ADHD Q & A IN Fort Wayne, IN
What is attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain development issue that causes children or adults to have difficulty processing their environment and managing stimulation well. ADHD can cause a lack of focus, impulsive behaviors, and the inability to sit still.
Children with ADHD often struggle in school, in maintaining relationships, and in behaving appropriately in social situations. While ADHD is a chronic condition and does not have a cure, it is possible to develop effective strategies to help children with ADHD manage their behaviors.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
A child with ADHD usually has signs of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. This may look different from child to child and may vary in severity.
Symptoms may include:
- Restlessness or frequent fidgeting
- Difficulty focusing
- Difficulty finishing tasks
- The appearance of being absent-minded
- Inability to sit still
- Disruptive behaviors in groups
- Grabbing, pushing, or inability to wait
- Frequently running, jumping, or moving when inappropriate
Again, some of these symptoms are common for most children until they grow out of these behaviors. However, a child with ADHD may not outgrow these symptoms, and as their peers learn coping skills, their behavior may be isolating.
How is ADHD diagnosed?
When other causes of difficult behaviors are ruled out, like vision or hearing problems, an ADHD diagnosis is possible. An ADHD diagnosis may occur when concerning behaviors are:
- Unusual for your child's age
- Present at an early age
- Present for greater than six months
- Impacting home and school relationships
- Impacting learning or development
A final diagnosis is made after a thorough health assessment, including a review of your child's health history and a physical exam. Your child's provider can only make a formal diagnosis based on true, objective information, not simply because a child is demonstrating difficult behaviors.
How is ADHD treated?
There are many ways to help your child be successful, including:
- Emotional support for both parent and child
- Behavior therapy, by referral
- School support by including teachers and staff
- Parent coaching for specific strategies for managing behaviors
Your child's physician works closely with you to understand all the behaviors that may be causing you concern, taking time to answer any questions and develop a plan for helping your child manage their impulses effectively.