View Full Version : ADD / ADHD treatment options in Houston


maewest
07-09-04, 01:06 PM
There seem to be lots of Houston folks on this list so I'm hoping for a good reponse. I was extremely dissatisfied with treatment received at an adult add clinic in Houston and am looking for other alternatives. Will share my experience in private e-mails. Please contact me if you have had good or bad experiences in Houston and are willing to share them. Thanks. New Member Mae West

Andrew
07-09-04, 08:53 PM
Hi Maewest. We encourage the sharing of such positive resources IN this forum, so that others will be able to benefit from the dialogue.

addDani
09-07-04, 07:47 PM
Hi all - I'm a day late and a dollar short in this conversation, but hey, what can I say? I'm ADD! lol

I, too, am searching for a professional who understands and can appropriately treat ADD, not just for myself but for my 11 y/o son as well. I haven't found "the one" yet, but I can tell you our experience with the first practicioner we visited, Dr. Arthur Tarbox. In my opinion, Dr. Tarbox was exceedingly pompous and I suspect that the man wouldn't know ADD if it walked up and kicked him in the kneecap.

My son and I "visited" with him once (for an hour) a month prior to my son's diagnostic testing. The diagnostic testing consisted of an approximately four hour battery of tests. My husband (who has a degree in psychology) and I met with Dr. Tarbox approx. three days later to discuss his findings.

It was Dr. Tarbox's opinion that our son does not have ADD and that his extreme talkativeness, forgetfulness, fidgeting, etc., etc. is caused by lack of discipline in the home. Interesting considering that he never even queried us on methods of discipline in the home. Also interesting considering that our son's teachers were practically begging us to have him evaluated; as one of his teachers said, "he's a classic case of ADD."

As far as I know, he did precious little in the way of taking any sort of social history, instead relying on his test results. "The data says..." became a very familiar refrain during our conversation. I got the impression that his holy grail was the test where they present you with the names of different colors in black ink and then switch to the colored ink. He stated that our son clearly couldn't be ADD because he was able to focus long enough to complete this successfully (I am guessing that test takes about 20 minutes).

When pressed to give us his professional impressions after spending time with our son he said - you guessed it - "the data says". God forbid he have to make observations of his own.

In summary my opinion of Dr. Tarbox is that he relies far too much on his tests and far too little on observation, interviews, etc. For what it's worth, if I thought that his diagnosis was professionaly sound, I'd be thrilled. Instead, I have a son who is clearly having difficulties, no solutions, and not a clue where to go next.

Sigh....

Just my opinion,

BP Spouse
10-02-04, 02:13 AM
My husband went to Dr. Tarbox about 5 years ago for therapy. Although I never met Dr. Tarbox nor spoke to him, I got the feeling he was flippant. However, my husband was a closet alcoholic at the time. When he told Tarbox about it, he got the very cold shoulder and never went back. I don't think Tarbox is all that great although several psychiatrists and social worker therapists have urged my husband to go to him for neuropsychological testing. A social worker therapist later pointed out to me that one of the reasons my husband didn't trust anyone is because of experiences like he had with Tarbox. I think the psychologist is toxic.

We suspect my husband has ADHD although he's never been definitely diagnosed. We can't afford the testing and I think that symptoms plus med responses give as much info. He is recently diagnosed though as bipolar, inappropriately treated, and has vascular dementia. He's sober too but Tarbox never did him any good.

When my hubby had neuropsychological testing 1-1/2 years ago I'd have to say I didn't care too much for that psychologist either. Again, a slight feeling of being taunted (I was there for the initial meeting and conclusions) and no real diagnosis. He was real coy and evasive. Not a good practitioner.

I don't know of anyone who evaluates children for ADHD although I have met folks whose kids were evaluated, treated, and it made enormous difference. Could you check with the school counselor? Call MHMRA for suggestions? Call Dept. of psychiatry or pediatrics at Baylor or UT?

Best of luck with this. I know how hard it is to get help with mental health/behavioral issues.

addDani
10-02-04, 07:32 AM
Thanks so much for responding. It's a shame when a person has a problem and has to experience someone such as Dr. Tarbox instead of receiving the help that they need. Toxic is a good word for him - toxic Tarbox.

