ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, affects your child’s behavior at home, performance at school, and ability to make lasting relationships. If you’re concerned about ADHD, the experienced team of providers at NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine can help. The providers focus on the needs of your child, recommending behavior therapy and medications to help your child manage symptoms and thrive despite ADHD. Call the offices in Springfield and Woodbridge, Virginia, or book an appointment online.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is caused by irregular brain activity and development. The medical condition is one of the most common childhood disorders and can persist into adolescence and sometimes adulthood.
It can be hard for children with ADHD to sit still and stay focused. ADHD can make it hard for children to thrive in school, and they may have trouble at home and in social situations because of their inability to pay attention and focus. Children with ADHD sometimes have trouble with self-control, too.
Very young children are naturally curious and have short attention spans. ADHD is different. As your child ages, the inability to focus continues and causes difficulties in school and home life.
Symptoms can present in several ways. Your child doesn’t need to display all of these symptoms to be diagnosed with ADHD.
If your child is easily distracted and unable to regularly concentrate on routine tasks, it could be a sign of inattention. Specific ways in which kids display inattention include having trouble following directions, appearing forgetful, and failing to finish the things they start.
If your child frequently seems to act without thinking, they are displaying impulsivity. It may be as serious as engaging in risky behavior or as simple as interrupting others’ conversations.
Hyperactivity shows up as an inability to sit or stand still for even short periods. Your child may seem constantly restless or bored. They may jump around, roughhouse, and get into trouble at school or in social situations.
The diagnosis of ADHD is not based on a single test. Your specialist at NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine closely listens to your child’s symptoms. They may reach out to your child’s teachers and caregivers before confirming a diagnosis.
Your child will also have a thorough physical exam and screening tests to make sure there’s not another underlying medical condition contributing to their behavior.
There is no one set treatment plan for children with ADHD. Your specialist takes into account your child’s specific needs, the severity of symptoms, and schedule. The goal of ADHD treatment is to reduce hyperactivity and help your child manage their behavior so they can better be a part of school, home, and friendships.
Two primary care approaches are:
Behavior therapy helps your child learn necessary coping skills and improve their ability to focus. Behavior therapy may also include resources for you, teachers, and caregivers so you can better help your child manage their symptoms.
Medication is often helpful in regulating brain function so your child can stay in control of their behaviors. Medication can also improve your child’s ability to focus and pay attention.
If you have concerns about your child’s behavior and suspect ADHD, call NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine or use the online tool to set up an evaluation.