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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Overview

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood neurobehavioral disorders diagnosed today. Characterized by inattentiveness, over-activity, impulse control problems or a combination, pediatric ADHD can’t be cured, and often lasts into adulthood, but the symptoms can be controlled. The pediatricians at WellStar can help you if your child is exhibiting symptoms of ADHD.


Types and Symptoms

There are three different types of pediatric ADHD. A diagnosis depends on which symptoms are strongest in your child:


Predominately Inattentive:
Children with the inattentive type of ADHD are generally not disruptive, have good social skills and are therefore more likely to miss being diagnosed with ADHD.


Symptoms of inattentive ADHD include:

  • Failure to give close attention to details or follow through on instructions
  • Careless mistakes in schoolwork
  • Difficulty sustaining attention
  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • Difficulty organizing tasks and activities, and finishing schoolwork or chores
  • Loss of toys, assignments, pencils, books or tools
  • Often forgetful

Predominately Hyperactive-Impulsive:
A child with hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD may have more accidents and injuries than others, and exhibit the following symptoms, which are the ones most closely associated with ADHD:


  • Fidget or squirm
  • Run or climb in inappropriate situations
  • Have difficulty playing quietly
  • Talk excessively
  • Blurt out answers before questions have been completed
  • Have difficulty waiting a turn
  • Interrupt others’ conversations or games

Combined:
Symptoms of the two types are equally present in a child.


Causes

Studies suggest there is not one particular cause responsible for ADHD. Many factors can be involved. Whatever the cause, ADHD seems to be set in motion early in life as the brain is developing. In addition to genetics, scientists are investigating other factors that may contribute to ADHD, including:

  • Brain injury
  • Environmental factors, such as lead paint
  • Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
  • Premature delivery
  • Low birth weight
  • Nutrition