Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a behavioral syndrome that displays itself in behaviors of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Diagnosing this disorder is considered when it shows up early in childhood and parents, teachers and caregivers observe that it causes significant dysfunction in the most important aspects of a child’s life (i.e., home, school, peer interactions).

  • About 5-10% of American children have ADHD.
  • Additional problems, such as learning disorders, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, anxiety, depressive disorder and intellectual impairments exist
  • in 50-75% of children with ADHD.
  • ADHD has no identified single cause, but is likely a result of genetic and environmental factors.
  • Maternal smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy increase the risk of ADHD.
  • Children diagnosed with ADHD are more likely to have been born prematurely.

Diagnosis
A comprehensive assessment including a physical, detailed history, and a set of standard questionnaires are the primary diagnostic tests and methods used to make a diagnosis. Specific behavioral rating scales assessing your child’s behaviors at home, school, daycare or other environment are used to measure the level of behavioral concerns and the impact on your child’s functioning and relationships with others. An assessment typically requires three visits to complete all aspects of the evaluation, recommendations and discussion.

Treatment
The primary goal of treatment is to help your child succeed in all areas of difficulty. Medication is the most effective treatment for most children with ADHD. Environmental and behavioral interventions can greatly enhance medication treatments. Continued education about ADHD and its treatment options are also a key goal of your child’s treatment plan.

Last Updated 11/6/2019