Frequently Asked Questions About ADHD
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What is ADHD?
ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects children, adolescents, and adults and is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Is ADHD a real disorder?
ADHD is a real disorder. ADHD IS the most commonly diagnosed neurobehavioral disorder in children, but also often affects adolescents and adults. When people think of ADHD, the image of a child who can’t sit still commonly comes to mind, but, ADHD symptoms may look different in different children. It is important to involve a trained health care provider in the diagnosis and management of ADHD.
What are the signs & symptoms of ADHD?
The core symptoms of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. If your concerned whether your child has symptoms of ADHD, start by talking to your child’s doctor about the symptoms below: The core symptoms of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. If your concerned whether your child has symptoms of ADHD, start by talking to your child’s doctor about the symptoms below: Inattention 1. Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work or other activities. 2. Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities. 3. Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly. 4. Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish work. 5. Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities. 6. Avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort.
7. Loses things necessary for tasks or activities. 8. Is easily distracted. 9. Is forgetful in daily activities. Hyperactivity 1. Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat. 2. Leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected. 3. Runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness). 4. Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly. 5. Is “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor”. 6. Talks excessively. Impulsivity 1. Blurts out answers before questions have been completed. 2. Has difficulty awaiting turn. 3. Interrupts or intrudes on others. ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects children, adolescents, and adults and is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity.
How is ADHD Diagnosed?
Only a doctor or trained health care professional can diagnose ADHD. No single test can determine whether a child has ADHD. Because ADHD may vary from person to person, a licensed health care professional will make a diagnosis based on information from you and an assessment of your child. For a diagnosis to be made: • At least 6 of the 9 symptoms of inattention and/or 6 of the 9 symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity appear for at least 6 months to an extent that is not consistent with one’s peers. • Symptoms must be present in at least 2 settings, for example, at home, in social situations, or at school. • Symptoms significantly impair functioning in at least 2 settings (at school, at home, or in social settings). • Some symptoms initially appeared before the age of 7 (past school reports may hold clues to an ADHD diagnosis). • Symptoms cannot be better accounted for by another disorder.
What causes ADHD?
The exact cause of ADHD is unknown; however, a number of factors seem to contribute to the development of ADHD, including the following: Genetics Research suggests that ADHD tends to run in families. However, this does not mean that all children in a family will have the disorder. It is not uncommon for an adult to seek help for
ADHD symptoms after one of their children is diagnosed with ADHD. Environment Certain external factors, such as smoking during pregnancy or complications from pregnancy, delivery, or infancy, may contribute to ADHD. Neurotransmitter Function The brain uses various chemicals called neurotransmitters to help send messages across the nervous system. Research suggests that ADHD may be caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters that may result in the inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms of ADHD.
Can ADHD be treated?
Yes. ADHD symptoms may be controlled with an effective treatment plan. Your child’s treatment plan may consist of ADHD medication and/or behavioral therapy and lifestyle modific
How often should my child’s symptoms be reassessed?
Even if your child is currently being treated for ADHD, follow-up appointments several times a year will help your child’s doctor assess his or her progress and adjust treatment accordingly.
I think my child has ADHD. What do I do?
Talk to your child’s doctor. Only a doctor can diagnose ADHD. Talk with a health care professional with experience diagnosing ADHD in children. A qualified health care professional can also help you determine an appropriate treatment and management plan that’s right for your child.