If your child is overly active, has trouble paying attention, or has difficulty controlling his or her impulsive behaviors, they may have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While you may have heard the term attention deficit disorder (ADD), it is now considered outdated, and ADHD is the proper term to refer to this disorder.
ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders diagnosed in children that often lasts into adulthood. Although it is normal for most children to have difficulty focusing or misbehaving on occasion, children with ADHD exhibit these behaviors often. If symptoms continue and are severe, they can cause problems at home, in school, or among friends.
Here’s what you should know about ADHD in kids and how to cope with the disorder.
How to Tell If Your Child May Have ADD/ADHD
There are numerous signs and symptoms associated with ADD or ADHD. These include:
- A tendency to squirm or fidget
- Expressing oneself too much
- Forgetting or losing things often
- Making careless mistakes
- Taking unnecessary risks
- Daydreaming a lot
- Having difficulty getting along with others
- Having a tough time resisting temptation
- Having trouble taking turns
Subtypes of ADHD
That said, there are different subtypes of ADHD, depending on the types of symptoms that are the strongest.
One subtype is known as inattentive. This is unofficially considered the “ADD subtype” because kids with this subtype do not display hyperactivity. Children with this kind of ADHD find it hard to organize or finish a task. Also, they find it difficult to pay attention to details or follow instructions or a conversation. In other words, they are easily distracted and tend to forget the details of their daily routines.
On the other hand,hyperactive-impulsive presentation is a subtype of ADHD in which the child finds it hard to still sit for long and tends to talk a lot. Restlessness and impulsiveness are other telltale signs. The child may frequently interrupt others, grab things that don’t belong to them, or speak when it is inappropriate. They are impatient when it comes to waiting their turn or listening to directions, all of which can lead to more accidents and injuries.
When symptoms of both these subtypes of ADHD are present, it is known as combined ADHD.
Why Does Your Child Have ADHD?
The exact causes of ADHD are unknown, but research indicates that genetics plays a significant role. Other possible causes and risk factors for ADHD may include:
- Brain injury
- Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
- Premature delivery
- Low birth weight
- Exposure to environmental risks (e.g., lead) during pregnancy or infancy
ADHD diagnosis includes a few different steps. Your child’s doctor will perform hearing and vision tests to make sure inattention isn’t due to hearing/vision problems. Doctors usually use a checklist for rating ADHD symptoms and compile a history of the child taken from parents and teachers.
How ADHD is Treated or Managed
In most cases, the best treatment for ADHD is a combination of behavior training and medication. However, for preschool-aged children (4-5 years of age) with ADHD, only behavior therapy is recommended before medication is considered. An effective treatment plan will include close monitoring of your child, follow-ups, and making adjustments during the process for your child’s individual needs.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also make it easier for your child to deal with their ADHD symptoms. As a parent, you can help by:
- Instilling healthy eating habits that include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as choosing lean protein sources.
- Having your child participate in daily physical activity based on their age.
- Limiting your child’s amount of daily screen time on television, computers, phones, or other electronics.
- Making sure your child gets the recommended amount of sleep each night based on their age. Speak with your child’s pediatrician or family doctor about these guidelines.
ADD in Kids, The Woodlands, TX- Treatment and Management Near You
In addition to providing parent and teacher forms for behavioral health evaluations, our dedicated and highly trained pediatricians at Northwoods Pediatric Center, P.A. also provide routine pediatric services, including well-child exams and sports physicals.
For more information about our many pediatric services, contact us today at (281) 296-7770, or use our convenient Request an Appointment form. Together, we can help keep your child safe and healthy from infancy to young adulthood.