What Is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
Millions of American children and adults have ADHD, a chronic disorder that causes impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and makes it difficult to sustain attention. As a result, children with ADHD may struggle with low self-esteem, poor school performance, and difficulty making friends. While there is no cure for ADHD, treatment can make a tremendous difference in helping manage symptoms.
What Causes ADHD in Children?
Scientists are still researching the exact causes of ADHD, but it is believed that the following factors could increase the risk of developing ADHD:
- Environment – Children who are exposed to lead or other environmental toxins may be at greater risk of developing ADHD
- Genetics – ADHD often runs in families
- Development – Problems with central nervous system development
- Premature birth
- Alcohol, drug or tobacco use during pregnancy
How Can I Tell if My Child Has ADHD?
First, it’s important to realize that all healthy children can be hyperactive or impulsive at one time or another. As they grow older, they may still have difficulty focusing on topics they don’t find interesting. There is a significant difference between children who have naturally higher energy levels and those with ADHD.
However, if your child is having difficulty with school work, consistent problems interacting with friends and family, there is a possibility that he or she has ADHD.
Typically, ADHD symptoms are noticeable as early as age 3, and they generally start before age 12. If left untreated, these symptoms may continue into adulthood. ADHD symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe.
Signs and symptoms of ADHD include constant patterns of inattention such as:
- Failure to pay close attention in school
- Making careless mistakes in schoolwork
- Difficulty following through on instructions
- Consistently unable to finish schoolwork or chores
- Trouble organizing activities and tasks
- Frequently losing items such as toys, pencils and schoolwork
- Easily distracted
Those with ADHD also:
- Constantly fidget by tapping hands, feet or squirming in their seats
- Must be in constant motion
- Frequently run around or climb when it’s inappropriate
- Talk too much
- Have difficulty playing quietly
What Type of Treatment is Available for Children with ADHD?
Every child is different, and there is no one solution that will be effective for all patients. Therefore, we carefully evaluate your child’s symptoms to determine what will work best for your son or daughter. Standard treatments for ADHD include:
- Stimulant medications
Because the effective dosage varies, it may take several visits to find the optimal dose.
We help parents and children manage ADHD symptoms by providing effective behavioral strategies to help with schoolwork and relationships.
Those with ADHD often have poor self-esteem, depression, anxiety or other mental health challenges. Our providers have extensive experience working with patients with ADHD, and we’re dedicated to helping them find the solutions they need.
Comprehensive Treatment is Available at Raleigh Psychiatric Associates
We create treatment plans and behavioral strategies to help our patients at school, work and at home. We also have extensive experience helping children with depression and anxiety—conditions which frequently accompany ADHD.
We welcome the privilege of helping you and those you love face life’s challenges. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.
Doctors Who Specialize in Treating Children with ADHD