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.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of complex,
developmental brain disorders characterized by difficulties in
social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and
repetitive behaviors. People with ASDs handle information in
their brain differently than other people.
There is still much discussion regarding childhood bipolar
disorder, also known as pediatric bipolar disorder, as it is very
rare in children and can often be hard to diagnose. Onset usually
occurs in mid-to-late adolescence, though there are cases in
children. Children with bipolar disorder are
afflicted with bouts of major depression and periods of
mania—euphoria, poor judgment, and extreme risk-taking
activity—in an often debilitating cycle.
Depression is a psychiatric disorder that can effect children and
youth with chronic feelings of sadness or worthlessness. For some
children, situational depression, or unhappiness triggered by
particular life events (death, divorce, injury) is not uncommon
in children, but it normally goes away when circumstances change.
A child with depression does not recover when events change;
sadness, moodiness and/or lack of interest in things she used to
enjoy will persist.
Pediatric schizophrenia or childhood Schizophrenia is a serious
childhood mental illness characterized by distorted thinking,
motor, and emotional processes in children and young adults under
the age of 18. Schizophrenia can present symptoms such as
auditory and visual hallucinations, strange thoughts or feelings,
and abnormal behavior which can greatly impact a child’s ability
to function and sustain typical interpersonal relationships.
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If you or a loved one is in immediate crisis, please call 911
or visit the nearest emergency room.
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
to leave a message on the UACF Hope Line and your call will be
returned as promptly as possible.