Pediatricians (833) KIDS-DOC


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), also known as ADD, is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that can significantly impact a child’s academic and social performance. 

Many parents struggle with distinguishing between normal energetic behavior and the hyperactivity associated with ADHD. This disorder typically affects school-age children, typically between the ages of 6 and 11, and can persist into adulthood if left untreated. It is important to recognize the symptoms of ADHD to ensure early intervention and improve the child’s long-term success.

What causes ADD / ADHD?


ADHD or ADD is a condition that affects the brain’s ability to regulate attention, behavior, and impulses. It is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors. Some common symptoms of ADHD or ADD in children include difficulty paying attention, forgetfulness, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and poor organization skills. These symptoms can interfere with a child’s ability to perform well in school, develop healthy relationships with peers, and function well in daily life.

Pediatricians are important for the diagnosis of ADHD or ADD in children because they have the expertise to evaluate a child’s symptoms, determine if they meet the criteria for a diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatments. Pediatricians may also work with other healthcare professionals, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that includes medication, behavioral therapy, and other interventions.


How Do I Know If My Child Has ADD / ADHD ?


ADHD is a neurological disorder that affects attention, focus, and impulse control. It is usually diagnosed in childhood and can affect academic, social, and emotional development. Some signs of ADHD in children include difficulty in following directions, being easily distracted, forgetfulness, and struggling to complete tasks.

In addition, hyperactivity and impulsivity are also common symptoms. Children with ADHD may be fidgety, talkative, and struggle to sit still. They may also interrupt others and have difficulty waiting their turn. If you notice these signs in your child, it is important to consult a doctor for a diagnosis.


How Is ADD / ADHD Diagnosed?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can be diagnosed through a comprehensive evaluation process that includes medical exams, behavioral assessments, and interviews.
Medical exams typically involve a physical examination, laboratory tests, and neurological assessments to rule out other conditions that may be causing symptoms similar to ADHD.
Behavioral assessments are used to evaluate the symptoms of ADHD and their impact on daily functioning. These assessments may involve rating scales completed by parents, teachers, and the individual being assessed, as well as direct observation of behavior. They may also include tests of cognitive function and attention.
Interviews with parents, teachers, and the individual being assessed are also important in the diagnostic process. These interviews provide additional information about symptoms, their onset and duration, and their impact on daily life.
To be diagnosed with ADHD, an individual must meet the criteria outlined in the DSM-5, including a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with daily functioning in at least two settings. Symptoms must have been present before the age of 12, and cannot be better accounted for by another medical or psychiatric condition.


How Is ADD / ADHD Treated?


To treat ADD/ADHD, a combination of medication and behavioral therapy is usually recommended. The most commonly used medications are stimulants, such as Ritalin and Adderall, which can help improve attention and reduce hyperactivity.

While medication can be effective, it is not a cure for ADD/ADHD. It is important to combine it with behavioral therapy, which can help individuals with ADD/ADHD develop coping mechanisms and learn new strategies to manage their symptoms. This may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help individuals identify and change negative patterns of thought and behavior, or social skills training, which can help individuals improve their communication and social skills.

Additionally, lifestyle changes can also be helpful in managing ADD/ADHD symptoms. This may include getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and practicing good sleep hygiene. It is also important to establish a structured routine and set clear goals to help individuals stay focused and organized.

By combining medication, behavioral therapy, and lifestyle changes, individuals with ADD/ADHD can learn to manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.