Does my child have ADHD?

Dr. Bavishi, Pediatrician, Meriter Deming Way

Dr. Bavishi, Pediatrician, Meriter Deming Way

Star Country_ADHD- 2011-10-04 Viren Bavishi, DO, recently spoke with Star Country’s Tracy and Mike about ADHD. Click the play button to listen!

With school now well underway, Pediatrician Viren Bavishi, DO, often has parents asking him whether he thinks their child is just restless at school – or if s/he might have ADHD. Here are some tips to help parents determine whether they need to seek help.

What is ADHD?
Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), and in some cases, are overly active.

You may have also heard this condition referred to as ADD. There is no difference between the terms ADD and ADHD – they can be used interchangeably.

What are the signs and symptoms?
Most children have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.

  • have a hard time paying attention
  • daydream a lot
  • not seem to listen
  • be easily distracted from schoolwork or play
  • forget things
  • be in constant motion or unable to stay seated
  • squirm or fidget
  • talk too much
  • not be able to play quietly
  • act and speak without thinking
  • have trouble taking turns
  • interrupt others

Diagnosing ADHD
Deciding if a child has ADHD is a several step process. There is no single test to diagnose ADHD, and many other problems, like anxiety, depression, and certain types of learning disabilities, can have similar symptoms. One step of the process involves having a medical exam, including hearing and vision tests, to rule out other problems with symptoms like ADHD. Another part of the process may include a checklist for rating ADHD symptoms and taking a history of the child from parents, teachers, and sometimes, the child.

If you have concerns about ADHD, talk to your pediatrician. The next step may be to take your child to a specialist such as a child psychologist or developmental pediatrician, or you can contact your local early intervention agency (for children under 3) or public school (for children 3 and older).

In order to make sure your child reaches his or her full potential, it is very important to get help for ADHD as early as possible.

Information source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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