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Health Information For Parents
ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a medical condition. A person with ADHD has differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control. ADHD can affect a child at school, at home, and in friendships.
All kids struggle at times to pay attention, listen and follow directions, sit still, or wait their turn. But for kids with ADHD, the struggles are harder and happen more often.
Kids with ADHD may have signs from one, two, or all three of these categories:
Sometimes parents and teachers notice signs of ADHD when a child is very young. But it’s normal for little kids to be distractible, restless, impatient, or impulsive — these things don’t always mean that a child has ADHD.
Attention, activity, and self-control develop little by little, as children grow. Kids learn these skills with help from parents and teachers. But some kids don’t get much better at paying attention, settling down, listening, or waiting. When these things continue and begin to cause problems at school, home, and with friends, it may be ADHD.
If you think your child has ADHD, make an appointment with your child’s doctor. He or she will give your child a check-up, including vision and hearing, to be sure something else isn’t causing the symptoms. The doctor can refer you to a child psychologist or psychiatrist if needed.
To diagnose ADHD, doctors start by asking about a child’s health, behavior, and activity. They talk with parents and kids about the things they have noticed. Your doctor might ask you to complete checklists about your child’s behavior, and might ask you to give your child’s teacher a checklist too.
After gathering this information, doctors diagnose ADHD if it’s clear that:
Many kids with ADHD also have learning problems, oppositional and defiant behaviors, or mood and anxiety problems. Doctors usually treat these along with the ADHD.
Treatment for ADHD usually includes:
The right treatment helps ADHD improve. Parents and teachers can teach younger kids to get better at managing their attention, behavior, and emotions. As they grow older, kids should learn to improve their own attention and self-control.
When ADHD is not treated, it can be hard for kids to succeed. This may lead to low self-esteem, depression, oppositional behavior, school failure, risk-taking behavior, or family conflict.
If your child is diagnosed with ADHD:
It’s not clear what causes the brain differences of ADHD. There’s strong evidence that ADHD is mostly inherited. Many kids who have ADHD have a parent or relative with it.
ADHD is not caused by too much screen time, poor parenting, or eating too much sugar.
ADHD can improve when kids get treatment, eat healthy food, get enough sleep and exercise, and have supportive parents who know how to respond to ADHD.
Parenting is as important as any other part of ADHD treatment. The way parents respond can make ADHD better (or worse). This article has parenting tips to help kids improve and do well.
Parenting is as important as any other part of ADHD treatment. The way parents respond can make ADHD better (or worse). This article has parenting tips to help teens improve and do well.
Medicine doesnât cure ADHD. But it does help boost a child’s ability to pay attention, slow down, and have more self-control. This article for parents has details on how ADHD medicines help.
Therapy is part of the treatment for most kids and teens diagnosed with ADHD. This article helps parents learn what to expect and how therapy works.
ADHD can affect a child’s ability to do well in school and even make friends. This article for parents has tips on working with teachers to help your child succeed.
ADHD is short for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
ADHD is a medical condition that makes it harder for kids to stay focused. Kids with ADHD can also be more fidgety than other kids their age. This article for kids explains how doctors decide a kid has ADHD and what they can do about it.
ADHD is a medical condition that affects how well someone can sit still, focus, and pay attention. This article for teens has the basics on ADHD.
Medicine doesnât cure ADHD. But it does help boost a person’s ability to pay attention, slow down, and have more self-control. This article for teens has details on how ADHD medicines help.
There’s no quick fix for ADHD. But taking medicine and working with counselors can help. This article for teens has tips for handling school and relationships.
Therapy is part of the treatment for most people diagnosed with ADHD. This article is for teens who want to know what to expect from therapy and how it works for ADHD.
What teachers should know about ADHD, and teaching strategies to help students with ADHD succeed in school.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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