COVID-19 Update:Learn more about how we are protecting our patients, families and staff, as well as other important facts about COVID-19.
Research and School Programs
The ADHD & Learning Differences Program conducts a variety of research studies and school programs, investigating the neurocognitive, behavioral and social factors associated with ADHD, learning and behavior. Currently, our team is working on federally-funded research focusing on developing innovative ways to understand, evaluate and treat ADHD, particularly in schools. We have active partnerships with local school districts and community organizations in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Studies Seeking Participants
Advanced Tools for Organization Management (ATOM) Program
ATOM is a school-based program to promote organization and planning skills for middle school students using technology. Funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, ATOM targets executive function skills, homework problems and motivation for middle school students with attention difficulties or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
ATOM has been co-developed with our school and family partners who helped to design a user-friendly program that is feasible to implement in schools.
In collaboration with local middle schools, ATOM is delivered during the school day by school staff.
- School provider meets with student in brief check-in meetings
- Student uses the ATOM platform between meetings to practice skills
- Students, parents and school staff use ATOM to monitor skill use, track progress, provide rewards and motivate students
Based on the Homework, Organization and Planning Skills (HOPS) intervention, enhanced with technology, ATOM consists of six skill modules.
Six Skill Modules:
The program was developed specifically for children of middle school age with attention or organizational difficulties, however, the skills the intervention teachers share are necessary for academic success, irrespective of a child’s diagnosis, attentional issues or grade in school.
Those who benefit from the program include:
- Students with elevated attention and/or organizational challenges
- Students with or without an IEP or 504 Plan
- Students with or without a previous diagnosis of ADHD
We're looking for school mental health providers and youth/parents to participate in focus groups to help our researchers design a tool that helps students stay organized and motivated.
What is the purpose of this program?
- Children's National is conducting a research study with youth and their parents to develop an online tool to help students stay organized.
- The program uses an online tool alongside one-on-one meetings with a school counselor to help teens stay organized.
- We're currently asking school providers and youth/parents to participate in discussions to help us in designing this tool.
Who is eligible to participate?
- School mental health providers, educators and other school staff who work in middle schools
- Parents and their youth ages 10-14
- Youth with attention difficulties, ADHD or ADD
- Youth with difficulties paying attention or staying focused
- Youth who have trouble organizing their schoolwork
- Qualified volunteers will receive monetary compensation for their time.
What will happen during this study?
If you are eligible for this study and agree to participate, you will be invited to two, one-hour group discussions over Zoom videoconference to:
- Provide input and feedback about important features for an online tool
- Tell us your preferences and experiences using the tool
Where can I learn more?
Contact the investigator, Melissa Dvorsky, Ph.D., by email or phone/text at 301-683-8715.
Watch the video
Discovering the Best Tools for Students
Learn about this technology-enhanced intervention targeting adolescent organization skill utilization, motivation and social support.
Treating Parents with ADHD and their Young Children Via Telehealth
A Hybrid Type I Effectiveness-Implementation Trial
This project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, studies the impact of treatment of families with ADHD. Our project screens parents of children ages 3-7 for adult ADHD when the child is taken in for well-child visits. Parents who display symptoms of ADHD will be called to set up a time to talk on the phone. After a phone call, eligible parents will be invited to come into the hospital for a full assessment.
Eligible parents invited to participate in our project will receive 10 weeks of Behavioral Parent Training. Some parents will also receive a stimulant medication trial with a common ADHD medication.
View project flyer.
If you are interested in participating in one of our research studies, please email us or call us at 202-476-7086.
Are you interested in getting involved in our research as a research assistant or collaborator? Please complete this brief form.