but it may not help educate the "why and how" which are necessary in coming to terms with acceptance and moving forward.   The Attention Disorder & Related Disorder Clinic will help the patient identify behavior triggers (behavior patterns) as well as help the patient learn new coping techniques to avoid those (triggers) patterns of fear, despair, abuse, neglect, manipulation, control, etc.   Helping individuals  to increase their self-competency, improve their self-confidence and raise their level of self-esteem is Dr. Hughes' goal in providing successful psychotherapy and supportive counseling.

It is known that the majority of individuals needing supportive counseling/psychotherapy are unable to financially afford such services.  The Attention Disorder & Related Disorders Clinic aims to help this universal problem by providing services at an affordable rate.  For individuals who are motivated and serious about resolving problems, fees for diagnostic evaluation, supportive counseling / psychotherapy will be based on an individual's ability to pay. There are some pro bono services available.    

 

Always know there are 'angels among us'

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