Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by problems paying attention, difficulty controlling behaviors, and hyperactivity that is not age-appropriate. It is usually diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. 

What are the signs and symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

As listed by the CDC, children with ADHD may daydream a lot, forget or lose things, talk too much, make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks, have a hard time resisting temptation, having trouble taking turns, and difficulty getting along with others. These symptoms can be common among many children, however, the difference with children that have ADHD is that they do not just grow out of these behaviors the way other children do. The symptoms can become severe and cause difficulties at school, home, and with friends. To learn more about the symptoms of ADHD visit the CDC website.  

How is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosed?

There is no single test to diagnose ADHD, however, there are certain criteria that must be met in order to diagnose a child with ADHD. Firstly, there must be symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity or inattentiveness leading to impairment. These symptoms must have on onset before 12 years of age and must be present for at least 6 months. The symptoms must occur in at least 2 settings, such as school, home, or recreational activities. At least 6 of the following symptoms must be present: easily distracted, has difficulty maintaining focus on one task, missed details and makes careless mistakes, forgets or loses things, difficulty in completing assignments, becomes bored easily. The complete list may be found here

How to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

In most cases, ADHD is best treated with a combination of behavior therapy and medication. For children 4-5 years of age, behavior therapy alone is recommended as the first line of treatment before medication is given. However, whenever necessary, the medication of choice is sympathomimetic medications (stimulants) such as Methylphenidate, Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine.

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