More than 5 million children in the United States have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) today. At Professional Pediatrics, experienced pediatrician Benjamin Valdez, MD, and the knowledgeable team understand the difficulties that families can face when a child has ADHD symptoms. They provide compassionate ADHD evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment in their Roseville, California, office. If your child needs help, call the office to book an appointment now.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that causes difficulty paying attention, controlling impulses, and regulating behavior. It’s a common condition in children, affecting about 8.4% of American school kids today.
ADHD has three main subtypes, each with unique symptoms. These are:
Children with inattentive-presentation ADHD are often distracted easily, forget details, lose things, make careless mistakes, and find it difficult to pay attention in class or in conversations.
Children with predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD often find it hard to sit still. They may interrupt others, act impulsively, and have great difficulty in waiting their turn. Children, especially smaller ones, may seem to have an inexhaustible supply of energy and be constantly in motion.
With combined presentation, children have symptoms of both inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsivity.
ADHD treatment usually involves two parts: medication and behavior therapy.
The first line ADHD treatment for children is generally stimulant medications. More than 80% of children improve with stimulants. While these medications cause excessive energy in people without ADHD, stimulants work very differently in the ADHD brain. They allow your child to focus, filter out distractions, pay attention, and manage their behavior effectively.
There are two main classes of stimulant medications, methylphenidate and amphetamines. Both are available in long- and short-acting formulas. Some children respond to either type while others do best with one or the other.
If your child has difficult-to-manage side effects with stimulants, nonstimulant medications may help. But, unfortunately nonstimulants aren’t usually as effective as stimulants.
Part of the ADHD treatment process involves working with you and your child’s other care providers and teachers. Implementing classroom practices that encourage positive behaviors and discourage negative ones, for example, a rewards system, can help your child in school.
Additionally, organizational training methods can help your child better manage time, plan projects, and coordinate their activities.
Treatment includes ongoing monitoring of the child’s life at home and school. The team checks with you and your child’s other care providers regularly and can adjust treatment as needed to help your child feel and function their best.
If your child has ADHD symptoms or needs to try a new treatment approach, call Professional Pediatrics now.