Q&A: Does Your School-Aged Child Have ADHD?
The symptoms of ADHD can be similar to those of other conditions, like depression and anxiety, or a learning disorder. Find out how to recognize ADHD in your child.
If your child is having trouble focusing on schoolwork or they can’t seem to sit still and pay attention, you want to know how to help.
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As a parent, you might wonder: Are they problems that can resolve as your child matures, or could they be signs of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?
While ADHD is increasingly common in children in the U.S., other conditions or issues can share some of the same symptoms, says pediatrician Hanan Nashed, MD. She answers common questions parents ask her about ADHD.
A: ADHD is a medical condition that can make it difficult to sit still, focus and pay attention, as well as finish tasks.
It comes in two different categories: hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention. Some children are either hyperactive or lacking in their ability to pay attention while others have characteristics of both categories combined..
A: Parents sometimes wonder if their child has ADHD based on their observations and sometimes those of teachers as well.
To help you decide if your child has ADHD or some sort of behavior/attention problem, consider the following questions:
A: First, to diagnose ADHD, we must see the behavior in different settings. If a child shows signs at home and school or daycare and home, it is more indicative of ADHD.
Also, if the concerning behavior has lasted longer than six months, that’s another sign.
We also consider the child’s age. Generally, it starts at a younger age, usually before age 12.
A: Studies show that 8 to 10 percent of children ages 4 to 17 have ADHD. That has doubled in recent years. It also manifests about twice as much in boys as in girls.
A: Parents who are concerned about their kids having ADHD should talk to their pediatrician. The sooner the diagnosis is made, the better the outcome.
Keep in mind that there is no simple test that can diagnose ADHD. The process involves a battery of testing and questions and a psychological evaluation too.
When it comes to treatment, we often recommend medications and behavioral therapy for the best outcome.