Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
What is Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
ADHD is a common mental health condition that begins in childhood and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. A child with ADHD will have trouble with inattention and/or hyperactivity that makes everyday activities difficult and can slow down development.
Is there more than one type of ADHD?
There are three types of ADHD:
- Inattention: means a child gets off task, cannot concentrate on one thing, has difficulty keeping his/her focus, and is disorganized. These problems are not due to being disobedient or having a lack of understanding
- Hyperactivity: means a child moves about constantly, including situations in where it is not appropriate, and fidgets, taps, or talks more than normal. In young adults, it may be extreme restlessness or wearing others out with their activity
- Impulsivity: means a child acts in the moment without first thinking about his/her actions and that the action may be harmful. An impulsive child may interrupt others when talking or make important decisions without thinking about the long-term consequences
What cause ADHD?
Doctors do not know for sure what causes ADHD.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
Children with ADHD can have many symptoms. Here are some of the common symptoms. Children with ADHD can:
- Get distracted easily and forget things often
- Switch too quickly from one activity to the next
- Have trouble with directions
- Daydream too much
- Have trouble finishing tasks like homework
- Lose toys, books, and school supplies often
- Fidget and squirm a lot
- Talk nonstop and interrupt people
- Run around a lot
- Touch and play with everything they see
- Be very impatient
- Blurt out inappropriate comments
- Have trouble controlling their emotions
How is ADHD diagnosed?
There is no single test that can tell if your child has ADHD. To make a diagnosis, the doctor will do an exam on your child and document his/her ADHD symptoms. The doctor will also collect information from you, your family, and your child's teachers.
How is ADHD treated?
Children with ADHD can get better with treatment, but there is no cure. There are three types of treatment:
Medicine: There are many medicines that can help. The most common types are called stimulants. Medicine helps children focus, learn, and stay calm.
Therapy: There are different kinds of therapy. Behavioral therapy can help teach children to control their behavior so they can do better at school and at home.
Medicine and therapy combined: Many children do well with both medicine and therapy.
How can parents and families help?
Your child's doctor can show you how to help your child make positive changes. Supporting your child helps everyone in your family.