Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, is a brain disorder that can affect children differently. If left untreated, this issue can cause a child to be restless, misbehave and prevent him or her from learning in school. The highly trained pediatricians at Woburn & North Andover Pediatric Associates have extensive experience identifying signs of ADHD. Call to request an appointment at our pediatric office in Woburn or North Andover today!
Common ADHD Symptoms
Inattention, hyperactivity and impulse control are not symptoms that are exclusive to children with ADHD, but the symptoms tend to be more pronounced in those who are affected. Although ADHD affects everyone differently, the following behaviors are the most commonly observed issues:
ADHD can cause a child to have difficulty paying attention. Children who are inattentive tend to be disorganized and may give up on tasks easily. Many parents mistake these behaviors as simply misbehaving, but in children with ADHD they are not making an intentional choice to behave this way.
Hyperactivity causes a child to feel the need to move or fidget, even in situations where it may not be appropriate. If you notice that your child frequently taps his or her fingers, rapidly moves his or her legs when sitting or simply talks an above-average amount, ADHD may be causing this behavior.
Typically, even children without ADHD need to learn impulse control over time. But, if your child doesn’t seem to “grow out of” the pattern of making decisions without thinking or interrupting others, the disorder could be the cause.
Causes of ADHD
Over the years, there has been a lot of misinformation about the causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Researchers used to believe that ADHD could be the result of brain damage, head injuries or even the ingestion of too much refined sugar. All of these theories have been disproved.
Simply put, ADHD is caused by chemical and structural dysfunctions in the brain that are the result of genetics. Pathways in the brain and neurotransmitters that regulate dopamine and norepinephrine are different in those with ADHD than those without.
There are several options for treating a child with ADHD. With appropriate care, a child can manage symptoms and can begin to better focus in school and at home. Common treatment options include:
- Therapy to help a child learn to manage his or her symptoms.
- Parent training to help create an environment that will allow their child to thrive.
- Medication to decrease severe symptoms.
- School intervention to make teachers aware of any necessary accommodations.