About Pediatric ADHD


It is natural for children to be busy, distractible, and need behavioral guidance.

Children are naturally inquisitive, busy, have active imaginations, daydream, and require the affirmation and behavioral guidance adults provide. When concerns are raised regarding a child's focusing  or when behaviors stand out from peers, assessing for ADHD requires careful consideration as to the context of these concerns, the supporting environment, and possible other conditions such as learning disorders. These behaviors may even be a normal representation of unique temperament.

Children with ADHD are often very intelligent and creative.

Children with ADHD have busy minds.  They are creative and think of unique solutions to problems.  They are naturally curious and inquisitive and will often know more about how the world around them works than their peers. This is one of the best gifts that having ADHD provides.  Sometimes they will find something that interests them and "hyper-focus" on it, spending hours and hours because it keeps their mind engaged and busy.   Properly channeled, your child's curiosity and intelligence has the potential to lead to extraordinary accomplishments.

ADHD affects self esteem.

Children with ADHD are often very intelligent.  They are usually trying their hardest and so are their parents.  No child tries to make careless mistakes on homework or wants to forget to turn it in.  No child likes having a mind that daydreams to the point of not learning in class.  They may become frustrated because they know they can do better.  They tend to assume these unfortunate behaviors as part of their own identity.  Despite being intelligent, they feel bad that their grades are poor.  Their self esteem suffers by thinking they are "a bad child." They may be repeatedly reprimanded for behaviors they know to be wrong but didn't have time to think about before acting.  They may think, "If only I could try harder... I'm trying as hard as I can but I'm not good enough...  If only I could apply myself like people say I should."  Their parents implement creative and unique solutions to these problems, guiding behaviors, spending endless hours helping with homework and asking themselves over and over "how else can I help my child?"  Children with ADHD are often quite intelligent and thoughtful, and so are their parents.  Despite their admirable devotion, parents may feel the same feelings of failure that their child does.  If you are reading this paragraph, you are likely one of these parents. You know the daily struggle of seeing your child's potential be stifled by something they don't know how to control.

About focusing

Creative thoughts come from the very frontal part of the brain.   In order to turn creative thinking into actions, thoughts are sent to the deeper parts of the brain to put them into context and focus them.  "Why is this thought important?,"...  "What does it have to do with what I am learning?"  Then the focused thought is sent forward again for more creativity, and then back again repeating itself.  This is the ongoing attention "circuit" that balances creativity with applying those thoughts to the situation at hand.  This is where the deficit of ADHD is.  The circuit has difficulty completing itself, so instead of being able to re-orient and focus thinking, children with ADHD stay in their creative thinking zone,making creative associations that give insight, while losing the picture at hand.  This explains why children with ADHD are often highly intelligent.  They may also act quickly on behavioral impulses coming from deeper parts of the brain because the circuit hasn't had time to complete itself. They know the right choice.  They just need help completing the connection.  This connection is mediated by a neurotransmitter called dopamine.

About treatment

When children with ADHD respond to treatment, their own gifts of intelligence and sensitivity can be responsible for their success.  They are more likely to excel in school.  Their self esteem often improves dramatically.  Their grades start matching their intelligence.  They no longer receive the message that they "are not applying themselves," and they take pride in their work.  Rates of depression and substance abuse later in life drop significantly.  Their successes from their own unique gifts are no longer being encumbered, and the  nurturing and guidance their parents have been providing all along allow them to thrive.

About the clinic

Welcome to Dr. David Penner’s dedicated specialty pediatric ADHD clinic.  Not only does Dr. Penner specialize in the evaluation and management of pediatric ADHD but he very much enjoys this unique patient population.  This specialty clinic is specifically for pediatric ADHD evaluations, management, and, if indicated, ongoing care.  Dr. Penner has years of experience in ADHD working with pediatricians, psychologists, and therapists within the community.  

About Dr Penner

David Penner, MD is a Harvard trained psychiatrist who is board certified in both Psychiatry and the subspecialty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.  His residency in Psychiatry and fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry were through Harvard Medical School.  His subspecialty fellowship with the Cambridge Health Alliance focused on outpatient management in the community setting.  Dr. Penner earned his Medical Doctorate from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  A native of southwest Washington, he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and has been in outpatient private practice in Olympia since 2011. 


Please note we are currently in network with the following:

Regence Blue Shield, Uniform Medical, Premera Blue Cross, Federal Employee Program, most out of state Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, Lifewise, HMA, Kaiser Permanente Options PPO, Kaiser Permanente Core (with pre-authorization from Kaiser), Aetna, and First Choice Health. 

We are currently not in network with Medicaid (Molina, Community Health Plan, Apple Health, Amerigroup, Coordinated Care, etc), Medicare, Tricare, Providence Health Plan, United Healthcare, Cigna, Beacon Health, Magellan, or US Family Health Plan.


Prospective Patient Inquiry for the specialty clinic

If you are interesting in scheduling your child or adolescent for the dedicated ADHD clinic, please fill out the form below.  Due to the limited space, information will be reviewed and patients selected on a case by case basis.  We will make every attempt to contact you within 2 weeks.  

Please note this form submission is only for the specialty ADHD clinic.  For all other inquiries please visit www.davepennermd.com

Additional information for Dr Penner, including forms, practice policies, fees, additional insurance information, and other areas of practice are available at www.davepennermd.com

Olympia Pediatric ADHD Clinic / David Penner MD PLLC

324 West Bay Drive Northwest, STE 214

Olympia, WA  98502