What Is ADHD?

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</p> <p id="peo_document373_en.p001"> <inline-graphic id="peo_document373_en.ig1" xlink:href="peo_document373_en_f001.gif" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" /><br /> <strong>ADHD</strong> is short for<br /> <strong>attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder</strong> (uh-TEN-shun<br /> DEF-uh-sit HYE-pur-ak-TIV-uh-tee dis-ORD-ur). ADHD makes it hard to sit still,<br /> pay attention, take turns, and finish things. It is one of the most common<br /> chronic (long-term) problems of childhood.</p> <p id="peo_document373_en.p002">All children have problems behaving sometimes.<br /> Children with ADHD have a <italic>very hard</italic> time behaving a<br /> <italic>lot</italic> of the time. They usually have problems behaving in<br /> school and at home.</p> <p id="peo_document373_en.p003">The cause of ADHD is not clear. We know the brain<br /> works a little differently in a child with ADHD. We also know it runs in<br /> families. There is no cure, but we are learning more every day. Children who get<br /> treatment can do very well.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document373_en.s002" class="disp-level1"> <h3>Symptoms of ADHD</h3> <p id="peo_document373_en.p004">A child with ADHD may have one or more of these<br /> problems:</p> <p id="peo_document373_en.p005"> <strong>Inattention</strong> (IN-uh-TEN-shin)</p> <ul id="peo_document373_en.l001" list-type="bullet"> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p006">Has trouble paying attention</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p007">Daydreams and is easily distracted</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p008">Can’t get organized and forgets<br /> things</p> </li> </ul> <p id="peo_document373_en.p009"> <strong>Hyperactivity</strong><br /> (HYE-pur-ak-TIV-uh-tee)</p> <ul id="peo_document373_en.l002" list-type="bullet"> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p010">Is moving almost all the time</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p011">Has trouble sitting still, squirms, and<br /> talks too much</p> </li> </ul> <p id="peo_document373_en.p012"> <strong>Impulsivity</strong> (IM-puhl-SIV-uh-tee)</p> <ul id="peo_document373_en.l003" list-type="bullet"> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p013">Acts and talks without thinking</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p014">Has trouble taking turns and interrupts a<br /> lot</p> </li> </ul> <p id="peo_document373_en.p015">Hyperactivity and impulsivity go together. Or maybe<br /> the child just has trouble paying attention. Most children with ADHD have all<br /> the problems above.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document373_en.s003" class="disp-level1"> <h3>Finding Out If Your Child Has ADHD</h3> <p id="peo_document373_en.p016">If your child has ADHD, the symptoms will:</p> <ul id="peo_document373_en.l004" list-type="bullet"> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p017">Happen in more than one place, like home,<br /> school, team sports, and camps.</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p018">Be worse than in other children the same<br /> age.</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p019">Start before your child is 7 years old.</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p020">Last more than 6 months.</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p021">Make it hard for your child to do well at<br /> school and in other group activities.</p> </li> </ul> <p id="peo_document373_en.p022">Call your child’s doctor if you think your<br /> child may have ADHD. The doctor will talk with you both and check your<br /> child.</p> <p id="peo_document373_en.p023">You should know:</p> <ul id="peo_document373_en.l005" list-type="bullet"> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p024">It is hard to diagnose ADHD in children<br /> younger than 6 years.</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p025">The doctor will ask about how your child<br /> behaves at home, school, and other places. The doctor may have you or<br /> your child’s teacher fill out a form to learn about your<br /> child’s behavior.</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p026">There are other problems that have the same<br /> symptoms as ADHD. And some children have ADHD with other behavior<br /> problems, like not obeying, anxiety, learning problems, or<br /> depression.</p> </li> </ul></div> <div id="peo_document373_en.s004" class="disp-level1"> <h3>Are There Medical Tests for ADHD?</h3> <p id="peo_document373_en.p027">There is no proven medical test for ADHD at this<br /> time. Blood tests; computer tests; x-rays, like MRIs or CAT scans; or brain-wave<br /> tests don’t help diagnose ADHD. Your child’s doctor may have other<br /> reasons for ordering these tests. Ask the doctor if you have questions.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document373_en.s005" class="disp-level1"> <h3>Treatment</h3> <p id="peo_document373_en.p028">There is no cure for ADHD. But there are many good<br /> treatments to help your child. As a parent, you are very important in the<br /> treatment process.