Understanding ADHD in Children
As one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a continually growing condition among children. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found diagnoses for ADHD increased from 7.8% in 2003 to 11% in 2012. The CDC also reported that approximately 6.4 million children ages 4-7 have been diagnosed with ADHD.
ADHD, when left untreated, can impact a child’s emotional, academic and social environments both now and in adulthood. Below is information regarding ADHD, symptoms, and treatments.
What is ADHD?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition of the brain that makes it hard for children to control their behavior. Though most children can display behavioral troubles at times, children with ADHD have frequent behavior issues including high activity levels, failing to stay focused long enough to accomplish tasks, and difficulty remaining still for long periods of time. Above all, ADHD can negatively impact life at school, home, and among peers.
Although there are no proven tests for ADHD, there are signs to be aware of when assessing if your child has ADHD.
What are the signs of ADHD in Children?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, common symptoms of ADHD in children include:
- Makes careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities
- Doesn’t listen when directly spoken to
- Has trouble organizing tasks and activities and difficulty holding attention on tasks
- Easily distracted
- Forgetful of daily activities
- Squirms in seat/fidgets with or taps hands
- Leave seat when remaining seated is expected
- Unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly
- Has trouble waiting for their turn
- Interrupts frequently
- Runs and/or climbs in inappropriate situations
The above symptoms will:
- Make it difficult to function at school, home, and/or social settings
- Start before the age of 7
- Be more severe than in other children that are the same age
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends performing ADHD evaluations in any child ages 4-18 years who present academic and/or behavioral problems plus symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity. If you are seeing some of these symptoms in your child, try the free Heads Up Checkup symptom checker to get immediate feedback about your concerns.
What is the treatment for ADHD?
There are numerous ways to properly treat ADHD, but all start with creating a long-term management plan. From medication to parent training, behavior therapy and more, there are various ways to create individual plans for your child suffering from ADHD. The key is to create an ongoing treatment program.
At Well Street, we believe it is important for your child to receive help from a behavioral health care professional as soon as you suspect your child is suffering from ADHD. As such, behavioral interventions at home or school may be used as initial treatment for ADHD and might improve ADHD symptoms in both children and teens. Early identification and treatment can make a world of difference for your child and for your family—today and in the long-term.