We too had heard good things about him from other therapists, etc. How he manages to bamboozle other professionals is beyond me. My husband has the same degree that he does and although psychology is not his field of practice, his insights have been much more instructive and helpful than anything Dr. Tarbox ever said to us.

I don't know how much you've read up on ADHD (although I suspect it's a lot) but I find it interesting that your husband was/is an alcoholic. According to many professionals, including the emminent Dr. Lynn Weiss, alcoholism is not unusual in ADHD. In fact, with proper treatment, Dr. Weiss and others state that alcoholics often stop drinking. There's simply no need for them to "self-medicate" anymore.

In regards to getting my son diagnosed, I had the most interesting conversation with my son's 6th grade dean. She stated that, in a nutshell, the school district (HISD) wasn't going to be able to help me because my son is gifted. She said that as long as my son's Stanford scores remain high, nothing can be done for him. She said the special education department is concerned with helping the kids in their program remain at "average" level; because my son is not failing or below average, no help. It's the same thing his elementary told me - basically that my child can have no more than one exceptional circumstance at a time.

Of course, I will persevere - it's ridiculous though that one has to expend so much energy and endure so much !$%&* just to get a child some help, especially when one considers that it's our tax dollars that fund these schools.

Thanks for your suggestions regarding resources. I hadn't considered a couple of them and will put them on my list. In regards to your husband's testing, I know a lot of places accept sliding scale. Have you not been able to find some place like that.

I appreciate your kind wishes - I certainly hope the best for you and your husband. You're not kidding when you say how hard it is to get help for these things!

God bless!

Anon
10-20-04, 12:50 AM
The following post has been HEAVILY edited by the ADMIN. Much of the original content of this post did not comply with Forum Guidelines. Please read them, as you agreed to comply with them when you joined as a member.

I received a course of therapy from Dr. Tarbox some years ago, and he changed my life. I am not now a different person, nor a perfect person, but instead a much healthier and more balanced version of my original self. Dr. Tarbox was instrumental in helping me to modify my thought patterns, so that I could achieve my goal of no longer relying on medication. Part of that difficult struggle was to convince me that it was possible in the first place.

[In my opinion, ]If the good Dr. is citing what facts the data support, then he is plainly approaching the issue objectively. Rather than stating a subjective opinion that you want to hear, he is relying on the data to tell it's story based on clinically-determined parameters that define ADD.

addDani
10-20-04, 12:37 PM
Unfortunately, I'm going to have to disregard your sniping. When you have enough of a backbone to sign your name to your comments, then we can have a rational discussion (well, I will - you can try).

Danielle

BP Spouse
10-22-04, 11:41 PM
I received Anon's flaming email unedited and am requesting that no further unedited emails are sent to me. It was extremely offensive and inappropriate behavior. I simply should not and do not put up with such abuse.

Some further thoughts on the thread:

Remembering the old saying "one man's medicine is another man's poison" ... I am fully aware that every one has different needs and responses to therapists. Therefore, if one finds help with a given therapist that's great
Before my husband had his neuropsych test I spent a lot of time reading up on the different tests and how they are scored. It was interesting to note that it's very, very important to correlate factors such as intelligence level and occupation. Otherwise, the results are very skewed and there is a serious misdiagnosis.
I really wish that Dr. Tarbox had determined that my husband was bipolar. It would have saved us a lot of grief and would have headed off acceleration of the disease. For that matter, I wish that a couple of psychiatrists had also diagnosed and treated him more accurately.
I grant that most mental (or brain or neurological) diseases have a lot of overlapping characteristics and as best I can tell, ADHD & Bipolar have a lot of overlapping features plus it's possible to have a dual diagnosis. We recently found out that my hubby also probably has Multiple Sclerosis so no doubt that all plays into it too. Really complicated.
Gifted and/or highly creative children are often unchallenged in traditional classroom situations so that might have some influence on the child's behavior. Also, if it just doesn't feel right, a parent MUST be the child's advocate and search out what is best for the child. I've had to do that for myself on other physical issues.
I talked (on the phone) to a Dr. Jean Learner (or Lerner? sp?) in Houston (PhD in Social Work, I believe). She sounded like a warm and compassionate person but she is only working with children so was not appropriate for me. I don't really know her so can't say either way how she would work out. They have an office on the Loop near Elm St.
I tend to (for myself) think that less is best in meds but I KNOW that sometimes it really is necessary and makes the difference between life and death for some people. Children who grow up disfunctional because they have an unmet special need tend to become disfunctional adults. My husband is a living example of that. So, I guess it's best to read up, listen, evaluate and make the best choices we can with the information at hand. And it's important to be supportive of people as they make the best decisions they can.
Finally, one last thought ... are there ADHD support groups in Houston? I found one for Bipolar patients ... sometimes mingling & getting to know people in support groups can lead to good psychiatrists/psychologists.

