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Pediatric ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in Children

Children with ADHD have difficulty with tasks like concentrating and sitting still. Children’s Health works with children, families and teachers to get a detailed picture of each child’s unique challenges. Then we find ways to help them be more successful at home and school.

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

The front of your brain controls executive functioning skills like paying attention, planning and regulating your emotions. In some people, their brain’s structure and chemistry affects those skills. This can lead to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 9% of children in the United States have ADHD. Although ADHD is most often diagnosed in boys, it actually occurs about equally in males and females.

  • Attention
  • Concentration
  • Hyperactivity
  • Learning from mistakes
  • Memory
  • Motivation and effort
  • Organization
  • Social skills
  • Impulsivity (acting before fully considering consequences)

What are the different types of Pediatric ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in Children?

There are three types of ADHD. Each has different symptoms:

  • Predominantly inattentive presentation is when a child has a hard time focusing and following through with things
  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation is when a child has trouble being still and patient.
  • Combined presentation is when a child has symptoms of both the inattentive type and hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in Children?

Certain behaviors are common for each type of ADHD. These include:

Symptoms of inattentive ADHD

Children with predominantly inattentive ADHD will often:

  • Overlook details
  • Be easily distracted and forgetful
  • Have their attention wander away from tasks or activities
  • Have trouble organizing tasks and activities
  • Have trouble finishing schoolwork, chores or other tasks
  • Make careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work or in other activities
  • Seem like they’re not listening when they’re spoken to directly
  • Avoid tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time, including schoolwork or homework

Symptoms of hyperactive-impulsive ADHD

Children with predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD will often:

  • Be “on the go” at all times
  • Talks excessively
  • Have a hard time waiting their turn
  • Have trouble being quiet when playing
  • Interrupt or intrude on others
  • Tap or fidget with their hands and feet
  • Leave their seat or squirm in place, even when asked to stay still
  • Run around or climb in situations when it’s not appropriate
  • Blurt out an answer before someone is done asking a question

How is Pediatric ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in Children diagnosed?

Parents and teachers are often the first to notice ADHD’s symptoms. But only a doctor can make an official diagnosis.

How do you know if your child has ADHD?

Some children may have symptoms like a short attention span or hyperactivity without having ADHD. To have ADHD, a child must have symptoms for six months or more and the symptoms must occur in multiple settings (school, home and other situations).

How is a child tested for ADHD?

Doctors test for ADHD by interviewing you and your child, and getting information from other people who spend a lot of time with them, such as teachers and coaches. This gives your doctor a broad and detailed perspective of your child’s behavior and any ADHD symptoms they may have. Your doctor can rate those symptoms on a scale to assist in the diagnosis of ADHD.

What are the causes of Pediatric ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in Children?

We know that ADHD is based in the brain, but we don’t yet know what causes it. Genes are a factor, so people who have a parent or sibling with ADHD have slightly higher odds of having it themselves.

How is Pediatric ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in Children treated?

Treatments for ADHD can include medication, as well as behavioral strategies like seating your child in the front row in class. At Children’s Health℠, we work closely with families, teachers and other important people in your child’s life to set up a treatment plan that works best for your child.

Pediatric ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in Children Doctors and Providers

Our team of child psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists have decades of experience with ADHD and the other disorders that sometimes accompany it.