Recognizing Attention-Deficit Disorder
According to the organization Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), AD/HD affects approximately three to seven percent of school-age children. Although it was once thought that children could outgrow AD/HD, it now appears that the condition often persists through childhood, into the adolescent years, and even into adulthood.
CHADD’s research sources show that AD/HD symptoms typically become apparent in early childhood. Symptoms are divided into three primary subtypes as follows:
AD/HD predominantly inattentive type: (AD/HD-I)
AD/HD predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type: (AD/HD-HI)
AD/HD combined type: (AD/HD-C)
According to CHADD, diagnosis of AD/HD is a multifaceted process and there is no single comprehensive test for the condition. An individual’s academic, social, and emotional skills are examined along with developmental levels and family history. Additional history is also obtained from parents and teachers. CHADD lists a number of professionals that can diagnose AD/HD including pediatricians, neurologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and school psychologists. A medical exam by a physician is an important step to rule out other medical problems and to assess hearing and vision.
Untreated, AD/HD can lead to problems like school failure, academic underachievement, relationship issues, and antisocial behavior problems, to name a few.
Proper diagnosis and treatment through behavior management techniques, medication, and/or educational support and monitoring can make positive changes to correct the condition and give your child the foundation to excel throughout his or her life.
As always, if you have particular concerns about attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, consult your family physician.
Source: Children and Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder website: www.chadd.org; February 1, 2005.
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