3 Things Parents Should Know About ADHD In Children

According to the most recent data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the number of children that have ever received a diagnosis of ADHD is just over 6 million. These children range in age from 2 to 17 years old. ADHD, also known as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, is one of the most common developmental disabilities in children.

If you are a parent and would like to know more about this developmental disorder, here are three things you should know about ADHD.

1. Know the Symptoms of ADHD

Just because your child doesn't sit still or is more hyperactive than others does not mean they have ADHD. There are other criteria that children need to meet in order to be diagnosed with this condition.

To help determine if a child has ADHD, parents should observe their child for the following symptoms:

  • Easily distracted with a short attention span
  • Forgetful or loses things often
  • Constantly changing tasks
  • Excessive talking and physical movement
  • Interrupting other people's conversations
  • Inability to wait their turn

ADHD is broken down into different subtypes, which include inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Some children have one or the other subtype, while others have both inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity.

2. Know How Children Are Diagnosed With ADHD

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your child, the first thing you should do is take them to their pediatrician. If a pediatrician believes your child has ADHD, they will use certain guidelines to accurately diagnose your child. Along with asking questions about their behaviors at home and at school, the pediatrician will do a neurologic examination.

In some cases, a pediatrician might recommend that a psychologist evaluate your child as well. This is due to the fact that it's not uncommon for children with ADHD to have other conditions, such as anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), or depression. Some children with ADHD may also have autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

3. Know the ADHD Treatment Options

If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, you'll be glad to know there are many treatment options available. It's important to note that ADHD treatment will not cure the disorder, however, the right treatment will help to manage any symptoms the child has. Medications, such as amphetamines and methylphenidates, are some of the most common ADHD treatment options.

These medications are both stimulants, which help to balance the brain's neurotransmitters. Some children with ADHD may also need behavioral therapy or psychotherapy. Social skills training, parent skills training, and family therapy may also be beneficial for families who have children with ADHD.

Contact a local medical health professional to learn more about ADHD treatment.