smooch
12-03-04, 12:29 AM
[QUOTE=BP Spouse][/list][font=Comic Sans MS][color=#0000ff]Finally, one last thought ... are there ADHD support groups in Houston? I found one for Bipolar patients ... sometimes mingling & getting to know people in support groups can lead to good psychiatrists/psychologists.
[QUOTE]


Although I have not attended a mtg. since last December (schedule issues, not b/c the group is poor quality), the ADDA-SR has an ADDult support group that meets every 3rd Monday. I'd be happy to give more details to whoever might be interested.

:D
smooch

smooch
12-03-04, 12:38 AM
In regards to getting my son diagnosed, I had the most interesting conversation with my son's 6th grade dean. She stated that, in a nutshell, the school district (HISD) wasn't going to be able to help me because my son is gifted. She said that as long as my son's Stanford scores remain high, nothing can be done for him. She said the special education department is concerned with helping the kids in their program remain at "average" level; because my son is not failing or below average, no help. It's the same thing his elementary told me - basically that my child can have no more than one exceptional circumstance at a time.

As a former teacher in Cy-Fair ISD, I have to say that what your son's dean told you is a bunch of cr@p. I can think of several students who blessed my classrooms over the years who were gifted AND were dx'd with ADHD. In fact, one in particular had Tourette's, ADHD, and something else, I think, and he still had the opportunity to utilize many available mods. His mother was a very strong advocate for him, and I'm certain she had to fight similar battles you're facing in your situation. Bottom line is, by law, your son deserves to receive the best educational atmoshphere conducive to his growth and development. This "one exceptionality at a time" stuff is...well, I don't know where that came from.

I have a wonderful psychiatrist who treats children, adolescents, and adults. Please let me know if you'd like his contact information.

:D
smooch

John David
02-09-05, 12:19 AM
I too have noted that several posters are in the Houston area, like me, and come to you with a problem of sorts.

My employer has decided to switch insurance plans. My current psychiatrist, Ramesh Parikh, whom I sincerely like, is not in the new provider network.

My choice is to pay an obscene out-of-network fee for every office visit or switch doctors. Given I have an office visit every month, this could get expensive quickly. I would appreciate any referrals from Houstonians so I can call those offices to determine if they are in-network. If you are into minutiae, I'm switching to United Health Care.

Thanks.

AtWitsEnd
08-30-05, 02:19 PM
Another Houstonian weighing in here. Also searching for a doc or therapist who truly understands ADD. My daughter is the patient (20 yrs old) and she has a psychiatrist who diagnosed and does monthly med checks (@ 15-20 minutes of talk and new scripts).

She recently started meeting weekly with a therapist to discuss life, self-esteem, goals etc. Husband and I have also met with this therapist for "family counselling" as daughter is driving us nuts:) .

I just keep thinking daughter needs another, more ADD/life skills focused counselor or therapist and so far I've been unable to find one.

Someone mentioned support group in Houston. Any contact info available?

BP Spouse
09-01-05, 07:01 PM
It depends on whom your insurance will cover. I've heard good things about a Dr. Salazar - think he's on Dairy Ashford - not sure. He might be a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist. Dr. William K. Drell is in Memorial City and a psychiatrist. He seems to see a lot of ADHD patients and is pleasant although it can take a while to get in.

Another way to get suggestions as well as get support is to attend a NAMI support group meeting. (National Alliance for Mental Illness) There's a west Houston group as well as groups scattered around the city. They meet at different times and places. Do a search on google - they have a lot of information online about various mental illnesses. Most people start off with one diagnosis and end up with others as more is recognized about their disease and as more is recognized about brain disorders in general. You need all the support you can get and it sounds like you're heading in the right direction!