One of the most common mental disorders that develop in children is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Children with this disorder will experience impaired functioning in:

• The home
• The school
• Relationships with peers

Treatment in childhood is necessary to help avoid long-term adverse effects into adolescence and adulthood.

What are the signs and symptoms of ADHD?

• Impulsiveness: Acts quickly without thinking first
• Hyperactivity: A child who can’t sit still, walks, runs, or climbs around when others remain seated, and/or talks when others are talking.
• Inattention: Daydreaming or distant and/or sidetracked from what is going on around him or her.

What are the steps in diagnosing ADHD?

• Diagnosis should be made by a professional with training in the disorder.
• Professionals include child psychiatrists, psychologists, developmental/behavioral pediatricians, behavioral neurologists, and clinical social workers.
• Other possible reasons for child’s behavior are ruled out.
• The specialist checks the child’s school and medical records.
• The specialist talks to teachers and parents who have filled out a behavior rating scale for the child.
• A diagnosis is made only after all this information has been considered.

What is the treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

• Behavioral therapy
• Medications

Where can you get help?

• Locate mental health services in your area
• Affordable healthcare
• NIMH clinical trials
• Listings of professionals and organizations on the internet and in your local telephone book

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder often becomes apparent in some children during the preschool and early school years. These children find it difficult to control their behavior and/or pay attention.

How many children are affected?

• It is estimated 3 and 5 percent of children have ADHD or approximately 2 million children in the U.S.

This number indicates that in a classroom of 25 to 30 children, it is likely that at least one has the disorder.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All health concerns should be addressed by a qualified health care professional

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© 2007 Connie Limon All Rights Reserved

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Author: Connie Limon. Visit
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