A Primer on ADHD

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, is one of the most common mental health issues seen in children. While it is most predominate in childhood, it can be carried over to adulthood in some cases. There are no specific and verified causes of ADHD, but many medical professionals believe that genes and environmental factors play a role in its development.

What are the signs?

Most individuals understand that children can be defiant, inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive at times. These are all factors of normal childhood behavior that only become an issue when they occur on a consistent basis. Warning signs of ADHD include consistent and regular observations of the following:

  • Becoming easily bored
  • Acting impatient
  • Demonstrating extreme emotions with no restraint
  • Having trouble sitting still
  • Trouble with school and grades

It’s important to remember that the symptoms of ADHD can all be signs of other troubles or behavioral health problems, so it is important to consult an experienced pediatrician with concerns before determining that your child has ADHD.

What does the diagnosis entail?

ADHD can be diagnosed in almost any age, although it is rarely diagnosed before the school years. The most common age for an ADHD diagnosis is seven years. While there is no specific test designed to test for ADHD, diagnosis is done by a variety of methods including child observation and conversations with the child’s parents and sometimes school professionals. Some tests or evaluations might be given in order to rule out other causes, such as hearing or eye tests that can assure the doctor that the symptoms are not present because of a struggle seeing or hearing others.

How is it treated?

Similar to the diagnostic process, there is no single method that will help each child suffering with ADHD. Children can exhibit different symptoms at different times, and might respond differently to treatments or therapies. The most common treatment plan for a child with ADHD is a combination of medication (like a stimulant) and behavioral modification therapy.

Although ADHD is very common, it can be a challenging thing for parents and kids to deal with. If you think that your child shows signs of the behavioral issue, seeking help from his or her pediatrician can start the right path for a treatment plan.