All children have trouble sitting still and listening to instructions occasionally, but when these behaviors are frequent, your child may have ADD/ADHD, which is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Formerly called attention deficit disorder (ADD), the condition is now referred to as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Doctors Kevin White and Stacey Lowen and nurse practitioners Julie Schreiner and Jennifer Simonds of Surfside Pediatrics share ADD/ADHD information with Ventura parents.
How do I know if it's ADD/ADHD?
Although ADD/ADHD must be diagnosed by a health care practitioner, the illness has a few hallmarks. The symptoms usually start when your child is young and typically appear before the age of seven. Doctors may make an ADD/ADHD diagnosis if symptoms have lasted longer than six months and affect at least two aspects of his or her life, such as home and school.
What are the symptoms?
Although the disease is now referred to as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, not all children are hyperactive. Instead, your child may have trouble paying attention in class. Symptoms vary from child to child but can include:
- Boredom with activities that aren't enjoyable
- Failing to complete homework or turn it in if it is completed
- Poor impulse control
- Making inappropriate comments
- Constantly fidgeting or moving
- Trouble staying seated while at school
- Frequent daydreaming
- Difficulty taking turns
- Talking too much at school
How can I help my child?
Medication can help your child control his or her symptoms. All medications aren't equally effective for everyone. If the first medication doesn't help your child, your doctor can suggest another one. While taking the medication, your child will be monitored to make sure that he or she doesn't experience side effects.
Your son or daughter may benefit from participating in social skills training, particularly if she or he has difficulty getting along with other children. During training classes, your child will learn to successfully interact with other children and develop friendships. Behavior and talk therapy can help him or her control problem behavior and develop effective coping skills.
If you're worried that your son or daughter may have ADD/ADHD and you live in the Ventura area, call Surfside Pediatrics at (805) 643-7500. You'll be amazed at the difference proper treatment can make.