ADHD Lauren Obermeyer, Rachael Crosby, Samantha Dameron

Facts about ADHD

  • One of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.[1]

Symptoms:

  • daydream a lot
  • forget or lose things a lot
  • squirm or fidget
  • talk too much
  • make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
  • have a hard time resisting temptation
  • have trouble taking turns
  • have difficulty getting along with others

Causes:

  • Not from eating too much sugar
  • In addition to genetics, scientists are studying other possible causes and risk factors including:
  • Brain injury
  • Exposure to environmental (e.g., lead) during pregnancy or at a young age
  • Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
  • Premature delivery
  • Low birth weight

Diagnosis:

  • There is no single test to diagnose ADHD, and many other problems, like anxiety, depression, and certain types of learning disabilities, can have similar symptoms.
  • One step of the process involves having a medical exam, including hearing and vision tests, to rule out other problems with symptoms like ADHD.
  • Another part of the process may include a checklist for rating ADHD symptoms and taking a history of the child from parents, teachers, and sometimes, the child.

Treatment:

  • behavior therapy and medication
  • No single treatment is the answer for every child and good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups and any changes needed along the way.

Current statistics

  • approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have ever been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011.
  • The American Psychiatric Association states in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) that 5% of children have ADHD1. However, other studies in the US have estimated higher rates in community samples.

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