Attention Deficit and Learning Disorders (ADHD)
Also known as: ADHD
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADHD) is the most common behavioral disorder of childhood, affecting 3 to 7 percent of school-age children. The three main ADHD symptoms in children include inattention, hyperactivity and a tendency to be impulsive. These traits can lead to difficulties in school, poor interactions with other children and adults, and low self-esteem. Associated disorders can include anxiety, depression, difficult behavior (oppositional defiant disorder), tics and learning disabilities.
Does my child have ADHD?
Who should be evaluated for ADHD or related disorders? Children who exhibit any of the following behavioral characteristics:
- Academic difficulties
- Difficulties with attention span or excessive level of activity at home and in school
- Behavioral difficulties
The first step for children seeking care and assistance through the center is a full evaluation by a physician – either a pediatric neurologist or psychiatrist specializing in ADHD. The physician will obtain a detailed medical history and perform a thorough physical and neurological examination.
A consultation with a psychologist specializing in ADHD will usually be recommended. This may include an IQ test and evaluation for symptoms of ADHD and other conditions that can be associated or mistaken for ADHD.
The need for additional testing, such as central auditory processing, will be assessed. Also, educational materials will be provided to the parents, and both parents and teachers will be asked to provide input by taking part in center questionnaires to help in completing the assessment.
Once the evaluation is complete, the physician will meet with the family to discuss and explain results.
Treatment options for ADHD
For children identified as having ADHD or associated disorders, the center offers ongoing management and support, including:
- Psychological intervention for therapy or behavior modification
- Treatment with medication
- Recommendations related to special classes to meet the child’s needs
- Referral to support groups
ADHD Symptoms in Children
If your child exhibits several of these symptoms, he or she may be a candidate for evaluation by a team of professionals.
- Fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
- Has difficulty maintaining attention in tasks or play activities
- Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
- Does not follow directions and fails to complete schoolwork, chores, or, in adolescents, on-the-job duties
- Has difficulty organizing tasks or activities
- Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
- Is easily distracted
- Is often forgetful in daily activities
- Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
- Leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
- Runs or climbs excessively when inappropriate
- Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
- Is always on the go or acts is if “driven by motor”
- Often talks excessively
- In adolescents, may be exhibited by feelings of restlessness
- Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
- Has difficulty waiting his/her turn
- Interrupts or intrudes on others (for example, butts into conversations or games)
This page was last updated on: 6/15/2018 7:47:12 AM
Weekly Support Programs
Knowing how to swim saves lives. Swimming and water safety lessons are offered by a trained instructor for babies as young as 6 months to adolescents under 21 years old. Learn more.
This program is provided by a certified yoga instructor. It offers children and teens the following benefits: managing stress through breathing, self-awareness, healthy movement and meditation. Yoga also promotes strength, flexibility, coordination and body awareness. Learn more.
Yoga is a great way to get children active in a non- competitive environment. This one-day-a-week class is available for patients currently receiving therapy at one of our Nicklaus Children’s outpatient center locations, their siblings and children residing in our community. Learn more.
From the Newsdesk
Dr. John Ragheb, Director of the Division of Neurosurgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, is among a group of renowned physicians who developed the first evidence-based guideline in the U.S. on mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and concussions among children, published by the CDC in September.
Dr. Aaron Berger is a pediatriac hand surgeon at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. For more information about the Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Disorders Program, please visit nicklauschildrens.org/BrachialPlexus