Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can affect children and adults of all ages, although symptoms typically vary with age. ADD and ADHD are diagnosed when a patient is found to have inadequate attention capabilities, and in the case of ADHD, it is accompanied by hyperactivity or restlessness.
ADD and ADHD can affect a child’s ability to learn in school, as well as follow instructions. Children who suffer from ADHD may struggle with behavioral issues at home and school, such as difficulty sitting still in class or an inability to complete a task before moving on to another. Both conditions may continue into adulthood, during which time they may interfere with employment or relationships.
Diagnosing ADD and ADHD requires examination by a professional. In the case of children, a pediatric psychiatrist can provide an accurate analysis based on whether levels of inattention, impulsiveness and restlessness are abnormal for the patient’s age. An adult or child may suffer from either ADD or ADHD if he or she exhibits any of the following traits:
- Inattentiveness to detail
- Difficulty focusing
- Difficulty finishing a single task or project
- Impulsive behaviors
- Hyperactivity or restlessness
- Excessive talking
- Short temper
According to the NYU Child Study Center, only one in five children with a mental disorder or problem undergoes treatment for the condition. However, by seeking care for ADD or ADHD, both children and adults may experience significant improvements in symptoms.
Seeking treatment for a child with ADD or ADHD is important and requires careful selection of a care provider. You may wish to consult with your child’s pediatrician or a pediatric psychiatrist to determine whether psychiatric treatment could provide alleviate your child’s symptoms. Depending on the extent of symptoms, a treatment regimen of behavioral therapy and/or medication may be used.
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