As Founder and Medical Director of The Being Well Center, Craig B. Liden, MD has charted new pathways to successful treatment of ADHD across the life span. Today, he shares his professional journey from Harvard to The Being Well Center with the encouraging message that everyone, not just kids 18 and under, can live renewed lives with custom-tailored ADHD success programs.
After I finished my fellowship program at Harvard and the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston, I joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and founded the Child Development Unit at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. I recruited a multidisciplinary team of professionals and implemented a series of clinical programs, established training activities for Pediatric Residents and Fellows, and conducted research, all focused on ADHD in children and adolescents.
I lasted almost eight years in academia before I decided to leave for the “real world” and set up a private practice in Developmental and Behavioral Medicine, a forerunner to my Being Well Center that operates today in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh.
Not long after opening the doors of my practice, I had two important realizations. First, the kids with ADHD that quit coming to the Child Development Unit when they hit age 18 hadn’t really grown out of their problems. Once there was no longer “Pediatrics” or “Children’s” on a sign of the building, they came rushing in the front door, now struggling at college or just to make it in “big life.” No one was out there to pick up where my team and I left off. So, I started to see many young adults with ADHD and refining my protocols to meet their needs.
Secondly, many of the parents of the kids I worked with started to come forward: “Hey, Doc, I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but I have all the same problems my kid has. Can you help me?” In reality, I had noticed! But, I didn’t know where to send them because at that time no one was taking care of adults with ADHD.
Having established my own practice, I now had the freedom to open the door a crack and to start seeing a few select adults with ADHD. I quickly got reinforced to do a lot more; not only did these adults start living healthier lives, but, not surprisingly, their kids started doing much better as well…the home was more structured, there was better follow through with discipline, medication was consistently taken on time and so on.
These two realizations and the steps taken to address them have given my team and I a unique opportunity to watch the natural history of ADHD across the life span in more than 9,000 patients over the past 30 years. Currently, our youngest patient is three years old and our oldest is in her 90’s! So, we’ve been able to watch ADHD go from early childhood into young adult life, from adolescence to mid-adult life, and from mid-adult life to late-adult life.
This extensive experience watching ADHD across the life span has given The Being Well Center a unique perspective on what’s really important in treating ADHD successfully.
Have you ever thought, “I wish I knew then what I know now about _______?” with regards to your daily habits, efforts at school, your parenting, your relationships, your health, or some other important aspect of your life? Well, I have–about ADHD! My gray hair and the wisdom that has come with it have given me special insights about ADHD, its impact on health and daily routines, its interaction with other characteristics like temperament, its proper treatment, and much more! This blog will be dedicated to sharing this wisdom with you so that your life, your child’s, or your student’s will become more successful!
Dr. Liden is an internationally recognized expert in the diagnosis and treatment of ADD/ADHD. He is a board certified physician who graduated with honors from the University of Michigan and the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He completed his pediatric training and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard University Medical School/Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Liden has served on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where he started the Child Development Unit and spent years researching ADD/ADHD, training pediatric and psychiatry residents and other post doctoral students, and establishing a fellowship program in developmental and behavioral pediatrics. Since the 1980’s, Dr. Liden has been in private practice evaluating and treating behavior and developmental issues across the life span. He has treated more than 9,000 patients with ADD/ADHD and related co-morbidities.