Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood developmental disorders.
Typically symptoms start developing before age 7. Children with ADHD may appear overly hyper, compulsive, active or unable to focus. These symptoms create significant challenges in at least two areas of their day-to-day life – home, social settings, school, activities or work (for adults).
Remember that everyone matures differently. Behaviors shouldn’t cause concern unless they are more severe or frequent than in other children the same age. Additional factors – personality, temperament, energy or other health conditions – are sometimes mistaken for ADHD. Because of this, careful diagnosis is crucial. The evaluation process typically includes several tests performed by a behavioral health professional.
What are the common ADHD symptoms? Signs are grouped into three areas:
- Easily distracted
- Does not appear to listen
- Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort
- Struggles to follow through on instructions – especially multiple steps
- Frequently forgets or misplaces belongings
- Has difficulty doing quiet activities
- Excessively fidgets or talks; squirmy
- Has difficulty remaining seated
- Acts as if driven by a motor
- Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
- Frequently makes unnecessary mistakes or take risks
- Interrupts others
- Has difficulty waiting or taking turns
What should you do if your think your child has ADHD? Contact your pediatrician to discuss. If further assessment is needed, your pediatrician may recommend evaluation by a licensed behavioral health professional.