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 ADHD in Children

ADHD in Children

WHAT SHOULD A PARENT DO IF ADHD IS SUSPECTED?
The best strategy is to discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider.  Your doctor may be comfortable running through the checklist of symptoms your child may have, and may make the diagnosis after a careful exam and interview.  However, many kids are referred to psychiatrists or psychologists for the diagnosis – especially if there are other conditions suspected – tics, anxiety, depression or other behavioral issues.  The key is to have the conversation, and find out what your options are.  Remember, kids who have the symptoms, but are functioning well academically and socially may not be candidates for treatment….but there are many options available for those kids really in need!


ADHD - Symptom Checklist for Parents and Teachers:

(Criteria for diagnosis)

In children 6 or more inattentive and/or hyperactive/impulsive symptoms must occur for at least 6 months in a way that is inappropriate for the child’s age*

Several symptoms must be present prior to age 12

Several symptoms must be present in 2 or more settings (ex: home, work, school, social)

THERE MUST BE CLEAR EVIDENCE THE SYMPTOMS INTERFERE WITH OR REDUCE THE QUALITY OF SOCIAL OR ACADEMIC FUNCTIONING

The symptoms are not due to another disorder


Symptoms of Inattention:

Often makes careless mistakes and lacks attention to details (Examples: overlooking or missing details or handing in work that’s inaccurate)


Often has difficulty paying attention to tasks or while playing (Examples: difficulty remaining focused during class, conversations, or lengthy readings)


Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (Example: mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of obvious distraction)


Often fails to follow through on instructions, schoolwork, or chores (Example: starts tasks but quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked)


Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities (Examples: messy, disorganized work; poor time management)


Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to participate in tasks requiring sustained mental effort, like schoolwork or homework


Often loses things like school materials, pencils, or books


Often easily distracted


Often forgetful in daily activities such as chores


Symptoms of Hyperactivity and Impulsivity


Often fidgets with or taps hands and feet or squirms in seat


Often leaves seat when remaining seated is expected (Examples: leaves their place in the classroom, or in other situations that require remaining seated)


Often runs or climbs where it is inappropriate


Often unable to play quietly


Often acts as if "on the go" or “driven by a motor” (Examples: is unable or uncomfortable being still for an extended time, as in restaurants)


Often talks excessively


Often blurts out an answer before a question has been fully asked (Examples: completes people’s sentences, cannot wait for next turn in conversation)


Often has difficulty waiting his or her turn; for example, while waiting in line


Often interrupts or intrudes on others (Examples: butts into conversations, games, or activities; may start using other people’s things without asking or receiving permission)


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Board certified pediatrician Dr. JJ Levenstein, MD, FAAP Take parenting classes instructed by Dr. Levenstein online by visiting www.momassembly.com. To learn more about parents' concerns with kids go to her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CallingDoctorJJ

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