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Understanding ADD & ADHD

Attention Deficit Disorder is a psychological term used to describe children and adults who suffer from impulsivity, hyperactivity and/or inattention.

There are two types of ADD: ADD with hyperactivity (ADHD) and ADD without hyperactivity (which is synonymous with inattention). The scope of this text is meant to cover Attention Deficit Disorder without hyperactivity.

Signs of ADD

  • Being easily distracted
  • Appears not to listen or pay attention
  • Has difficulties with schoolwork or homework
  • Fails to pay close attention to details
  • Makes careless mistakes in schoolwork
  • Fails to follow instructions and finish tasks
  • Is forgetful and unorganized – frequently loses things

How Common is ADD and How can it be Treated?

Because the diagnostic criteria for ADD remains so subjective, it is estimated that between 1-20% of the population suffers from ADD. Some people have argued that there is no such thing as ADD, but rather what is known as ADD is simply a collection of behaviors or "symptoms" caused by a wide range of unrelated problems. The actual cause of the behavior could range from brain damage to giftedness to allergies, and treatment could similarly range from stimulant medication to alternative education to allergy shots, depending on the base cause of the ADD. Therefore, it is critical to uncover the underlying cause of ADD once it is diagnosed. It is the underlying cause that should then be treated. The leading treatments for ADD are counseling and medication. Your child's doctor will determine an individual treatment plan based on your child's specific symptoms and needs.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a psychological term used to describe a disorder associated with hyperactivity, inattentiveness and impulse control problems that affects millions of children and frequently carries over into adulthood.

Signs of ADHD

  • Frequently fidgety and squirmy
  • Runs around and climbs excessively
  • Won't stay seated
  • Has difficulty playing quietly and tends to talk excessively
  • Blurts out answers and often interrupts others
  • Does not wait his or her turn

ADHD Behaviors Differ Between Genders

Boys with ADHD are more likely to be hyperactive and play and squirm aimlessly, whereas girls with ADHD tend to be inattentive daydreamers. Boys tend to be more disobedient by not following instructions, so their behavior may be more noticeable and easier to diagnose.

It is crucial to remember that what may appear to be signs of ADHD is actually normal behavior for very young children. If the behavior persists, however, it may be time to look for causes associated with your child's symptoms. ADHD symptoms can be treated by counseling or medication, and sometimes a combination of the two is suggested.

If your child is being treated for ADHD, he or she needs to be seen by his or her doctor regularly. Your doctor will determine how frequently follow-up appointments should be scheduled.

If you feel your child is showing signs of ADD or ADHD, please contact NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine to schedule a conference with one or our providers.

If you believe your child is displaying sign of ADD or ADHD call Nova Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine in Springfield and Woodbridge, VA today!

Additional Resources

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

The difference between ADD and ADHD

Attention Deficit Disorder Association

Kids Health from Nemours

Current Patients

Below are forms our current patients may need if a patient is seen ADHD.

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