ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.ADHD is the most common childhood mental
disorder according to the NIMH and can continue through adulthood.People with ADHD usually cannot stay focused, are described as “hyperactive” and have poor impulse
control.The causes of ADHD are unknown, although
it is believed to have a biological/ genetic component since it tends to run in
families.ADHD should be diagnosed
only by a trained professional such as a pediatrician, child psychologist, or
child psychiatrist.There is no
direct test to determine if a child had ADHD.The diagnosis is made based on the observation of ADHD symptoms
on multiple occasions and in multiple settings.
What is the difference between ADD and ADHD?
ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit
Hyperactive Disorder) are often times used interchangeably.ADD is used to refer to those people
who have ADHD but do not have the hyperactive piece of it.ADHD is the official term accepted by
the American Psychiactric Association.The APA recongnizes three different types of ADHD:ADHDpredominantly inattentive, ADHD predominantly hyperactive/
impulsive, and ADHD combined type.ADD refers to the predominantly inattentive type.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
Children with ADHD have trouble staying focused, are usually
described as being “hyperactive”, and have trouble controlling their impulses.Symptoms can arise as early as 3
years old.For example, a child
who has trouble staying focused might have difficulty following instructions,
might frequently lose their belongings,or may be easily
distracted- going from one activity to the next without finishing.Hyperactive behaviors might include an
inability to sit still during class or non-stop talking.Examples ofpoor impulse control are an inability to wait his/her
turn, or yelling out in class.It
is important to note that most children at one point or another display some of
these behaviors.The diagnosis of
ADHD is made through the observation of these behaviors in multiple settings
and situations over time by a trained professional and after other possible
causes (such as learning disabilities or thyroid disorders) are ruled out.
At what age should I have my child tested?
Symptoms of ADHD can be seen as early as 3 years of
age.The earlier the diagnosis is
made, the earlier treatment can start.Parents who note worrisome behaviors in their children should discuss
them with their pediatrician or family doctor who can help rule out any
possible causes and make referrals if needed.There is no specific age to test for ADHD, nor is there a
specific test.Typically, ADHD is
diagnosed in school age children when teachers note characteristic
once symptoms are noted by parents or teachers, evaluations should be started
to either rule out or diagnose ADHD.The sooner treatments begin, the better for the child.
How is ADHD treated?
There is no “cure” for ADHD.The goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms and improve
medication and or psychotherapy.
What causes ADHD?
The causes of ADHD are unknown, although it is believed that
there is a genetic/ biological component to it.
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