Recognizing and Treating ADHD 1

Children Are My Passion

“Often parents get frustrated with children because they think their child is not listening or they are being lazy. Most children really want to please their parents and most children really want to do well.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is difficult to diagnose ADHD in children younger than 4 years old. This is because younger children change very rapidly. It is also more difficult to diagnose ADHD once a child becomes a teenager.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior. It affects 4 to 12 percent of school-age children and is diagnosed in about three times more boys than girls.

ADHD includes three groups of behavior symptoms:

1. Inattention

  • Daydreams, often has a hard time paying attention
  • Often does not seem to listen
  • Is easily distracted
  • Often does not seem to care about details; makes careless mistakes
  • Frequently does not follow through on instructions or finish tasks
  • Is disorganized
  • Frequently loses a lot of important things
  • Often forgets things
  • Frequently avoids doing things that require ongoing mental effort

2. Hyperactivity

  • Is in constant motion, as if “driven by a motor”
  • Cannot stay seated
  • Frequently squirms and fidgets
  • Talks too much
  • Often run, jumps and climbs when this is not permitted
  • Cannot play quietly

3. Impulsivity

  • Frequently acts and speaks without thinking
  • May run into the street without looking for traffic first
  • Frequently has trouble taking turns
  • Cannot wait for things
  • Often calls out answers before the question is complete
  • Frequently interrupts others

Communicating With Your Child:

  • Touch your child on the arm, look them in the eyes and give them direction.
  • Write down the tasks so that they can refer to them and check back in 30 minutes. Touch them on the arm again and ask if they have completed the task.
  • Children with ADHD need multiple reminders and multiple prompts. As children get older, they can make their own lists and use their own planner.

The Pediatric & Adolescent Center is located at 4581 S. Cobb Drive, Suite 100, Smyrna, GA 30080. For more information, call 770.801.5000 or visit WellStar.org.