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ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

ADHD has long been identified as the most frequently diagnosed behavioral condition in children.  Children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD have difficulties with inattention, hyperactivity, and impulse control.  These behaviors affect them both at home and at school, and can contribute to social difficulties for these individuals as well. 

What are the symptoms of AHHD?

Symptoms of ADHD include inattention which can be seen as distractibility, forgetfulness, poor attention to detail, difficulty with organization, and losing things easily.  Hyperactivity symptoms include things such as fidgety behavior, difficulty staying seated, excessive running or climbing, and excessive talking.  Impulsive symptoms may include things such as blurting out answers, difficulty waiting one’s turn, interrupting others or doing things without thinking.  Individuals with ADHD can have any or all of these symptoms as there are different subtypes of ADHD that are considered when diagnosing a person. 

How is ADHD Diagnosed?

There is no specific test or procedure to diagnosis ADHD. Best practice indicates a comprehensive evaluation directed at contributing factors and severity of impact.  Areas of assessment may include IQ, academic achievement, and social/emotional functioning.  Data may be collected from children, teachers, and parents.  Frequently the measures employed include a diagnostic clinical interview, behavior rating scales, and observations of behavior.

How is ADHD treated?

Comprehensive treatment of ADHD includes educational, medical, and behavioral treatments.  Educational interventions often are designed with the assistance of the classroom teacher, clinical psychologist, and school psychologist.  These interventions are directed at improving classroom awareness, age appropriate responsibility, and lessening the impact of ADHD on educational advancement.  Individual medical interventions are tailored by a psychiatrist, family practitioner, and/or pediatrician.  Behavioral interventions are an essential part of the treatment for ADHD.  These interventions can take the form of individual strategies to improve the child’s focus, concentrations, and organization and/or parent strategies to improve child awareness of demands within the environment.  These interventions need to be specific, manageable and consistently followed.

For more information or to request an evaluation and treatment, please contact Children’s Behavioral Health at (402) 955-3900.

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