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Understanding ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be more common than you think. According to statistics from the CDC in 2013, 11 percent of children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed at some point with ADHD. The average age for diagnosis is 7 years old.

ADHD is a mental health disorder that may affect your child’s interpersonal relationships and the ability to succeed in academic settings. Each individual symptom of ADHD by itself may actually be normal in an individual child and therefore the variance and complexity of the symptoms as a whole must be taken into account to properly diagnose the condition.

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Common Symptoms

The most common symptoms observed in children with ADHD are poor attention and lack of focus, impulsivity, easy distractibility, hyperactivity (most commonly manifesting as fidgetiness), inappropriate emotional turmoil or outbursts, unfinished tasks, careless mistakes due to lack of planning or the inability to execute a plan, and at times lack of involvement with others due to nearly constant distraction.

Similar Conditions

There are other medical conditions with similar symptoms to ADHD so it's imperative that a professional with training and experience in the diagnosis of these disorders be involved. As with all medical conditions, a clinician will consider alternative explanations. For example, other common conditions that may mimic ADHD in some children include certain anxiety disorders and dyslexia.

Treatment

Accurate diagnosis and treatment are important, especially in developing children. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you will understandably be concerned with how to help them succeed both now and in the future. It’s important to remember that ADHD is manageable and that there are numerous treatment options available. For the best outcome, the parents and caregivers, teachers, health care providers, etc must work as a team to assist the child and ensure success. Options for treatment, whether individually or in combination, may include medication, behavior therapy, parent training, and/or school accommodations. Your PAL provider will discuss the various treatment options available as well as answer any questions you may have in order to pursue the best course of action for each individual child.   

At PAL, it’s our mission to help your child succeed by helping to create a healthy environment for the entire family. If you have any questions or concerns about diagnosis or treatment options for ADHD , please be sure to call 770-277-6725 for an appointment with your provider today.

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