</p> <p id="peo_document373_en.p029">Your child’s doctor will help you make a<br /> long-term plan for managing your child’s ADHD. The plan will have:</p> <ul id="peo_document373_en.l006" list-type="bullet"> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p030">Goals (often called “target<br /> outcomes”). Example: better schoolwork</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p031">Activities to help reach your child’s<br /> goals. Examples: taking medicine, making changes at school and at<br /> home</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p032">Ways to check your child’s progress<br /> toward the goals.</p> </li> </ul> <p id="peo_document373_en.p033">Most ADHD plans include:</p> <p id="peo_document373_en.p034"> <strong>Medicine.</strong> For most children, drugs<br /> called stimulants (STIM-yuh-lints) are safe and work well. They speed up the<br /> signals in your child’s brain. This helps your child focus and can help<br /> other symptoms too. There may be other medicines that the doctor suggests. The<br /> doctor may prescribe these <italic>instead</italic> of stimulants, or<br /> <italic>together</italic> with stimulants.</p> <p id="peo_document373_en.p035"> <strong>Behavior therapy.</strong> This helps parents,<br /> teachers, and other caregivers learn better ways to relate to the child with<br /> ADHD. You will learn how to set and enforce rules. And your child will learn<br /> better ways to control his or her behavior.</p> <p id="peo_document373_en.p036"> <strong>Working with the school.</strong> Treatment<br /> works best when everyone works as a team. The team should include doctors,<br /> parents, teachers, caregivers, and children themselves. Talk with the teacher or<br /> principal if you think your child needs more help.</p> <p id="peo_document373_en.p037"> <italic>By law,</italic> public schools must:</p> <ul id="peo_document373_en.l007" list-type="bullet"> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p038">Pay for testing for a child with learning<br /> problems.</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p039">Use teaching methods that meet<br /> children’s needs.</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document373_en.p040">Give extra help when needed.</p> </li> </ul> <p id="peo_document373_en.p041">It may take time to find the right treatment for<br /> your child. And treatment may not get rid of all the ADHD problems. But<br /> treatment with both medicine and behavior therapy helps most school-aged<br /> children with ADHD.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document373_en.s006" class="disp-level1"> <h3>What Else Should Parents Know?</h3> <p id="peo_document373_en.p042"> <strong>You are not alone.</strong> There are parent<br /> training and support groups for ADHD. These can be a great help. Being the<br /> parent of a child with ADHD can be hard. Seek counseling if you feel overwhelmed<br /> or hopeless. Ask your child’s doctor where you can find this kind of<br /> help.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document373_en.s007" class="disp-level1"> <h3>Answers to Common Questions</h3> <div id="peo_document373_en.s008" class="disp-level2"> <h3>Will my child outgrow ADHD?</h3> <p id="peo_document373_en.p043">ADHD usually lasts into adulthood. People with<br /> ADHD can live good, productive lives. Having lots of energy can help in some<br /> careers.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document373_en.s009" class="disp-level2"> <h3>Do children get “high” on stimulants?</h3> <p id="peo_document373_en.p044">Stimulants <italic>don’t</italic> make<br /> children high. They don’t make children sleepy or<br /> “dopey” either. But it’s important for your child to<br /> get the right kind and amount of medicine for him or her. That’s why<br /> regular doctor visits are important.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document373_en.s010" class="disp-level2"> <h3>Do schools put children on ADHD medicines?</h3> <p id="peo_document373_en.p045">Sometimes teachers are the first to notice signs<br /> of ADHD. But only a doctor can say whether your child has ADHD and order<br /> medicine for it.</p> </p></div> </p></div> <p></body></p> <div id="pedweblogo"><a href="http://www.pediatricweb.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://www.pediatricweb.com/images/poweredbyPW.gif" alt="Powered by Pediatric Web" border="0" /></a> <br /><a style="font-size: 9px;color: #000000;" href="http://www.pediatricweb.com/disclaimer.asp" target="_blank">disclaimer</a><br /><span style="font-size:0.8em;">Denver Data Feed</span></div> </div> </article> </main> <div class="col-xs-12 col-md-3"> <div class="sidebar" role="complementary"> </div> </div> </div> </div> <footer class="footer" role="contentinfo"> <div class="footer-top"> <div class="container"> <div class="row"> <div class="col-xs-12 col-md-2"><div class="widget widget_black_studio_tinymce"><h6 class="footer-top__headings">LOCATIONS</h6><div class="textwidget"><p style="color: #ffffff;"><a href="http://pediatricpartnersmd.net/bel-air-north-park/" style="color: #ffffff;"><strong>Bel Air - 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