Since 1989 Bob Sholtes has been helping children and adults with ADHD, Behavioral, Anxiety and Mood problems. He collaborates in developing a plan by identifying strengths, abilities and knowledge they already have to deal with problems and combining best scientific practices. He has an abiding belief that each person has the ability and desire to face their challenges. He is grateful to have been able to witness this process in so many people over the years
After completing his training at Duke University, Bob worked at the University of South Carolina as the director of a grade school age inpatient psychiatric unit. He supported family therapy training at the psychiatry residency program as well as in the community. After completing board certification in Neuropsychiatry in 1987 he added board certification in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 1988. After 3 years as an Associate Professor, he transitioned to support the development of teams to work with families with seriously mentally ill children. This approach was unprecedented. Children who would otherwise be hospitalized in residential facilities were able to remain in their homes with in home family support teams, the use of wrap around services and respite support.
As he made this transition, he noticed how many of the children presenting with ADHD had a parent and/or sibling with a similar problem. Since ADHD is so strongly genetic, it is not surprising that child psychiatrists were the first to identify and treat adult ADHD before it became better known. Adult ADHD was not generally recognized at the time and only a few researchers were publishing pioneering work at the time. With the best information available, he started treating the adults as well as children in 1986 with very good results. Fortunately, subsequent research has established that ADHD is often a life long and treatable condition.
He has observed children and adults with ADHD have a neuro-developmental difference with advantages and disadvantages. Some benefit from high energy, thinking outside the box with special creative abilities, spontaneity, humor and generally having a lot of fun living. Of course, though loved ones may enjoy these qualities, they may not enjoy the messes, missed appointments, problems with priorities and a tendency to miss important details.
Another observation he made over the years is that children had more emotional or behavioral problems in general during the school year. This lead to further investigation and the conclusion that many of these problems are a way of signaling an education concern. So many of these children and adolescents are having a hard time succeeding in school and express their dilemma emotionally or behaviorally. In order to address their anxiety, mood or behavioral problem, we had to simultaneously address the learning issues.
Schools systems have improved remarkably since 1989 in attempting to honor learning differences. There has been a growing recognition that no two minds are alike. Everyone learns differently, which is a good thing in the long run. Imagine what we would be like if we all thought alike. For those students who aren't well suited to our current educational approaches, feeling left out, unhappy, anxious or angry may be an expression that something is not right. It is important to identify this often overlooked aspect for a complete evaluation.
After moving to Chicago in 1993, he became the Director of Behavior Science at the Family Practice Residency Program at MacNeal Hospital. He was on faculty there and at the University of Chicago Feinberg School of Medicine. He held this position, helping primary care physicians understand behavioral approaches in the context of providing comprehensive primary care. He also learned with them how to recognize the impact of emotional experiences on physical health and vice versa.
In 2003 he moved to Evanston where he has been dedicated to private practice.