Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder—Children
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is among the most common childhood disorders, affecting 3-5% of school-age children. Once considered a childhood disorder, we now know that ADHD frequently persists into adolescence and adulthood. Its most common symptoms include poor self-control, variable attention, hyperactivity or restlessness, and poor organizational and planning abilities. These symptoms can change with age, and ADHD presents different challenges at different developmental stages.
Evaluating and treating children with ADHD is particularly important and gratifying because it provides the chance to modify unhelpful patterns before they become entrenched, and to set the stage for success while children are developing their self-image. When children struggle with the academic and behavioral difficulties typical of ADHD, it is very helpful for both kids and parents to know these difficulties have a name and a cause and can be effectively addressed. In my work with these children, I focus on the following:
- Helping children understand their own symptoms and patterns and what causes them. Having an age-appropriate framework for understanding ADHD is very important for preserving self-confidence in the face of challenges.
- Helping parents more fully understand their child's ADHD and its causes. With greater understanding, parents are typically better able to respond to challenges more effectively, without blaming themselves or their child.
- Helping children develop skills for managing their emotions, behavior and interpersonal interactions. Such skills include recognizing their emotions and learning specific tools for handling their feelings.
- Working with parents to establish an ADHD-friendly home environment which
includes consistent and age-appropriate expectations, time-management and
organizational strategies, and other supportive structures.
- Communicating with teachers or other involved adults if such collaboration is indicated.
- Discussing with parents the possible role of medication, referring to a physician for evaluation if appropriate, and coordinating treatment with the physician.
More ADHD Services: adults / couples / teens