Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or more commonly
referred to as ADHD, is a neurobiological disorder that makes it
unusually difficult for children to concentrate on tasks, pay
attention, or control impulsive behaviors. While some children
demonstrate mostly inattentive behaviors and others predominantly
hyperactive and impulsive behaviors, the majority of those with
ADHD have a combination of both. For children with ADHD, it can
often be very difficult to function in the classroom in addition
to creating additional stress and conflict at home.
ADHD is a syndrome, which means it
is defined by a group of symptoms, must be carefully evaluated by
a professional who will talk with multiple people in a child’s
life.There is no single test for diagnosis. The process of
accurate diagnosis involves several steps and working to get
information about your child from multiple sources. You, your
child, your child’s school, and other caregivers should all be
involved in assessing your child’s behavior.
The National Institute of Mental
Health estimates that ADHD occurs in an 3 to 5 percent of
preschool and school-age children. Therefore, in a class of 25 to
30 children, it is likely that at least one student will have
this condition. ADHD begins in childhood, but can often last into
adulthood. Several studies done in recent years estimate that 30
to 65 percent of children with ADHD continue to have symptoms
into adolescence and adulthood.
While no one knows exactly what causes ADHD, studies have shown a
combination of causes, including genetics and environmental
influences; gender, family history, prenatal risks,
environmental toxins and physical differences in the brain all
appear to be involved.
For many children, the first line
of treatment for ADHD is medication which helps children
concentrate and limit impulsiveness. Ritalin and Adderall are
commonly used medications that stimulate the production of
neurotransmitters to regulate attention and impulse
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The UACF Hope Line is a message system for parents and caregivers
that provides resources and connections to individuals in your
community that may be able to assist you in finding appropriate
support services for your child’s mental health needs. Feel free
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