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How to diagnose ADHD in kids?

The number of children diagnosed with ADHD has gone up about 50 percent in the last nine years and is now recorded at 12 percent. Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition related to inattention and hyperactivity. ADHD develops when there is an impairment related to growth and development in their brain and central nervous system. It can be difficult for a child with Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to concentrate and maintain attention throughout the day.


Children with ADHD tend to get restless, hyperactive, and engage in impulsive behaviors. ADHD is a common disorder in childhood, but the symptoms often persist in adolescents and adults. When there are several causes of ADHD and misdiagnosis is common, medications alone do not treat ADHD effectively. Studies reveal that the stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD increases the risk of developing mental health conditions such as mood disorders, anxiety, and even psychosis.


ADHD symptoms in children

Children can develop ADHD due to a combination of various factors, including personal, genetic, and environmental factors. Children with ADHD find it difficult to process information quickly, get easily confused, talk more and rapidly, unable to restrain emotions, and always fidgets. However, ADHD does not imply a learning disability. The common symptoms include unable to concentrate and pay attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. ADHD can manifest in three forms, including:

  • hyperactive and impulsive,

  • inattentive, and

  • combined hyperactive and inattentive

Diagnosing ADHD in children

There is no definitive test for diagnosing ADHD. The diagnosis of ADHD includes several steps involving the gathering of information from various sources, including the child, parents, and the child’s school. While assessing the behavior of the child, the doctor shall inquire about the symptoms that the child exhibits, how they affect the child’s behavior, and when did the symptoms first appear.


A child is diagnosed with ADHD, based on the standard guidelines developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, when they regularly display six or more symptoms of ADHD, including hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention for more than six months. According to the guidelines, ADHD can be diagnosed in children aged 4 to 18 though the symptoms must appear by the age of 12. A child who is 17 years and older, five or more symptoms of ADHD must be identified. A doctor shall take a physical exam of the child, consider medical history, and even prescribe a brain scan. Early diagnosis of ADHD in children ensures quick and effective treatment.


Overview of ADHD treatment in children

Treatment plans of ADHD for children can include medications, education programs, and psychological training. Studies reveal that a long-term treatment combining behavioral therapy and medications procures better results as compared to only medication treatment in managing and reducing the symptoms of ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Children who are treated with therapy and drugs also tend to improve their social skills.

Drugs for treating ADHD in children

A class of drugs known as psychostimulants or stimulants, including Adderall, Adzenys XR-ODT, Vyvanse, Concerta, Focalin, Daytrana, Ritalin, and Quillivant XR, help children in focusing their thoughts, are highly effective in treating ADHD in children. Nonstimulant medications, including Intuniv, Kapvay, and Strattera, can also be used to treat ADHD in children. ADHD medications can sometimes have mild side effects that do not last long.


Behavioral Treatments for Children With ADHD

Behavioral treatment for children with ADHD can include social skills training for helping children learn behavior that shall help them in maintaining and balancing social relationships and support groups and parenting skills training is for parents to provide support and educate parents on ADHD; it’s symptoms and treatments.


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