Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a common childhood disorder that affects approximately 6.4 million children in the United States. Although this condition is sometimes referred to as attention deficit disorder or ADD, this term is outdated and was once used to refer to a child who had problems focusing but was not hyperactive. In May 2013, the American Psychiatric Association replaced ADD with ADHD.

Symptoms of ADHD

While all children have a difficult time paying attention, listening or following directions, sitting still, or waiting their turn, those with ADHD face harder struggles that tend to occur more frequently. Children with ADHD may show signs from some or all of these categories:

  • Inattentive: Inattentive children are easily distracted and have trouble concentrating or paying attention. They may be forgetful, daydream, and/or disregard directions.
  • Hyperactive: Hyperactive children become bored easily and can be described as restless or fidgety. Staying still or quite can be a challenge for them.
  • Impulsive: Impulsive children act too quickly before thinking. Interrupting, pushing, or grabbing are often seen in impulsive children.

Diagnosing ADHD

If you believe your child may have ADHD, you should take them to the pediatrician who will ask you and your child a few questions to better understand your child’s behavior. If the following is clear, the pediatrician will diagnose ADHD:

  • A child’s hyperactivity or impulsivity is beyond what is normal for their age.
  • A child’s behaviors have continued to persist since they were young.
  • Hyperactivity or impulsivity may hinder a child’s life at home and school.
  • A health evaluation reveals a child’s issues are not a result of another health or learning problem.

Treating ADHD

Fortunately, the right treatment plan can help your child improve their condition and live a higher quality of life. The most common treatments for ADHD include:

  • Medications: Medications can activate your child’s brain and help them pay attention and improve their self-control.
  • Behavior Therapy: Behavioral therapists can assist your child in developing the social and emotional skills they may be missing.
  • Support in the School Setting: Teachers and special programs in school can help children earn good grades and enjoy school.
  • Parent Coaching: Coaching can teach parents how to respond to behavior challenges appropriately.

Contact Holly Springs Pediatrics

If your child is showing any symptoms of ADHD, we encourage you to contact Holly Springs Pediatrics today to schedule an appointment. We’ll evaluate your child’s behavior and let you know whether ADHD is present.