Does your child have trouble focusing and paying attention? Do they make careless or impulsive decisions? Are they constantly in motion? If so, these can be signs that they may be struggling with attention-deficit disorder (ADD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These issues can make it more difficult for children to do well in school, make friends, and behave appropriately. ADD/ADHD in children is common, and as of 2011, approximately 6.4 million children in the United States aged 4 to 17 had been diagnosed. This accounts for around 11 percent of children.
Evaluations and testing by a trained provider can determine if your child has ADD/ADHD, what type they have, and how it affects them. Through a combination of therapy and other services, many children are able to manage their symptoms and be more productive. PediaPlex provides diagnostic evaluations for children to identify ADD/ADHD as well as personalized treatment to help them thrive.
Different Types of ADD/ADHD in Children
There are three types of ADD/ADHD in children: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined. This means that not every child presents symptoms in exactly the same way. Your child’s symptoms may not be exactly the same as their friend’s.
The inattentive type is what many people recognize as ADD. Children are often easily distracted, have trouble following through and completing activities, and make careless mistakes, but they are not disruptive and do not make impulsive decisions.
Children with the hyperactive-impulsive type have trouble being patient, may interrupt conversations, act without thinking, and may emotionally overreact to situations. However, they do not have inattention.
Those with the combined type have symptoms of inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsivity.
What Causes ADD/ADHD?
Researchers are unsure exactly what causes ADD/ADHD. They believe that there is a strong genetic component, but that it is tied to multiple genes, not a single one. They also believe that environmental factors play a role, and activities such as smoking or drinking during pregnancy, exposure to toxic substances, complications at birth, and neglect or social deprivation may be contributing factors. It is impossible to know for sure what children will and will not develop ADD/ADHD, but it is reassuring to know that help is available and symptoms do not have to stand in the way of a child’s ability to be successful.
Signs that my Child may have ADD/ADHD
Since there are three different types of ADD/ADHD, symptoms in children can vary. For instance, a child with hyperactivity and impulsivity does not necessarily have inattention and vice versa. The most common type of ADD/ADHD is the combined type, but children may have any of the three. Symptoms often become apparent prior to age seven and then persist as the child gets older. Parents and teachers may notice that the child is struggling in school or with friendships. Early intervention can help children to minimize the impact of ADD/ADHD on life and in education. Symptoms may include:
- Difficulty paying attention, especially during boring, tedious or time-consuming activities
- Forgetfulness or disorganization
- Talks excessively
- Has difficulty sitting still and is always moving or fidgeting
- Makes careless mistakes
- Avoids situations where sitting still or paying attention for longer periods of time are necessary
Get a Comprehensive ADD/ADHD Assessment
It is important to remember that all children may exhibit signs of ADD/ADHD from time to time. However, those with the condition show symptoms in multiple settings, it is ongoing, and it interferes with their ability to function in school, at home, or in social settings. PediaPlex provides comprehensive ADD/ADHD assessments that incorporate input from teachers, daycare providers, pediatricians, family members and others. There is not a single diagnostic test for ADD/ADHD, so PediaPlex uses a combination of assessments and evaluations to determine inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and socio-emotional difficulties. Therapists can also determine if other developmental conditions are present that may be affecting their behavior.
PediaPlex works with families to create an appropriate plan of care for their child. This may include various therapies, counseling and/or medication. There may also be accommodations and support systems put in place in school to help children to be more successful. PediaPlex can help to diagnose, treat and support children with ADD/ADHD, and other needs. If you are concerned that your child may have ADD/ADHD, have them evaluated at PediaPlex today.