What is ADHD?
All kids daydream and get in trouble once in a while. But life may be more difficult for a child with ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). It is a serious problem that can get in the way of having a normal life.
Just less than 10% of kids ages 4-17 in the United States have ADHD. Adults can also be diagnosed with ADHD. But with a little work and a treatment plan, ADHD can be controlled.
What are the signs of ADHD?
Kids with ADHD often have trouble with the following behavior:
- Sitting still
- Paying attention
- Following instructions
- Finishing tasks
- Acting without thinking
What causes ADHD?
Doctors are not sure what causes ADHD, but your child may be at higher risk if:
- ADHD runs in your family
- You smoked during your pregnancy
- He/she had a low birth weight or was born early (premature)
- He/she had colic (uncontrollable crying) as a baby.
Boys are more than twice as likely than girls to be told they have ADHD.
What should I do if I think my child has ADHD?
- Make an appointment with your child’s doctor as soon as possible.
- If your child has ADHD, your doctor will make a treatment plan for them. This plan may include medicines and special ways to do things like homework or chores.
- You may have follow up doctor’s appointments to check and adjust your child’s ADHD plan.
To learn more about ADHD:
- Healthy Children.org: “ADHD Basics”
- National Institute of Mental Health: “ADHD Booklet”
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "ADHD Fact Sheet"
- National Resource Center for ADHD: "Parenting a Child with ADHD"