Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is common in children of all ages. It can be hard to tell if your child has ADHD, especially if they’re on the younger side. This is because some of the signs are similar to how a child would normally behave at a certain age. The only way to know for sure is to have a comprehensive exam with Gina Labovitz, MD, FAAP, at Ross Bridge Medical Center Pediatrics in Hoover, Alabama.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a complex developmental disorder. It may look one way in one child and totally different in another child. For example, one child may be hyperactive and misbehave, while another may be withdrawn and seem to daydream often. Either way, children with ADHD may have a hard time at home and in school.
Signs of ADHD
A child with ADHD may be hyperactive, inattentive, or impulsive. Here are some of the signs to watch for:
- Can’t sit still
- Talks loudly or talks too much
- Interrupts conversations
- Gets in trouble at school
- Doesn’t focus or finish tasks
- Gets distracted easily
- Has trouble waiting for their turn
- Throws tantrums or has outbursts
- Daydreams often
- Doesn’t listen
- Has mood swings
- Is unorganized
Getting a diagnosis
Diagnosis can be tricky since some of the symptoms are things kids may normally do. If you notice some of the behaviors mentioned above for at least six months by the time your child turns age 7, you should take your child to Dr. Labovitz for an evaluation.
Schoolteachers and parents alike play an important role in getting an accurate diagnosis. When you come in for a consultation, Dr. Labovitz will ask a lot of questions about your child’s behavior, so it’s a good idea to keep a journal of symptoms and how often they occur. She’ll also perform a comprehensive exam and may order diagnostic tests.
Treatment for ADHD
Treatment usually includes a combination of behavioral therapy and medication. Dr. Labovitz will prescribe a medication that’s targeted to your child’s needs. Stimulants, such as Adderall®, are used to increase focus, but non-stimulant medication may also be used.
If you think your child has ADHD, it’s better to get a diagnosis and treatment sooner than later. With a combination of medication and behavioral therapy, your child’s symptoms can be controlled, and they can do well in school and in their day-to-day relationships. Keep in mind it may take a while to find the right medication and dosage.
If you suspect your child has ADHD, Dr. Labovitz can give your child a thorough evaluation and provide a diagnosis. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Ross Bridge Medical Center Pediatrics today.