What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
Children who are impulsive, inattentive, or overactive are frequently referred to pediatricians for evaluation. While all children exhibit out-of-control behavior from time to time, children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have more severe and more frequent behaviors which can disrupt learning, attention, and development. Between four and twelve percent of all school-age children may have ADHD, making it the most common childhood neurobehavioral disorder. The disorder can extend into adulthood, although symptoms can be managed.
There is no single identified cause for ADHD. Factors considered to influence the occurrence of ADHD include genetics (the disorder tends to run in families), prematurity, variations in a child’s emotional temperament, and medical or environmental exposures.
ADHD is a complex disorder that can manifest itself differently at each stage in a child’s development. Symptoms of ADHD must be present in two or more settings. For example, a child must show symptoms at both school and home. Some of the symptoms must be present prior to age seven, and the symptoms must adversely affect both the child’s academic and social functioning in order to be diagnosed as ADHD.
Evaluation of a child with ADHD should also include a thorough assessment for co-existing conditions. Those conditions include: conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders and depression, anxiety, and learning disabilities. As many as one-third of children diagnosed with ADHD also have a co-existing condition that contributes to or causes school difficulties. Occasionally, medical problems cause or contribute significantly to ADHD symptoms. For this reason, a complete physical exam is a necessary part of the ADHD evaluation. Diagnosis of hyperactivity and ADHD in children age five and younger is unreliable, because children change so rapidly during the pre-school years.
Sergei Shushunov maintains a high level of interest in providing the highest quality of comprehensive care for children and adolescents with learning differences and difficulties. In consultation with area psychologists, psychiatrists, and school systems, we have established a process for evaluation and management of children with school difficulties. Our process for evaluation and management of children with symptoms consistent with ADD and ADHD was developed in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for evaluation and management of children with ADD and ADHD. Our physicians are available by appointment to discuss the details of our process and your child’s specific needs.
Extensive resources are available both for ADD/ADHD children and for those with other types of learning disabilities:
Children and Adults with ADD - Includes links to local chapters.
Wright’s Law - Special education advocate site.
All Kinds of Minds- Nonprofit institute dedicated to helping students who struggle with learning.
National Institute of Mental Health - ADHD web site.
ADD Warehouse - 800.233.9273
Continental Press - 800.233.0759
Educators Publishing Services - 800.225.5750
Free Spirit Publishing - 800.735.7323
Lakeshore Publishers - 800.421.5354
Landmark School Outreach Program - 978.236.3010
Pro-Ed - 800.897.3202.
Reading for the Blind and Disabled - 866.732.3585
Steck Vaughn - 800.531.5015
Zephyr Press - 800.232-2187
- Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents, by Russell Barkley, Guilford Press.
- Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood, by Edward M. Hallowell, Simon and Schuster.
- Beyond Ritalin: Facts about Medication and Other Strategies for Helping Children, Adolescents and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder, by Stephen Garber, et al, Harper Collins Press.
- The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child’s Learning Disabilities, by Larry Silver, Times Books.
- It’s Nobody’s Fault: New Hope and Help for Difficult Children and Their Parents, by Harold S. Koplewicz, Times Books.
- Eagle Eyes: A Child’s Guide to Paying Attention, by Jeanne M. A. Gehret, Verbal Images Press.
- Otto Learns about His Medicine: A Story about Medication for Children with ADHD, by Sandra Ferraro, Magination.
- Jumpin’ Johnny Get Back to Work!: A Child’s Guide to ADHD/Hyperactivity, by Michael Gordon, Ph.D., GSI Publications.
- The ADD Hyperactivity Workbook for Parents, Teachers and Kids, by Harvey Parker, Impact Publications.
- Parenting a Child with Learning Disabilities: A Practical Empathetic Guide, by Cheryl Gerson Tuttle, Lowell House.
- The Gift of Dyslexia: Why Some of the Smartest People Can’t Read and How They Can Learn, by Ronald D. Davis, et al, Perigee.
- No One to Play With, by – Betty Osmon, Academic Therapy Publication.
- The Don’t-Give-Up Kid and Learning Differences, by Jeanne M. A. Gehret, Verbal Images Press.
- Parents’ Guide to Attention Deficit Disorder and Parents’ Guide to Learning Disabilities, by Stephen B. McCarney and Angela M. Bauer, Hawthorne Educational Services.
- All Kinds of Minds: A Young Student’s Book about Learning Abilities and Learning Disorders, by Melvin D. Levine, Educators Publishing Service.
- Keeping A Head in School: A Student’s Book About Learning Abilities and Learning Disorders, by Melvin D. Levine, Educators Publishing Service.
- Parenting a Child with a Learning Disability, by Tuttle and Paquette, Doubleday.
- Learning Disabilities and ADHD, by Betty B. Osman, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
- Helping the Child Who Does Not Fit In, by Stephen Nowicki and Marshall Duke, Peachtree Publishers.
- How to Reach/Teach Children with ADD/ADHD, by Sandra Rief, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.