Adler Lectures on ADHD
support of the Program for Academic Access For Learning Disabled
Students at Marymount Manhattan College, Lenard A. Adler, M.D,
spoke to a full lecture hall at the school’s Manhattan campus
on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Dr. Adler,
the Director of the Neurology ADHD Program and Associate Professor
of Clinical Psychiatry and Neurology at New York University, is
considered one of the country’s foremost experts on ADHD. Dr.
Jacquelyn Bonomo, Learning Specialist for the Access program,
arranged for the presentation because of what she said was “the
need for more comprehensive, current information on a problem
experienced by so many of our students. This knowledge sometimes
makes the difference between academic success and failure here
at the college.”
In his thoughtful and concise 45-minute lecture, followed by a
question and answer session, Dr. Adler covered the historical
aspects of ADHD in this country to the new treatments now available.
And for those who are skeptical that ADHD is a real disorder,
and something not to be taken seriously, Dr. Adler, had a clear
message, “I spend a good portion of my day dealing with people
who have this disorder,” he said. “It’s real. It’s a neuropsychiatric
With ADHD affecting 6–9 percent of school-age children and 3–6
percent of adults in this country, these numbers, in fact, may
not reveal the true extent to which this condition exists. “ADHD
is vastly under-diagnosed and under-treated in children,” said
Dr. Adler, “and especially in adults.”
Thus, regardless of a person’s age, ADHD affects virtually every
aspect of existence. From unsatisfactory personal relationships
to failure in school or the work place and just to an overall
chaotic approach to any organizational task, ADHD is indeed debilitating.
can’t tell you how often the spouses of an adult with ADHD will
come in and say ‘they just don’t listen to me,’” said Dr. Adler,
while describing the symptoms of ADHD, ‘“I know they mean to,
but they just don’t get what I’m telling them.’” He continued,
“those with ADHD have trouble breaking down large projects. Term
papers are a big deal. Finishing that little assignment that’s
due the next day, successful adults with ADHD know they can knock
it out and not leave it around. But a term paper is much bigger
and we have to plan for it and keep things in mind.”
While Dr. Alder left no uncertainty to the audience about the
serious effects of ADHD for those with the disorder and their
family and friends, there was some in the crowd who were not in
total agreement with Dr. Adler’s method of treatment.
During the question and answer session, inquiries were made about
diet, behavior therapy or coaching as a means of treating ADHD,
but Dr. Adler left no room for gray area on the subject: “There
is no replacement for medication.”
thought it was great,” said Jean Marie Drucker, a parent of two
elementary school children. “It was very well presented, articulate,
and as a special ed teacher, I thought his physiological analysis
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