What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a health condition that affects children and adults. According to different resources from 3 to 10% of children and up to 4-5% of adults in U.S. may be affected.
ADHD is a complex medical condition that likely stems from interactions between genes and environmental factors. Several areas of the brain that are responsible for problem solving, planning and impulse control appear to be affected.
ADHD has its onset in childhood. 30 to 65 percent of children with ADHD continue to have symptoms into adulthood.
ADHD presents with some of the following symptoms:
- Trouble paying attention
- Inattention to details and makes careless mistakes
- Easily distracted
- Losing things such as school supplies
- Forgetting to turn in homework
- Trouble finishing class work and homework
- Trouble listening
- Trouble following multiple adult commands
- Difficulty playing quietly
- Inability to stay seated
- Running or climbing excessively
- Always "on the go"
- Talks too much and interrupts or intrudes on others
- Blurts out answers
There are three types of ADHD:
- Combined Type: the most common type of ADHD when people have difficulties with both attention and hyperactivity
- Inattentive Type: when people have only difficulty with poor attention and organization
- Hyperactive Type: when only hyperactive and impulsive symptoms are present (usually observed in very young children).
Poor attention can be caused by other than ADHD factors. For example, lack of sleep, physical illness, learning disability, anxiety and depression can interfere with ability to stay focused. If you suspect that your child has ADHD, it is important to have your child evaluated by a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Treatment may include medication and therapy.
There are well established and effective medications for ADHD, and most children benefit from treatment with a medication.
- Stimulant medications: Concerta, Focalin, Vyvanse, Adderall, Ritalin, etc.
- Non-stimulant medications: Strattera, Intuniv, Kapvay
ADHD medications can reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity and improve ability to focus, work, and learn. However, a one-size-fits-all approach does not apply for all. What works for one child might not work for another. One child might have side effects with a certain medication, while another child may not. Sometimes several different medications or dosages must be tried before finding one that works for a particular child. Any child taking medications must be monitored closely and carefully by family and a doctor.
Therapy can help one to identify his or her strengths and build on them, gain a better self-esteem, cope with daily problems, control anger and anxiety.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hartt to diagnose or treat ADHD, please call our offices today at (210) 495-4085 or visit www.harttmedicalgroup.com for more information.