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As part of National Health Centers Week, Aug. 7-13, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers is unrolling a vital new ADHD testing approach for its Waukesha location.

Thanks to a grant from the Waukesha Community Foundation, Sixteenth Street obtained software equipment and provider training for onsite diagnosis for both children and adults using the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.) method.

“We’re very excited to offer this service because we’ve discovered there’s a real scarcity of resources in Waukesha County to assess for and treat ADHD,” said Clinic Manager Kerri Ackerman.

T.O.V.A. objectively measures the key components of attention and self-control: variability, response time, impulsivity, focus and vigilance. It uses two different components – visual and auditory.

ADHD treatment is largely driven by a therapy component. Therapists teach coping techniques and day-to-day life management skills without the use of medication or in combination with medication. For Sixteenth Street’s patient populations, it’s especially helpful to reduce or eliminate medication costs if possible. “Having both behavioral health and medical health providers in one place helps our patients and their families immensely and gives them peace of mind about treatment options,” Ackerman said.

As for the program’s impact, she said, “The best way to honor national Health Centers Week is by doing what we do every day—working to close important health gaps in our communities. We’re glad T.O.V.A. now helps us do that with ADHD testing.”

Common symptoms of ADHD include:

• Difficulty sustaining attention

• Distractibility

• Failure to follow instructions

• Does not seem to listen when spoken to

• Difficulty with organizing

• Hyperactivity and inattention

• Fidgety

• Talks excessively

• Difficulty waiting one’s turn

• Acts as if “driven by a motor”

Learn more at www.sschc.org.

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