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What are some common signs of ADHD? How do I know if I have it?

By Anonymous October 7, 2014 - 6:37am
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Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER and thank you for your question.

ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood.

Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity.

The disorder affects 9.0% of American children age 13 to 18 years. Boys are four times at risk than girls.

Children are very often misdiagnosed as having ADHD, because children mature at different rates and have different personalities, temperaments, and energy levels. Most children get distracted, act impulsively, and struggle to concentrate at one time or another.

No single test can diagnose a child as having ADHD. Instead, a licensed health professional needs to gather information about the child, and his or her behavior and environment. A family may want to first talk with the child's pediatrician. Some pediatricians can assess the child themselves, but many will refer the family to a mental health specialist with experience in childhood mental disorders such as ADHD. The pediatrician or mental health specialist will first try to rule out other possibilities for the symptoms, such as learning disabilities, or an undetected hearing or vision problems.

The mental health specialist will gather information from the child's parents, teachers, coaches, babysitters, and other key adults. The specialist will observe the child's behavior in both highly structured, and less structured situations.

Finally, if after gathering all this information the child meets the criteria for ADHD, he or she will be diagnosed with the disorder.

Hope this information is helpful to you in accessing if you might have ADHD and how to get evaluated for this disorder.


October 7, 2014 - 9:04am
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