Q: How do I know if my child has ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be scary for parents. You can take great comfort in knowing that most children diagnosed with ADHD grow up to live normal lives. A quick Internet search will show there are countless exceptionally successful people who have ADHD.
The only way to know if your child has ADHD is through a professional evaluation. We begin by taking a close look at your child’s behavior, environment, and relationships.
Q: Are there tell-tale signs of ADHD?
Yes, ADHD has a few signature symptoms. It usually appears as a combination of:
- Problems listening
- Difficulty paying attention
- Impulsive behavior
- Trouble with tasks that require sustained effort
Spurts of these behaviors are common in children, as most parents can attest. If your child is showing a number of these symptoms on a day-to-day basis, you may want to consider having your child evaluated.
Q: How do you make the diagnosis?
ADHD is a complex disorder. Diagnosis starts by asking many questions in order to gather as much information as possible about your child. We also do general and neurological exams as part of an office evaluation.
Other factors like your child’s speech development, hearing and academic levels add to the information needed to make a correct diagnosis.
Q: How is ADHD treated?
We use a combination of behavior modification and medication. Sometimes more structure at home and school can help a child focus on the tasks at hand. Simple tools like graph paper can help a sloppy writer turn in neater homework.
Along with behavior modification, a variety of medications can be effective. As a rule, we start with a low dose and make adjustments over a period of several weeks or months.
Q: Will my child need medication for a lifetime?
Every child is different. Some continue to need medication and others learn to cope without it as they mature. It all depends on your child’s ability to function in his or her environment.
Q: From whom can I get more information?
As mentioned, ADHD is a complex disorder. Beth Israel has seven pediatric neurologists who are skilled clinicians in diagnosing and treating ADHD. Our advanced electroencephalogram (EEG) and imaging capabilities help to identify issues that mirror ADHD. We also offer neuropsychological evaluations for children, if not provided by the school system. Most important, we maintain a close follow-up on all aspects of our young patients’ treatment.
Learn more about the Attention Deficit Disorder by visiting chpnyc.org or calling 1-855-411-LWNY (5969).